Friday, December 9, 2016

A respite from the rain, and something to do to kill the boredom.


It was raining for the past two days, and I'm glad the weather has finally changed.  It'll be nice to get outside for a change and have to dress for cool weather instead of wet weather.

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One thing about volunteering at the local GLBT center is that I've found that the people there are slow to embrace change.  It took a long time for them to get moving on setting up a new web site, and from what I've seen so far, they do not know much about user experience.  The platform they chose is inexpensive, and it gives them what they have paid for. Since I wasn't there from the beginning, I can't say that I know the ins and outs of the platform enough to make a valid criticism. But I can say that some of the things I've seen are non-intuitive and are hard to work with. So, I think they may be unhappy with what they are producing and will never let the new site see the light of day.  Hopefully, I'll be wrong on that. If one person there has their say, they (I hate the modern "singular person" use of that word), it will become an active site. And it will all be because of this person's efforts.

At one time, I used to be excited about having someplace to go while unemployed.  This time around, it is different.  I think it's because I know my skills are underused.  And I know that the combination of skills I have are not enough to get anyone to be that interested in me as I search for work.

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After lunch, I drove down to the GLBT center and did my thing in helping to set up the web site.  This time, I talked to the one person who knew what they were doing on the site, and I was glad I did so.  Some of my comments hit the right ears, and I learned something about the new platform as well.  The GLBT center has a lot of data to be entered before the site goes live, and I can see the difficulty in doing so.  Part of this is related to choosing a non standard font to be used for text display. Every time someone selects this font, they have to go through a lot of extra effort.  And that goes for much of the formatting that has to be done for the site.  I know I'll have a lot of work to keep me busy, and I'll look for ways to make this work as easy as possible for me.

Once done at the GLBT center, it was off to game night with a couple of stops along the way.  First, I had to get something to eat. So, I headed off to Panera Bread. On the way, I called Pat, and we got into one of our political discussions.  She is not pragmatic, and never will be. While I am pragmatic, and realize that reality and idealism rarely mesh well.  She's the type of person who thinks that the world would be better off if everyone would lay down their arms.  I'm the type of person who knows that there will always be a few holdouts, and that they will be bullies.  So, instead, I advocate universal armament, because history has taught me that "Mexican Standoffs" usually end in peace.  To me, humanity (as a whole, and not at the individual level) is too dumb to learn the lessons taught by the world's great religions: "Love thy Neighbor", "Do unto others as you'd have them do to you," and other simple directives we learn from the Torah, New Testament, and the Koran.  I feel that humanity has to keep learning these lessons the hard way, as people are often too scared to stand up to bullies wherever they abuse others. And when they don't stand up and go "all in" to resist bullies, we keep having the same problems in every generation. Am I a cynic?  Yes.  I have no faith that people will do the right thing without incentives.  But I feel that wise leaders can design systems to nudge people to do the right things. Pat feels that people must magically change and practice "love", while I prefer to use market like forces to encourage desired behavior - even when people don't understand the underlying reasons that this behavior is promoted.

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But enough about my discussion with Pat.  After having a bowl of soup at Panera, it was off to The Avenue to do some window shopping.  Two of the salesladies complimented me on my appearance, as I was wearing the outfit below.


I tried on a pair of trousers and a sweater while there, and noticed that my tights were about to fall apart.  Instead of having to toss them at game night, I bought two packages of navy blue tights in my size, and figured that I would put them on in a clean restroom elsewhere. So, it was off to a quiet Starbucks where I knew the restroom would be clean.

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Once done at Starbucks, it was off to play some games. On the way home, my tire pressure light came on - and this means that I'll ask the folks at Mavis Tire to take care of this when I bring the car in for an oil change and tire rotation in the morning.  Hopefully, I'll have enough air in the tire to get there in the AM. I'll miss being able to get dressed in the morning as Marian.  Yet, I know I'll be able to be in Marian mode for the rest of the day.

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