It’s not that I hate cheese, but…

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big cheeseburger with melted cheese and glittery background.

NOT what I ordered!

I never order a cheeseburger. Never.

I keep being served cheeseburgers.

Now, I don’t hate cheese. Really, I don’t. I’m quite content to have a splattering of cheese on my taco, or a slice of American on a sandwich (on occasion). I’ll eat a slice or two right out of the ‘individual wrapper’. I’ve even been known to chow down several slices of pizza, as long as it’s ham and pineapple.

I just really, really, REALLY don’t want it on my hamburger.

Why, then, do fast food places around here insist on giving me a cheeseburger?

I’ve tried to figure it out, and I can only come up with two explanations.

One, the burger makers love cheeseburgers, and can’t conceive of anyone NOT having cheese on their burgers, so it never occurs to them that the lack of “cheese”, or “minus cheese”, on the order ticket might mean that the customer DOESN’T WANT ANY GAWD DAMNED CHEESE on their burger.

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History keeps changing.

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Jose SarriaScrolling through my Facebook feed this morning landed me on a post by The Advocate about California’s State Board of Education’s recent approval of ten history and social science textbooks that are LGBT-inclusive. It spurred me to write a blog about it, and as I was doing a bit of research I ran across something I hadn’t known before. It also made me realize I had been wrong in previous posts I made about the first openly gay individual to run for public office. I hate it when that happens!  (being wrong about something I’ve stated firmly in the past, not learning about something I didn’t know before.)

So, in the past, I had thought Harvey Milk was the first openly gay person elected to public office in the United States. I was gleefully corrected by a member of what I call my “anti-fan club”, a few people who love to slam anything and everything I write (because I’m a gay atheist, and that just riles them and their conservative Christian world view to no end, and who can’t stand the idea that I was graciously given a public platform at the Visalia Times Delta’s website). They work overtime to find something wrong in my posts, and proudly post corrections, and condemnations. One particular person’s correction at least educated me, when it was pointed out that Elaine Noble was the first openly gay or lesbian individual elected to a state legislature in the United States. Harvey Milk had ran as an openly gay man for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, but lost in his first attempt in 1973. Noble was elected in 1974, and took office in January of 1975. Milk won his next attempt, taking office in January 1978. He became the first openly gay man elected to office in California.

Turns out Elaine Noble wasn’t the first openly gay or lesbian to run for a public office in the United States.

Meet Jose Julio Sarria. In 1961 he ran for San Francisco Supervisor, the office Harvey Milk would finally win in the election of 1977. Sarria did not win.

In further researching Mr. Sarria, I discovered some more things I didn’t know! For instance, I had heard of two historical figures in San Francisco, namely The Widow Norton, and The Empress of San Francisco (more properly The Grand Mere, Absolute Empress 1 de San Francisco). I did not realize they were the same person. (Thanks, Wikipedia!)

October was LGBT History month. It took November’s California Board of Education’s vote to approve ten LGBT-inclusive textbooks for me to actually learn some history I hadn’t known before. There’s a great historical time line presentation at GLSEN’s website, where I stumbled upon Mr. Sarria’s information. Go check it out, I think you’ll be as interested as I was. In fact, now that I’m done with this post, I’m going back to finish my history lesson. I got sidetracked at 1961!

History doesn’t really change, but how we view it, and how it’s presented does. California is leading the nation in LGBT inclusive education. Since we are one of the largest textbook customers in the nation, many states will end up using the same suppliers, and the children in those states will benefit from our standards.

Just another reason I’m a California guy, through and through.

 

 

Day shift update. The journey so far.

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typically_dayshift Well, it’s been almost a month, now. Time for a day shift update.

For 23 years and 2 months, I’ve worked night shift.

By choice. I’m not a morning person. Never have been.

Some observations about 9-1-1 dispatching on day shift:

There’s a lot more of these (nonsensical, in my opinion) pleasantries about how I’m doing. You really don’t care if I’m having a good day, do you? I (usually) have to fib and tell you “I’m fine, thanks”, and then I’m obligated to ask how you are. Really, unless you’re calling in with a 9-1-1 call, it’s not any of my concern.

It’s not that I’m heartless or unfeeling. I hope you are having a wonderful day. But my knowing that doesn’t change our conversation, and there’s likely nothing I can do to make your day better if you’re having a bad one* and decide to tell me about it. Both sides of that conversation just distract from, and delay, the reason you called me in the first place. Do you need information, a phone number** , or any other of a hundred other different things I might be called upon to do for somebody?  The fact that it’s 9 am, and I should be sound asleep right now doesn’t make for a cheery “I’m great, thanks for asking” mood. Bah, humbug.

Lunch is much more of a hassle now. I have to wait until 1 pm, to try to avoid the worst of the lunch rush at nearby restaurants.

Traffic is annoying. Where the hell did all these cars come from? Why are they blocking the intersection?

Pedestrians leaving College of the Sequoias – look up from your damned phones! You’re going to walk right in front of a car if you keep that up.

Who the heck are these eleven-hundred units on my radio channel, and why don’t they follow protocol?

These twelve hour shifts are kicking my ass. You’d think two more hours wouldn’t be that bad, but the accumulative effect is already wearing me down. Having four days off every other week helps, but by the third day, I’m feeling it. On the long week, where I work four days, it’s very fatiguing. And that’s what we all need, right? A 9-1-1 dispatcher who is suffering from fatigue.

I was written up on the second day. For wearing jeans. I’ve been wearing jeans for all of my 23+ years in dispatch. Now I have to wear “slacks”. That required a hit on the JCPenny credit card I wasn’t planning on.

Oh, and day shift means I’m taking a $200 a month pay cut. Wonderful.

So as not to be completely negative, here are a few positives of day shift:

There’s a bit more eye candy coming through the door. That’s a double-edged sword, for sure. <sigh>

I’m sure there must be some more positives. I’m having trouble coming up with them right now, though. Maybe I’ll think of something later, and can edit this entry with them. Let’s both hold our breath on that, OK? (spoiler alert: I’m not holding my breath)

I’m staring at six months of day shift, before I can go back to nights. If you call in to my dispatch center during the day, and talk to a grumpy old man, that’s probably me. Sorry, after 23 years my ability to adjust to this change just isn’t going to happen quickly.

 

*again, unless you’ve dialed 9-1-1, and 99.9% of the time, you’re not going to ask me how I am. Although it does happen, strangely enough. Even for real emergencies. Haven’t figured that one out yet.

**although I’m not supposed to be a switchboard or 4-1-1 operator – that’s a pet peeve of mine. You no doubt are speaking to me on a device that can store literally hundreds, if not thousands, of phone numbers, or has the ability to look them up on the Internet. Why are you bothering me? It’s not like I don’t have anything else to do right now.

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