Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Catch Up

My biggest fear in starting a blog was that I would not keep it up.... Do I know me or what. But I will always try harder. Last post was late July... Oh Boy what has happened since then. Notable-

Went to the big island of Hawaii and had a blast. Just the wife and I. We did not kill each other which was good. Lots of lounging on the beach- food was lacking, I tried to get my drink on but my wife wasn't in to it so that was sort of lame.. Wasn't much nookie to be had but it was alright. Lots of awesome sights. Some things I would do differently- I would Scuba Dive, I would deep sea fish, and I would surf. I really enjoyed the Waimea area- up in the mountains very cool and pleasant. I would live there.

Got back and went to work. Took a few weekend trips out on the boat which was a blast. Funny story we have this big towable raft that we bungeed in to the back of the truck. On the way home it blew out of the back and on to the highway. I thought Holy shit there is going to be this 20 car pile up - I hope nobody got my license plate--- But no pileup, somebody stopped and dragged it out to the side of the road.

Been in Columbus , OH a portion of the month of August and early sept. Nice place, I would live there if I had to.

Hurricane Ike has been the big deal the last week and a half. Our house ended up with two trees down on the roof-- that would not have been a big deal but it punched two wholes in the roof at the same time. I called a removal company but got the bright idea to cut it down and save myself some $. I bought a chainsaw and within five minutes had got the chainsaw stuck in a tiny limb, sliced a chunk of my index finger, and had to disassemble the saw, put on a new chain, and cut out the old chain. I ended up paying a guy $1200 and had two additional trees removed. Just waiting on the ol' insurance to pay up.

So now for what really got me back to the ol' blog--- I want to maintain a clear account of the events leading up to the new America. I have a tendency to be a melodramatic doomsayer- I really get excited/anxious about the prospect of seeing the US totally fall on its face-Sort of like watching a train wreck or car wreck. I really think it would be an awful experience for us, I really dont want me and my family to go through this but I think it is inevitable. I think the government is propping up this economy. I am not an economist but here is how I see it. Americans have racked up trillions in debt. Enough people are paying towards their debt, but look at the hiccup- a SIGNIFICANT enought number of people are not paying their exotic mortgages- blip on the radar screen. Another blip hidden beneath the headlines is along with people struggling with exotic mortgages, some of the people with REGULAR mortgages that are just too much for them are defaulting- beyond the normal defaults we would expect to see. So what happens if enough of us stop paying?

Russia- WTF are we really heading back in to conflict with them? I say absolutely we will be rebuilding outposts in Europe within two years. Russia is collaborating with Venezuela- Can you say the real life "Red Dawn"

I am getting tired, I will rant on this soon...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Its a hard knock life-- Cry me the river waah

So here I sit, updating my blog from seat 1B on Continental flight 1492 to Columbus- Columbus, 1492, get it? Anyway. A big part of my job is travel. I totally dig collecting points- Marriott points, Hertz points, Delta was my airline of choice for a while. Points have paid for some really nice trips over the last few years. Loyalty programs are brilliant on so many levels. Despite whatever restrictions companys put on their traveling employees, loyalty programs will still sway choices. I am not the type of customer that saves their points for years and years. I like to use them as early and often as possible. That doesn’t mean I jet off to San Antonio and burn up my airline miles on a short hop, I like to stretch them as far as they can go. We took a bitchin trip to Park City in 2007 all on points, an anniversary surprise get away to NYC on some other points. The wife and I are heading off to a week long trip to Hawaii the end of this week- all on points.
Wow, I went off the beaten path on that one…. My point is I travel and there are some perks. First class upgrades- I would never pay for first class on domestic travel- but it is nice when it’s a freebie. I mentioned in one of my initial posts that I travel a lot, but not in a glamorous role; I am not the one going in to close the big deal. I am a people person. I hope that I am not the "never gonna find a job with just THAT on my resume" type of people person, but I pride myself on how I interact with people- namely my 41 or so employees spread out across the midwest. I train, I discipline, I coach and mentor. I am not the friendliest guy out there. I am not the type who starts up a conversation with a stranger(unless I have a few cocktails in me). I definitely like to get a good read on a person before I interact. I will sometimes rehearse conversations in my head before going in to situations where there is even the possibility of confrontation with people.
Most of the people in the management track at my company are good at the kinds of problems that involve numbers. I am AWFUL at math, statistics, accounting etc.. So I have to fake it a lot with those kind of situations, but people problems can be just as complex. How do you increase retention yet get tenured employees to change their ways-turn their world upside down and get them to hold on. How do you encourage creativity while telling somebody their innovative idea sucks. How do you tell someone you care about their familys, loved ones, that you sympathize with their plight, but tell them to get their ass to work when they or loved ones are chronically ill or dying. How do you build up your successor without getting your own ass replaced prior to you finding your own job.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Furniture and Blogging

I mentioned last night we bought some furniture- the assemble it yourself from Target type. It is always an episode to get it put together correctly- we must disassemble and reassemble several parts each time to get it right- we put the front on the back the left side where the right belongs, , the little cam locks are a pain. People talk about financial troubles and kids being the things that cause marriage troubles, put together a few pieces of furniture with your spouse and that will try any marriage. But we got it done. The wife and me estimate we have put together at least 20-30 pieces of furniture during our marriage- it doesn't get any easier. Things are at least better in the fact we were still talking after putting together two pieces of furniture

Blogging- I was going to get up and plug this in last night while it was fresh, but didn't. I blog for a few reasons, not sure which is the main one. I would like a written account of what I do, how I felt when it happened. I would like to look back at the commitments I have made to others or myself and how I lived up to them. Sort of like a journal, but I have too bad of handwriting to make a handwritten journal. I would like to look back at what I do on a daily basis and see if it is important;noteworthy; or if I am just spinning my wheels frittering my life away; If I am keeping up my commitments to my family; if I am digging a dark hole for myself- I tend to do that at times when I have too much time on my hands- sort of a dark mood I get in to and cant crawl out of easily. I am pretty much an asshole seeing life in poor me mode. I am doing better staying out of this mood because I am staying busy with the boat and work...... What is the saying about idle hands do the work of the devil??

Saturday, July 12, 2008


What a hell of a week. I always wondered why people did not keep up their blogs, and I committed to update mine regularly, but work happens and I have had no time. This week was exhausting; 16 hour days, running from morning til night. My wife and kids thought I had dropped off the face of the earth. I have only been anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half away from home this week, but I might as well have been in Alaska. Wife is mad at "the man" for working me to death.

Next week is busy , but more of a normal schedule- off to St. Louis for a few days

Had an expensive day today. Broke down and bought a Sony LCD tv and PS3, and a tv stand, and a bookshelf. Spending money (that I dont have) like that gives such a rush- filling a void that I can't quite identify, but it is totally emotional. Unfortunately my wife and I are so in tune that we don't have that safety stop of the other spouse being the voice of reason. One way we justified this is that now we can rearrange our living room the way we wanted it. The old 300lb tv took up a whole corner, and the new one is alot more streamlined.

I have to work tomorrow night, training a group for next week. Sucks, because I dread it all day, plus I have some things I need to add to the training slides.

Well, wifes going to bed so I am going to follow suit.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Why we chase

I am not a particularly driven type of person- Really not a type A, but not a solid type B. I have been stressing out about a project for work all weekend, procrastinated, determined not to give up MY time for the man. So after a sleepless night, I woke up at the BCOD(Butt Crack of Dawn) and started banging out drivel that might be adequate to meet the DEFINED needs of the project. I have a love hate relationship with work. I want to tell the taskmasters( assigners of much work- doers of very little) to take a flying leap, but the survivor inside me tells me to shut the hell up and do the work- path of least resistance. I do get some satisfaction from completing work, but to me almost no work I do seems completely finished.... HI HO, off to work I go....

Sunday, July 6, 2008

"You Are the Master of Every Situation"

So that is how it starts. Inspiration delivered in the sweet embrace of a chinese confection, from a vietnamese restaurant.

First the standard - semi-vague stats. I am a 30 something married almost 15 years to the love of my life(more on that later), with two boys,(more to come) one pre-teen and the other pre-ten. My wife has a blog on blogspot- good luck guessing which one. We live in the suburbs of Houston- NW side. Grew up here but spent some time away while in the Army, came back, then moved to Austin, now back , living 4 miles from where I spent my 8-18 years.

Jobwise, Been with the same company for 10 years this year, started entry level- moved in to management early, and have held a variety of roles. The last several years I have traveled 3-5 days a week for my job- But not doing the exciting "I am consultant, listen to me tell you how to run your business" bs or making the big deal kind of work. Just an operations guy managing an office spread across the midwest United States.

Now for the non-standard semi-vague stats- I am a born again Christian who probly needs to be Born Again again. I consider myself Christian but lack the will to lead a good Christian life. Top sins, hmm ; thats a whole 'nother post. I struggle with doing the right thing when presented with the easy thing.

I am easily amused, but persistently confused.

I never lack for good ideas, but seem to always lack on the desire/means/will to execute on them.

People say I seem like a pretty smart feller , but I really am not sure where that comes from. I think I have brief periods of very semi-brilliance, followed by long periods of "duh"

Well this is a start for me. I hope that you find this blog interesting if not thought provoking. I think the next post I will elaborate on a few of the previously mentioned items, as well as a thought or two on why I think Dubai is the New Babylon from Revelations. Maybe a comment or two on the election , and then a little bit on an upcoming vacation.