You Like Me Better Online

Actually, it’s more likely that you don’t like me at all, but if you like me at all, you probably like the online me more. I’m much better in a non face to face interaction. I’m also much better inside my own head(it’s a scary place). This blog post sounded much better in my head than it will ever sound in print and will be much better in print than it would ever be in person. Unless I know you well, I will struggle to do something as simple as engage in small talk. I’m horrible at parties and will usually be found in a corner somewhere avoiding the potential small talk opportunities. Online I can talk to strangers, make jokes, engage in lively discussion about a variety of topics and be the type of person some people might actually like. In person, I still suffer from the same self-esteem driven shyness that I suffered from in high school. It’s a little better these days, but I still feel awkward in a lot of social situations. This also carries over to work related things as well. I go to conferences and then can’t bring myself to do the “networking” expected of conference attendees. I’m horrible in job interviews. I don’t like to speak in trainings and meetings unless I have to, even though I have a lot of valuable input(I am a genius after all). I know there is a lot to dislike about the Internet, but it has been a great thing for people like me. I’m much better when you can’t see me(and it’s better for your eyes).

Montgomery County’s Stupid Move

The big news in schools locally is Montgomery County’s decision to remove all references to religious holidays from the school calendar. This move was promoted by the local Muslim community’s request to have one of their holy days off. It was a reasonable request. Most local school systems are closed for the major Christian and Jewish holidays, the precedent has been set. What can they do? Oh, I guess they can make a really stupid decision is response. I have two problems with this decision.

1. Do they think people are too dumb to know what they are doing? Do they think people are so stupid that next year when they are closed on Yom Kippur that people won’t realize why they aren’t open because Yom Kippur is not specifically stated on the calendar? A lot of systems already say winter holiday or winter break when they close at Christmas. I don’t think anyone is blind to the fact that they chose hat time frame because it’s Christmas just because they call it something else. Don’t insult your public’s intelligence. This only makes people mad and does not even address the request.

2. As a public institution you can not promote or endorse one religion over another. If you set the precedent that you will close on certain religions major holidays, you are setting yourself up for requests to close on other major religious holidays. If you say in, you are discriminating based on religion. You cant say that we won’t open or hold activities on x religion’s holy days, but then be business as usual on another’s. I’m not saying take away the religious holidays. I’m very happy that I get the day off on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I’d be perfectly OK with being off on Rosh Hashannah and Yom Kippur (apologies is spelled wrong. I’m too lazy to look it up). I’m just saying that once you start down that road as a public institution you can’t throw up a stop sign when another religion wants to join in.

Changing my reading and tv habits

Each year I set a reading goal. That reading goal has always been a quantity goal. Usually 100 books. I always meet that goal and this year I am ahead of my goal. I sometimes add in a page number goal. I’ve been thinking that I need to change the type of goal I set next year. I read a lot of books that I finish, but don’t love. They aren’t bad, but they are forgettable. I read a lot of authors out of habit even though they write the same book over and over again. I can read a Stuart a woods book in a day, but it’s not different than the last Stuart Woods book I read. I don’t discover new books anymore because I’m reading through my books from my reserve list instead of browsing the shelves. Many of those books are on my reserve list because they are written by authors I read regularly. Some of these authors are still consistently good their books might be in my top ten list for the year. Some of them are like the aforementioned Stuart Woods. They are consistent and boring and after I finish I wonder why I still read them. It is time for me to stop reading based on habit and start discovering new books and authors.

I do the same thing with TV. It’s really hard for me to give up on a former favorite show once it is not as good as it once was. Watch them becomes a chore. Something I’m doing out of habit not because I’m still enjoying it. I think in addition to habit, this also stems from my misguided belief that the show will return to its former level of entertainment. This never actually happens. If I can cut the cord on some of these shows, I will probably find time to read some of the new books mentioned above. I need to remember quality is better than quantity.

When There’s Something Female in Your Neighborhood, Who You Gonna Call

It was announced recently that Paul Feig will be making a new Ghostbusters movie and that the new Ghostbusters will be all women. From reading twitter it seems that a lot of people are really upset about this and will not watch a new Ghostbusters if it stars all women.

Personally, if there was going to be a new Ghostbusters, I wish it could have been done before Harold Ramis died and was an actual sequel with all of the originals. I’m not against reboots and remakes like a lot of people, but bringing back the original three would have been great. Obviously, with Ramis dead and Bill Murray not interested anyway, that will not happen. So, if there is to be a Ghostbusters, it will have to be a reboot. Here’s what I think about the reboot and the women issue:

I think the script is much more important than the gender make up of the cast. If you have a bad script, the gender of your cast won’t make a difference. Bad script equals bad movie. Of course, the cast is important and if you have a good script, you need the right cast to make it a good movie. Once again, this is not dependent on gender. I would much rather see a Ghostbusters with women like Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Aubrey Plaza, Emma Stone, Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Mann, Aisha Tyler etc. than a Ghostbusters with less talented male actors. The gender isn’t the issue for me. The talent is and all of those women, plus plenty more, are extremely talented and would make a good movie with the right script.

I assume the people out there who think I am wrong and that an all female Ghotbusters will automatically suck are the morons who believe women can’t be funny. I think Paul Feig is probably ok with them skipping the film.

The Ravens Light Rail Issues

I always take light rail in for the Ravens games because I am cheap and don’t want to pay for parking. Light rail would be nice and convenient if they would fix issues that lead to long waits, crowded trains and irritated people. Here are some ways I think they could fix this.

1. Number of trains – There have been two games this year where the Ravens won big, which means everyone leaves early. In the past, this meant those of us who stayed until the end of the game had no lines for the trains. Unfortunately, this year all of the people who leave early are still there waiting for a train 20-30 minutes later when the game actually ends. Once can only assume that this means they are running fewer trains. I understand that on a typical Sunday, fewer trains makes sense, but not on a game day. If you know the schedule, there should be a way to run trains more frequently on game day. Also, when there is a Sunday night game and service is officially over why not have all of the trains stacked downtown so they can fill up and leave as soon as the game is over? Why have long waits between trains? If it is a money issue, you would think the Ravens make enough money they could chip in to pay for more trains to make the game day experience more pleasurable.

2. Crowd control – This is not an MTA issue. This is a stupid people issue. People get to the platform at the end of the game and stop immediately. There is always room for more people at the end of the platform, but they can’t get there because of all of the people crowded at the very start of the platform. This causes the line to stretch up the ramp unnecessarily and makes loading the train slower. There are plenty of MTA people around. They need to take a more active role in moving people down the platform. Also, once people get on the trains and it is standing room only, people crowd by the doors and won’t move to the middle of the train. This prevents more people from entering the train and causes the lines to remain long. There are plenty of times the trains leave with space for 10-20 more people per car, but they can’t get on because people won’t make the room.\

3. Staff the ticket machines – It was much easier to get tickets and get on a train when you purchased them from a person at the station. The same people who are too stupid to move down the platform are too stupid to buy tickets without help. You can miss several trains waiting in long lines caused by people unable to operate the ticket machines.

4. BWI/Cromwell – I get on the train at North Linthicum and can take either the BWI or the Cromwell trains. There are a large number of people who can’t take the BWI train. Unfortunately, those people are all standing on the platform while those of us who would love to get on the BWI train can’t get to it. I’m sure some BWI trains leave not even close to full because of this. Maybe you can figure out a way to have a BWI only platform area with access from a roped off area?

5. Consistency – At the very least make sure customers know what they are going to get. Yesterday trains were a little closer together(though 20 minutes between trains is still bad) but some days you can stand there for 30 minutes or more waiting for a train. Consistent service, even if not adequate, is better than inadequate, but also inconsistent service.

Unfortunately, I’m not sure anyone with MTA, the Ravens or the city of Baltimore care enough to fix it.

What’s in TV Tonight, September 26, 2014

The good news for boring old people like is that Friday night is no longer a TV wasteland where they send bad shows to die. There is things to watch tonight even with Grimm, Last Man Standing and Whose Line is it Anyway premiering later in the season.

NBC – repeat of Mysteries of Laura, 2 hour Dateline NBC
FOX – Utopia, repeat of Gotham
ABC – 2 hour Shark Tank, 20/20
CBC – Amazing Race, Hawaii 5-0, Blue Bloods
Cable – for the kids, Jessie, Girl Meets World and Dog with a Blog are new on Disney. Syfy has a new episode of Z Nation(Sharknado version of Walking Dead)

Tonight will be all CBS. I’m happy to be able to watch Amazing Race with no football delay. I don’t watch Hawaii 5-0 but others in my house do. I still really like Blue Bloods.

What’s on TV Tonight, September 25, 2014

Another night with not much on that I plan to watch. Looks like as much as I talk about a possible DVR crisis, I won’t watch enough this year to really have one. Last night I did try Black-ish. It seemed OK, but I was half asleep through a good portion of it. I am happy that it seems Survivor will have a strong season this time around. So, on to the list

NBC – Biggest Loser(2 hours), Parenthood
FOX – Bones, repeat of Sleepy Hollow
ABC – Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal(Grey’s In the White House), How to Get Way With Murder(Grey’s in law school)
CBS — Thursday Night Football
Cable – Project Runway on Lifetime

The only series premiere tonight is How to Get Away With Murder. Another Shonda Rhimes show, this one about first years law students. If you like Grey’s and/or Scandal you should watch this.

Normally. I would just recommend football, but I have to admit that I am addicted to Grey’s, so I will start football late to watch Grey’s first. I’m also a big fan of Bomes, but we still haven’t watched the end of last season, so I will have to record it. I will also give How to Get Away With Murder a shot at some point. So, my advice, watch Grey’s and then football. Record Bones and Murder for later.