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Showing posts from 2016

It's almost over

Good morning to all.  I hope that your holiday celebrations were joyous and safe!

2016 is almost over, thank goodness.  I don't know of another year that I have found so punishing in so many ways.  But let me start this discourse by expressing my sincere gratitude that no one in my family has experienced any major health issues in this tumultuous year.

I don't think I need to replay my own professional challenges in 2016.  After being unexpectedly laid off from my former employer, I was in the career market for more than six frustrating months, but am now working full-time.  So I suppose there is some recompense.

In my last post I mentioned how few Christmas cards we had received this year.  Sadly, a couple of those cards contained news of the death of 1/2 of the couple with whom we correspond.  Both of those who departed this world had experienced health challenges in the months leading up to their deaths, but that does not make it any less jarring.

And we've received end…

A wet Christmas

Happy Christmas Eve to everyone.  Hope that you'll have the opportunity to be with people you love over the next few days!

We're expecting several days of off-and-on rain here in central Kentucky.  Granted, our climate here is usually rather temperate, but a lot of folks, namely my wife and grandchildren, really like to see a white Christmas.  Maybe next year!

I think at this time last year that I noted that we're receiving fewer and fewer Christmas cards.  The trend has continued this year, as it appears we've received eleven thus far.  I was telling a friend not long ago how our mailing list swelled to something close to 60 households a few years ago, after first one and then the other of our children were married, so we gained more extended family.

My theory remains that people rely much more heavily on social media than traditional holiday greetings to say hello, wish others a happy holiday season, and stay in touch.  We're old-fashioned enough that we send out…

Do not adjust your set

Good Friday morning to all of you.  Hope it's not too cold where you are!

Let's start there.  At the ripe old age of 56, I can confirm how much I HATE being cold.  I dislike being hot, have for virtually my whole life, but the hating to be cold is a more recent phenomenon.  After experiencing heart issues some years ago, I noticed how much more affected I was by cold temperatures, indoors or out.  Continues to this day.

Our grandson (the local little guy, not the one in Colorado) is following in his dad's footsteps, or should we say skate tracks, and has been involved in classes designed to teach kids how to play hockey.  He really likes it, too, and we went to the first couple of classes way back to encourage him, but now he routinely asks my wife or me if we are "coming to see me play hockey."  So we do.  Not so bad normally, but this stretch of classes has been held in a rink where there is no spectator area, so we stand at ice level watching.  And freezing.  …

The spirit is willing, but....

Greetings on a rainy Tuesday morning, friends.  We're due to have a day of rain here, and then a couple of days hence, it's gonna be COLD here!

There's an old saying that a gentleman never discusses his ailments, but let me begin by mentioning that I have had a stubborn upper respiratory disorder for more than a couple of weeks.  I feel bad, then improve, then I decline again.  Right now I feel pretty good, but in twelve hours, who knows?  My wife is in what we hope are the final stages, too.

Important to note because here we are, December 6, and we've done very little regarding Christmas.  Oh, we've decorated our smallish house, with my wife and I finding the final touch over the weekend, replacing a lighted wreath for the front door wherein the old one gave out when we plugged it in.  Actually, SHE found the final touch yesterday, as she came in with a bow for the new model.

And we've planned a bit of our shopping, just about all of it for immediate family.  …

Holiday to holiday

Good morning to all.  I hope that Thanksgiving was joyous, safe and relaxing for everyone.

I suppose that I'm just sort of non-compliant.  I did not go out and shop on Black Friday (though I did stop by the grocery, but that really doesn't count), I did not visit a small business on Shop Small Saturday, and I did not order any merchandise online during Cyber Monday yesterday.

Shame on me.  I'm usually dependable with respect to propping up our economy.  I wasn't a complete laggard, though, as my wife and I put up our holiday decorations Sunday and we began organizing our Christmas shopping, and actually did a little of it already.  But ONLY a little.

Did you know that President Franklin Roosevelt moved the observance of Thanksgiving during his time in the White House?  If I have the story right, retailers pressured him to decree that Thanksgiving be celebrated early, as the year this was contemplated, Thanksgiving came late in the month of November.  So in 1939-41, Tha…

Giving thanks

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

I am sure that if you're reading this, you have a lot to be thankful for this year.  I know that I do.  And while I won't bore you with a long recitation of the people and circumstances for which I'm grateful, I'll just comment that I am most appreciative of my family and close friends on this day every year, but more than usual during what has been a challenging year for me personally and professionally.  Without them I would most definitely be a poorer man indeed.

So what are you having for Thanksgiving dinner?  Traditional turkey and dressing and mashed potatoes and gravy and sweet potatoes and bread and pie and so much other stuff?  Or are you one of those heathens who uses this occasion every year to rebel, and to make things like turkey croquettes or baked mashed potatoes (I know, a lot of this will happen AFTER Thanksgiving in a lot of households)?

One of my closest friends mentioned to me that she and her gang are not really fans…

Seven days later....

....and we're all still here.

Of course, President-Elect Trump won't take office for several more weeks, but now we've seen a few telling things that indicate how things will be.

The first word that one could use, that HAS been used, is "unconventional."  This guy has no interest in how things have traditionally been done, and based on the recent purge from his "transition team," won't be pigeon-holed into making blah cabinet appointments and the like.

But the sheer lack of understanding of how this has to happen is pretty astounding.  There were reports that his son-in-law and chief adviser blurted out a question about "how many of these staffers will be staying once we take over" while visiting the White House last week.  I have ready unconfirmed items that no one from the Trump team has contacted several major arms of the government, including Justice.  And as one pundit so eloquently put it, Trump is prepared to hand out these positio…

Now what?

Donald Trump will be the next President of the United States.

To the utter surprise of many.  I think that, deep down, Trump himself is surprised by this outcome.  Do I think that he believes himself to be the right person to lead?  Yes.  But did he think he would win?  I doubt it.

I'm no expert, but it seems to me that political convention has been turned on its head completely in the last couple of years.  Traditional political thinking had us believe that Hillary Clinton would face Jeb Bush in this presidential election, so "inevitable" were both candidates.  Easy to forget that Barack Obama upset similar logic in Democratic circles in the 2008 campaign, and it's forgotten largely because traditional Democratic power bases seemed to have aligned themselves with him as their best chance to retake and hold the White House.  Hillary Clinton got a very nice consolation prize, becoming Obama's Secretary of State and furthering her resume and qualifications to run.

Closer to normal

Greetings, friends.  I have not posted for a bit, because I began a new job not all that long ago.  And with that has come some, well, changes.

For one thing, I have a schedule now.  It's not a terribly rigid schedule, but after almost seven months of not having a specific calendar to follow, it's an adjustment.  The good news is that what I do and how I spend my time is still largely my decision and I am also again working from my home, which I have done for nearly twenty years.

To be fair, there are recurring events to attend for networking purposes.  The industry I'm now working in has geographic associations of service providers, and I have event for five or six of these geographic areas.  So that provides a little structure.  But unlike my previous position, where there were probably ten to fifteen meetings per month that I had no role in scheduling, this is much more manageable locally.

After just a short time in this role I must say that I'm enjoying the change …

To whom it may concern

Good Thursday morning to all.

Today I begin a new job, after a long, long, LONG period of exploration, research, application, interviewing, etc., etc., etc.  Very glad to return to full-time activity, and with a quality company as well!

But before I leave the realm of the job-seekers, I'd just like to share some thoughts with those with whom I came into contact during this journey:

To all of the prospective employers who made commitments of varying degrees without upholding any of them:  thank you for keeping me motivated.  The more this happened (and it seemed to have happened a lot over these past months), the more determined I became not to take anything except at face value.  To be fair, some of you wanted to hire me for your critical opening, but were overruled by your boss, or someone else in the organization who had a friend who also needed a job, and so on. But after a few instances of hearing that "the job is pretty much yours" and equally promising statements, …

The little boy's game

I don't doubt that regular visitors to this space are well aware of my love for the game of baseball.  I am passionate about the game and its traditions and like to think of myself as a student of the game, too.

These interests were magnified substantially when my son entered my life many years ago, as I met his mother and sister.  And as I've explained to my son over time, baseball is dynastic in nature, passed along from one generation to the next and the next.  And now that HE has a son, he sees that, too.  So it's been with a great deal of interest and pride that I have watched my now five-year-old grandson come to love and appreciate the game of baseball as well.

As I believe I have also noted here, my son began night classes in law school some 80 miles away, commuting there three nights per week.  As it happens, he started these classes about the time that my grandson's fall T-ball season began, and those games were usually played on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursda…

Turning points

Good Monday morning to all.  Trying to get back to my former habit of posting on Mondays.  I'm honestly not sure when that changed, but, anyway....

First and foremost, my career search has concluded successfully.  Since I don't routinely speak of work in this blog, I won't add a lot of specifics, except to say that I will be joining a well-respected regional company in a field pretty similar to my last twenty years of experience.  We have not established a start date, pending completion of a drug screening and criminal background check, but I would think I'll begin my new duties in the next couple of weeks.

Hard to top that, but here goes....

Did you watch the presidential debate last night?  I watched with my wife and some other family members, and we all had this feeling that Donald Trump was going to walk up behind Hillary Clinton and slug her or something, given how close he got several times.  The "town hall" format is not my favorite, but at least in th…

Passages

Happy Tuesday to all, if there is such a "thing."  Notice how people say "I didn't know it was a thing" or "don't make it a thing?"  I credit Aaron Sorkin and the writing staff of "The West Wing" for making "thing" a thing.

Ahem.

There have been a lot of transitions since my last post, so here's my take on several of them.

As most everyone knows, the legendary golfer Arnold Palmer passed away a little more than a week ago at the age of 87.  I was very sad that he was gone, but he left us with so many vivid and positive memories.  He was Everyman on the golf course, hitching up his pants to attempt an impossible shot that often worked during his prime years.  He was definitely a man of the people, and his management company (which was an innovation in its day) did an effective job of marketing him to the masses, endorsing all kinds of products.

He had a line of clothing that, for a time, was sold by Sears.  He endorsed Pennz…

For reasons passing understanding

Good morning to all.  We're almost finished with summer, at least from a calendar standpoint.  In reality, summer ended on Labor Day weekend for most everyone, though here in central Kentucky, we still feel the typical heat and humidity much of the time for a while yet.

I come before you today with more and more things that I simply do not understand.  In the past couple of days the news detailed the shootings of not one but two unarmed black men, one in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and the other in the Charlotte, North Carolina area.  When we learned of the first shooting I mentioned to my wife that I found it unbelievable that with police having dashboard cameras in their cruisers and in many cases cameras actually on their bodies, there are still cops who will call in to their dispatch with details that are not accurately portrayed.

I applaud people who are brave enough to put themselves in harm's way in order to protect the public, but that courage does not entitle any police or other…

Being someone else

Today’s one of those days when I’m glad not to be a presidential candidate.
Honestly, is there any other activity where it’s virtually impossible to be right, be appropriate and be honest, all at the same time?
I ask because of what happened to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.Bearing in mind that her opponent, Donald Trump, has repeatedly questioned her health, and his surrogates, mostly former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, have scrutinized issues like Clinton’s recent coughing spells and so forth.
In case you misplaced your scorecard, Clinton (and Trump) attended the 9/11 ceremony at Ground Zero yesterday, but left after about 90 minutes due to what her staff called being “overheated.”Then video surfaced online that showed Clinton very unsteady on her feet and being helped (“carried” might be the more appropriate word) into a van, in which she was taken to daughter Chelsea’s Manhattan apartment.She then emerged some time later, told the collected media she was feeling bet…

Six months

Friends, I hope that you had a good weekend, and are looking forward to the Labor Day weekend coming up.Unofficial end of summer, you know.
Today marks six months that I have been in the job market.And I remain positive about my prospects, though I work diligently to cultivate additional possibilities on a continual basis.
If you’re a regular visitor here you know that I have a good outlook about most everything, and I don’t have any outward self-esteem issues (at least not that I’m aware).So this isn’t going to be a woe-is-me hand-wringing rant.Rather, I thought I’d share what I’ve experienced, not with my former employer who put me into this predicament, but with those potential employers whom I’ve contacted and met with over these months.
When I first launched my search I was pretty straightforward with myself and prospected employers in what I wanted and expected in terms of responsibilities, duties and most particularly compensation.As time has passed and I have broadened my sea…