Subject? I don't need no steenking subject!
I'm starting this journal at the prompting of Jords, who wants kept up to date on what her little brother is up to. It's been an eventful month so far. I quit my previous job working as a independent consultant, went to Europe for damn near free (thanks Jords!) and I've started a new job at NIH (National Institute of Health, for those who didn't know what the initials stood for.)
First impression of NIH: They love building. Constantly. They love building gigantic and confusingly labeled buildings that are named after Congressmen and Senators that got money for the NIH. Fortunately, you don't need to remember the names, because the buildings are also numbered and everybody calls the building by the number. Not the numbers are sequential or have anything to do with their location on campus. For example, 49 (the building my office is in) is located next to Building 10. 10, in turn, is next to 8,9, 50 and 31. Also, Building 45 was built after 49. It can be confusing, which is why you turn to the handy directories scattered around the campus. The problem there is that, in some of the directories, half the campus buildings didn't exist at the time the directory was posted.
Second impression of NIH: Anyplace with monkey cages in the basement and where everybody walks around in jeans is OK in my book.
So far, it's been fairly quiet the first few days. Not many people have been calling LAN Support (where I now work) asking for help, so the other techs have actually had time to teach me about the job and help untangle the email and login snafus that I've run across the past few days in getting set up with my IDs and passwords. I've got a good feeling about this place.
That's all I can really think of to write now, so I'm toddling off to bed. But before I go, here's your moment of alt.humor.best-of-usenet Moment of Zen.
Subject: Re: Godzilla vs. the Leaf Blower
From: email@example.com (SkyeFire)
In article , Sea Wasp writes:
>> after destroying Tokyo 45 times you would think he would be getting a
>> bored with wanton destruction.
> It's not wanton destruction FOR HIM. He's just out on a walk.
> Also, he tends to destroy different cities and districts each time.
>Japanese cities actually compete for the chance to be destroyed in the
(Okay, I just CAN'T let this one go…)
Well, of course, there are very strong financial incentives
behind this competition, in addition to the PR cachet of being the latest city
to be able to sell “Gojira stopped by and all we got was this stupid T-shirt”
T-shirts (the franchise is strictly time-limited).
You see, after Gojira's first attack on Tokyo back in the pre-Technicolor
era, while the US occupation was still going on, the American authorities
decided to set up a permanent “Gojira relief trust fund,” in the off chance
that a repeat performance ever occurred (little did they know…). This fund
was organized, by a codicil appended to the Japanese Constitution, in such a
way that it could *only* be used for rebuilding and reparations for damages
caused directly by Gojira and/or efforts to contain/herd/destroy him. Later,
the courts recognized that damage caused by Gojira or his enemies while Gojira
was fightin to *defend* Japan also satisfied the spirit of the law, but as
Gojira was explicitly mentioned by name in the codicil, damages caused by
Mothra, Rodan, or Gamera (to name just a few examples), *without* the
involvement of Gojira, were *not* legal justification for tapping the trust
fund, and must be repaired out of the regular budget. Since hardly any major
monster event in Japan goes by without Gojira at least popping up to take a
peek, and the trust fund has enjoyed almost prescient good luck in its
investment portfolios over the last five decades, Japan has not been
impoverished by its disproportionate number of monster incidents.
However, when the bubble burst in the early 90s, many huge Japanese
corporations found themselves strapped for cash, and encumbered with massive
investments in real estate and infrastructure that, in the depressed and
saturated market, were liabilities rather than assets. Before long, the Gojira
relief fund, solvent and untouchable, inevitably drew the eyes of floundering,
desperate megacorps. But the Diet was unwilling to risk the poltical firestorm
of trying to tap the Gojira fund for non-Gojira needs, especially in light of
the near-disastrous “Planet X Affair” in the early 1950s.
Then, in a moment of inspiration, many Zaibatsu came to the
near-simultaneous realization that, with a bit of planning, Gojira could save
their bank balances in two ways — a few casual footsteps would destroy the
massive, heavily-taxed white-elephant properties eating into their equity,
*and* open the coffers of the relief fund to relieve their “losses.” A win-win
And so, the many “industrial” cities of Japan joined in the competition to
be destroyed by Gojira, spending their limited remaining capital like water to
bribe the correct functionaries.
Of course, Gojira-sama *himself* has always been a tad… unpredictable.
While the Zaibatsus' plans *did* in fact work out as intended, to a limited
extent, the unintended side effects still reverberate through Japan today…..