Monthly Archive for March, 2012

On work…

I look out at the little cubicle farm we have operating here on the island and see all sorts of bad ideas at work. Sippican has a very nice post up on the subject. One little bit:

Everyone’s angry and envious of everyone else, and no one knows how to do much except some weird little sliver of a byzantine process to earn their keep. Everyone thinks they have the right to micromanage everyone else’s life, right down to the lightbulbs and happy meals.

I think a lot of workplace gossip and the resulting conflicts and troubles is directly a result of having crappy work to do each day. So much of the drudgery can be removed from the workplace with technology that many more of us should be able to enjoy our jobs. As it is often said: Go Read The Whole Thing.

Yes, I have a bit of responsibility about the conditions on the farm. But, as is typical in many companies these days, and even though I have a title that should include managerial responsibilities, I have very little authority to fix the situation.

I have to find a way to get back to owning and operating my own company.

Further commentary…

On the expat experience:

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Today is going to be a very big day in my current job.

And while the song reflects the way I feel about things right now, I did not go home with a waitress. That is not something I always do.

Never Get Out of the Boat…

Absolutely God damn right.

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About 4:00 minutes.

Kind of sums up my expat experience at this moment.

Fraud or Risky Business…

I am asking for a little information from any of you that have an opinion on this issue:

What is the demarcation line between a fraudulent business and one that happens to be very high risk?

Yes there is a good long story to tell. That should be obvious from my question.

The source of the Nile…

The only touristy thing I managed to do while in Uganda was to take a day trip from Kampala to the source of the Nile on Lake Victoria.

We had arrived in Kampala Friday, the 9th, in the morning. We went through the whole minister speech thing again at the start of the “trade fair” in the afternoon. Again as soon as the minister left, the place emptied out. Saturday morning we again had close to zero attendance in the hall for the trade fair. By lunch time the exhibitors were in full revolt. One woman took the initiative and organized a trip to the source of the Nile. We, meaning pretty much all of the exhibitors, left the hall and boarded a bus for the river.

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I have no idea who that kid is.

We arrived at a little makeshift landing and boarded a boat for a short ride to an island. Our tour guide, some kid of indeterminate expertise. Told us that at its source 75% of the water for the Nile came from Lake Victoria. The other 25% came from a spring that was right at this little island where most of the photos in that flickr stream were taken. If you look closely, you can see the current of the river going around a smooth area of water in this photo below. The water with ripples is the water from Lake Victoria. The smooth surfaced water is the water from the spring pushing its way to the surface.

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It was an interesting place as far as tourist sites go. At the landing, as soon as the bus was visible to the people activity started. There was a little band and a group of dancers soliciting donations for a school. They wanted a donation to take their picture. I was low on the local currency so I didn’t get a shot of them. A bunch of people started hawking their wares. It was all very much like any tourist trap that you would encounter in the U.S., but with the local twist.

The island where the spring is located was marked with this sign:

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I never saw the counter.

The block structure in the right of this picture is the “official” start of the Nile, again, according to our tour guide.

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The Nile runs downstream to the right of the photo. Out to the left is a bay of Lake Victoria. From where we were standing, you could not see the main body of water for the lake.

It was a six hour trip from the hotel to the river and back. The trip was in a bus with open windows and the dust was horrible. Even with the dust, it was a trip that was very worthwhile. I was pleased to be standing on the site of the start of Nile. It was an interesting feeling being at the headwaters of a river that we’ve all read about during our school years. The headwaters of the cradle of civilization.

But I was still amused by the local version of Niagara Falls or the House on the Rock.

One last photo, and there are more over at my flickr page, of our tour guide:

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And his shirt was correct. His name was not Mzungu. The gentleman on the left was one of my trade mission compatriots. He was a really fun guy to travel with. I have stories to tell, but it will be best left to tell those stories to interested parties in person.

Marc Randazza…

Every once in a while I come across something that bears mentioning. Ken at Popehat has pointed out the work of First Amendment lawyer Marc Randazza.

Marc Randazza does the good work of defending our First Amendment rights for all comers. Go read Ken’s post for a link of many of Marc’s successful efforts in the cause.

In a recent article posted at CNN.com Marc says:

The First Amendment stands for principles like that espoused by the Supreme Court in West Virginia v. Barnette: “Of there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.

Marc has a great blog, The Legal Satyricon.

Here is a short list of others that think Marc is doing the good work:

Marc Randazza would support me right?

Overlawyered: Marc Randazza

Marc Randazza’s Entertaining – and Effective – Legal Writing

Again, go read Ken’s post, Marc Randazza: First Amendment Badass for a long list of others that think Marc Randazza is a good guy.

A few of the things…

I liked about my recent trip to Africa:

Kilimanjaro

Tusker

Bell

Nile Special

All of these beers are light in flavor, as I would expect from warm climate locations. The Nile Special was particularly delightful.

And there were just a few things I liked on my trip to Africa.

Please get a…

Bottle of this bourbon for when I’m next home. I’m certain I won’t be able to find it here on the island. The only bourbon’s are Jack Daniel’s and Jim Beam.

Please tell Joe about it too.

Yes, I could have just e-mailed my wife the request. She is after all the only regular reader of this blog. But I did want to share with others that happened by the knowledge that there is bourbon infused with chocolate on the market!

Facebook…

I went and logged in at Facebook this afternoon.

I’ve finally had enough that I’ve disconnected the blog from Facebook. I think my next step will be to read up on how to quit the whole thing.

I just can’t stand the banality of it all.

I’m a snob, I admit it. I also often stand by myself at cocktail parties too.

First World Problems…

In the third world.

The power has been going off every 15 minutes or so this afternoon. This is going to make it tough to Skype with the family, which I do most Sundays.

The wife might notice I’m not available. The kids, I don’t think they will notice.