New Shoes in the Rain

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


Greetings, my friends.  I haven't posted recently because, well, I've been just a little busy, what with the new job and such.  But I have a few minutes to post some assorted thoughts and observations, so here goes....

I'm in week three of the new job, for those of you scoring at home.  I've told a couple of my friends that I've received more useful training thus far in this position than in my last two jobs combined, and that spans about eleven years.  While I won't mention my new employer's name or business, I will say that they're a fast growing organization, and the thought and effort that has gone into the onboarding and orientation process has been impressive thus far.  I was in the Dallas area all of last week and will return there with all who recently joined the organization for the remainder of the week following Memorial Day.

Speaking of Dallas, I hadn't been in that area for more than a day in a long time (not counting a few times when I had an airline connection there).  It continues to grow exponentially.  I was in the Las Colinas area of Irving, and hadn't visited that part of the Dallas-Fort Worth area in some time.  Impressive.

I think I've finally found a good balance with my Twitter feed.  For some time I "followed" a number of folks who write or comment in the media about politics and national affairs.  And while this was informative, I found it a little frustrating, since so much of what was mentioned or reported was of a negative nature.  I've pared down the number of such contacts whom I follow, and instead have gone more heavily into folks who comment about baseball, and others who are simply humorists of one kind or another.  Twitter is interesting, but can be overwhelming if you let it be.  I don't use it as a communication mechanism between myself and actual friends and acquaintances (that's what e-mail and messaging are for, in my view), so it's morphed into more of an entertainment and light information vehicle.  I like looking at my feed and smiling and chuckling, rather than grimacing or thinking to myself, "What?!?"

Been to a Burger King lately?  I noticed yesterday that they're dropping their longtime slogan, "Have it your way."  Not sure why, they are still the champs of getting odd orders right among the "traditional" fast food sellers.

Television really is the vast wasteland, now that several shows my wife and I watch have either ended for the season (the 'season finale' is a big deal now, since shows often follow a continuing story arc throughout a given season) or have been cancelled.  Honestly, one wonders if network executives aren't throwing darts at a board to decide what we, or some of us, will want to watch.  And I noticed there's now going to be ANOTHER singing contest show.  At this rate my desk will be entered in such a contest in the next two years, and will have a fighting chance to win!

Quick home appliance story:  I think I had mentioned in this space that we had some struggles with our washer and dryer, which we have owned for eight years.  The strange burning odor that our washer was producing (and would not reproduce for a technician, EVER) finally got the best of my wife, who does most of our laundry (whereas I do most of the yard work and cooking, so that's a decent balance), as she proclaimed that she was "over" the whole issue.  On a lark we were out last Saturday at a seller of appliances and such and decided that we ought to go ahead and buy a new set, opting for units with lots of features we had not previously had.

So the delivery was set for the following Sunday, which worked out great, as I had returned from my business trip on Friday.  On Saturday I listed our old machines on Craigslist, just to see if I could sell , and got a single response.  I explained the whole scenario to him about the odor issue and what we had done to correct it.  Luckily for us, his dryer had ceased to operate the night before, so he was highly motivated.  Ultimately, that gentleman came to the house, driving a borrowed pickup truck and with a sturdy friend in tow, and bought those machines for what we agreed was a fair price.

Delivery occurred as scheduled the following day, but the dryer was inoperative when it was connected, so the seller had to reorder and the replacement will be delivered on Friday of this week.  We used the washer for one load and hung the laundry on a rack to dry.  The new machine spun out so thoroughly that it didn't take long at all for any of the clothes to air-dry.


That's a pretty good summary of the week that was, at least since my last post.  By the time you hear from me again, I will likely be back in Dallas.  So have a good week and a good holiday weekend, too.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

All new

Greetings to all....brief entry this morning, as I've just started a new position this week, and was able to steal a few minutes to post a few thoughts.

First off, it's nice to be working again.  I had a total of five weeks off after departing from my last position, and I certainly welcomed the break for many reasons.  What did I do with my time?  Well, let's see.  I completed several yard projects, which made my wife very happy.  I got an extended chance to play with two of my grandchildren, one of whom was pretty upset that I wasn't going to be around as much starting this week.  I got some extra rest.  I did some volunteer work.  I attended two Cincinnati Reds baseball games.  I played some weekday golf, which is always a treat.  I fought a respiratory disorder, which is still hanging on a bit.

But I had this break with the knowledge that I'd begin a new career chapter this past Monday, so the time really went by quickly.

In keeping with my past habits, I won't talk about work here, as there are almost always corporate policies that prohibit such online expressions.  But suffice it to say that this position, while somewhat related to my past jobs, is something of a departure for me in terms of the company's business.  The company with whom I'm now associated has been recognized by numerous business and industry publications as being among the fastest-growing in their respective categories.

Luckily for me, I also will not be traveling all that much, except on a more localized level.  After all of the overnight air travel I've done over the past ten years, I don't consider a two hour drive to be "travel" in and of itself!

So this week I, along with six new teammates, have been in initial orientation and training.  We all go to company headquarters next week and the week following Memorial Day for the full corporate training and orientation experience.  That will occur deep in the heart of Texas.

In a nutshell, that's what new on my end.  Hope it's been a good week for you, too.