American Idle

It's kinda like American Idol, but only if you sing my posts out loud.

My Photo
Location: Hamilton Square, New Jersey, United States

Tax guy, host & producer of the Consumerism Commentary Podcast, former co-host of the Wall Street Journal E-Report

Sunday, January 28, 2007

20 some years later, I finally know what happened to Billy Squier

The question first hit me when we were driving to New Hampshire back in October. After listening to the "Classic Rewind" channel on Sirius for a good portion of the drive, we were inundated with a good deal of old Billy Squier songs. We wondered...hmmm...whatever happened to him? He so white hot in the early eighties, then he just seemed to disappear.

But then I heard on Howard Stern this week what happened. I'll let Wikipedia sum it up best.

...Squier revealed that his career as a chart-topping rocker came to a stunningly rapid and sudden end with the release of the music video for "Rock Me Tonite", universally derided by his fans (who saw him as a guitar hero) for its effeminate set (a bedroom dressed in soft, pastel fabrics) and Squier's bizarre, vaguely homoerotic prancing and ripping of his clothing, reminiscent of Jennifer Beals' performance in the film "Flashdance". The video was a demolishing blow to Squier's image among his fans, who deserted him virtually overnight. Billy confirmed that his career didn't recover after that video...
And for good measure, here's the video.

Wow. Of all the videos I watched in the eighties, I can honestly say that I don't recall that one. Of course, there's also a damn good chance that I subconsciously blocked out any memories of that horrid, horrid performance.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Performance reviews are a crock of shit

Now that the holidays are over, I need to begin doing the most dreaded of work tasks: performance reviews. Reviews themselves aren't so bad, it's just the whole process that sours me. Most of you know where I work, but I won't divulge the company name here for fear someone will stumble across it in a search. Anyway, let me see if I can sum up what I have to go through...

An elaborate rating system has been put into place to specifically grade each person's characteristics and how they met their objectives for the year. It's based on a grading system from 1-5, with 5 being the best. Although 3 is in the middle, it actually means fully successful. Categories are things like job knowledge, quality of work, teamwork, initiative, etc, then you also also receive grades on whether or not you met your objectives. In the end, it's supposed to give you a good idea of how that person grades out overall. Pretty straightforward, right?

But then upper management tells you that you can only have x amount of 4's in your group and are also required to have at least x amount of 2's (5's and 1's are nearly unheard of). Next thing you know, you're grading your group on a curve and not on their personal objectives and abilities. Now you're going back and lowballing people's performances just so you can keep them from being a 4, or to drop them down to a 2. Management-wise, I understand *why* it's being done...every work group is going to have it's top performers and bottom performers and you can't have people inflating their staff's abilities.

But the whole thing makes me feel dirty. It doesn't allow for groups that have an exceptional amount of good people. In those cases, you're almost pitting the good ones against the bad ones for that one "4" grade. Ever try looking at one of your best people in the eyes during a review and telling them they had a "fully successful" year ("average" to them)? It's not pretty and it's demoralizing.

This sucks.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Doob scores an Xbox 360

Folks, I'm happy to say that I scored me an Xbox 360 for Christmas (thanks dear!). Naturally, Madden '07...pretty much the only game I on the Xbox. Well, maybe not *sucks*, but it's a severe culture change from the gameplay on the PS2. I'm trying to muddle through it, but one of the most obvious things that's missing is Madden's commentary during the games...I mean it's Madden '07! His name's right in the friggin' title! How do you NOT have him?

The other aggravating thing is that this thing was obviously meant for big screen high definition TVs. The problem is that I have two 27" standard definition TVs in the basement. I actually had to take it off of the one in my office (the worst one) because I was only able to read about 90% of what was on the screen. Moving it into the family area of my basement was better, but I still have to squint to make out a lot of text.

Now I'm going to have to bump up getting a high def TV on my to-do list. Of course, what'll happen is that the high def TV will go upstairs, we'll spend another $1000 on new furniture to accommodate it (we have an older wooden entertainment center that just barely squeezes in a "32 TV) and then the 32" TV will wind up going downstairs. So I won't get a high def TV to play the 360 on, but at least I'll have another 5" to enlarge those hard-to-read characters.

And for those of you wondering why I just don't bring it upstairs, it's because of the network connection. I just hard wired the living area in the basement with CAT 5e cable a couple of days ago so that I could use the Xbox Live feature. The den upstairs sits on a slab floor and the TV is up against the outside wall. To hard wire a connection there would be a herculean feat (to me, anyway) that would probably involve running the cable from my basement up a floor into my attic, all the way across the den, and then dropping it behind the wall. The other option would be to run it across the floor against the wall but, of course, the most direct way is complicated by a sliding glass door in it's path.

I'm sure a lot of you without 360s are crying over my horrible dilemma.

Oh, and that's doob77 on Xbox Live if anyone's interested (can you believe some effer already had doobie77??).

Listed on BlogShares