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What a Small Businees Owner Should Not Do in this Economic Situation
Jun 19th, 2009 by Babs

<div class=\"pavatar\">What a Small Businees Owner Should Not Do in this Economic Situation</div>

The economy sucks. You know it. I know it. So, as a small business owner, this is what I’m not going to do about it:

  • I will not introduce any new product… unless it has been well researched and I see that there is a definite demand for it.
  • I will not increase my marketing budget. Making more folks aware of my presence will not necessarily increase my sales. Instead I will keep my budget as is and use cheap and creative methods to draw attention.
  • On a related note: I will not use the word “stimulus” in any form of advertising. If it hasn’t helped the  economy, it sure as hell isn’t going to help me. I’m so sick of the word that if I see it in an ad one more time I swear I’m going to scream!
  • I will not cut my prices. I offer quality goods at fair prices, and will not devalue them (or myself) by price slashing.
  • I will not treat my customers like shit. This is, IMHO, the most important. Yet it is the one thing most businesses (large and small) seem to have forgotten. In this economy customers are looking to get the most out of their money. Being treated well is part of it, and being polite doesn’t cost me a dime.
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Why I’m a Pirate
May 28th, 2009 by Babs

<div class=\"pavatar\">Why I’m a Pirate</div>

Not too long ago I was reprimanded, by a theme designer with a sense of entitlement, for my lack of morals in regards to my torrents. Sorry, I don’t do morals. Instead I choose to take responsibility for my own actions, right or wrong.

Anyway. I originally ignored this nutter but the thought of making her pretty little head go splooey (’cause I know she still reads my blog) has become rather inticing. Since my views are shared by the majority of pirates out there I figured I’d write them down in hopes that the holier than thou crowd might actually get it. So here goes:

  1. Piracy is a form of protest. As far back as I can remember music lovers have been demanding a way to acquire individual tracks of music. We were tired of paying outrageous prices for CDs when we only wanted one or two songs — especially once we knew how little it actually cost to make a CD. Vinyl and tapes never saw such a markup! But even when the technology became available the music industry was too greedy to give us what we wanted. Thanks to Napster we were able to take it. And then the music industry announced it had this really great idea to make tracks available individually. :P I now use Rhapsody for my music fix. I have over 6000 tracks in my library (and 99.5% are legal).
  2. Piracy is a way to share the love. I’m sure you’ve heard of fansubs, correct? Technically these are acts of piracy. However you rarely hear the copyright owners bellyaching, do you? Well, you don’t hear many non-American copyright holders bellyaching, that is. That’s because they know that fansubbing is a free way to advertise their product to other markets which, in turn, often gets them licensing deals. So two points for piracy.
  3. Piracy allows you to try before you buy. Yes, there are a lot of programs that allow you free trials. Heck there are even a good many completely free programs. But what if you want to find out if Dreamweaver or MS Office meet your needs? I don’t know about you, but I really don’t feel like shelling out $149+ on software only to find it doesn’t do what I want, and I can’t return it. Through piracy I know that Dreamweaver is worth saving up for, Open Office does essentially the same thing as MS Office, and PSP is much easier for me to work with than Photoshop.
  4. Piracy is a wake up call. This is related to #1, though it’s less of a protest and more of a “Look. You’ve got a demand here. You might want to make some money off it.” Thanks to us pirates a great deal of media that had been previously collecting dust is now experiencing new life — legitimately.

As you can see, pirates aren’t just a bunch a yahoos who want free stuff. We are making statements. We are exposing ourselves and others to other cultures. We are being wise consumers. We are making our wants and needs known.

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Fuck the Troops! I Need to Eat, Too!
Nov 2nd, 2008 by Babs

There’s an organization going from supermarket to supermarket collecting food donations to ship to the troops overseas. I’ve been accosted twice by them at two separate stores. Both times I was essentially told that I did not support the troops because I refused to make a donation.

Excuse me?

While I do not come from a military family per se, I do have a number of family members and friends who have been or currently are in the service. I thank them whenever I can. I have occasionally voiced my opinions on the need to provide these protectors of our freedoms with better pay and benefits. But the last time I checked those in the military still got fed, courtesy of my tax dollars. It may not be the best food, but it’s certainly better than what many of us are eating.

At a time when food pantries across the country are seeing a sharp decrease in food donations just as they are seeing an equally sharp increase in those that need these services (including many military familes), I think anyone who has the nerve to tell me I don’t support the military because I choose to spend my whopping $60 a week food budget on my family of four (and the occasional dollar donation to the local food pantry, which I use) instead of buying TP for the troops needs to shut the fuck up.

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Don’t Point that Thing at Me!
Sep 14th, 2001 by Babs

<div class=\"pavatar\">Don’t Point that Thing at Me!</div>

Warning: Written on minimal sleep.

I am so numb. Well, maybe numb isn’t exactly the word I’m looking for. I can feel fear. I feel it every time a plane flies overhead, or when a police car or fire truck or ambulance goes by (and there have been a lot of them lately, and I live in Arlington, MA). I have to sleep with my fans on, despite that fact that it is now cooler at night, just to drown out some of the noise. Otherwise I’d be up all night.

I have spent hours watching the news, because that seems to be all you can watch on TV lately. Is it really necessary to repeatedly show the people jumping from the towers? Just hearing about it was enough for me. And then there were the emails I read from the mailing lists I’m on. At first they contained condolences, wishes, thoughts and opinions. Then nasty comments started popping up.

*sigh*

I would be the first to agree that America is far from the great country it’s touted as being.

We talk about propaganda in other countries, yet the same thing has been going on in our own backyard. Am I the only one who heard about how the US government was at one time using mentally disabled people as guinea pigs?

We talk about freedom. Meanwhile the freedom of choice is being threatened; freedom of religion doesn’t seem to apply to all religions; the freedom to just be is often determined by race or ethnic background; don’t get me started on freedom of speech.

We show much concern for the hungry and the homeless… in other countries.

But, as screwed up as we are, we didn’t deserve this.

We, as a country, seem to live by the rule of “every man for himself”. It’s wonderful that we come together in times of tragedy, but it’s not enough. We need to do much more. If we want to make this world a better place, then we need to get off our asses and get to work; stop expecting others to do it for us.

We can no longer take our freedom for granted. Some of us are already aware of this. Now, hopefully, the rest of the country is, too.

I created A Web Site Created by Babs to invite people into my world, to peek into the mind of one person of many on this huge planet. I created the Gen-X Essays to offer my ideas and opinions in hopes of getting other people talking. Both were built with the idea that one person can make a difference. And I intend to make as much of a difference as I possibly can.

The question is, now, how many of you will be joining me?

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Sex!!!
Aug 7th, 2001 by Babs

<div class=\"pavatar\">Sex!!!</div>

Porgy loves Bess,
Bianca loves Mick,
And everybody knows Liz loves Dick!
~ “Sex” by The Fools

Now that I have your attention…

This essay contains my thoughts and opinions about others’ thoughts and opinions regarding such topics as sex, sex education, homosexuality, and abortion. Once upon a time these issues weren’t, well, issues, but ever since they day we supposedly lowered our moral standard they have become hot topics for discussion.

First of all, I’d like to make it perfectly clear that I think sex is a good thing. And I’m not just saying that because I’ve been having it for more years than my parents would care to know about. Sex, regardless of who or what is doing it, is how we keep life on this planet. I don’t see anything bad or shameful about that, but if you do well then don’t do it!

Now, I won’t say there aren’t things out there that make me squeamish, because there are. But I’m not going around telling other people they can’t do what feels good to them, just because I don’t agree with it. As long as you’re not hurting anyone (including yourself), then it’s just fine with me.

Sex Education in schools. I do not have a problem with this. In fact, I think the earlier the better. Kids need to learn what their bodies are capable of. They need to know what’s out there and how it affects them. They have to be made aware of the possible consequences of their actions. Keeping this information from them is not going to keep them from having sex. It is, however, going to keep them from making intelligent decisions about sex.

This does not mean that Sex Education in school should replace parental responsibility. Instead the two should compliment each other. I try to answer my kids questions whenever they have them, and enlighten them whenever they seem to need it. It is a day to day process.

When I was in high school I had a friend who was gay. He would often talk about getting a partial sex change and I once ran into him hanging out on the streets selling himself. While his private life made me rather uncomfortable at the time, and peer pressure was responsible for a few acts of stupidity on my behalf, but I still managed to keep him as a friend up until he disappeared.

What negativity I might have felt toward homosexuality back in school was blasted away during my stint at a video store in Cambridge a few years later. It’s pretty damn hard to dislike someone because of their sexual preference when half your co-workers are either gay or bi. First you learn to live with them, then you realize they’re good people.

Not too long ago the Governor of Massachusetts started insisting we needed to change the state constitution to make it clear that gay marriages were wrong. She and her followers stated that we needed to preserve the sanctity of marriage, claiming that such a bond was meant for couples in order to have children. Okay, so why are all these hetro couples who are unable to have children being allowed to marry? Hey, let’s be consistent here, folks.

Knowing a set of twins who are both gay, I’ve long since come to the conclusion that homosexuality is genetic. I’d even go as far as saying that Mother Nature intended it to be one of her more positive forms of population control. Having couples who don’t reproduce is much nicer than having to wipe out half the world with a plague.

Sure, this country was founded on good, clean, wholesome Christian values, but has anyone stopped to think about who had the country before it was founded? I don’t know how our Native American friends feel about gays, but I’m sure they probably aren’t anywhere near as tight-assed as the Puritans where. And speaking of which, didn’t these people come to this country to flee from religious persecution? Nice to know we’re not being hypocritical.

As I already mentioned I believe Mother Nature created a system of checks and balances to keep the human population under control. Over the years, we’ve managed to totally trash that system. Homosexuality has become a sin, we are now “immune” to many illnesses that where once deadly, and we can now protect ourselves from most of our predators. Too bad there are still too many clueless people out there who don’t realize that we no longer need to mass produce offspring.

I’m sure I can’t be only one to see the signs of the good Mother going to extremes to bail our asses out of the messes we’ve created. Why do you think we have AIDS? Sorry, but “to cleanse our world of those sinners” is not the correct answer. If AIDS isn’t the biggest wake up call to the overpopulation problem, I don’t know what is. AIDS is a plague. A special plague. While it’s main job, like most plagues, is to wipe out as many people as possible, it also has the purpose of population control. See, if folks spent more time protecting themselves instead of whining for a cure or vaccine, we’d already be making strides in eradicating this disease. And through abstinence and safe sex, we can also put a dent in overpopulation.

Violence is also a sign. Science has shown us that as the world becomes more crowded people become more violent. It’s just a simple fact of self preservation. We haven’t completely eliminated our predators; we have just forgotten about ourselves.

And then there’s infertility and sterility. I so want to bitch slap those who claim abortion is “playing god”, but look the other way when a woman is taking fertility drugs. I can almost hear WuFei screaming, “Injustice!” If you are not able to have kids on your own, then consider adoption. Don’t be selfish when there are millions of children out there looking to become a part of a family.

Don’t bash those who are pro-choice. Remember: Not everyone follows the same belief system you do. In fact, abortion predates Judeo-Christian beliefs, so stop riding the backs of those who think differently. Until the day when there’s a form of birth control that is 100% effective, and is available to everyone, then abortion should be kept legal (and covered by health insurance). And while we’re at it birth control should be covered by all health insurance plans. *glares at George “Dubbya” Bush*.

Alrighty now, I think I’ve covered everything I wanted to say. So let’s sum up: Sex is good. It’s just us that are bad. :o) But we can become better people by being open minded and responsible. You are not the only person on this planet; we are not the only species. Start looking at the big picture.

Babs

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