Little sis Sarah had her official commencement yesterday! Of course, me being the responsible big brother, I completely forgot my camera. :-(

Still, I have plenty of pics of her...which gives me the freedom to choose the one I like best & post it here.

She's going to Iowa State with & rooming her sister, Erin. Her friend, Dana, is also heading up to Cyclone country so it sounds like she'll have a good, familiar start to college! She's already talking about what she's going to do for extra-curricular activities & I advised her to make sure she finds something that will keep her busy but doesn't involve the same stuff she'll be studying.

Of course, that's pretty generic advice. She listed me in her graduation announcement as one of the most influential people in her life (isn't she sweet?) & I promise I've given her better words of wisdom. She's got a good head on her shoulders, so I'm not too worried about her decisions. I see my job as just looking out for anyone who might not have completely altruistic intentions!

Well, congratulations to my Imoto on her recent graduation! She's got a great future ahead of her & as much as I'll miss her in Hapkido, I'm happy to know she's taking the next step into a great life.

Here's a cute pic of an even cuter graduate!

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We Need A Reason?

FoxNews is conducting a business poll asking: "Should the U.S. stop funding
the United Nations if it's proven the organization is shipping
anti-American books to North Korea?"

Really, do we NEED a reason to stop funding the UN? That question could
just easily have "...if the temperature is above absolute zero" as a
qualifier & I'd vote "yes". We're talking about a failed organization of
countries - many of whom are not our allies in any way - that has no
credibility throughout the world. Honestly, Saddam Hussein was defying
various UN sanctions...which are really no better than paper airplanes in
terms of the fear they inspire. I'd rather we quit footing the bill for 1/5
of the UN's operational costs & put it back into our allies - Israel,
England, South Korea - which will do both them & us some good.

Honestly, what does the UN accomplish? One corrupt Secretary General after
another & one communist country (or "former" communist country) using their
veto to block any action in which they have a contrary interest (Russia,
I'm talking to you...the people in bed with Iran since the Shah was
deposed). We'd be best served by booting those ingrates/obstructionists
(remember WWII & the Cold War, guys?) & sticking it out with our true
allies. Anyone think China has any concern for another country besides the
PRC? Guess again. They're only our ally if you're a certain former
president who provided missile technology secrets.


Hey, You Asked For It!

Sure, far be it from me to say they had this coming (though, they honestly

The people of Venezuela, following the example set by the regicidal French
when they elected Napoleon, voted their rights away in demonstration of how
foolish people can be with their freedom (Honorable mention to those who
vote Democrat). It's never a smart decision to give a leader nearly
unlimited power to influence all aspects of life but that's exactly what
the Venezuelan people did by putting Hugo Chavez in office.

Now, they're demonstrating in the streets because this "benevolent"
dictator, the same one who had the nerve to call the president "the devil",
decided not to renew the broadcast licence of anti-government RCTV. Of
course, if you did something similar here in the USA, we'd have to shut
down ABC, CBS, NBC & NYT (just to name a few) - all of which have
demonstrated a lack of concern for national security by leaking documents
or providing (at the very least) a sympathetic voice to our terrorist

For all you leftists out there claiming we've lost freedoms & "BushCo" is a
malevolent dictatorship, keep in mind that you're able to be out there,
spouting the vile accusations of decreased freedom, without being carted
away in the middle of the night. Yes, you should have the right to say what
you want - wrong thought it may be - because freedom of speech is still
intact. The fact you openly question freedom's safety & suffer no
consequences, well, other than being considered a looney toon, demonstrates
exactly on which side of history you'll find yourselves...



Week In Review

Actually a productive week this time around. Let's take a look at what was

1) I ran TKD & HKD on Monday in Atkins. It was tough because our senior HKD
student had to go to MN for a family emergency (Sorry, I'm not giving
details out of respect for the man).

TKD went really well with few exceptions. One kid was pretty disrespectful
(a couple others just misbehaving) to a senior belt & I had to come down on
them kind of hard. I don't enjoy it but it's necessary. Master Rion trusted
me to run classes for him in his absence & I consider any disrespect in the
dojang as aimed towards him. That simply will not be tolerated.

Another kid accidentally stepped on another's hand. Granted, the stepper
should have been watching out a bit but the stepee has a history of horsing
around & probably walked (crawled, scurried) right into it. I talked to
both of them. Problem solved.

We worked on regular techniques in HKD & switched to defense against punch
(knifehand armbar) for the last 10 minutes of class. Everyone did well & no
injuries. Not a bad class.

2) Went to Des Moines on Tuesday for the new tattoo. It turned out just
excellent! Matt came up with a great design that looked even better in
application. I spent most of the day there, bought the new book "The Reagan
Diaries" (great read so far!) & had dinner at Applebees with my brother &
his friend. Cursed the cost of gas as it took $20 round trip. #@&*$!

3) Had a job interview on Wednesday afternoon for the open Load Planner
position. Apparently, my boss & the director of Air Freight think I'd be a
great fit for it but my closest competitor (& good friend) is rivaling me
for the position. She really wants it, I could go either way. Knowing that,
I'd rather she gets it & ends up where she wants. I'm not long for this
company at the rate things are going...

The interview went very well. I was asked some direct questions & threw
some back myself. I didn't do most of the talking & Chris (rival) said it
was the same for her. Not sure if that means one of us will get an offer or
if they're going outside the company. She could definitely do the job well.
I don't doubt I could do just as well but she wants the job & motivation is

4) I told my brother I'm ready to move as soon as possible (explaining why
item #3 isn't so important to me) & he said he'll need a roommate before I
do. He has a friend who has expressed interest but we don't know when the
guy can move in. If he can by July, that's fine by me. It may get to the
point where we need to go ahead & have me move & I'll send him a couple
hundred a month until he gets a roomie. I'd hate having to do that, but I
need to get to SC & get this move over with. I don't want to be stuck here

In The News

1) Jordan Sparks won on American Idol to become the 6th season idol...

Amazingly, I still don't care.

2) 80% of Muslims surveyed believe that suicide bombings are "never
justified". 13% believe they are justified in defense of Islam & 7%
apparently declined to answer. Gee, can you guess which groups we need to
watch? I'm guessing the 1-in-5 of Muslims who didn't agree they were never
justified. So much for a "religion of peace".
As one pundit, Irshad Manji, put it: "...saying that it's OK to engage in
suicide bombings to defend a peaceful religion is rather like saying that
it's OK to have premarital sex to defend virginity. It makes absolutely no

I couldn't agree more, Irshad.

3) A sex-slave ring was busted in Minneapolis,MN this week. Apparently, a
great number of illegal aliens were involved. Activists, thinking this is
like a double-negative in grammar, are appalled that there would be any
involvement from the Federal government in this issue. The usual cries of
racism by protestors are meant to eclipse the fact that these people are,
in-fact, here illegally & broke laws (14th & 15th Amendments, anyone?) that
have to do with slavery.

Well, I guess slavery is OK with leftists as long as you're here illegally.

4) Speaking of illegal aliens, there's a new bill in Congress to provide
the Democrat party with about 12 to 20 million new liberal voters by way of
a comprehensive amnesty bill. Now, I will grant this bill has a provision
for deporting workers that have committed a crime but how is this going to
happen? It's the law now & it's enforced as well as last call at the
Kennedy compound.

I'm not as concerned about the imminent destruction of the Republican party
- the Senators & Representatives on the right side of the aisle have been
doing that for about eight years now. What does concern me is rewarding
illegal behavior. This bill would tell people that what they've been doing
all these years is OK. I encourage people to come to this country, legally,
like my grandparents did. If anything proves this is the Land of
Opportunity, those great Americans did so. If you want in & come here
legally, I'll welcome you with open arms. If you come here illegally, I'll
welcome you with a kick in the behind to help you back across the border.

They Say This Like It's A Bad Thing

A branch of al-Qaeda is pushing the jihad message again - despite the
obvious association they have with the "religion of peace" - because the
people of France actually elected a pro-American president. See the quote
below for the "peaceful" view these terrorists have towards the French.
I'll admit a lack of love for the French - they simply haven't been the
staunchest allies in the past. Simply put, Chirac did little to further
amity between our two nations. As far back as the Reagan administration, I
can remember France being an obstacle to U.S. interests.

That's not to say I would wish harm on them. Certainly, they have shown, by
majority vote, they do support an alliance with the USA at least on some
counts. I figure if al-Qaeda can't stand them, France must have it's share
of decent people. I've been there three times (Nice, Marseilles, Cannes) &
enjoyed it well enough - except for Marseilles...YUCK!!! - & the people
treated me with courtesy. I reason, based on those two things, they deserve
another shot at me making nice. It's tough to do that (Chirac & Libya have
left me a bit angry with them) but if they're willing to elect a
pro-American, that means they've got decency in them.

Holy War

An Al Qaeda cell group is threatening to wage holy war against France for
voting the "wrong way" — in electing pro-American President Nicolas
Sarkozy. The Internet posting says Sarkozy is a — "crusader-Zionist ...
who thirsts for the blood of Muslim children, women and the elderly, and
yearns to carry out the mission of his masters in the White House."

It vows to wage what it calls "a bloody jihad attack and a murderous war
in the heart of Sarkozy's capital."

The above courtesy of www.foxnews.com


Here It Is...

OK, you asked for it (Harvey). So here's the tattoo. I can't do it justice (YOU ever try taking a pic of the back of your leg? It's tough!) but Matt, the artist, not my brother, designed it & slapped it on there in 1 1/2 hours.

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On the "water" side is the Korean word for HKD & on the "fire" side is the Korean word for TKD. On the bottom is Korean for "Indomitable Spirit" - Something I believe is important & difficult to realize.

Yeah, there was pain, but if you don't expect that, life will have a sharp learning curve. :-)


Fresh Ink

To commemorate my achievement of black belt in both TKD (about 1 1/2 years
ago) & HKD (recently) I've decided to get another tattoo.

Yes, I have one already.

Sure, I know there's the "it'll turn into a smudge" crowd & of course the
group that thinks every guy with a tattoo says, "Hey baby, wanna see my
tattoo?". Well, my first one (12 years ago) hasn't & I'm not the kind of
guy who would get a tattoo to show it off & remotely think I could "score
chicks"...which is not to say I wouldn't if it would help! ;-) No, like my
first one - which is a perfect reflection of me, if you know me - the
second has a perfectly good reason behind it.

With that in mind, I had to find a good place to get this done. Since I'm
not in Spain like I was for the first I asked a friend in TKD who has a
number (that number would be A LOT!) of tattoos where he'd recommend. He
came right back with Skin Kitchen based in Des Moines,IA. I e-mailed them
the design ideas I've been mulling over for a few months (Hey! This has to
be thought through.) & I think we have it nailed down pretty well. I'm
going there this week to put pen to paper - as it were...

One side note: I think if you're going to do something like this, THINK.
IT. THROUGH. Getting something placed on your body just because it looks
cool at the time doesn't make sense. That "Hello Kitty" logo on your butt
might look cute when you do it spur-of-the-moment but I guarantee you'll
have a time explaining that one to the grandkids. There's nothing
(necessarily) wrong with getting He-Man painted on your chest but there had
better be a good reason for doing it before it's stuck on there like a
kid's crayon on a dining room wall.

So, my design is pretty decent.I'm not skilled as an artist...but photoshop
is my buddy in this case! It'll be interesting to see what the artist
actually managed to draw based on what I sent him. It'll be about a
three-hour session - which includes refining the design - so there will
probably be two hours or so in the chair.


Canon Rapid Fire Mode!

So, I'm sitting there with nothing to do on a day off & thought to myself,
"I'll bet there's a way to get that camera of mine to take photos faster".
I mean, we're talking about a 10MP Canon A640 with all sorts of fancy
things you can do like postcards, panoramics, movies w/sound, etc. etc.
Heck, for $300 & change, I can take a photo fast, right?

Oh yeah, you bet your sweet bippy you can! MWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

You have to reformat the card - which can be done in camera - & dump your
pics to a PC before doing it, but this little trick WORKS! Once you
reformat to low image density (unless you're blowing up posters, you're
fine), set the camera to shutter speed priority (click of the dial) & turn
on continuous drive, you're in business!

The result? You can take about two (2) pics a second by holding the shutter
down. The images are saved fast enough to make it look like choppy
animation. Supposedly, Canon has a high-speed memory card that will store
images even faster but I think the current configuration suits my needs
just fine. With the settings above, you're looking at over 900 photos on a
1GB memory card. I'd say that'll get the job done for any action shots.

2nd Degree Update

Well, the updates have been made to the ol' 2nd Degree project & we're
lookng pretty good! I actually have the first paper I've ever written with
both a Preamble (sounds kind of "constitutional", doesn't it?) & multiple
sections divided by topic.

Yeah, I'm pretty proud of this one.

The English teacher - who apparently noticed my impeccable proliferation of
prose ;-) - was very kind in her review. Yes, she is an English teacher,
so there were most definitely corrections/ideas to be effected but the
criticism was completely constructive. Being said teacher is a liberal, it
pains me to say that, yes, I wish there were more teachers like her. ha ha

The new essay is ten pages long, one-page Preamble included, and of all my
works this is probably second best (the #1 being an Interpretation of
Literature paper I wrote in college. That was a darn good paper). I think
the suggestion to create a separate opening allowed me to define clearly
what a teacher is without mucking up the introduction with a bunch of "I
think" phrases.

Yes, we all know what I think is dearly important to all of you, but that's
not the point of this paper!

This essay is the first step to second degree for me. I still have to
choreograph a form with attackers & endure an even more rigorous test than
the previous one. I've pretty well finished the form & have three of four
volunteers needed. If Master Rion accepts the essay, he will probably be
willing to set a date for the test. I figure I'll need about two weeks to
have practices for the choreographed form, practice my own forms & prepare
my terminology for the test. I'll probably have to run a little bit to keep
my endurance up for sparring & self-defense.

Basically, I'm preparing myself for a butt-whooping!

Taking Over Class

For the next week, anyway. Master Rion is on vacation (probably needing a
break from all of us. ha ha) & I'm going to be running TKD on
Monday/Tuesday (no class on Wednesday/Thursday). Mr. Reif/Mr. Godfrey will
be handling HKD.

We started the first round of "vacation classes" tonight. TKD went pretty
well. The fact that five of eight students were black belts sure didn't
hurt things. I worked them fairly hard & accomplished everything we set out
to do. Paddle kicking went particularly well with many of them showing good
control & excellent power. I spent most of my time for one steps &
self-defense working with the black belts on some basic/intermediate HKD

HKD was great! Mr. Godfrey showed us "leapfrogs", which are like jump
rolling falls with two students. As the name implies, one student is the
jumper & the other the jumpee. They alternate down the line & it's pretty
fun stuff. I got the hang of the stand-up rolling falls but sucked at the
reverse ones. I guess practice will make those better. Towards the end of
class we worked on basic combinations. One-Two into a focus mitt & the last
was a power shot to the knee/outer thigh. It was good kicking bag work.
Since I don't have much exposure to the Muay Thai style, I need some work
getting that insert in with conviction. TKD relies on a "snapping" motion
that utilizes the hip & knee to strike with the end of the foot. In Muay
Thai, the snapping motion is not as exaggerated & there is a stepping
motion to open the hips & deliver tons of power with the shin. Knowing one
can make it difficult to break habit & work with the other.

Hopefully, we can keep the momentum going in Master Rion's (well-deserved)
absence & have a great week come Monday!

Coke: Ice Cold Communism

Coca-Cola has offically gone on the Communist list.

Why, do you ask?

Well, when you're used to paying $0.75 for a nice, refreshing 20oz. bottle
of Coke Zero & you come in to work just to discover your soft drink of
choice has experienced a price hike of 66.7% - something even the oil
companies wouldn't jam you with - it tends to piss in your Wheaties a
little bit.

I REFUSE to pay $1.25 for a Coke out of a vending machine when it has cost
$0.75 for the last five (5) years. I could have lived with $1.00 & I know I
wouldn't have complained (Pepsi drinkers have been sucking it up for over
five years, so I can handle it). But if the numbskulls who gave us New Coke
think any sane person is paying that much for a icy-cold beverage, they'd
better stop & smell the stuff they're shoveling. I can drink water (& do
quite often, thanks) for free.

Here's some math for you, Coke fiends....

4 Coke Zero @ $0.75/bottle = $3.00

0 Coke Zero @ $1.25/bottle = Zero dollars & no sense cents.

Guess which you're getting, dummies?

Sarah's Graduating!

Actually, that's not as entirely happy as you might think. My beloved
little sister is moving away to Ames,IA to attend Iowa State University
this fall. Of course, I'm proud she's graduating (just shy of that magical
4.0 - stupid Calculus classes!) & has decided to start college right away.
I'll just miss my imoto when I'm in Hapkido every week.

Fortunately, I'm relieved she's attending classes with her sister, Erin,
who's a sophomore. That'll mean she's got someone looking out for her at
school. Besides, if I were up there she wouldn't have any fun. Any guy who
tries to take advantage of her would be in dire straights, to be sure!
Knowing how college guys are, well, you get the idea why I'm concered.

This will be a big step for her getting out of small-town life & into a
more "worldly" environment. OK, I know it's only 2 hours away & not exactly
"the world" but it's still outside her usual haunts & that counts for

Her graduation party is Saturday, March 26th from noon to 4pm & her
graduation is the next day. Since I work overnights on the weekends (yeah,
how lame is that?), I'm going to be REALLY tired after next weekend with no
sleep. Still, she's my little sister & she's worth the self-imposed bout of
insomnia. :-)


Video Game Violence

A few of us are having a debate on video game violence & what should be done. For the most part, we agree it's a form of "protected speech" but one that should be restricted to minors based on rating.

I, for one, don't think the rating system is fair. In movies, you can show brief nudity & get a PG-13 rating while doing that in a video game would definitely get a Mature ranking. If there's going to be a comparison to movies, shouldn't the system be universal?

Basically, my argument is that it's OK for the product to be out there but the parents need to be sure little Johnny doesn't have access. Yes, he may try to buy the product himself...but honestly, he/she should fear, yes F-E-A-R, the discipline that's coming when they're caught. IMO, parents who are involved in their kids' lives will be able to credibly control the content to which those kids have access.

OK, now say the store sells the kid something. Well, that's entirely different, right? Wrong. The parents need to return the product, talk to the manager & promise swift action if this sort of thing happens again. Legislation isn't the answer, parenting is.

There's already a system in place that prohibits children from buying games of a certain rating. However, much like gun-control laws, it's all worthless paper if nothing is done to give it teeth. In the case of games, the parents need to enforce the law. If the kids think mommy & daddy don't care, they probably don't either.

Overall, I think it comes down to a parenting issue. C'mon, we have lots of laws out there but if we don't teach our children to respect them, who's really to blame when they find themselves on the wrong side of it?

2nd Degree Essay, 1st Class Mistake

Well, I finished the rough draft of the essay & I felt the first 1/2 was kind of weak compared to the second. Thinking I needed an honest evaluation, I decided to let a student at the school review the paper.

The student is also an English teacher...

It's nice to know I write very well (according to her. I'm too humble to EVER say that!) but also a hard cold slap of reality to see so much red ink on my paper after one hour of review.



What The Heck...

Where in the world did my youth go?


New 1st Degee!

I'd like to welcome Mr. Eschen to the ranks of 1st Degree black belts in
TKD! He tested last night, with a broken hand no less, & knocked it out of
the park!

Mr. Lee & I, being 1st Degrees as well, are not qualified to judge at his
test but we were qualified to put Mr. Eschen through his paces to earn his
1st Dan belt!

Believe me, we made him earn every bit of it.

Mr. Eschen mentioned a few places where he thought he could do better, but
that's true for everyone. I think he had as good a test as any I've been a
part of (& I've seen some good ones!). I can't say I've seen a cleaner
break on a reverse kick since I started TKD four years ago. Our new 1st
Degree hits with a level of power you wouldn't expect but the real amazing
thing is the precise contol he exhibits when demonstrating what he can do.

Hey, it gives me something to shoot for! ;-)

Congratulations, Mr. Eschen, on an excellent test. I'm proud to have you as
a fellow 1st Dan & humbled to be considered your equal on any level! Kudos
to Master Rion for taking Mr. Eschen's abilities & focusing them into who
will no doubt be an excellent & dedicated black belt.

Recommended Black Belt

We had Deb Vaughn and Karen Hacke both test for their recommended black
belts this Wednesday night. Both ladies passed with flying colors!

We really worked them hard throughout the test. When it came to the
self-defense & sparring portions, Mr. Lee & I were straight to-the-point
with our attacks. Based on that alone, I'd say they earned it! I'm
especially happy with the self-defense outcome, since both ladies acted
immediately and performed perfectly.

Breaking was different than I expected. Karen surprised herself a little
when her hand shot straight through the first board (palm strike) and her
freshly enervated confidence allowed her to reverse kick the second board
without any difficulty. Deb had some difficulty with the breaks & I
attribute that to no experience - we just haven't worked with her on
breaking. I intend to spend a little time with her on that. No, not so she
can break boards but so she has the confidence to follow through & control
her strikes. The power is there, we just need to focus it.

Terminology was the (other, other, other) part I really took the fight to
Deb. Being a schoolteacher, she shot down every question like a pro &
believe me, I asked her some tough ones.

Congratulations to both ladies for earning their recommended black belts
and to Master Rion for training two well-rounded (in the technical sense,
not shape) students & adding two more capable black belts to his growing


Oral-B Vitality (Sonic)

Purchased At: Target
Cost: $19.95 +tax

This is an excellent product! Honestly, I can't think there's too many
people who would think to post just on the quality of a tooth-scrubbing
device but this little baby deserves it! There was this one stain on a
tooth I just couldn't get rid of: I mean this when I say the dentist
couldn't get this to disappear completely with a good cleaning, so I
figured it was there forever. I'm 32 & have no cavities/fillings, so you
could say I take dental hygiene seriously.

Well, this brush took that stain off (with regular toothpaste) in six days!
The sonic action must be the trick but I'll tell you that stain is gone
like it was never there. If there's no other reason to buy this brush, the
stain-removing quality is completely worth the price tag. I don't know that
I'd ever go back to a regular brush again.

Not only does it come with a charger & have the capacity of a more
expensive electric brush, the head is reasonably-sized with soft bristles
(go ahead & make your joke, Harvey!). The rubber grips make for an
easy-to-hold product that is as close to a "normal" toothbrush feel as any
electric will come. It's comfortable & not weighty in your hand.

The only drawback, if this can be called one, is the extensive charge time:
16 hours before the first use. Now, I don't call that much of a
problem...how urgent a need can you possibly have to brush your teeth?
Yeah, if you do things that make you feel that disgusting, buy a standard
brush, a lot of mouthwash & avoid this product - it's not for you.

I'd call this the first "must buy" I've ever reviewed. Oral-B has a great
product line & this takes it up a notch. Buy this, use it frequently &
enjoy the results!


Hello? Jar Jar Binks...

George Lucas apparently called Spiderman 3 "silly".

Hey, Georgie, you remember that trilogy you recently chucked at Star Wars fans? Yeah, I seem to remember three mediocre films that - had they been the first - would have guaranteed the next set never had a chance.

We also can't fail to mention Jar Jar Binks. Honestly, if Darth Maul (Sidious, Vader, Jigglypuff) had just lopped off that annoying rastafarian-wannabe's head in Episode I, I would have called the movies completely worth it.

So, Mr. Lucas, before you call anything silly please consider that you are responsible for the single most idiotic character concept in this, or any, galaxy. What are you going to do for an encore? Maybe a Jar Jar Binks "Life & Times" series?

Get a grip!

Quick Draw

Oops! I ordered flowers for Mom because I understand there's a certain holiday coming up for Mothers or something. ;-) Unfortunately, Amazon declined to give me the chance to set a shipping date AND put the wrong darn name on the package!

The result?

Well, my brother REALLY enjoyed the lilies I sent him "just because". :-P

Nice move, Amazon!

How About We Start With You?

Some wingnut - that's the only name I can use for someone who calls for the "intelligent" & "humane" massacre of 5.5 billion people - thinks we need to reduce the world's population to one billion people & have cities of no more than 20,000. No word if he's allowing for childbirth or if families will have to move or "be downsized".

Feel free to read the attached article but I can tell you that anyone who calls mass-murder - no matter what their intentions - is simply a bad seed (at best). I can't say for sure but he's probably one of those enviro-whackos who's arrogant enough to think mankind can actually destroy the planet.

Look folks, Earth is an entire planet - a largely self-sustaining ecosystem - that was here long before mankind & will be here probably long after mankind. If the Earth "wanted" us gone, we'd be history. All the talk of global warming, man polluting the world to the point of being uninhabitable, stronger & stronger hurricanes, etc. is pompous enough to assume man has all this untold omnipotence of the Deity.

That's just not the case.

But let's humor our kooky friend & assume, for a minute, that his idea of extreme population reduction murder is a beneficial one. Who do you decide is worth keeping & who should go? How do you implement this oh so elegant "solution" of his? Do we have a free-for-all brawl rivaling Armageddon (survival of the fittest) or just have people volunteer to end their lives (surrender monkeys)?

I can't tell you how this could be done "humanely" or "intelligently" but I can tell you we'd all probably be better off if "Johnny Weeping Willow" decided to lead by example.

Work In Progress

Sorry for the lack of posting. I've been hard at work on my 2nd degree essay & mixing serious/recreational writing is a baaad idea, in my book!

The paper is coming along well. I have a detailed outline I'm putting to good use & the result - so far - is a partially completed rough draft that is four (4) pages long. Now, that doesn't sound like a lot but I'm not even halfway through the outline yet. We're talking about ten (10) pages here!

By comparison, my 1st degree essay was five (5) pages. Both are good topics but the latest requires more analysis & introspection than the first.


Nice Torpedo

I don't normally blog about work - it's just something I like to leave out of my personal site - but I feel compelled to do so after the massive torpedo I just took yesterday.

My boss told me of an opportunity for an Inside Sales position & I had the "interview" yesterday afternoon. Calling it an interview is like saying 2 on 1 is a fair fight. I knew it was shot as soon as the director told me he didn't know I did customer service. That's right, the director - who I would assume should know at the very least what I do at that company - had no earthly idea that I did anything related to customer service.

Oh, here are a few other things I'm lacking:

Not proactive enough. Yeah, he's right. For example, I didn't single-handedly save a major account for another division by stepping in, revamping the order entry & tracking processes. I also didn't take control of the communication issue & improve the customer's confidence.

On that same point I also didn't dedicate excess time to a certain new account that has huge potential growth opportunity. I had nothing to do with a perfect service record that resulted from verballing teams on loads or communicating any & all issues. Not to mention throwing myself into the role of point-of-contact to ensure they were confident in our performance.

I also didn't devise a streamlined process for chain swaps (a big deal in trucking) that would take no less than 250 man-hours out of the process for every six-month chain season. I did explain to the director that this idea - which he called "excellent" & "perfect for our [company's] needs" - was shot down three times: twice by the VP of Ops. He asked who would have shot it down the third time. I looked him right in the eyes & told him he did. Strangely, he didn't seem to believe me (It is the truth).

The fact of the matter is that I'm consistently given the strongest review in my department, am considered the go-to guy (apparently, only within Operations) & step up when I see a potential problem. The issue is that nobody seems to know that other than my boss (& maybe his boss). The above leads me to believe that the company is happy keeping me exactly where I am & will not offer any opportunity for promotion.

In other words, I've realized the worst thing you can be: Irreplaceable instead of Indispensable.

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