Dec 272011

My nominee for worst customer service of 2011. And pissing off the powers that be at Penny Arcade, when you’re representing a company that sells game controllers…? That’s what I call stupid. Paul Christoforo, can you spell “viral”? No, looking at your emails in this thread, probably not. Hope you’re having fun reading about yourself on Slashdot and PCWorld and Comics Alliance, and watching the parody vids on YouTube, dimwit.

And, yes, I do see, via techdirt among others, that he’s apologized. Sort of. Well, he’s apologized for not realizing how big Penny Arcade is. Because, as you know, it’s okay to treat people badly as long as they can’t fight back.

Apr 032011

I’m painfully aware of the fact that I’ve been lucky. I’ve always worked in places where my religion hasn’t been an issue. I’ve had coworkers and supervisors who’ve known nothing about Paganism ask me about it out of curiosity. Once, I had a teen-aged part-timer who worked for me tell me I couldn’t be a Witch because “there’s no such thing.” (It took me a couple of weeks to convince her that, no, I really wasn’t pulling her leg.) But I’ve never had anyone suddenly become hostile or, gods forbid, fearful of me after finding out where my spiritual center happens to lie.

Like I said, I’ve been lucky. Maybe because my professional life has been spent in and around Boston, which is, after all, only a stone’s throw from Salem.

Lots of other folks who belong to earth-based religions, though, aren’t so blessed. Jason Pitzl-Waters of The Wild Hunt wrote a piece for the Washington Post last week on the subject which may be an eye-opener for some folks. Progress is a lot slower in some places than you might think it is.

Apr 302010

Dr. Peter Watts, recently convicted, basically, of the felony crime of not cowering quickly enough when the US Border Patrol decided to search his car as he was leaving this country a few months back, has been sentenced, and I’m glad to see the judge didn’t give him any actual jail time.

But Dr. Watts himself tells the story here, so I won’t rehash it. I just want to point out that if this happened to one man, it’s happening to many, and something needs to be done about it.

Apr 122010

It’s a beautiful spring day in New England, and I’ve just been impaneled on a jury at the Superior Court.

On the one hand, like everyone else, I hate having my life put on hold while this happens. The interruption of my routine. Having to make arrangements for all sorts of stuff at the office. You know the drill.

On the other hand, I’m very aware of how important trial by jury is to a free society. This is vital stuff, damn it.

I’m still wearing my sneakers, though. Just because I’m doing my civic duty doesn’t mean I have to be uncomfortable.

Feb 012010

I’ve been reading about this gawdawful mess on writers’ blogs and on AW all weekend. And I agree with Scott Westerfeld and a lot of other folks that  the point where Amazon went too far was when they delisted EVERY Macmillan title from their site, paper or electronic, as a tactic to pressure the publisher into agreeing to their terms.

What I haven’t heard anyone say yet (and I’ll admit to not following every single crosslink in this wide-ranging discussion) is that this sounds an awful lot like the business practices that Wal-Mart has been notorious for using in the past. I hate Wal-Mart with the same sort of passion with which I hate the big tobacco, oil, and insurance companies.

And Amazon has now distinguished itself enough to join them.