Joe Ganley
Writing code since 1979
I have been a professional software engineer for over 10 years. I have written many kinds of software, but my particular strengths are interactive graphics applications, compilers and interpreters, and algorithms.

I also enjoy writing, woodworking, and home improvement. Also this.


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Saturday, August 20, 2005

Jewish like me

I am not Jewish, but look quite a bit like I am. Once, in 1993 or so, I was on a flight to Chicago. I was in that pair of rows that face each other on certain Southwest flights, and the other five guys in those seats were all friends, and frankly were all obnoxious assholes. I spent the flight reading, but I heard with the small portion of my attention that was listening a variety of off-color jokes and remarks about Jews. I don't remember any of it specifically, but it was definitely nasty enough that I wouldn't repeat it if I did. As I say, these guys were real jerks, so I mostly tried to just focus on my book and tune them out. We landed in Cincinatti, but I was to continue on to Chicago on the same plane, so they got up to leave and I didn't. Just as they started up the aisle, the guy who had been telling most of the jokes caught my eye and said, in a voice dripping with venom, "See you 'round, Hymie." In a rush, their whole conversation replayed in my head, and I realized that all of that bile was aimed at me! I reeled, and unfortunately they were long gone before I could think of a retort, but I felt sick for hours afterward. It isn't exactly
Black Like Me, and it obviously is only a tiny taste of what it must be like to actually be Jewish (much less black or any other minority whose membership is readily apparent), but still I felt like it gave me a small taste of what it is like to be discriminated against. I spent much of my childhood being, essentially, discriminated against for being smart, but this somehow felt very different, and much worse. Even today, twelve years later, it sickens me to think about it; I can only imagine what it must be like to feel like that regularly for your entire life.

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Thursday, August 11, 2005

Aerobics is (are?) not easy

A while back, my wife and I went to the gym and entered what we believed was a cardio-weight-training class. We started with some aerobics that I assumed were for warmup purposes, but after about ten minutes it became clear that we had gotten the calendar confused or something, because this was an aerobics class. The fact that I was the only man in the room should have been a clue. However, by this point I have ego on the line; there's no way I'm going to be defeated by (forgive me) a bunch of women. So, I hung in for the full hour, giving 100%, and it was positively brutal. It was one hell of a workout, and I was sore for days. So, for you guys out there who stick to the weights and other "manly" sections of the gym, don't think that the women in the aerobics classes are slacking; try it once and you'll know better.

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