Archive for the ‘Full of Crap’ Category

Five Year Work Anniversary

Monday, March 7th, 2016

Five years ago today, I started working for the United States Courts. This morning, the boss presented me with a service certificate and a service pin.

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I’m under a social networking policy, so I won’t discuss the specifics of my job here, but I will say that it has been the most rewarding job I have ever had.

Publix was my favorite job of all time. I LOVED working with the people and customers. And, I loved the fact that when I clocked out, my day was over. No taking work home or worrying about how much I didn’t get done. If I could keep my hours, pay, and benefits, I would go back to Publix without thinking twice.

Mercer was the best group of people that I worked with.  The eager law students and the faculty and staff were wonderful. But the politics and shenanigans were draining. I also felt that I was part of a pyramid scheme — part of an culture that convinced second-tier students to incur massive amounts of debt for a degree that may or may not pay off for them.  Sure, I just did information technology, but I was still a part of that.

Working for the federal judiciary has been the most rewarding.  I’m not only talking about rewarding in pay and benefits. It has certainly been rewarding in those areas, but I also feel a sense that I make somewhat of a difference in the world.  There have been many days that I do some little task in preparation for a moment that becomes part of the evening news. From court cases to naturalization ceremonies, it is great to be a part of something that matters.

My Highlight Reel

Saturday, February 15th, 2014

As a disclaimer here on the blog, I should warn people that this blog is basically a highlight reel of my life. If you are comparing your “behind the scenes” moments to my “highlight reel”, you might think our lives are perfect.

Our lives are far from perfect, but I don’t blog about the bad stuff. You won’t find anything here about how I ran over a pedestrian, the challenges we’ve had to conquer to sell our old house, health issues, stress at work, the many many family issues we’ve faced, etc.  Occasionally, I make opinionated posts about schools, retailers, or politics, but overall I try to stay positive here.

For example, I may mention that I find mugshots of relatives, but I’m not going to post the details of who/what/when/where/why.  It’s not a family secret or anything, I just don’t air my laundry in this public setting.  When I look back at this blog, I like to remember things like date nights with Mackenzie or marathons I’ve conquered, not which relative’s body I signed for in the emergency room after he overdosed.

By the way, I could write many more posts if I focused on the negativity. Bottom line, I have just as many issues (if not more) than you do.

Protected: Priorities

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

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Fundraising

Saturday, March 16th, 2013

There are a few things that I dread as a parent of elementary school age kids. There are the PTA programs with the teachers who don’t want to be there and the annoying songs. There are the kid birthday parties, which is perhaps the biggest parent competition on the planet.. But perhaps the absolute worst thing is fundraising.  I HATE fundraising. I refuse to do fundraising. I will not sell a discount card, cookie dough, wrapping paper, a box of donuts, magazines, candles, etc.

On the other hand, I will usually not buy any of that stuff either.  I will occasionally purchase a magazine if it is something I would have purchased anyway and the price is more or less in line with other subscription options.  Last year I bought Mackenzie a subscription to Highlights magazine from a friend, not because the friend’s child was selling it, but because I had wanted to get Mackenzie a subscription already. She loves “Hidden Pictures”, which she does in her gifted class and also on my iPhone.  Also, each year I purchase four boxes of girl scout cookies from a colleague: 2 boxes of Samoas and 2 boxes of Thin Mints. Kimberlie and I share the Samoas and sometimes the Thin Mints make it home.  Aside from that, count me out.

I don’t mean to sound greedy. I happily will donate to organizations that I feel are worthy.  I volunteer my time and expertise with a local child cancer charity. And, if I happen to get something in return for my donation, then so be it.  For example, I have the opportunity to win a house for donating $100 to St. Jude.

Most school fundraiser materials simply get trashed on arrival, however, having a child in a little league organization brings on quite the selling pressure.  When Tristan played t-ball, the park sold BBQ tickets for a local restaurant. For the last two years with Mackenzie, it has been discount cards for a variety of fast food restaurants.  Each parent is given X number of cards and told to bring back the money by a certain date.

Here’s my dilema, with this and most other fundraisers: Both Kimberlie and I are prohibited by our employers from soliciting at work. (Of course, it’s not enforced — hence the girl scout cookies, but the policy is still in place).  Both of my kids are too young for me to allow them to go door-to-door, especially in Macon. In fact, most places discourage doing that anyway.  As far as social groups, we go to church in the neighboring county that we will be relocating to soon — quite a drive from the restaurants featured on the card. My parents live in the opposite direction, but still quite far from the eateries. Kimberlie’s father has a ball player at the same park, so that’s not an option. My other friends consist of mostly runners — who are usually not chasing fast food deals.  On top of all of that, both of us are introverts and are uncomfortable approaching people to sell them something that I myself don’t believe is a good value.

Here’s a novel idea: If the ballpark needs to earn an extra twenty dollars per player to sustain itself, just charge an extra twenty dollars per player. If the school library needs money to buy new books, just ask parents for donations.  Books are cheaper on Amazon than book fairs anyway.  If the PTA needs money for a new playground, again just ask for a freaking donation. If my child needs to go on a field trip, just charge me what it will cost.

Next Saturday, I’ll once again piss off the team mom when she comes around collecting money and I had her the cards back instead. “They said we couldn’t take the cards back this year”, she will say. I heard that same line last year, and it’s not really my problem.  “You know you could have just bought them yourself?”, another parent will point out. Then I’ll piss them off when I suggest the ball park simply charge more. If they can’t afford to pay a few dollars more for t-ball, then they probably can’t afford to eat out enough to justify purchasing the discount card.

Ten Life Rules

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

Below are ten of my life rules.  This list is not all inclusive.

  1. It’s better to under promise and over deliver, than to over promise and under deliver.
  2. Blood makes you related, loyalty makes you family. You have the right to choose the people you want to keep in your life.
  3. Always put the shopping cart back.
  4. If you don’t have the money for it, don’t buy it (except for mortgages).
  5. Never lend money. People think you’re nice when you lend money but when you want it back they think you’re an asshole. If someone really needs money, simply give it to them – no strings attached. Conversely, never borrow money.
  6. Don’t make fun of people for things they cannot change. (Fat/lazy people ARE fair game.)
  7. Wear your seat belt. Always.
  8. When a child hands you a toy phone, always answer it.
  9. Don’t put anything on the internet that you don’t want the entire world to know.
  10. Learn when to say no.

Stick Em Up

Sunday, January 20th, 2013

I am SICK of hearing about gun-control. Absolutely sick of it. So I’m going to take this time to offer my opinion of the whole thing.

First of all, I’m not going to discuss whether or not I possess weapons, how many weapons I possess, etc. I will simply say that currently, I feel that my family is adequately secure and protected at home and almost everywhere else that we go.

After the school shooting, I read all of the other things people think we can throw money at to avoid future catastrophes: tighter video game regulation, better school security, mental health services, autism awareness, evacuation plans, etc. First of all, we CAN NOT spend ourselves out of our problems. Why can’t everyone just accept the fact that monsters live among us and sometimes fate causes us to cross paths with them? If someone is deranged and willing to die for their cause, there is nothing we can do to prevent it.  You just can’t fix some things. Trying to just causes more problems. The war on drugs causes more deaths than the drugs themselves. The war on terrorism has killed more people then the terrorists ever will. People just need to realize that, like the bumper sticker says, shit happens.  Government can’t fix everything.

I agree the Sandy Hook situation is horrible and i would be devastated if it were my kids. I don’t know what the gunman’s mission was and I’m certainly not excusing anything he did, but the only suggestions I see from people are to spend money on the various things I listed above. From a financial standpoint, I’m just saying its stupid to make laws and commit money to things when people are emotional and grieving. We already owe $16 trillion, most of which was spent on wars we got into because we were emotional over some brown people crashing into our tall buildings. The only way you could prevent this type of activity is to completely eliminate freedom for all of us and I don’t think we’re willing to do that.

Putting armed guards in all of the schools is foolish. That would cost billions of dollars and save perhaps 10 lives per decade? Why not get much more bang for our buck and throw that money at cancer research and save countless more lives.

As for the recent gun control arguments, I have no problem with people having weapons in their homes, vehicles, or workplaces to protect themselves (and in some cases, their property). I get offended sometimes when I see them out in public. Yesterday, we were at a restaurant in a nice part of a city that was recently named one of the top cities to raise a family in America.  Sitting near me, chewing on a fried chicken leg, was a overweight guy with a handgun on his hip. Due to his physical condition (probably due to eating said chicken legs) and other clues, it was obvious that he was not law enforcement.

Here’s my take on it:

  1. Mentally ill people should not have guns.
  2. Paranoia is a mental disease.
  3. You don’t have a weapon on your hip in a restaurant in a very safe part of town unless you are paranoid.

I understand that he probably felt that he was exercising his 2nd amendment right and silently making an anti-Obama statement, but I think he should have the common sense to limit himself as to how far he should take those rights. I’m exercising my first amendment right with this blog, but I have the common sense to limit what I say about people because if I wanted I could do some serious damage to myself and others.

So why shouldn’t the Average Joe have a weapon at a restaurant? Because you never know what situation will cause them to want to be a hero, or when his testosterone or adrenaline levels will skyrocket, or when he will simply have a bad moment and overreact.

I’m also sick of hearing people argue over whether a particular weapon qualifies as an assault weapon.  To me, all rifles are “assault” rifles. It’s not like they were made to shine your shoes, wipe your ass, or give you a massage. They were produced to assault. As far as a ban on assault weapons, since I didn’t get shot when assault weapons were banned in the past and I haven’t gotten shot since the ban ended, I suppose either way it plays out is fine with me.

Finally, a hot political issue that I could care less about.  And by the way, regardless of the crap you see on Facebook, Obama is not going to come take your weapons.

To my 15-year-old self:

Monday, November 12th, 2012

Dear 15-year old self:

I know this is an awkward stage in your life, so I thought I might send you a quick note to help things along.  First of all, it all goes uphill from here. Trust me.  Look around at all of those people living it up in high school — dating, partying, socializing, getting knocked up, etc?  Well, half of them won’t even finish high school and for many of the others, high school is going to be their biggest accomplishment in life.  Many of your classmates will end up in jail or working multiple minimum wage jobs.  Several will end up drug addicts and it may seem unthinkable now, but several of your classmates will end up dead. You, however, have way better things ahead of you.  High school is simply a step to get there.  It may seem like a big deal now, but don’t sweat it.  And after graduation you won’t even see 99% of those people – ever again!

So about that 36 average you had after the first six weeks of civics . . .  Well, ironically you’ll end up working for the government and Article III of the constitution will impact your life more than you can imagine.  Don’t worry about being single and never dating in high school. It’s just a distraction anyway.  One day, you’ll meet the most perfect person at the moment that you least expect it.  It will be amazing – I promise!  Besides, most of those girls you’ll crush on don’t end up looking so good after pregnancy takes its toll on them. And one more piece of advice on girls: they DO fart.

You know all those times when you wonder how your kids turn out?  Let me just say that they turn out pretty freaking awesome. Your son will be creative, imaginative and have a heart of gold and your daughter will be the most beautiful and smartest little girl you can imagine. She will melt your heart and blow your mind daily.  She will look just like you, but your son will act just like you (and you’ll deserve it).

Be nicer to your mother.  She won’t be around forever. And when she’s gone, you’ll miss her more than you ever thought. And while you’re at it, be nicer to your sister too.

Remember that movie that just came out — Forrest Gump — and how he invested in this “fruit company” called Apple Computer and then he never had to work again?  Do that.  Put every dime you come across into AAPL stock.  In less than 20 years they will take over the computing industry, the music industry, the film industry, and the cellular phone industry.  Bottom line: you’ll never have to worry about money either.

When you get that part-time job, spend less time working and more time enjoying life.  I know you’ll think that $4.25 an hour is a lot of money, but you’ll make much much more when you get older.  Start eating better and exercising now, because it will be much harder to make the change later. Get out and volunteer. It seems stupid, but once you try it, you’ll be rewarded in ways other than financial.  Quit worrying about what people think about you. Stop being shy and talk to people.

But most of all, just know that there are better days ahead. Being 15 sucks, but it’s just a step along the way.

Sincerely,

Your 33 year old self.

Football Sucks

Saturday, September 8th, 2012

I hate football.

I wear a GC&SU shirt because I went to GC&SU. I wear a Mercer shirt because I went to Mercer. I know way too many people who wear a UGA/Florida/GA Tech/LSU/etc. shirt because they went to Wal-Mart.

Football is just a bunch of fat American men dressed up as Transformers.

Did I mention I hate football?

Protected: The 2012 Election

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

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5 Things to do Before I turn 35

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

So, I just found this old post: Ten Things to Do Before I Turn 30.

I thought it would be good to start a new list.  Perhaps a smaller list.  Just five items. And since I’m a good ways out, the goals will be much larger goals.

  • Get this house ready to sell
  • Drop my weight back to 165
  • Run a marathon in less than 4 hours
  • Have another child
  • Become a millionaire

Let’s just say one of those probably won’t happen.  Any guesses which?