That's just wrong

Those Post reporters have no idea how to behave on a message board. There's, like, not even any cursing, or racism.



Toby writes the Metro post I would have if I'd had more time.

Deal of the Century

Well, I did it. For the first time in my life, I refused to be interviewed for a job. Partially because I appeared to be overqualified, but mostly because it would have been working on a military project that develops weapons systems for a new fighter jet coming down the pipeline, thus violating my whole "Future's So Bright I've Gotta Wear Shades" principle.

Yes, I'm an idealistic twit. I don't want to work for the Washington war machine any more. A lot of the conspiracy theorists assumed the super-fun marathon Iraq occupation we now find ourselves in was an effort to control the region's oil; my fear is that it was actually about keeping the war machine turning.

More than $200 billion has been spent on Iraq. As long as we're fighting a war of some kind, it's a huge windfall for the Lockheed Martin/Raytheon/Northrop Grummans of the world. More is spent on weapons systems and combat gear and other high-tech crap... and a lot of it is a huge waste, like the shelfware I worked on briefly for the Navy (i.e., software that sits on a shelf and doesn't even see the light of day). And these contractors are obviously huge campaign donors to members of Congress and the executive branch, no matter what the party. So this stupid, destructive machine keeps turning and turning. And people keep getting needlessly blown up by our innovation.

Inadvertantly we have backed into Reason #854 why I need out of Washington... as a software engineer who doesn't want to work on military projects, I probably just eliminated like 95% of the available local jobs by adding that qualifier. Part of the reason I like working in software is the creative aspect. It's the same reason I like blogging... I like making things that people can enjoy. When I write software, I like it when people can use it and say, "Hey, that's pretty neat/useful/interesting." And not, "Hey, is that a missile heading towards the orphanage?" (Oops, could have sworn that was a missile silo.)

Put simply: I want to use my powers for good, and not for evil. And I don't think I can do it here. Let's face it: we're going to be in Iraq forever. Forever and ever and fuckingever. The crazy people who still think we're somehow getting our revenge for 9/11 by being in Iraq won't be happy until "the enemy has been defeated," and of course that's not even a definable goal (since there appears to be an endless supply of "the enemy").

Every time someone calls for an end to the madness, you get protests from powerful people who don't know how to shut down the machine. They can't comprehend of the U.S. being able to say: "We've made a huge mistake."

"Saddam is gone. It's a good thing, but I don't agree with what was done," Clinton told students at a forum at the American University of Dubai.

"It was a big mistake. The American government made several errors ... one of which is how easy it would be to get rid of Saddam and how hard it would be to unite the country."


"The mistake that they made is that when they kicked out Saddam, they decided to dismantle the whole authority structure of Iraq. ... We never sent enough troops and didn't have enough troops to control or seal the borders," Clinton said.

As the borders were unsealed, "the terrorists came in," he said.

Clinton said it would have been better if the United States had left Iraq's "fundamental military and social and police structure intact."

Oh my God... I sort of remember what it was like to have a president who wasn't completely and functionally retarded. It's a little bit hazy. But I sort of remember. And, honestly, at this point I think we can forgive the whole "blow jobs" thing. I'm pretty sure there are a number of us who would personally give Clinton blow jobs, if it meant he could take over for a few years and get us out of this shitstorm.

Alas, such a provision is not in the Constitution. Yet. So, in the meantime, I will remain an idealistic fool with no job. And a blog. There's nothing I can do to stop the machine... all I can do is not be a part of it.

It's called a break-up because it's broken

Out of 23,547 complaints the FCC received in July, all but five came from Alexandria's own Parents Television Council. Yes. That's ALL BUT FIVE. I always wanted to try to infiltrate the PTC as an employee, but it looks like they don't have any openings right now. Maybe I can get an internship, though. I would really like to manipulate their e-mail system and try to get Arrested Development back on the air.

A GMU student was arrested for passing out literature counter to the efforts of nearby military recruiters. Proving again that we tend to like the idea of defending freedom, but when it comes to actual freedom, that's really more of a you-have-to-agree-with-us thing. Funny, it doesn't feel like the 1960s in here... but I guess it must be.

And the rest... median households can't afford over 80 percent of homes in D.C., the oil companies set our energy policies that set up their stupidly huge profits, and the media and the government keep their little secret club going so they can feel like the cool kids. Boom, boom, boom.

We need to break up, Washington. We had a nice run, but I think it's time to move on. It's not you... it's me.

Wait, actually it is you. Sorry.


Damn you, Billy Gates

I did not get the job at Mister Softee.

Came very close, I think. They have a very rigorous interview process. It's kind of like a videogame; you interview with three or four different people, and if they like you enough, you get to talk to the "big boss". Which is usually a good sign. In my case, I got to the big boss, and they said they would move quickly on a decision, but instead took two agonizing weeks to let me know they didn't want me.

Which is disheartening only because I prepared so hard for that interview, and they would have covered the costs and hazards of relocation. There were a lot of red flags going up with working there, not the least of which was this recent Business Week article. But I thought it would have at least been a good learning experience and short-term opportunity for me.

Unfortunately, the non-challengingness of my previous job is making the interview process difficult. Since moving here, I haven't worked in the new technologies that everyone wants you to have experience in, and I haven't really pushed myself either, so I've forgotten a lot of things being asked of me... and they always ask little technical quizzes at these interviews, just to make them more stressful. (Although I didn't get the job, I'm sure I nailed all the pop quiz questions at Microsoft, so at least the studying I've been doing (instead of blogging) has paid off.)

C'est la vie. Top that off with Arrested Development getting cancelled, and it's been a pretty shitty week.

One good thing that came out of my Seattle trip is: I'm 100% sure I want to move there. That place FUCKING ROCKS. Seriously. If you're there, have dinner at Wild Ginger. Walk around Pike Place Market. Go to a Sonics game. I did all those things and fell in love with Seattle all over again. If worse comes to worse and I don't get any offers, maybe I should just up and move out there anyway... it's a scary prospect, but it might be easier to get hired.

Sorry, just thinking out loud. Oh hey, you know what's funny about Washington (D.C. I mean, not state, in order to stay on-topic)? It's a little easier to stomach when you don't have to work at a boring, mindless, completely non-challenging job and drive around in the awful traffic. On the other hand, a salary of some kind would be nice.

My to-do list has actually stayed pretty full. I've been doing the usual football officiating (enjoy my work tomorrow night, Leesburg), and writing up an article related to that (not that anyone hired me to write it... I'll have to pitch it when I'm done and see if anyone's interested). Funny "Virginia sucks" side note: I couldn't draw unemployment insurance even if I wanted to, because the $200/week or so I make officiating would be deducted from that, and potentially even outstrip it. Even though I won't get paid for the work I'm doing until late December. Hilarious.

The job hunting and other various chores keep me busy. Maybe I'll even get to check out the Native American museum one of these days. It does kind of suck being apartment-bound almost all day, but at least I'm working down my Netflix queue. I'll keep you posted, Internet. In the meantime, enjoy a few laughs at my expense.


The essence of Washington

He really did do a heck of a job.