Date for International Tabletop Day Announced

Originally posted on WayGeek:

tabletopday2014_600x500

The brains at Geek and Sundry have announced 2014′s International Tabletop Day will fall on Saturday, April 5th. We the Gwangju Geeks will obviously be participating.  Details for the event will be posted to this page as plans are made.  We’re all excited for this!

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The Three “R’s”: Reading, wRiting, and Revolvers

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Recently I was reading about the new legislation being introduced in my home state of Missouri.  As I was scrolling down the list of House Bills that were introduced, one particular one caught my eye.  It was HB70.  The summary is as follows:

HB 70 — Firearms on School Premises
Sponsor: Kelley (127)
This bill allows a teacher or school administrator with a valid
concealed carry endorsement or permit to carry a concealed firearm
into a higher education institution or elementary or secondary
school facility without the consent of the governing body of the
higher education institution or a school official or the district
school board.

I know that some states such as Utah and Texas already allow teachers to carry firearms in the classroom.  I am also aware that several other states currently have legislation similar to HB70 being introduced.  As a certified teacher in Missouri and a former instructor of firearms I don’t know if I can begin to tell you how bad of an idea this is.

But I’m gonna try.

Having firearms near students is a bad idea for several reasons.  One of which is that it would be intimidating or even downright scary.  I was taught very early on to have a healthy respect for guns and what they can do if improperly used.  Unfortunately, not everyone gets that.  More students than you might expect have very little experience with firearms.  I recall times when I would be teaching a class on gun safety that many of the kids wouldn’t even come near the firearms…even when no one was touching them, the safeties were on, and they were unloaded.   In order to respect but not fear a firearm, you need training in gun safety.  But the classroom is not the place for that.

A teacher’s job requires them know how to get their students to learn.  They should know relatively quickly how their students learn and what causes them to stop.  If even one student is distracted by the firearm the teacher is carrying, they’re not doing their job.

Of course, there are some students who are not intimidated by firearms in the slightest.  I know several that have carried, used, and are quite safe with them by all accounts.  But those students in most schools are the minority.  Most either know very little about firearms or only what they see on television.

We can’t forget, however, the other end of that spectrum.  I can think of at least 10 students off the top of my head that would have, as a joke, unsnapped a gun out of a teacher’s holster.  It isn’t hard to imagine.  It is possible for a teacher to be so totally focused on their teaching or classroom management that they aren’t focusing on anything else.   A teacher leans over to help a student and while  he or she is distracted…whoops.  Now what?  The student gets a suspension or worse.  Oh yeah, the teacher gets fired…if they’re lucky.

I can also think of one student who would have unsnapped it and tried to use it.

Some will say that firearms will add another layer of protection to the resource officers that are already there.  I have a counter for those people: work on keeping the psycho’s off the school grounds first.  If an armed intruder has made it far enough into a school that they are able to start shooting, security procedures should be analyzed. Security at a LOT of schools I have visited is lax.  I can recall driving up to some schools with gates and either the gates were unmanned or the guard just waived me in.  Multiple entry points, not enough resource officers, untrained security guards, virtually no CCTV, etc.  Perhaps the government should take the time to examine security issues such as a superintendent in South Dakota suggested.  He wanted to have session in the summer where all security problems would be examined and then solutions implemented.  Instead, South Dakota signed a bill similar to HB70.

The summer session isn’t happening.

For those teachers who disagree with me and wish to carry in schools, I ask you to consider this:  A police officer goes through hours upon hours of training to become proficient with a handgun.  They then go through more training in order to be ready for any hostile situation.  Even then, some freeze up.  Are you saying that you’ll be as good as a trained officer?  Even if you are ready and able…when the time comes…will you be willing?  Moreover, your first priority should be making sure the students are safe and emergency procedures are being followed. If you’re worrying about threat assessment, you’re not focusing on your students. Which one will it be?

For the responsible gun owners, a crowded classroom is not the place for a firearm.  I know this as a teacher and an instructor of gun safety.  As much as a teacher would try to be responsible with a gun, there are too many chances for something to go wrong.  Even if you trust the teacher, can you trust every student?

Now, let me be clear, I do not want firearms banned.  I DO NOT.  I do believe, however, that there are better options for keeping our students safe.  Please, ladies and gentlemen, if a vote on this issue comes your way, vote no.  Our government can do better.

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Women Just Want A**holes (a.k.a. I’m a Nice Guy)

“I’m a nice guy.  But women don’t want to date me.  They want to go out with assholes.  I guess I’ll just have to be an asshole, then.”

Got news for you.  If you’ve ever said or thought that, you’re probably one already.  Probably have been for a while.

Recently, I’ve read posts or heard a lot of guys say something similar to this.  This leads me to examine the first statement: “I’m a nice guy.”  Really?  Why are you a nice guy?

You listen to women’s problems?  You’re there for them when they need you?  They ask you to do something and you’re right there?  Great.  You’re a friend.  That’s what friends DO.  We’re there for other friends when they need us.

You open doors for them? Walk them to their car at night. Pay for drinks?  Take them out for coffee?  Maybe buy dinner once in a while?  Okay, maybe you grew up in a traditional household like myself.  According to my family, that makes you a gentleman.  Admittedly, being a gentleman seems to be going out of style (yes, women can do all of the above things for themselves…sorry…just raised that way) but we still do those things.  It’s part of being a gentleman.  You do it because it’s in your nature…until your wife explains to you that it is totally fine for her to pay once in awhile…and it is.

Doing the above things can make you a friend.  They can make you a gentleman.  They DO NOT, however, ENTITLE you to ANYTHING.  You do them because it is right.  You do them because you are a friend.  You do them because you are nice.  You do not do them to get a girlfriend.

That makes you an asshole.

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That’s right.  She’s thinking you’re being nice because you ARE nice. You’re thinking that this will make her like you.

Why are you thinking that?  Sure, she’ll appreciate you, but this isn’t going to make her attracted to you.  She’ll think you’re a nice guy…like you think you are.  You’ll think that you’re laying the groundwork for a wonderful relationship.

But then she goes off with another guy.

Oh my God…what’s wrong with her?.  Doesn’t she know that you’ve put in all this time, money, and effort into a relationship that she just threw away? That bitch!  All just to go off with a guy you’ve identified as an “asshole.”

No.  She went off with the guy who actually asked her out.  She went off with a guy who had  enough confidence to make his intentions known. He wasn’t being “nice” hoping she would notice him.

Let’s look at it like this:

You believe, honestly, that you’re a nice guy.  There is a girl you like.  You get to know her, find out what she likes, take her for coffee, and perhaps buy her a few nice gifts.  Seems like there is a solid connection.  One day you call her and ask her if she wants to go see that movie she’s been talking about…and she says “sorry, I’ve got a date.”

What is your reaction?

If you’re happy for her and continue to be her friend, good for you.  You’re a nice guy.  (See the below information on how to approach it next time.)

If you’re angry and decide to rail at the world, say that women just want assholes and/or you can’t be her friend anymore, you’re not.  Sorry.  (Also see the below information on how to fix your attitude and approach it next time.)

So, what were you thinking?  “I’ve laid the groundwork and then, eventually, she’ll realize I was the guy she wanted all along.”   Sorry.  You think now that she has a boyfriend that she’ll just up and dump him for you as soon as you express your feelings?  Nope.   You’ll just end up being bitter.

Women are not just going to flock to you because you are nice.  That’s not how it works.  You’ve got to be nice, confident enough to express yourself, and confident about yourself.  Don’t be ashamed of your activities or change yourself to fit some mold you think women want.  Be yourself.  Sure, you’ll get rejected. That happens.  But you need to put yourself out there…not wait around for someone to come find you.

Justin Halpern put it best from his book Sh*t My Dad Says:

“I’m not that good-looking. Never was. But I didn’t give a shit. You’re not a bad-looking kid. Better-looking than I was. but nobody’s paying either of us to take our picture, right?

The only way to meet women is act like you been there before. Don’t worry about them telling you they don’t like you. It’s gonna happen. You can’t give a fuck. Otherwise, guys like you and me will never get laid.

Son, you’re always telling me why women don’t like you. No one wants to lay a guy who wouldn’t lay himself.”

It’s a little crude, but the point is pretty clear.  (great book…highly recommend it)

So…”nice guys”…examine your intentions and reactions.  If you’re being nice because that’s who you are, bravo.  Wish there were more of you.  Be proud of who you are and life will be good.   Otherwise…well,  I leave you with this.  If this sounds like you, there’s a problem:

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Why Being a Nerd is Awesome

Wil Wheaton says what a lot of us have felt for a long time but didn’t know how to express it.  You want to know how I feel about being a Nerd/Geek?  Read on.

http://themetapicture.com/wil-wheaton-explains-why-being-a-nerd-is-awesome/

Or watch: http://www.salon.com/2013/04/30/star_treks_wil_wheaton_tells_newborn_girl_why_being_a_nerd_is_awesome/

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Levels of Facebook Sharing Hell

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How often do you open up your Facebook and right there at the top of your newsfeed is something like this:

Facebook will end May 13, 2013!

–Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook will be shut down in May of 2013. Managing the site has become too stressful.

“Facebook has gotten out of control,” reportedly said Zuckerberg in a press conference outside his Palo Alto office, “and the stress of managing this company has ruined my life. I need to put an end to all the madness.”

Zuckerberg reportedly went on to explain that starting May 15th, users will no longer be able to access their Facebook accounts.  That gives users (and Facebook addicts) a year to adjust to lives without Facebook.-

Uh…what?

Or the really interesting status updates from “friends”…

“Our son took a crap on the floor today and then smeared it on the walls!  We’re so proud!”

Uh…great?

Today’s social media has become one of the biggest and fastest ways to share information…and misinformation.  We get every opinion and view from all over.  Why?  Because we asked for it!  By “friending” people you get everything they believe or find interesting sent directly to your feed.  Some people will share the basic facts of their life and that’s it.  Others will share a thousand pictures(mostly involving cats) they find humorous.  Still others will share information they think everyone must know (er…kinda like in a blog…ha) good, disgusting, or offensive.  Welcome to Facebook Sharing Hell!  That’s right.  You are tortured on a daily basis with every thought that every “friend” of yours can come up with.

Since it’s the weekend and I seem to have some time on my hands, I’ve decided to put these into levels for my own (and hopefully your) amusement.  Here we go…

Heaven- Making You Feel Fuzzy…usually with Fuzzies

catz

Aw…

These are those who share out of simple interest or they thought something was funny.  A recipe, a heartwarming story, a fun picture, neat stories from vacation.  You can always count on those in heaven to make you feel better or share something useful.  Yeah, it doesn’t always happen like that, but you know the person is trying.  Thank you, folks.

But seriously, if those damn cats can learn to speak…they can learn to spell.

Limbo- The Mundane, Passive Aggressives, and Hashtaggers

This is the level for the most basic information shared on FB:  The daily routine.  The denizens of Limbo feel that every moment of every day must be chronicled on the net.

“Woke up today.  Took a shower.”  

Way to go!  Now I don’t actually see anything wrong with this.  Maybe that’s a great accomplishment for them and they really wanted everyone to know.  I don’t know.  What I do know is that it’s going to be fine to stand near that guy because I KNOW he took a shower…uh…but he didn’t say he put on deodorant…um…

This is also the level for the passive aggressive memes.

Clueless

They don’t come right out and say who it is.  They don’t give any other information.  They saw something that day and decided to post a meme instead of directly confronting that person.  I have no problems with this because the intended target won’t believe it’s about themselves…or isn’t even one of the person’s friends.  ***Note*** If the poster HAS confronted the other person or has explained the reference, that person doesn’t belong in Limbo.  They belong in the place where awesome is the norm.  Why?  They’re actually standing up and saying something.  More people should, in my opinion.

Hashtaggers?  What are you doing? #wrongsocialmedia

Level 1- The Multi-Meme Sharers

The Post: A series of pictures on the same subject or from the same page.

How often do you open your FB and see that someone has a new favorite website?  How do you know?  Because they’ve posted A THOUSAND different pictures of cats, mary jane, presidents…etc.  They just had to show you HOW MUCH THEY LOVE IT!!!    Uh…couldn’t one picture suffice?  Apparently not.  You now have to scroll down for the next five minutes before you find something that isn’t from that person.  Thanks.

The Punishment: To listen to the Doom Song.  You repeated so much, now listen to Gir…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqcn_TPu4qQ

Level 2- The Attention Seekers

The Post:  “Wow…rough day.”  “What happened?”  “Nothing.”

Er…then why did you say anything?  If it was “nothing” then it clearly wasn’t a rough day.  This is the level for those who just want attention.  They’ll post something vague or ambiguous just for people to ask them about it.  Honestly, if you don’t want to talk about it, DON’T post it on FB!

This is also the place where people post questions that could easily be answered with a little research.  Ladies and Gentlemen…there is a new invention out there and I suggest you use it.  It’s called THE INTERNET.  Perhaps you’ve heard of it.  Take about 30 seconds to at least Google it before filling out news feed with questions that will make people wonder about your mental state.  Or better yet, go out and search for your answer. Get out of the damn apartment and get away from the computer.  The sunshine will do you good.

The Punishment- To have someone reply in an unexpected manner.

“What a bad day.”  “Mine was worse.  Blow it out your ass.”

“Where do I find bananas?”  “Okay, first you have to go find the Sword of Reckoning and slay the Troll of Apathy.  Cut open his stomach and you’ll get a key.  Take that key to  the dwarf who lives under the bridge.  He’ll show you the Red Door.  Grab the dwarf by the ankles and break down the door.  Shove the key up his ass.  After all that, go to the supermarket.  They’ll be in the section marked “Produce.”

Level 3-The Pointless Game Requesters

The Post: Bob wants you to come rake his Sewage Lagoon in Outhouse Wars!  Join now for the crappiest fun you can have!

No.  Just…no.  Most FB games aren’t much.  Just point and click and you move to the next level.  They’re not even intellectually stimulating.   So what if you got to a high level on a point and click game?  Congratulations!  You just made level 80 in Bunny Raper!  Good for you.  Please stop asking me to help!  You get a little tired of seeing 86 new requests for help in a game.  If you know someone would actually like it, share it with them…not every friend you have.

The Punishment: To have people come to you every five minutes and ask you to do something absurd.

“Hey, do you have a few minutes to strip naked and walk down the hall with a German Kaiser helmet on your head while singing “Ding, ding went the Trolley?”  No?  Don’t worry, they’ll ask you again soon.

***Note***A few games are  pretty neat and require some actual thought…if you honestly believe the person you’re asking will like it, you don’t belong here.

Level 4- The Over Sharing Parents and The Over Sharing Couple 

The Post:  Something you just didn’t want to know about those people or their family.

The over sharing parents have a special place at Level 4.  These are not those who post pictures or videos of their kids.  These are those that post pictures or videos of their kids doing something disgusting.  No, I don’t want to see what your kid did in his diaper today.  No, I don’t want to see you child throw up.  Really.

I don’t really want to read about some of the stuff they’ve done, either.

Oh no

PS- In about 13 or 14 years when he or she starts dating, I’m sure they’ll just LOVE you for this.  Some real fun examples here: http://www.stfuparentsblog.com/

As for the couples…Why the hell are you sharing some of this stuff on FB?

What

Uh…What?

The Punishment:  To be subjected to images of feces and worse until you realize no one wants to see it!

Level 5-The Fake Picture or Fake Tagger

The Post:  Showing things that just aren’t real.

Maybe you’ve seen this picture before:

shark

Neat, right?  Yeah, also not real.  Photoshopped.  http://mentalfloss.com/article/12943/10-fake-photos-hurricane-sandy

Pretty good one, too.  Sure, we’ve all been guilty of this.  We see a cool picture, looks real, we pass it on.  I’m a little more irritated when someone posts a picture of a fat, balding, naked guy where someone has tagged you.  It’s on your timeline now…hope you see it before your family does

The Punishment: To be tagged in a photo of a Donkey Show.

Level 6-The “Not Appropriate at Work” Sharers

The Post:  Someone scantily clad, something lewd

No, you  probably shouldn’t be on FB at work.  But you are.  If not on your computer, then your smart phone.  You open your FB and your best buddy has decided to share the “Top 100 Porn Stars in the World” list on your timeline.  Oh yeah, that’ll go over well.

The Punishment: None, really.  Why are you on FB at work?

Level 7-The False Information Sharers

The Post:  Information you automatically believe due to your preconceptions.

court martial

Wait…what?  When did this happen?  Oh…wait.  It didn’t.  You know how I know?  It took me 30 seconds to Google the subject.  If someone posts a topic that sounded scandalous or sensational…but you didn’t here about it on the television or radio, where did it come from?  Do you wonder?  Do you research?  OR do you share it immediately without thinking that it might be inflammatory and just plain wrong?  Hey, I’m not always the biggest fan of Obama, the ACLU, or George W. Bush, but I believe you should go after people for the things they actually did…no need to make stuff up.  If you’re passing this stuff on, all you’re doing it blowing smoke.  When someone finds out it isn’t true, what will they think of you?

The Punishment:  You least favorite president takes office…for life.  It’s true!  Morgan Freeman said so!

Level 8- The Guilt/Scare/Reward Sharers

The Post:  Pass this on/like this/and…or something good or bad will happen.

Luke

Okay…They’re usually never this funny.  “If I can get (this many) likes, then (this will happen)!”  Probably not and you know it.  Buuuuuuut…we do it anyway.  Okay, I do have to admit, the guy who posted that if he got 100,000 likes his sister would name her baby Megatron made me laugh. Like the picture above…probably belongs in Heaven.

It’s the one’s that advocate punishment or guilt that grind my gears.  “If you don’t share this in the next 5 minutes, something bad will happen!”  I haven’t shared a one and am still waiting to 1) be punished by God,  2) be eaten alive by purple vampire cows, or 3) have all of my happiness be taken away(got news for you…that happened a while back…much happier now).  But hey, if you share it, God will do something great for you!  Yeah…because God patrols FB, don’t you see?  Or is it Bill Gates?

The one’s that state you’re somehow a bad person for not sharing are also particularly irritating.  “If you don’t share this, you’re not a REAL Christian.”  Ah, yes, sorry.  I belong to that fake group of Christians (actually been told that a few times by various Mormons).  “My REAL friends will share this!”  Guess I’m not a real friend.  But then again, who on FB really is?

UPDATE: “Like” Farming- http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/upgrade-your-life/facebook-scam-alert—what-really-happens-when-you–like–150959399.html?vp=1

 

Punishment:  You are now the son or daughter of a Jewish/Irish mother.  You want guilt?  Hear it from the professionals!

Level 9- The Fraudulent Guilters

The Post:  A picture of a tragic act with a caption advocating good things will happen if you “like” it.

The posts aren’t even funny. They piss me off more than words can say.  They usually have a tragic picture with a caption stating something like “One like/share=one dollar.”

Example:http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/medical/kuczma.asp

That’s one of the earlier ones but still vexing.  You have to know that there is NO WAY they are going to get any money for that!  Who’s giving it away?  Bill Gates?  But we click anyway.

Sometimes it will be the picture of a boy standing over the grave of his dead father or mother. “How many likes can we get for this little guy?”  Ohhhh…that’s good.  Take some kid’s sorrow and use it to get attention.  How many times can this go around the internet?  The people who created these pictures just want to stir the pot.  They want to see how many people they can fool.  If you Google it, you’ll find that it’s not real and the picture is not shared honestly.  To the people who create these posts: Fuck. You.

Punishment:  If you share it, you have to watch Old Yeller…once a day.  If you created them, you get to take the place of Old Yeller at the end.

So those are my levels of Facebook Sharing Hell.  We’ve probably all hit one level or another in our time on the internet.  Hope you enjoyed them.  If you didn’t, don’t worry.  I’m just blogging.  That’s got it’s own level of Hell.

The Special Hell: Bloggers

The Post: Whatever crap or B. S. opinion that’s on their mind at the time.

The Punishment:  To waste time writing, reviewing, and editing a post that no one will likely read anyway.

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You may be a book hoarder…

For any of the bibliophiles out there…

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Workin’ It

Recent events have prompted me to write this next post.  I’m not going to use flowery language or try to be very creative.  I want everyone to get my meaning.

Do your damn job.

You agreed to work for your employers.  You signed a contract.  You agreed to fulfill the duties spelled out there.  You made a commitment.

So do it.

How you do your job is representative of you as a person.  Your attitude, your demeanor, and your work ethic are the measuring sticks of the business world.  People will judge you based on these things. Also, your word is your bond.  If you live by that, then others will believe it about you.  All these things will follow you for the rest of your life. That will be your reputation.

So what does “do your damn job” mean?  First, it means you be there. Sure, people get sick or emergencies happen.  But are you REALLY sick?  Did the cat REALLY need its shots that day?  How many times have you woken up with a hangover or just don’t want to go in and figured “screw it.”  Listen, you said you’d be there, so be there.  If you’re not there, you are forcing your co-workers to cover for you.  They are being inconvenienced because you couldn’t be bothered that day…or week.  Also, your customers…be they retail or students…are not benefiting from your presence.  If they’re retail, they may not miss you.  If they’re students, they will.  They need you there.

Second, you be on time.  If your job starts at 9:00 am that means YOU START at 9:00 am.  Not SHOW UP at 9:00 am.  That’s right, you start when your job starts.  Not get ready to start and then actually begin by 9:15.  Not get there at 8:55 and be completely unprepared.  That means you should be early.  (You know when the bus leaves.  You know how long it takes to get to work and any problems that normally occur.  How many times have you been late because of poor planning on your part?) If you’re late, you’re taking from your company.  If you’re late, you’re taking from your customers.  You’re taking their time. Wasting it.  They paid for a service.  So do what you agreed to.

Third, you try.  I don’t care if you hate your job.  I don’t care if you don’t like your boss or your co-workers. I don’t care if you’re hungover.  You agreed to do a job… so do it.  Completely.  Don’t cut corners. Don’t just “be there.”  Be there physically, mentally and emotionally.  Don’t let on that you’re grumpy to your customers.  Do the job to the best of your ability.  Even if you don’t like it, that doesn’t matter.  It is a reflection on you.  If your co-workers don’t like you, you’re proving them right by not trying.  If you try, it doesn’t matter what they say.  You can look yourself in the mirror every morning and say that you did your best.

If you can’t do the above things, then don’t work at that place.  Don’t keep complaining. Leave.   You’re wasting everyone’s time, including your own.   If you’re only “phoning it in” to scam a paycheck, you’re just selling your life. Years of your life being sold with nothing to show for it when you could be working or looking for the job you really want to do. Go find that job!   But for God’s sake, don’t just up and quit.  You signed a contract, remember?  There are procedures you need to follow.  If they say you need to give two weeks notice, do that.  Follow that contract to the letter and you can leave that job honestly.  Otherwise it will follow you to your next job.  Not showing up isn’t brave or great.  It’s stupid and immature.  Take responsibility for the choices you’ve made and be a freakin’ adult.

Sure, there are always exceptions.  You’re being harassed,  it’s actually hazardous to your health, they’re not paying you, etc. Those are legitimate reasons to leave your job.  Hell,  those reasons are criminal and you should bring in the law.  But if you just don’t like it or it’s inconveniencing you?  Suck it up and deal, buttercup.  Do the job you’re there to do.  I’ve got no sympathy for you.   I get up every damn day feeling like complete crap.  Every. Day. My back, shoulders, neck and head hurt.  I’ve got a dull pain behind my eye that hasn’t gone away in two years.  My legs feel like they’re on fire and about to collapse.  On really special days my face feels like it’s being stabbed by needles and I can’t see straight.  But none of that matters.

I’m there.

I’m on time.

I try…and succeed.

What are you going to do?

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