afterthree: (fuck you speech bubble)
This is so not cool:
Today I received an email from the lawyers of author Susan Jeffers, PhD., notifying me that I’d infringed on her trademark by inadvertently using the phrase “feel the fear and do it anyway” in my post last week, A Guide to Beating the Fears That Hold You Back.
 
The phrase, apparently, is the title of one of her books … a book I’d never heard of. I wasn’t referring to her book. I’m not using the phrase as a title of a book or product or to sell anything. I was just referring to something a friend said on Twitter.
 
Her lawyers asked me to insert the (R) symbol after the phrase, in my post, and add this sentence: “This is the registered trademark of Susan Jeffers, Ph.D. and is used with her permission."
 
Yeah. I’m not gonna do that.


Okay, well. Yeah. To read the rest of Leo Babauta's post on this cease and desist order and the privatization of language, go here.

Look, I understand people want to protect their creative works and their brands. But not even Nike, who has considerably more invested in their "just do it" slogan than this whoever with a Ph.D., has their laywers go around, finger wagging and telling people they can't use or write the common phrase "just do it" without tradmarks, legalese, and prerequisite bowing and scraping. Proper names are one thing -- and even those can be difficult to trademark when they're too ubiquitous; I work for a large retail company called The Brick, y'all (though I'm sure they've tried...) -- but sentences? Statements? And trying to enforce that trademark even when it is clear the writer's context is something else entirely is just arrogant, foolish, and stunningly self-righteous.

So. I've titled this post "feel the fear and do it anyway" to symbolically stand beside Leo Babauta, and if my flist was bigger-stronger-louder I'd probably pester y'all to do it, too, but in the mean time I'll stand here on my little soap box and wave my little flag. How fortuitous that the apparently trademarked phrase so aptly suits the content of this crazy. Wasn't there a whole to-do about trademarking a number a while back? As I recall, that attempt went so very well.

Copyright law + over-zealous lawyers + the internet. Fun stuff. This and privacy are going to be The Big Battles of the internet age, especially with social networking and social media leaping into the internet foreground. *waves the Creative Commons flag*

 
afterthree: (fuck you speech bubble)
I am having one of those mornings.

My computer isn't working, documents carefully crafted to someone else's specifications are being destroyed by the very same people who demanded they be carefully crafted in the first place, I'm being asked to do work twice and catch up people who are late to the game, and I am about to get shat on because other people who get paid way more than I do couldn't get their work done on time.  No, of course I won't mind working late daily for the next four weeks because of course I have no personal plans.  Yes I am -- why yesam -- going to spend the next month saving your asses so if you could stop being idiots long enough for me to get some traction, I would appreciate it.

I leaving the office and going for coffee, or the hate I have for the universe might spill over and cause actual violence.  I am so angry right now I'm actually shaking.

 

Women...!

May. 23rd, 2007 04:36 pm
afterthree: (Default)
There are several reasons I prefer working in a department of mostly men, and the small eruption in the Traffic Department today illustrates most of them. Do you know what happens when you put lots of women in one small area and make them work with each other and have their performance dependent upon the performance of the others? Tension. Tears. Chaos. Big Dumb Girl stuff galore.

Men don't do that. I mean, don't get me wrong, there's still politics and power plays, but these things almost never degenerate into taking things personally with men. Men can very clearly define the difference between the work and the personal. There's work politics and personal politics, and seldom do the two get confused with men.

Women? Well... The fairer gender tends to take everything and its dog personally. A critique of performance becomes an attack on the person. Women can't compartmentalize the two purposes very well, and seem to more often than not blur them intentionally to win a personal point. Women fight dirty, and so they take everything that is said in those terms. Everything is fair game all the time. Can we women just get together and at least agree that we're often Big Dumb Girls and that's it's really really annoying? I mean, if we can get that far, then maybe - just maybe - there is hope for our sex after all.

 
afterthree: (Default)
Every year, it's the same old tease.

Sometime in March, things start to look up weather-wise. The sun comes out, the vast majority of the snow melts off the streets. The puddles go from lake sized to proper puddle size to none-existent. You think it might finally be a good time to give the car a wash. You leave the windows open when you go to bed at night. You start moving the winter coats into the back of the closet in favour of the nicer, more comfortable spring onces, and start to wear pretty shoes that have no grip and are composed of thin pieces of none waterproofed material.

Then you wake up one morning and shmooff. Snow. Wind. Cold. Back out come the gloves and the toques. Away go the pretty shoes. Add on five minutes to brush and scrape off car in the morning. And you know in a week the streets will be wet and mucky again, and the mud will stick to your heels and your pants. The wind ruins your hair. You'll spend a veritable fortune on windshield wiper fluid. Why do we always get excited at the very first peak of spring? Every single FUCKING year? It's bad enough that it happens every year without fail, but we can never help ourselves from getting all used to spring before it's actually really here. Apparently, we like the smack-down.

Don't even get me started on the snow-storms in early June. When everything is packed so far back in the bottom of the closet that the time spent digging it all out isn't worth the actual time the shitty weather sticks around, so we all just wander about in inappropriate jackets and shoes without mittens or hats for a few days, cursing and flailing on the ice.

Consider that spring isn't a very attractive time of year in this country, anyway, and I'm forced to wonder what the fuss is about. The snow melts away leaving brown, dead, clumpy grass covered in either snow mold and dead leaves that weren't properly raked away, or five inches of dirt and gravel from the sanders. The trees are all dead - like they are in the winter - but without the frost-touched glisten that makes them reasonably attractive. And everything smells like damp and dead rot. Then, even when things start to take an upturn, when the flora and fauna starts to recover and everything starts to grow and smell alive again, then I spend four weeks in agony, sneezing and congested. There is a large percentage of us who, even when spring starts to become everything we think of it as, can't even enjoy it. Dread it, even.

My office building is a freezer. Who turns on the air conditioning when it's -5 outside? The thermostat near my desk dares to insist it's 23 degrees in here. My blue fingers and three sweaters say differently. Does anyone care that a lot of us in this building are not menopausal middle-aged women? *puts on mittens* Harumph.

I'm heading straight into what will be the longest run of work I've encountered in a long time: shows every night after work, then two shows both Saturday and Sunday for two weeks in a row with only Monday nights off. In the midst of all this chaos, I have to find time to pop by and have dinner with my brother and sister-in-law who are in town at precisely the wrong time, through no fault of their own. It wasn't the wrong time when they planned their trip, it just sort of turned out that way.

It's all for the greater good, though. And I'm enjoying it, despite all the tired. It is nice to be involved in the theatre, and a wee bit of a rush to be involved in professional theatre to boot. I can't afford to see my own show. *grins* That's what I'm talking about.

End of April plans? To use some of this extra money to do what I've been threatening to do since September: purchase a shiny new computer.

It will be very exciting. Mark my words. I'll twitter.

 

Finally

Jan. 8th, 2007 01:07 pm
afterthree: (Default)
As I write, the Traffic Department is finally taking down their Christmas Decorations. Might I take this opportunity to point out it is seven days after the official end to the Christmas Season? I think I might. Once again, so everyone is very clear.

Christmas = December. Not November, not any of November, not even the last week or the last couple of days, and certainly not October, are you bloody mad, it’s freakin’ October, and not January, except maybe if you’re hung over, but definitely by the late afternoon of January 1st, every Christmas bauble, every pine smelled bough, every fake tinsel garland should be boxed up and stored for next December. Let’s get more exact: Christmas = the period between December 1 12:01am to December 31 11:59pm with allowances for too much liquor extending the deadline to January 1 5:00pm. Anyone committing Christmas Season Excess will be fined, and the time shall be taken off of the season in the subsequent year. If too much time is owed, it may be taken off in installments over the next five years, with an interest of 1 day per week owed per year.

I am not a Grinch or a Scrooge. I enjoy my Christmas just as much as anyone else. I’m just sick of it encroaching on the other months of the year. People who Christmas Shop eight months in advance drive me crazy enough, but at least they keep a low profile.

 
afterthree: (Default)
It is now December. You may commence any Christmas-related celebration you so desire. This includes, but is not necessarily limited to, decorating, listening to Christmas carols, Christmas gift shopping, drinking egg nog, attending Christmas themed parties, changing your computer desktop to reflect Christmas-y sentiments, mailing Christmas cards, putting off mailing your Christmas cards until January, wrapping presents, wearing Santa hats, hand-crafting Martha-Stewartesque styled wreaths to hang on your door, attempting to hand-craft a Martha-Stewartesque wreath then screwing it all up hopelessly and purchasing one from the Martha Stewart Line at The Bay for the price of a decent new furnace, wishing people Merry Christmas -- or, if you're a chicken, Season's Greetings -- in your signature on emails, being obnoxiously cheerful in the earlier weeks of the month then harassed and snappish when all of your brilliant plans to be ready early this year goes to hell and it's Christmas Eve and you're killing yourself trying to buy that last special something and the stores all close in fifteen minutes and what the HELL have you do, you've screwed it up again and you SWEAR TO GOD that next year it really will be different, you'll be done in July and OH MY GOD did the voice over the intercom just say FIVE MINUTES LEFT I'm going to FREAK OUT on his ass like has never been FREAKED OUT before and there must be SOMETHING in this aisle that is JUST RIGHT and not PAINFULLY EXPENSIVE like that blender-toaster-microwave-spice-rack combo I bought last year that is STILL IN THE FREAKIN' BOX and FUCK that's the security guard and he's telling me I have to leave because the sales people want to celebrate their Christmas too and SCREW THEM AND THEIR CHRISTMAS 'cause mine is definitely FUCKED OVER and it's locked, he locked the door in my FUCKING FACE and just WALKED AWAY WHISTLING CAROLS and SCREW YOU BABY JESUS AND YOUR BIRTHDAY TOO!

I guess it's gonna be forty dollars worth of gas station scratch-and-win again this year.

*sigh*

In any way you wish to celebrate, December 1 is upon us and you may get on with it.

But be sure to be finished on January 1.

Merry Christmas.

freak out: 1. Experience or cause the experience hallucinations, paranoia, or other frightening feelings as a result of taking a mind-altering drug. 2. Behave or cause to behave irrationally and uncontrollably, with enthusiasm, excitement, fear, or madness. 3. To enter into or cause a period of irrational behavior or emotional instability, as under the influence of a drug. 4. To lose or cause to lose emotional control from extreme excitement, shock, fear, joy, despair, etc. 5. An act or instance of freaking out. 6. A person who freaks out. 7. A Christmas procrastinator's state of mind on Christmas Eve.

 
afterthree: (Default)
While I firmly believe that Christmas should begin until December 1st, I have (somewhat) broken my own rule this year. You see, this is the first Christmas I'll celebrate in my own home and, thus have no decorations to festive-up the place, so I've struck out this past week and a half and bought myself a few Christmas-y bobbles and bits at dollar stores (why spend lots now when it'll all be on sale in a month). Never fear, I haven't broken my vow too badly... none of the aforementioned decorations are actually up yet, they're all still in bags waiting. I also purchased snowflake LED lights for my window and Christmas wrapping paper, ribbon and bows so that when it comes time to wrap my last minute presents, I'm not stuck with the leftover crap paper that no one else wanted. So now I have pretty paper, bows, and lights. *cheers a jolly cheer*

I am looking forward to getting my life back somewhat after Narnia is finished. It's fun, but oh so sleepy when you work all 16 hour days... *nods off at desk* First order of business? Full home clean and decorate. Second order of business? Help Greg move! Yay Greg! Joining the ranks of the downtown-ites. I'm not sure what kind of house warming present matches the coolness factor of a cheese cutter, but I'll see what I can come up with.

A few random rant-lets:

1. My feet haven't been warm in a week. I blame the freakish temperature and socks with holes in them. *shakes fist at nature then at socks*

2. I hate speaker phones. I don't care if I'm being forced to use them or if someone else is using them in the vicinity of me or to talk to me. I hate them and everything about them.

3. Josh is trying to mess with me in the Aslan Returns scene. Every day he and his head of 80s hair gets harder and harder to follow.

4. My cable is fuzzy due to the cold weather. Apparently, I am not the only one and, apparently, Shaw is trying to fix it, but it still irritates me.

Only one day left in "November, Month Of Ultimate DOOOOOOM", Brenikins. Here's hoping the apacolypse doesn't strike tomorrow, just 'cause it's that kind of month. Hope your iMac is shiny and working (knowing our luck with electronics and all).

 
afterthree: (Default)
I acknowledge that I am, occasionally, a dumb driver. I make mistakes because I lapse into moments of sheer stupidity or, as my mother used to say, I go to “lala land” and sort of tune out. Not the best way to be behind the wheel of something that regularly kills people, I know, but I’m willing to bet that everyone is stupid here and there in cars. It’s not like I speed excessively or drink or swerve wildly. It’s just that very occasionally I completely miss the fact that there’s a stop sign there until right before I have to stop, and then there’s squealing and squees. I have even run a red light or two, though both were at around three in the morning and there was no one coming the other direction. I’m not making light, I’m just saying, I tend toward dumbness and extreme luck in combination.

But I know when I’ve been dumb. I feel pretty stupid about it, usually as it’s happening. I know it’s my fault.

It’s the people that are dumb and ass holes that I’m cranking on. Some idiot freaked out on me yesterday trying to turn left into an alley – and I mean finger-giving window-rolled-down and swearing kind of freaked – while I was going straight. There was no stop sign, no lights, no pedestrian. I was going straight, he was turning left. He was in some kind of apocalyptic hurry and, obviously, the psychic abilities we are all born with should have notified me that it was not, in fact, my right of way after all, but rather his, so when he goes and screatchy stops and nearly crashes into, obviously that’s my fault.

THE RIGHT OF WAY WAS MINE ASS HOLE!! DON’T SWEAR AT ME ‘CAUSE YOU LEARNED TO DRIVE FROM DRUNKEN TEENAGED MINDFUCKS! MAYBE IF YOU WEREN’T SMOKING, TALKING ON YOUR PHONE AND HADN’T BEEN LOBOTOMIZED, YOU WOULD HAVE REALIZED THAT GETTING HOME IN TIME FOR TUESDAY NIGHT WHAT-THE-FUCK WAS LESS IMPORTANT THAN NOT KILLING ME!

I hope you go to jail when you kill someone and get your middle fingers broken while being stapled to a wall and raped by a 300 pound balding crack addict in your cell block then fail to hang yourself by your shoelaces and spend the rest of your life paralyzed from the neck down in a vegetative like state. I would approve of my tax dollars being spent to keep you alive just to see your finger-broken, drooling, shrieking miserable form on the late night news.

Anyone else gotta rant? Leave it here. It’s cathartic. (I don’t take responsibility for the hell you will be sent to for anything written in capital letters – see above example – please use caps-lock responsibly.)

 
afterthree: (Default)
So, I'm never shipping anything anywhere COD by UPS ever because I wouldn't want to inflict that kind of inconvience on anyone. All I'm saying is, there has got to be a better system. Like throwing stuff in the general direction of where you want it to go and praying or something.

Lindsay and me, we're gonna start a club where we carry around bats and search for people who look like they're breaking into people's cars, and then we're gonna smack 'em around a bit, right Linds? And you can totally have first go around 'cause you've been broken into twice. Together, we shall smash thieving skulls and possibly pike heads in hi-theft areas. Vigilantes are cool, right? *shakes bat menacingly* RIGHT?!

Wow, it's completely August, and it just kind of snuck up on me. I sense a mix of sadness that summer is over and happiness that school is almost back. Also, that the twenty-fifth grows ever closer and so does my actual vacation. I'm looking forward to buying Harry Potter stuff at Alivans, going south and shopping, hangin' with ma bro 'n' sis'n'law.

Okay. So.

I love my Macintosh, believe me. More than most other things, and I quite enjoy OS X. However.

Unix.

It's not that I dislike Unix. It's that I don't have a clue how to do anything in it, and so when something I want to do with my computer involves it, things can get, uh... frustrating. Fortunately, Greg is a great big computer geek and totally saved my Unix life last night. The thing still isn't working, but I don't think it's a Unix problem - I think things might be in the wrong place maybe. Anyway. I'm thinking about taking some kind of Unix-for-newbies thing, if I have time. But at least, after several hours of frustration and one late night call to super-Greg, I can at least follow some fairly simple directions in my terminal without going all completely what the fuck!

 

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