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R. Michael Litchfield
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21st-Aug-2014 08:31 pm - Firing
il bike

So if you have been paying attn to my other social networks you should know I got fired, again.

The regional manager for Starbucks gave my company a choice, me or the central Oregon region. I didn't want to move to Houston so they gave vacation time n lieu of pay and fired my ass.

Fired, again. Damn it hurts, worse it is a sign there is something really wrong with me. Not personable enough, too prickly, just not nice, I'm a fucking asshole.

I don't want to be an ass, but honestly I don't mind being an ass Too Much. So much is just manifestation of my fear and discomfort, if I could just find the right niche...

I need a position where my positive aspects shine through, where people are willing to overlook my occasional social lapses.

But I think the problem is that I think I a better than this and it shows through no matter how hard I try to hide it. And that's just unacceptable, you ever worked with someone who thought they were better than "this"? It sucks, and that's what I constantly exude on the background, I really do try to be humble but I just can't completely forget how much I rock.

13th-Jun-2014 10:12 pm(no subject)
il bike
Driving through the forest on a mountain road in the rain, listening to Little Big on an audiobook, tired and sad I found myself thinking that veering into an oncoming semi and getting knocked off a cliff wouldn't be too bad a way to die but to make sure I would need to take off my seat belt and I moved my hand to the buckle.

But I didn't.

I've been in a suicidal mood lately, not suicidal, but wishing I considered it an option. It is a downright sucky place to be. I am taking no joy in my life, everything is washed out and grey. Worse I can't really imagine ever getting to a happier place, it is like imagining fairies coming down out of the clouds or a winning the lottery without buying a ticket.

I miss the feelings of hope and enthusiasm I had when I was younger. Ever the rage and anguish would be better than this dull, dreadful pain.
3rd-May-2014 04:07 pm - Interracial Porn
il bike
wow, I feel kind of dumb

I never really understood interracial porn. I like seeing girls and boys fucking, but I don't care that much about their race other than enjoying the skin tone of darker folks, the face shape of some asians, or the multitude of other aesthetic physiological considerations.

Interracial porn is really popular, it is one of the most popular types of porn out there. I used to think it was people like me who just like seeing the different skins and shapes. But I saw a map of porn searches by state once and noticed interracial porn was most popular in the south and conservative areas of the midwest. Further, by far the most common pairing is black guys with white girls. Personally, if I am going to watch a black and white couple fuck I tend to prefer watching black girls have sex and I was always a little confused why it was hard to find.

Then I read some of the comments on porn sites. Comment sections everywhere are vile, and as you'd expect porn comment sections are even worse. But the vehemence of the vitriol the commenters were spewing surprised me. Why the hell were you watching this if you hate them so much?

Then it suddenly was clear to me. The attraction these guys were finding was all about the degradation of the woman, and the most degrading thing they could possibly imagine was fucking a black man. (most) Interracial porn has nothing to do with aesthetics, it is all about misogyny and racism.
26th-Apr-2014 10:45 pm(no subject)
il bike
Why is it so much easier to like and feel comfortable around dogs than it is people?

I suspect it is because the worst a dog has ever done is bite me because he was neurotic, people were cruel to me for most of my life, until I got too big for that to be safe.

There's also an honesty, dogs rarely come of as friendly seeming when they really want you to stay the fuck back (neurotic ones excepted). The most aspy thing about my childhood was the way it seemed like everyone else knew the steps to the dance and I didn't even notice there was music. One of the most cruel taunts I remember was "How could you think I'd be friends with someone like you!"

Maybe it's just a tactile thing, friendly dogs come up and push against you. People never touch you much expect under rare circumstance.
19th-Feb-2014 07:38 pm - Sexism in SciFi
il bike
So I don't follow Science Fiction fandom/publishing/inside baseball as a rule, but every once in a while it pops up into my attention because one or more of my favorite authors mentions something.

There was a controversy last year over a magazine called "The Bulletin", it is the house organ for the Science Fiction Writers Association (SFWA). There were two parts, first a group of people I'm going to call the social justice warriors (SJW) objected to the cover

they thought it was sexist and demeaning to women. Then they objected to a column inside where two foagies (Barry Malzberg(74) and Mike Resnick(71)) referred to female editors as "lady editors" commented on how beautiful some of the ones they had known were.

Shit flew. The editor resigned. John Scalzi (the SFWA president at the time) suspended publication.

Low level shit continued for months. Recently the new president (Steve Gould) posted a job ad for the editor that noted they would work under an advisory committee they'd have to work with. A former editor (David Truesdale) circulated a rather florid petition objecting to subjecting the editor to what he saw as politically correct censorship. Several names signed (this was where I noticed). The SJW started another shitstorm over this petition saying that it was an attempt to keep SF a sexist, racist old boys club.

This all annoys the crap out of me.

I don't like the SJW. They have cast crap on a lot of writers I respect. They forced a the premier feminist scifi convention (wiscon) to withdraw an invitation to a brilliant author (e_moon60) because she posted something the could be read as insensitive to muslims. I think their objections in these cases are so overblown it would be comic except they are hurting real people.

I do not understand why the above cover is unacceptable when images like this and this are archetypal images of the science fiction and fantasy world.

Here's the thing that really annoys me.

I agree with the general point of the SJWs. I think there is residual racism and sexism in Science Fiction publishing. I can even appreciate the argument (though I disagree) that the cover is sexist. But the right answer is not making such a stink you shut down the magazine for six months, write an article about it and get the editor to feature it prominently on the cover of the next one. What I see coming out of the SJWs is a change to be egotists and stir shit and drama while using the excuse of historical unfairness.
3rd-Feb-2014 06:53 am - Flying
il bike

God I love flying.

Not that commercial commuter jet bullshit that accounts for the vast majority of it these days. But real flying in a plane with propellers like the gods intended. Even a over grown puddle jumper with delusions of grandeur like this dash8. Things which go low and slow enough that you a flying over the ground not "traveling through the stratosphere". I thrill to the sound of a prop plane crawling through the air above me, I could (and have) spent lazy afternoons hanging out by a GA field just watching the coming and goings.

Looking out through the window and the ground below me where I can see cars and maintain contact with the human scale of it all is so much more meaningful that looking down on clouds and the occasional mountains.

1st-Feb-2014 09:25 pm - What the hell is up with Litch?
il bike
So uh... yeah.

Things are a discombobulated for me.

In case you've not been paying attention, remember when the economy crashed and burned in 2009? It took me with it, couldn't find a job, lost house, wound up selling everything and heading to oregon with the intention of going to medical school. Since my grade from aTm ~1991 wouldn't get me admitted to anything I decided to do a post-baccalaureate program here at UO to get some grades and learn the underlying biology. I started that in 2010.

Last fall I finished the last course I needed to get a second bachelors degree (calc II, I failed that fucker twice at aTm). I didn't submit my paperwork on time to have a degree dated 2013 and I was playing around with the idea of doing some more undergraduate research this winter term. But I dragged my feet and realized I'm a little burnt out on school right at the moment so I decided not to register for any classes and just submit my graduation paperwork. Unless something unexpected pops I should have a BS in "General Science" in March.

The thing is, since I am not attending classes I have no student loans to use to pay rent. Nor do I have a student worker job making minimum wage helping the UO population with their computers in the library. I spent my saved money paying January rent.

I have perforce been looking for a job. The economy has improved so I have actually had a few interviews. I was kind of hoping for a lab tech position of some kind so I could use my science background. There aren't very many of those jobs out there, there are a lot more IT jobs so I applied for some of those too but I am not really thrilled about going back into that grinder.

I want something that will pay the rent, buy food, get me enough money to take the MCAT, GRE, pay the AAMC and any PhD application fees, and let me save enough that I can move to wherever I wind up going to school.

Yeah, I still intend on going to graduate school. I am going to try to get into medical school but my first choice (OHSU) is fairly selective, the average incoming 1st year has a 3.66 GPA and a 31 on the MCAT. I'm leaving UO with a 3.3 (that does not average in my aTm grades) and we'll see what I get on the MCAT. It's score can range from 3-45, average is 25.6 and 90% score less than 33 (I suspect I will score in the low thirties since I'm pretty good at these). I'll apply to some others as well but they're all pretty finicky so we'll see. Even if I do get accepted I couldn't start before fall 2015.

I'm also going to apply to some PhD programs. The problem is I am not sure exactly what I would study, the thing that really interests me is genetics but these days that's like saying you're going to study chemistry in grad school, there's all bloody kinds. The new hot thing I've been sidling up to is bioinformatics, it's what happens when you hit squishy bit with big data techniques. Things like sequencing all the DNA found in a sample of something interesting (say the contents of a zebrafish colon) to get an idea of what the hell is there, looking at how similar it is, how it changes over time, if protein expression changes with changing environmental pressure. I did some of this (sort of) last fall, it's cool as all hell, there is research money flowing, and there are commercial potentials with deep pockets interested in some of the practical take aways. But I also dig epigentic protein expression, the biochemisty of molecular genetics, and lots of other genomic research fields.

But that's all later this spring. For now I need to find a job. Well, actually, I have. I think. I don't quite believe it because it's weird. I've never been hired over the phone. It's not really science or even computers. It's a gig as a mobile espresso machine repairman. The company repairs and service the espresso machines and grinders at a large number of a certain nationally known coffee shop that is based here in the PNW. They are going to send me to spokane for two weeks of training and then give me a company car and a credit card and have me fix the java machines at locations across southern oregon. There are scheduled maintenance and emergency/urgent repair at thirtysome locations in my region and they will pay for my travel. Expedia says I've got a ticket waiting for me monday morning to fly to spokane and get cracking.

I also happened to look on craigslist and found a really cool ad for someone looking for a good dog who can vouch for their human to be roommates that only costs about half of what I pay here.

I'm a little gobsmacked.
il bike
So someone posted a gif to facebook (where I've been hanging out most of the time lately) about how finlands education system is so spifftastic because they pay teachers well, give recess, and don't do mandatory testing and that triggered an urge to rant in me.

People who are normally right thinking folk (i.e. liberal) often get their panties in a wad over standardized testing in schools and it annoys the crap out of me. Unless you are one of those complete numb-nut woo-woo types who think there should be no testing of any kind any where under and circumstances (and are thus an idiot too stupid for words) you don't really object to standardized testing.

You might object the amount of time and effort spent on test prep, or the specific materiel the test covers, or the stakes for the children who are taking them. But that is all secondary crap not necessarily part of standardized testing. In many places one or more of those things gets wrapped up in standardized testing but they don't have to be and that is what people who care about school reform should focus on, not the testing itself.

Standardized testing is not really a test of what the children know, it is a test of how well we are teaching them. And that in the long run is more important than the fate of any particular child. As cold blooded as it may seem, any given kid can get hit by a bus, what matters to our society are the aggregate fate of the entire class. That's what standardized testing does a better job of revealing than anything else we have come up with.

In my frutopia you teach the kids the best lesson plan y'all can come up with and then you regularly run the lot of them through the test mill. You do this so often that it is not a single make-or-break event, it provides the kind of massive data you need to really know where every given kid is, both in comparison to their class mates, but to themselves and to kids nationally. You look at the derivatives of the trendlines and compare teachers. The tests themselves are only loosely related to the actual lesson plans so you can get a sort of orthogonal take on the effectiveness of teaching and allow for a variety of lesson plans and teaching styles. You use the outcomes of the test to steer the teachers into the right places for them and the students into the most appropriate places for them.

Believe it or not that is the direction the education establishment is moving towards, but it's big and ponderous, full of (though not as many as is sometimes depicted) over privileged parents, incompetent teachers with seniority, even less competent administrators, hoodlum kids who's only interest in school is the chance to see their friends, and underfunded facilities. But we are always going to have those, we have to design a system that can cope with all of those things and more.
31st-Aug-2013 01:04 am - more porn
il bike
So i found this video and it has two of my favorite things: a (naked) girl bouncing on a trampoline and outdoor sex.

I always wanted to have sex on a trampoline, from this video it looks like I expected, fun but not conducive to orgasm (getting the rhythm right might help). It also has a guy with a big dick jumping on a trampoline as well.

Part of what I like best is the wholesomeness of it, just a couple of young healthy kids outdoors enjoying themselves. I like that they both have pubic hair and are not exactly models (he might be).
25th-Aug-2013 10:47 pm(no subject)
il bike
good gods, are these breasts real?
http://motherless.com/DB2ACFA

interesting how that phrase has morphed, what I was wondering at first is if the images were digitally altered, though the typical mean is if the girl was surgically altered

personally I think they were real in both sense and she is just a freak of nature, a delightful, wonderful freak of nature

I always liked the construction "if I can touch them they're real" sadly I suspect those particular boobs will never be real to me
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