Thursday, July 16, 2009

Elevator Humor

I work in an office building which houses roughly 1000 cubicles.
It was built for the gubmint, which has always rented it.
Three floors below the street level and three floors above it are
dedicated to a parking garage; then the offices occupy the
15 floors above that. The builder/owner has some kind of
sub-rosa contract with the county so that the munincipality
collects parking fees and writes citations for scoflaws.
No one I have asked knows what the builder/ownber gets in return.
So there are two banks of elevators in the building, one
traversing the public floors, the other, the restricted offices;
with a security checkpoint in between. Its suitably convoluted
for the gubmint, confusing everyone who first tries to negotiate
and navigate through.
The public floors are labeled (from bottom to top)
G4, G3, G2, P, M1, M2, 1.
The office floors are labeled 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15.

I often arrive early in the day. After settling in and checking my
mail and appointments, I often have cause to go back down to
the bottom of the building. I get on an office elevator, go down
to 1, cross the security checkpoint, get on a public elevator,
and go down to G4. Sometimes others get on with me.
Always polite, and standing next to the buttons, I ask,
"Are you going to 'P'? Its not funny to the regular
inhabitants anymore but there are always salesmen, job applicants,
and newbies. If they ask what the letters stand for, there's
always "Pis for groud level, G is for parking."

Usually the elevator will stop there anyway. And nearly always,
there are people coming in to work who have not yet had their
second cup of coffee and have not taken the time to look
at the indicator over the opening door. So they will
push their way in, then realize that the elevator is going
down, and then push their way back out. Or, someone
truly somnambulant may stay on the elevator and go
"Oh!" in dismay as the doors close and it resumes its
downward course.

The other morning, I was severely waylaid on the
way down by individuals who simply were not paying attention.
On the way back up, the travel was turning out to be
equally tortuous. I passed by security and finally
found an empty elevator and pressed my floor. But just as the
doors were closing a hand found its way in, followed by
a harried young blonde.

I could not stop myself. I said, "This one is going down!".
She hurriedly got back off. I spent all day giggling to
myself, wondering how long it took her to realize that
that elevator was already at the bottom of its shaft.
Some days you get the elevator, other days people mess with you.
So it goes ...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

On Thievery

On the commuter train this morning, a gentleman recently discovered his need for a spare key to his property. He allowed as how there must be a thousand places in his yard to put one. Maybe he could buy one of those fake rocks to hide it in.
I said nothing. I've long since dispensed with this "situation" in our culture. For my own self and my own property, I simply do not lose either my own keys or wallet. I have not lost either item for over thirty years. Once or twice I have misplaced them, but a bit of reflection will always reveal to me where they are, even if that means coming to the understanding that my cat has seen fit to place them more to her liking.
I also figured out, a long time ago, that virtually every homeowner in the country goes through the same experience and comes to the conclusion that he must hide a spare key somewhere on his property outside of the locked door. Its a given that he must lock his doors ... everyone does, which is why I don't need to.
Its also a given that a common thief is armed with this information: that every homeowner has placed a key somewhere outside for him to employ. All he needs to do is to find it. (The same principle applies to computers and passwords and personal information, of course, but that is meandering from my topic.)

Okay, I am a thief. Always have been, since I was a very little boy. I have never lowered myself to common burglary, however. I am confident that this particular gentleman has nothing inside of his plastic home beyond a few pieces of Walmart furniture made from polyurethane chipboard that he aseembled himself, a very large flat screen tv (ugh! you can't pay me to have one!), some plastic
credit cards, and probably a set of glass (china???) and stainless steel (silver???) from his wedding.

For a long long time my stealing has remained entirely within the laws, rules and customs of our great nation; which laws, rules and customs, of course, were all designed by the thieves at the top of the heap.

Of course I have long contended that this nation was settled by rogues, thieves and bandits who could not get along with their families, friends and countrymen and so had to leave. The revolution was nothing more than a rebellion by some well-to-do landowners, most of them slave holders, who simply did not want to pay their taxes, but ended up with a new government with higher taxes than ever. "Revolution", a turning, as in, the more things change the more they stay the same. But that, too, is straying off topic.

Apparently, GS got "caught" last week with their hand in the cookie jar. According to some "insiders", they had discovered how to access and read every single electronic trade, milliseconds before it was executed, in fact, in just enough time for them to open a position themselves first, then close it right afterward, virtually guaranteeing them a fractional profit with no risk.
A tax, as it were, on everyone else. Everyone. Making them a few millions a day.

No biggie. At the moment, total trading volume is off by almost half and volatility has reached a low not seen in my memory. Must be kind of frustrating for people who live off of price swings and commissions. I'm so sorry. I hear, though, that they are licking their chops over the proposals for "cap and trade". I've mentioned before in this blog that the coming winter is going to be the coldest in everyone's memory across Europe and North America ... GS better keep their propaganda machine "hot" if they hope to continue this "global warming" Oz and keep everyone from noticing the man behind the curtain.

I still own more coal than anyone you ever met. And I'm buying more.