talon: (Default)
( Feb. 28th, 2011 08:15 am)

I has minions - more minions. Lots of minions.

Let me tell you about my marvelous minions.

I have MedFair Minions - people who run errands, deal with delegated tasks, haul heavy items, help others, fill in volunteer gaps, and they do it all on my command just because they want to. They receive no pay except the remote possibility there will still be Scottish Eggs. This year, I will need Ice Dragon Minions - people to drive golf carts delivering ice to all the vendors. I don't have those Minions yet, but I am sure I will have them soon. MedFair is April 1, 2, 3. Now is your chance to join my Minion Ranks.

I have Oklahoma Steampunk Exposition Minions. Mostly, these minions are personal ones to help with the absinth and booth, but some are also for helping with the Dealer's Room. These are my newest Minions, and again, they do this for fun, not funds.

Then I have my best beloved Green Room Minions. These dear people keep the ice chests filled with fresh ice, bleed off the melt, re-stock the ice chests with beverages, run bottles of water out to the guests to keep them hydrated, refill the crock pots with food, bus the Green Room tables, take out the trash, help find missing guests, and will deliver food to starving, busy guests.

I love each and every one of my Minions.

And, as many as I have, I can always use more Minions, so if you're interested in being an Ice Dragon, an occupant of the Southern Information Booth or the Fair Office, a deliverer of brochures and water to the Southern Information Booth, a runner of errands, an eagle eye for Vendor addresses, the person sent to fix problems, a refiller of ice chests and crockpots, a food delivery person, or any of a number of other essential positions, your help is welcomed. I feed my Minions and let them play when they aren't tapped for hard labor.

The work can be hard, but the rewards are tasty.

talon: (Default)
( Feb. 28th, 2011 09:04 am)

The rotunda remained full, with protesters banging drums amid chants of "Tell me what democracy looks like." - http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/28/us-wisconsin-protests-scene-idUSTRE71Q2M920110228

Perhaps it was only fictional, but I have heard of a method of complaining to the "overlords"/"nobility"/"government officials" by drumming a list of complaints followed by what the peasantry did for said O/N/G, and it would go on, 24/7, with different people taking up the drum and chanting the lists until the O/N/G caved and redressed the wrongs.

I know that's not what's happening in Wisconsin, but I wonder if it would work. A chanter would tell one thing the people did to earn the right/compensation they are seeking, followed by a drum beat, then the chanter would say what the people wanted/what their complaint was, followed by a drum beat, and then another thing the people did to earn that right/compensation, followed by a drum beat, then the chanter would repeat what the people wanted/what their complaint was (often, it was just one thing they wanted, but the list of things they did that earned them that right was long), followed by a drum beat, and so it would continue. Once they reached the end of the list of things the people did to earn that right/compensation, they started over again.

And it would continue until the "powers that be" did the right thing.

In this case, it's quite simple:

We keep the streets safe - BOOM - we've earned the right to collective bargaining - BOOM - We keep the roads repaired - BOOM - We've earned the right to collective bargaining - BOOM - We teach the children - BOOM - We've earned the right to collective bargaining - BOOM - we plow the streets of winter snow - BOOM - we've earned the right to collective bargaining - BOOM - We protect you while you sleep - BOOM - We've earned the right to collective bargaining - BOOM - We clean the buildings of your mess - BOOM - We've earned the right to collective bargaining - BOOM - and on and on.

It would take a long time to get to the repeat.

Peaceful, informative, empowering, and it will drive the "powers that be" wild having to listen to that dreaded BOOM because each drumbeat tells them "We work hard and we deserve this one little thing." The end result (in the story, anyway) was that the people got the one thing they were asking for. Maybe it will work.

More importantly, I think, it tells the people they are doing worthy work, work that benefits all of their fellow citizens, and they deserve the right they want to keep.

My personal experience of unions has not been positive, but my societal experience - what unions have done for me and for society as whole has been exceedingly positive. We have shorter work days, safer work places, worker's compensation, vacations, sick leave, better pay, retirement, health care, and ways to redress grievances - all because unions worked to get those for us. We work for these compensations (I refuse to call them benefits because they are given to us free of charge - we work hard for them, they are compensations we've earned) and we have the right to keep them.

The laws changed to incorporate a lot of what the unions fought for, and when we got them for all workers, not just union members, the unions kind of rested on their laurels, as it were.

Unfortunately, what is given to us by law can be taken away by law. Our work days have increased, our pay is falling, our retirements (that we paid for out of our paychecks!) was squandered by businesses and supported by the laws so they never had to pay us back (I lost 2 full retirement programs this way - I will never get back all the money I paid into those retirement programs - my money went to pay bonuses for corporate crooks), our workplaces are becoming less safe, healthcare is laughable, and many of us haven't received the pay raises we deserve for the long hard hours of work we put in and the skills we apply to our jobs. We used to get paid breaks and lunches, now we don't get breaks at all (I don't know anyone who gets those 15 minute breaks anymore, although some people may still get them somewhere), and we are often asked to work during our unpaid lunch breaks.

Perhaps "unions" have become dinosaurs, but we still need some form of collective bargaining. Without it, we will lose everything we gained and our country will be a poorer plae for it.

talon: (Default)
( Feb. 28th, 2011 11:15 am)

http://www.reuters.com/news/video/story?videoId=189921537&videoChannel=1004

I am in the age group (over 50) where 75% of the people are capable of doing most things themselves. To me, it's just natural that I make things I need, or adapt things to suit my needs, or just for the fun of it. I'm not going to list the things I can do myself because the list is really long, so just imagine that if it needs doing, either I can do it or a reasonable facsimile thereof - and often without special tools. Read more... )

talon: (Default)
( Feb. 28th, 2011 02:55 pm)

Since my creative non-fiction (press releases, some training manuals - the ones in which I'm given greater creative leeway and not so legally strict anyway, non-fiction essays, non-fiction articles) are far better received than my outright fiction, I think I am going to become a personal historian, writing other people's memoirs creatively.

I have a couple of friends who may also be suited to becoming personal historians and I plan to talk to them about it - I have a couple of projects in mind that might suit us admirably, and perhaps we could form a small, part time memoir-writing business.

.

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