Well, I was waiting eagerly for a few books from Amazon.com (coming in two different shipments due one of those weird somewhat unexplainable Amazon shipment splits) and I randomly thought to check on their status. They should have been delivered today. Nifty....
Exception: No Such Address
You know, I'm halfway tempted to march down to their offices tomorrow with a picture of the damn house and a map. If I were in a crankier mood (and I had less of a life) I probably would. Apparently my last little chat with them is wearing off. It may be time to rip someone's head off. I happen to be expecting another package tomorrow so I'm going to call them up in the AM and make sure that they don't pull this on me again.
Still though, how can they not find the fucking address? It's only on the front of the house in 5 different spots (once on each part of the circular driveway, once on a big rock, once on the mailbox, and once on the fucking house). Not only that, but they just delivered something here not even a week ago. That's the one saving grace. At least they got my camera to me fairly promptly (i.e. on the scheduled delivery date)... Although that time I found it amusing that they'll require a signature for say a package of 3 DVDs, but they'll happily drop off a small box with a not-terribly-cheap camera and a few other random computer bits at the front door. A cardboard box mind you.... on an overcast day.
Oh, and for the record, I didn't vote today. Why not?
Snide Response: Because I don't feel guilty about not voting
Quoted Response: Don't vote, it only encourages them -Unknown
Rambling Response: I haven't found a way to morally justify voting for one of two (or on a few rare occasions three) people that I find really icky. I don't like negative voting (i.e. voting for person A because I dislike person B) and even if I did, more often than not I find myself not being able to figure out which person is the lesser of two evils. I'm kind of screwed in the issue side of things because I want the government to leave me alone as much as possible and that just never seems to be an option. For the most part, if I go liberal, that means the government wants more money from me (which is bad) for more social programs (which are good). OTOH, if I vote conservative, I get to keep my money (which is good), but the government then gets to stick its nose into my private life (which is very bad). Actually, in general, even "liberal" politicians tend to harp on "family values" and to be honest, I hate "family" values. The only people who bitch about family values are those that have no interest in maintaining any. Then again hardcore conservatives don't really let you keep you money, they just let their cronies keep your money. Basically I'm most easily categorized as an eccentric, bitter Libertarian. I have very little faith that I can ever get the government to "officially" work the way I want it to and voting is generally just an unpleasant exercise in trying to pick the side which least turns my stomach and makes me least cranky.
I'm sure plenty of you are (somewhat rightfully) tsking me for not doing my "civic duty" but there's one final part to my rant. Given the above grumpiness about picking between people that I don't like to do things that I don't want them to do, factor this in. If you know how to work the "system" you can often get away with whatever you want. Politicians come and go, but bureaucracies are forever. If you learn how to manipulate the bureaucracy you're set. For example, if you learn which secretary can get you into the right person's office to talk to them about your pet project, you can often get it approved with minimal hassle. Your new megamart might need a variance or twenty, but if you know the right people and you can spin things correctly, your set. Ah, but then what happens when a new regime comes into power? Then they appoint one or two people to various committees. They might pick the folks that are appointed, but guess what. The underlying staff sticks around. In a municipal situation, you often don't even see appointments change because almost no one wants those jobs and is qualified for them. You know what's most disturbing about all that? It's all perfectly legal. I'm not talking about bribing officials or in any way breaking the law, I'm just talking about knowing who is who and being able to remember Bob's name. It's astonishing how far you get if you hang around in the buildings of power and you can casually say "Hi Mr. ______, how is little Billy doing at Cornell?"
With all that said though, the recent "elections" in Iraq actually made me think about my own voting preferences and I've decided that from now on I will vote on issues. I doubt that I'll ever really want to vote for people, but referendums are usually of the form of "Do you want _____? Yes/No" and that I can live with. Even though those may at times include things that I don't like, I can make a decisions about things like that. I can vote for bonds to build a bigger and better animal shelter, and I can vote against bonds for a really horribly planned event center. I can vote against higher taxes (if I find their stated goal offensive). If a referendum is loaded down with icky things, I can vote against it and then if it ever comes up in an acceptable format, I can vote for it. That I can live with.