Thursday, August 30, 2012

Which do you pick: your heart or your greed.

This time last year, my company replaced its president. We went from a man with the deposition of sweat-shop owner to a man who cared about the workers. A shocking first for us peons. This new CEO actually fought for our benefits and moral-boosters. And, as of yesterday, even though we still had not had a pay-raise in four years, our future looked hopefully and rewarding.

Things looked so well that one of the board of directors made a surprise visit to the plant yesterday. Without any word of warning, he summoned all of us into the cafeteria for a meeting. Of course, he called this employee-gathering during the lunch break so, conveniently, most people were already off the clock. (Smart thinking, that board-of-director guy.)

With a big, warm smile, he told us how great business was: how they (the investors) had secured cheaper financing, how our sales dollars had been much higher this year than expected, how our sacrifices had cut operating costs. He ended the meeting by thanking us for our hard work, and by telling us that our Chief Financial Office had become the new company president. (Again, smart thinking, that board-of-director guy - paying for two jobs with the price of one salary.)

So, the company was doing well: cheaper loan payments, lower operating costs, higher sales, and a reduced expense with upper management. His final words to the company's 80 hard-working, pay-raise starved members was, "Thank you and good-bye."

Our former president was a great man - easy to talk with, sympathetic to the hardships we endured to make the company profitable. After yesterday's little speech, we're reasonably sure of a mutual parting of the ways resulting from conflicts of characters - generosity and fellowship of our favorite CEO verses greed of our glorious overlords.

I don't think our overlords, I mean, our investors realize that their business has survived, not only in spite of the downturn in the economy, but because of a downturn in the economy that prevented better companies from hiring us all away.

Of course, that downturn has begun to swing upwards. As of today, even McDonald's looks like a financial walk-in-the-park for several of us ...

Friday, August 24, 2012

How To Feel A Mental Burn

Do you know why we spell 'love' with a silent 'e'? Because English words don't end in 'v'. Someone long ago started adding that non-nonchalant 'e' and the practice took hold. Centuries later, we don't give 'love' verses 'lov' a second thought. Sometimes, even not even love ... but that's another matter for romance novels and country songs.

You can doubt my tale. But remember that only a few years ago we had 'electronic mail'. Then we had 'e-mail'. Now, we banter across the Internet with our superior 'email'. Ah, the magic of the '100th monkey' effect.

Yesterday, my post assignment had the phrase "3d jigsaw puzzles to exercize your brain". After my first read of these keywords, my brain pulled a ham-string when it hit 'exercize' while anticipating 'exercise'. I wasn't expecting my mental working-out to hurt so much. Fortunately, after alerting my clients about the troublesome word, they corrected it to read: 3d jigsaw puzzles to exercise your brain. (The link takes you to a site that sells challenging 3-D puzzles, phonetic words not included.)

Yet, this is how words change. While we get inundated with a 'z' instead of an 's', we skip merrily down the road, and happily accepting "your" for "you're". All because of brains that rapidly adapt to survive the most ridiculous situations. With enough repeated onslaughts and social acceptance, even "there" becomes the norm for "their" and "they're". OMG!

"i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt."

Don't worry. School just started. That block quote will be on your kids' homework. Good luk! (or luc, depending upon the teacher.) I recommend some 3D puzzle while the pieces still fit together in a logical manner.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Planning for the future.

I have several posts waiting in the wing - some humorous, a few poignant, most embarrassing attempts at writing. But I can't publish them. Not yet.

I'm about to take a writing class at the local community college. So, I'm going to need material for my homework assignments. Sorry.

And then I have to consider how some future posts will fulfill obligations to the content mill that still helps with my bills. Hopefully, we won't have to put up with that low paying silliness much longer.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

My 1st Step into Publishing.

I finally did it. I swallowed my pride, ignored my fear of looking like an idiot, overcame a debilitating desire to remain unknown. Then, I submitted my first article to Yahoo!'s contributor network. Today, they published it:

The piece isn't much, embarrassingly so. Just a fond review of a good restaurant that these hard times may soon put out of business. But this article means a small victory over my fears and my procrastination. It is also an important step to one of my 2012 New Year's resolution - you know those grandiose goals we make on January 1st, only to give up on by January 2nd. I had resolved to learn the craft of writing and to make the results profitable.

While I am nowhere close to claiming that seductive title of success, at least I've finally taken that first step in that direction. Hopefully, I won't slide away and end up in the ditch of life's well-intentioned failures ...

Sunday, August 12, 2012

haters and 8'ers.

At first, upper management of Microsoft demanded that their employees stop referring to their latest operating system as "Metro". Instead, those that want to keep their jobs were to use the name "Windows 8".

Now, the big bosses want the phrase "Modern UI Style" to grace the lips of computer users everywhere.

But already the lines have been drawn; the battle has begun. The "Windows 8" loyalists have resorted to name-calling and talking down to anyone who uses anything but the name "Windows 8".

What do you expect? 8'ers are always goin' to be 8'ing.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

The morals issues I have to deal with.

Ok, I'm in a bit of a moral dilemma. So I ask you, my friends, what is worse: Doing donuts in the parking lot of a Krispy Kreme, or doing bagels in the parking lot of a synagogue?

Why does such a humble man have to wrestle with such philosophical battles?

Monday, August 06, 2012

Going for Gold.

As of this moment, China has 61 medals and the United States has ... 61 medals! Not bad.

Of course, China's best athletes came from a crop of 1400 million people. United States pickings were out of a measly 300 million citizens. I think we can safely say that the US can brag based on statistics alone.

Yes, a silly argument. Sillier still is that, somewhere in the world, a lazy spectator sits on a couch, face full of food, watching the action. When a highly trained athlete only gets 4th place, our lard-butt has the audacity to call the Olympian "a loser".

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Word To Your Bad Self

It was a muggy, sunny Sunday. Across the street, my neighbor loaded up the surf board rack on their car and headed out for the beach. The neighbor to my right stuffed their car's luggage rack full of suitcases and drove away for a vacation.

My neighbor to my left, well, he's a little different. He was providing the music at a wedding that day. So he stacked all of his sound equipment in his little Toyota. To transport his brother who is the DJ, he used the DJ Racks mounted on his car's roof.

In an odd way, this is smart thinking. You certainly don't want to lash your DJ directly to the car - that would scra-scra-scratch the paint. Definitely, a wic-a-wic-ked good idea.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

It's all in the words.

According to OMG facts, a group of ravens is called an unkindness. A group of ferrets is called a business.

That would explain why a session of Congress is called a meeting of ravenous ferrets.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Seems Like Only Yesterday.

I'm not that old. Yes, instead of twitter and blogging, we had to sit around and talk face-to-face, searching for those elusive answers to life. Yet, even then, it was hard to ignore the Google ads on our foreheads.