What Annoys Jeff this Week?

1. AFGE Local 1904. Here we are 18 weeks past the “end of max telework” and the union, such as it is, still hasn’t come through on delivering the new and improved telework agreement. So, we’re still grinding along with only two days a week like pre-COVID barbarians… as if 30 months of operating nearly exclusively through telework didn’t prove that working from home works. All this is ongoing while hearing stories of other organizations tucked in next door that are offering their people four or five day a week work from home options. It’s truly a delight working for the sick man of the enterprise. There’s probably plenty of blame to go around, but since the updated and perfectly acceptable policy for supervisors was published 18 weeks ago, I’m going to continue to go ahead and put every bit of blame on Local 1904 for failing to deliver for their members (and those of us who they “represent” against our will) for not getting this shit done. No one’s interest is served by their continued intransigence and the elected “leaders” of 1904 should be embarrassed and ashamed of themselves.

2. People. I was pumping gas Monday morning. While standing there waiting for the Jeep to drink its fill, I watched someone pull in to the pump next to me and then realize that his filler cap was on the other side of their car. A normal person might just pull around to one of the ten open pumps, but not this hero. He proceeded to do a 37-point turn right there under the canopy so he could use that specific pump. I try not to stare when obviously stupid people are going through their life, but this was one of those times when I really just could look away. Neither it seems could the pother 4 or 5 people there pumping gas as we all exchanged looks of surprise while this was taking place. I’ve long since gotten use to people being stupid in public, but this feels like an exceptional example of why we should just let Darwin do his thing.

3. Chickens (but really people). Every third or fourth story I’ve seen this week is about people running out and buying their own flock of chickens to “get cheap eggs.” Sure, a few people might make a go of it, but the time John and Jane Average get to the point where their hens are laying, their eggs are going to have cost $48 a dozen if the price in the startup costs,  feed and accessories, and built that darling little henhouse wifey saw on Pinterest… and that’s assuming they manage to keep the birds alive and don’t completely lose interest somewhere in week three.

What Annoys Jeff this Week?

1. AFGE Local 1904. Here we are 15 weeks past the “end of max telework” and the union, such as it is, still hasn’t come through on delivering the new and improved telework agreement. So, we’re still grinding along with only two days a week like pre-COVID barbarians… as if 30 months of operating nearly exclusively through telework didn’t prove that working from home works. All this is ongoing while hearing stories of other organizations tucked in next door that are offering their people four or five day a week work from home options. It’s truly a delight working for the sick man of the enterprise. There’s probably plenty of blame to go around, but since the updated and perfectly acceptable policy for supervisors was published 15 weeks ago, I’m going to continue to go ahead and put every bit of blame on Local 1904 for failing their members (and those of us who they “represent” against our will) for not getting this shit done.

2. Eggs. You can’t swing a dead chicken without reading or hearing a story about the price of eggs. People like eggs, you see. The current period of inflation has coincided with a months-long bird flu outbreak that has hit domestic chicken flocks particularly hard. Even if we assume that demand for eggs has been stable, there are fewer chickens laying them and therefore fewer eggs coming to market. With the product in shortage, the price has increased markedly. It’s not a plot. It’s not surprising. It’s literally the fundamental free market elements of supply and demand doing their thing to find equilibrium. One more story about the sky falling really, truly, isn’t going to make a difference.

3. Humanity. I read a lot. No shock there. This week I’ve been served up several articles about computers or AI “eclipsing” humanity. To that, I mostly offer a shrug. Look around at the masterful job we’ve done running the place as the apex species. We’re collectively like the kid that was sent to school and eats his textbook. Why not let AI run the show for a while? Do we really think it’ll make a worse hash of things or are we terrified it would do better?

What Annoys Jeff this Week?

1. Parking Lot Etiquette. You might know that I’m a creature of habit. I’ve even parked in the same spot just about every word day for the last 14 months. Or I did until wild haired old biddy with a hooptie started parking in my spot. I like to think I’ve shown admirable self control in not dropping the truck into 4-lo and pushing her beat to hell Buick out of the way. And then I remember that normal people would probably just shrug it off and find a different spot instead of developing intricate plans to show up earlier each day until they discover when the biddy in question arrives so they can start showing up a few minutes ahead of her to get their coveted parking spot. Not that I would ever do that, of course.

2. Science. I’m not all that old and so far I can remember eggs being good, then bad, then good again, then bad again, then good, and currently they’re apparently “as bad as smoking.” Seriously, science, is this really something worth studying repeatedly and changing our collective minds about every couple of years? People have been eating eggs for pretty much as long as there have been people. As a species, we like eggs and we’re probably going to keep eating them indefinitely into the future… So instead of telling us how bad (or good) eggs are, how about getting busy doing something productive like developing a more effective drugs to counteract the effects of the eggs that we all know we’re going to eat regardless of how “bad” we know they are for us?

3. Things that are Self-Explanatory. The older I get, the more I realize that almost nothing is actually self-explanatory… especially concepts that are so easy a caged monkey can be taught how to do them with the right combination of banana slides and electroshock. I guess that’s not surprising, really. The older I get, the fewer expectations I tend to have about people and how they behave as a group. Still, if you’re well into advanced middle age and I need to write a memo explaining that you should always remember to answer the question someone asks you instead of giving them everything other than the answer, something has gone horrifically wrong with civilization as a whole and we are probably doomed.

And since the week can’t be completely full of annoyances, if you’re at all curious about what doesn’t annoy Jeff this week, that would be the fact that it’s a three day weekend. Those make me happy.

First love…

I spend alot of time here writing about politics, technology, and pretty much anything that strikes my interest. It occurs to me that I’ve never really spent any time at all dealing with my first love – food. Some of the best is now verboten since all things starchy and sugar-filled are no mostly off limits to me, but from time to time I do manage to come across a recipe that’s worth hanging on to. I find one of those this morning and in the spirit of the internet being built for sharing information, I thought I’d pass it along as an homage to the humble casserole.

The ingredients are as follows:
– 1 lb breakfast sausage
– 3 cups shredded/cubed potato (frozen should work just as well)
– 1/4 cup butter – melted (because everything’s better with butter)
– 16 oz shredded cheddar a/o whatever other cheese you’ve got handy
– 1/2 an onion diced/chopped
– 16 oz small curd cottage cheese
– 8 jumbo eggs
– salt, pepper, etc.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and grease a large baking dish (I used a 9×13). Brown the sausage and drain before setting aside. Combine potatoes and butter, spreading the mixture in the bottom of your baking dish. Combine eggs, cottage cheese, onion, cheese, and sausage. Pour mixture over the potato base. Bake for 1 hour. Mine came out at 55 minutes with a nice crust and done completely through.

A word of warning. This makes alot of casserole so if you’re not cooking for at least 4 people, you might consider using half portions on the ingredients. In any case, easy to make and quite tasty – though probably not recommended if you happen to give a damn about cholesterol. I’ll make it again, but would probably kick up the pepper and add some tabasco or ground red pepper next time to bring on a little bite.