About The Saucy Blog
Welcome to http://johnsaucier.blogspot.com/ -  A blog of the things that I am passionate about debating...

A Little Background
About My Blog
My Legacy
A Little Background
The Early days

Back around 1998, I decided to start taking my career opportunities seriously. Until that point my career in Technology was limited to side work for people, mostly for free. So I took everything I had studied and learned and applied it to certification. Over the next year I worked to get my certs, so I could put it on my resume.

In 2000, I started doing contract work on a limited basis. You see a few years prior I started getting really sick, having a lot of digestive problems. I went to see the doctor, but it wasn't until my first stay in the hospital that I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease. For the next few years I would be in and out of the hospital on many occasions, but then my illness seemed to take a remission of sorts.

Many of the side effects of Crohn's disease continued to plague me still, diarrhea  fatigue, depression, immune problems, etc. but other than that I was feeling well enough to try and work a steady job.

It had been at least a year or more since I had been in the hospital, and my friend Raul told me about an Opportunity at a technology company called Solidworks working in their IT department as a full-time contractor. I had never heard of the company before, but he told me a little about what they did and it seemed interesting.

So I went in for an interview and felt pretty well about it. I remember Raul telling me his boss was impressed at the time by the interview and my knowledge. Sure enough within a few days, the boss man called me back and asked me to come work for them. My first days at Solidworks were spent unboxing and setting up new servers for a new lab they had built, as well as setting up the Raritan Paragon, Ethernet-based KVM system.

About a month into the job, I suddenly came down with severe pain, and I realized I was going to need to be hospitalized. I was so distraught at the thought of having a new job and getting sick again. Obviously, it wasn't something I had any control over, but I felt ashamed that it was something that my boss would now have to endure with me. After all, he had just hired me, and a month later, I'm terribly unreliable already.

I called him from the hospital, and we talked for several minutes. Mostly, I apologized. He seemed, completely okay with it. He understood and told me to get better. After two weeks, I was released, and back to work I went. For the next few years I worked my ass off, becoming the "go to" guy for problem solving solutions. I was feeling good for a change.

When it rains...

Obviously, I still had some problems, mostly diarrhea, but it was something I just had gotten used to. My PCP recommended I see a specialist about my Crohn's disease, and so I started to see a nice English doctor who specialized in gastroenterology. Over the next year I tried various medications, with varying degrees of success, and continued to work without a problem.

The company had hired me on as a full-time employee, things were going good. I had started a relationship and things were going great...for a while. Then about a year later, I started having serious issues with my stomach, bouts of vomiting that would wake me up in the middle of the night. It got so bad I began leaving a bucket beside the bed, because I had on several occasions not made it to the bathroom.

The doctor began to notice a change in my labs, and I talked to him about the vomit, the intense GERD I was suffering, and the random pains that had started throughout my abdomen. I had previously had my gall bladder removed, and knew that the pain could not have been related to it, as he had suggested. First, he had me take a gastric emptying test, where you eat radioactive eggs, and they see how long it takes for the stomach to empty.

The results were not good. In fact, they were terrible. Besides the three and a half hour wait, and only 50% emptying for an egg, the fact that it produced terrible gas and made me sick did not help. I was given and endoscopy, and it was determined I had idiopathic gastroparesis. Over the next several months it continued to worsen, and I began missing work from being sick all the time. There is simply no way to describe what it feels like to eat a cracker and have it make you violently ill to the point you then throw up for several hours, or worse, have that kind of thing happen every single day of the week.

During this time, Solidworks' parent company Dassault Systemes decided to take more control over their brands, and began to assimilate Solidworks into their company. Much of the workforce including some of IT were immediately made Dassault employees. Along with doing this, began a string of new policies that would change my work status with the company.

Like many employees I had been moved into the Dassault envelope, and immediately I brought one of their policies to the attention of my boss. Dassault had made an announcement that all employees were given a total of five sick days during a year, and no more. Unfortunately, five sick days wouldn't even cover the monthly required visits I was making to my specialist, appointments that averaged five hour visits.

My boss understood and said he would talk to someone at Dassault. As it turned out, I received a call from their HR department requesting a meeting. I went to this meeting, and we discussed the problem, and I was informed that they had never knew a person that would need random time off, or even as much time as I was requesting, but that they would try and work with me.

There is a law on the books called the Family Medical Leave Act, and they were going to try and use it to get me the time I needed to get off work. They also wanted me to keep record of the times I was going to be off work. Other than the scheduled doctor appointments, when you are sick, it doesn't work on schedules. So I started keeping track of all the days I missed over the next few months.

...It pours

During this time, I had gotten married, but as a result of my sickness, my relationship was getting strained. It was difficult for her to keep up with my moods, and depression.

I began to miss more and more work at a time. The problem is the longer you are sick, the worse your body gets, without any recovery time, its a downward spiral. When I did come to work, it was only sporadically, maybe two or three times in a two or three week period. Suddenly, HR was no longer being nice. On one day when I was feeling particularly crappy, my boss called me into a meeting with the HR department.

For 30 minutes, I was told how disappointed he was in me, and how he didn't think I was trying hard enough. I tried to explain how I felt, but that's like trying to explain physics to a monkey. If you have never been truly sick, you have no idea what it feels like, and nothing to draw experience or empathy from. The HR lady told me that something would have to be done soon, that they had already been so gracious with me.

I forgot to mention how on several occasions before in similar meetings, I had been given paperwork to fill out, told I would need to get my doctor to send medical record information to them, that I should have my job changed, to something else, that I should think about quitting, you name it, I heard it. Before it started to go completely to shit, my boss admitted to me, that if Dassault had not tied his hands that none of this would have ever been a problem. That Solidworks worked with its sick employees, Dassault wanted none of that.

All good things...

Within a few days of having that meeting, I got a call from another member of HR who informed me that they would no longer be paying me because they didn't have to under the law. So here it was, not only was I terribly sick through no fault of my own, but my company rather than work with me, decided they would rather fuck me over to save some money. I was also told that all sick time would have to be approved ahead of time. An impossible task? You bet, but it was clear they were trying to make my life difficult.

Dassault had decided I was a worthless employee to them at this point, so with no value they need to get rid of me. But the law at least was somewhat on my side, after all, they couldn't actually fire me under the rules of the FMLA. So they stuck to it clearly as written, 12 weeks of sick time, without pay. It was at this time that my doctor would try and get me on short-term disability to help me, it was clear I simply could not work.

So he filled out the paperwork, I went on short-term disability, a three month term. Of course as it happens, Liberty Mutual also made life difficult, first by losing paperwork, second by asking my doctor for more information, and third by denying my claim after they started to pay me. The timing was fantastic of course, my 12 weeks were up, and sure enough Dassault got rid of me.

So here I was without a job, without medical insurance, and without income. My wife had had enough, and would leave me shortly thereafter.

My life since had been a set of ups and downs, highs and lows, but I'm not getting any better.

Flash forward to February 2012. With a lot of time on my hands, and a will to write down all my thoughts I started blogging. And here you are reading it.
About my blog

The very first article I wrote for this blog was about SOPA. If you are interested, have a read. In a way it was SOPA that inspired me to write down all my thoughts, and I have a lot of them. Terrible laws are definitely one of my pet peeves, but I just have so many that I started pumping our article after article. From things like government, to copyright, to piracy. This blog started out mostly as a technology blog.

Over the months of writing technology type stuff, I realized there was other stuff I really wanted to talk about, and so I expanded the blog to include just about anything and everything that really impassioned me. In a way, its given me something to do with my time other than be sick, lie in bed, or sit and watch TV. So fuck you SOPA, and thank you, at the same time. You've inspired me to contribute my intellectualism.

Oh no he didn't!

So it's no secret I'm an atheist, have been all my life. Even as a child, I would go to church and wonder what the appeal of believing in imaginary nonsense was? I remember questioning the Sunday school teacher about the things she would read to us from the bible, and abruptly point out the many inconsistencies and contradictions. She would get frustrated, and after a while I was discouraged from attending again.

As an adult, I live my life scientifically, as an atheist, seeing life through evidence, and not through delusion, and I can say, not for one second am I ever in doubt of my choice. In my experience all religions work from the same premise, as if taking a page from the same playbook:

Create a deity. Tell people that he is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. Tell them he has set forth rules to live by, rewarding you for your obedience, punishing you for your sedition, but not here, only after you die. Then tell them he is invisible, inaudible, and imperceptible, so as not to raise suspicion when no one sees him, no hears him, and he does nothing.

I just can't live my life under the guise of a fantasy afterlife where everything just gets better, and you get to see everyone who has died before you, especially when it conflicts with natural, science and the universe as we understand it.

Does it mean that God is impossible? I've come to the conclusion that this is in fact a truth, and its something that most people simply won't accept. I've blogged about it, and detailed my explanation of why God cannot exist, and if you're interested have a read.

It's like choosing which asshole's the best...

I must confess I do like talking and of course blogging about politics. People that know me, know I am the farthest thing from a conservative asshole, and only closely related to a liberal asshole. I have a deep hatred for the Republican Party, but of course that's really no secret. Between their lack of leadership, utter ignorance to reality, devotion to money, and hate for everything and everyone that isn't them. I can't decide what's worse that they are the epitome of what evil would look like if it smiled a lot, or that anyone in their right mind would support a hate group. Yes, that's right, the Republican Party is a fucking hate group.

  • They hate anyone who does not have light-colored skin.
  • They hate anyone who does not have christian beliefs.
  • They hate anyone who thinks that a zygote is just a zygote.
  • They hate women.
  • They hate homosexuals.
  • They hate poor people.
  • They hate laws that help people.
  • They hate helping anyone.
  • They hate anything they consider socialism.
  • They hate anyone who disagrees with their politics.
  • They hate old people.
  • They hate children.
  • They hate intellectuals
  • They hate science
  • They hate the environment
  • They hate charity of any kind.

Shit I could probably go on forever, but it's pretty clear they are, in fact, a hate group. And you're saying, "Children? Old people?" Yeah, they have been defunding programs to help both classes for quite sometime. Instead of putting money into programs that would benefit them both, instead they spend their times funneling it into the military or tax cuts for rich people.

I don't even have to discuss the rest of that shit, cause you know its the truth. The Republican Party is nothing more than a party of hate-mongering rich Caucasians lead by a bunch of sociopaths.

So yeah, I frequently write and talk about them and my disgust for their ethics.

Now that piques my interest

Now science and technology are my real passions. I've spent most of my life in pure fascination with how everything works, whether it be something simple like a computer, or wondrous like the Universe. I love to talk about it, debate it, study it, write about it. You name it, I'll involve myself somehow.

I am always doing some kind of research whether it be medical, technological, or cosmological. It's all the same to me, and when I write about it, it gives me an outlet to get my thoughts about it on paper, figuratively, of course.

I think people are often surprised at just how much research I do. I am always reading something, even if I'm sitting in bed with the TV on, I have my laptop open to a website and I'm reading an article, while I check my email or something.

I can't help myself, when I find an interesting topic, I take note of it, do a ton of research and share any thoughts I have about it. My friends of course are used to this, as I've always been a source for information. You can ask me just about anything, and I know something about it, something I've read or heard, and I don't mind sharing it with them for hours on end.

In a way, my blog gives me a place where I can disseminate my thoughts in a concise fashion and I don't have to repeat myself, I just point to the blog, and say, there you go, read that.
My legacy

It's a fact, all of us are going to die. The second law of thermodynamics says that in a closed system, that entropy will only increase, never decrease. Because of this everything has a clock, and if everything has a clock, there is a beginning, and an end. Scientists refer to this as the "Arrow of Time." In the grand scheme of the things, our lives are obviously inconsequential. For example, to something like a star whose life is measured in billions of years, human lifetimes are meaningless.

Our world and everything in it is merely equivalent to a single grain of sand in a universe, if it were a world entirely covered in desert.

Knowing this of course I know that my life is meaningless, but if I let that stop me, I would have probably just slit my wrists along time ago. But nature has a way of doing things, and so as I let it, nature will take its course, and I follow wherever its path may lead me.

And so I say...

This blog will remain somewhere on the Internet long after I'm dead, hopefully as a legacy of the kind of person I was. I've lived my life my way, and through it all, ups and downs, I've managed to do ok, at least for now.

Of course as each year passes, my condition worsens, I get sicker, and eventually I will die, maybe from some complication. Hopefully on that day, I will have left behind hundreds of little articles about my thoughts  of just about everything that impassioned me.

Hey who knows, maybe there is an after-life of sorts?

Except, that although your life ends, your thoughts, your memories live on, and they continue to be disseminated to a new, young, ready to learn, populace of hopefully, free thinkers. Because frankly, who else would I be writing for anyway?

If you like this blog, please, share it. I spend days, sometimes weeks doing painstaking research in an effort to make sure I get the facts straight.

I love getting feedback, so if your inclined, it would be most appreciated. I just setup a new Facebook and Google Page for the blog, so please check them out and Like them as well. You can also subscribe to my personal twitter, facebook, and google accounts as well.

There are so many ways I can be reached, don't be afraid, I don't bite...much.

Email me at jsauce@gmail.com

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