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http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2011/06/07/u-n-agreement-should-have-all-gun-owners-up-in-arms/

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Let me start by saying (as if one couldn’t tell by looking at this blog) that I am a Windows Mobile user. I use a Samsung Omnia II i920 and had Windows Mobile devices before that. Friends have often asked me about by device and some have asked for opinions about what device they should get and then they make their purchase. I have always recommended Windows Mobile. Admittedly I found myself irritated with those who have chosen something else because with most things getting the best model available seems to be the right thing to do. Unfortunately the truth of the matter with devices like cell phones is that there IS such a thing as too much. You see, there are many different kinds of cell phone users and I have found that getting more than what a person needs usually ends with the individual being unhappy with what they bought and turning them away from the OS altogether.

People can be grouped as such:

  • Calls only – Some people just want their phone to make and receive calls. Nothing else. For these folks a bare essentials flip phone works perfectly. Anything else might run the risk of confusing, annoying, and angering them.
  • Calls and text only – While a flip phone has the ability to text, the experience of texting on one can be described as cumbersome at best. A user who likes to text should go with a device with a keyboard, either a slide-out or flip up or virtual. Many of these types of devices are what’s called a “feature” phone, and some are packed with a lot of apps that you may or may not want to use. This can sometimes cause confusion and angst.
  • Calls, Text, and email – Now we get into the realm of the smart phone. These can be touch screen or non touch screen. They include Droid, Blackberry, Iphone, Palm, Windows Mobile. If you are email-centric and don’t really care about much else, Blackberry is your device. The others offer the ability to run applications of varying degrees of usefulness and complexity. The Droid and Iphone, for example both have the ability to run social networking apps such as Twitter and Facebook. While you can use both of these services via SMS, the experience is much better with an app and a data connection.
  • A handheld computer that makes calls – This is Windows Mobile, and only Windows Mobile. A Windows Mobile Professional (touch screen) device can do all of the above and more. These come with the Microsoft Office Mobile Suite which includes Excel, Word, PowerPoint, OneNote (now), SharePoint (now), and Pocket Outlook. Go to Windows Phone to see it all.

I have come to the conclusion that an individual should only get as much phone as they think they will need. Anymore would be not only a waste, but a big headache.

 

Vacation

 

Every year I take 1 of my vacation weeks the first week in February. I like taking that week as it encompasses my birthday and I prefer to do nothing that week while I sulk about getting older. This year, however, my employer decided to “black out” the first 3 weeks of the month getting ready for a new system to be put in place. Irritated, I decided to just take it the fist week in January thus adding it onto the already long weekend of New Years. Now the thought of burning a week of vacation the very first week of the year sounded odd to some and I admit it felt like a waste at the time but it has turned out great. I have 4 weeks of vacation so its not like it will be terribly long before the next one so its not like only having 2 weeks that you must use at the perfect time. The great part has been a complete surprise. I am one of those people who like to do a “reset” when the new year arrives. Not into new years resolutions, but I like to look at what I did the year before and see what I would like to do better moving forward. This is with no public announcement made to look cool or sage or to gain a support group, just stopping for a moment to look up and make sure I’m still heading in the right direction. Usually done over the first weekend of the year (spent the last 3 new years eve’s working >:^*) , I usually only have time to mull it over briefly before getting back to work. This year I have had about a week and a half to reflect and contemplate and reassess. I start this year with a more clear idea of my goals and strategies, and I’ll start the year refreshed and relaxed. Won’t know till later in the year whether this has been a better way to do it or not, but it looks good so far.

 

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Jury Duty

 

I brought my mother down to the courthouse today. She received a jury summons for the criminal court building. This has me thinking about the many conversations I’ve had over the years with people about serving. Personally, I’ve been sent home after just a few hours and also was sequestered for several days. It’s just like anything else as opinions vary on any subject but those who hate to sit on a jury and do anything to get out of it need to rethink their stance. It is both your civic duty and a privilege to serve your country as part of the judicial process. As inconvenient as it may seem, consider this: jury duty will require you to serve your country for a 1/2 to a full day sitting in an air conditioned courthouse. Compare that to the years our soldiers spend in harms way serving our country. Makes a day at the courthouse seem like a trivial thing to complain about, huh?

 

Watch Your Step

What a wild stretch of time this has been. August 1st I started back on a diet and exercise program that I had been successful with before. Things were going well, so well in fact that I had lost 21 pounds in 24 days. My running had improved daily and had achieved the first goal of running a full mile. Then while at work I experience what may have been the most surreal day of my life.

All was going well that day until about midday. I get a call from a supervisor asking if I had a certain part in my van. He needed it for another tech to fix a machine. I said I would check and call him back. Having hung up the phone I get out and walk around to the side of the van and open the doors. I get in and find the part. Getting out of the side of the van is a simple matter of backing out, stepping down onto the lower step and dropping to the ground. Thinking that I was already on the lower step I went ahead and dropped. Obviously the drop was longer than I expected so when I didn’t touch ground at the moment I thought I would, My left leg (the one I was trying to drop onto) locked. When it hit the ground I heard and felt a couple of sickening cracks and fell to the ground. The pain was unreal. I laid there for a few moments in shock. Being in an apartment complex, it didn’t take long for a car to come by. When they did I laid there and waived to them to help me but they just looked at me and kept going. Kept going.

I then decided that I couldn’t just lay there, but the pain was so intense I couldn’t think of what I should do to get help. I dragged myself over to my van and pulled myself up onto the lower step of the van (the one I missed) and sat on it. Immediately I got dizzy and felt as though I was going to pass out. Wow my leg hurt. The next thing I remember I was on my face on the ground again. Several more cars came by and did the same as the first, just looked at me and kept going.

All this time I had two phones in my shirt pockets, my personal one and my company phone. Neither of witch did I think to use, until one of them rang. When my company phone rang it wasn’t in my pocket any more, having evidently fallen out one of the two times I hit the ground. I found it and answered it. It was that supervisor who called for the part, guess it had been a while since we hung up and he thought I would’ve called back by now. What luck, I told him I needed help and that I may have broken my thigh. I remember telling him the name of the apartments I was at but that’s all I remember from the conversation. I wish I could’ve been clear headed enough to hear what he told me. It would have saved me a lot of stress to have been reassured that help was on the way. As it happened though, I got off the phone with him and saw a couple more cars come by, see me, and keep going. In my hurt and panicked state I quickly began to believe that no one was going to help me. This was of course not true but it is why I was backed up to the side of the van with the two doors shielding me when the paramedics AND both of our supervisors arrived.

The paramedics were unbelievable. When I say that I mean I couldn’t believe they were paramedics. They had no idea how to operate the inflatable splint for my leg. The three of them kneeled by me reading the instructions. Once they got that figured out and got me on the gurney, my boss had to show them how to operate the leg mechanism to get it in the truck. Good thing I hadn’t been shot or I might have been dead by the time they got me to the hospital.

Once at the hospital the doctors started figuring it out. My thigh wasn’t broken, I had torn muscles/tendons in my quad. Once done I had to take a drug test which was required by work because it had been an on the job accident. I have no problem taking a drug test, but the hospital wasn’t allowed to administer it. This had to be done by the company my employer pays to do them. So there I was, on crutches, in a hospital restroom with some guy from the drug test company, giving a urine sample.

My dad came and got me and took me to my house, and by the time the day was over it was late evening. All because I misjudged a step.

Two months and a lot of physical therapy later I am back out in the field doing my job once again and I still can’t believe the fact that all those people at the apartments saw me and did nothing to help. I hope that when I see someone injured and needing help I react better than they did.

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The Union Decision

 

There is a bill making its way through congress right now that has the ability to change workplaces all over the country. If it passes, the unions will have a much easier time getting a foothold on companies. All it will take is to get enough people to sign a card, No formal vote. This in itself is a bad thing because it will allow unions to catch people unaware and make a spur of the moment decision. People generally don’t do well with spur of the moment decisions and tend to make them while still uninformed or worse yet while in an emotional state.

At the company I work for the union bug is floating around and the sentiment is that most are just waiting to see whether the bill passes. Once it does it’s decision time. As you might expect, people are talking about it but some of the discussions to me are disturbing. The right thing to do would be to discuss things intelligently and see if we can avoid the need (need being relative) for a union or if it is really necessary. Obviously if it isn’t necessary a union is not the way to go. I have not seen any instances where a union got into a company and the company made more money as a result. However, what is sometimes happening is neither intelligent nor productive. Pro union employees are telling people what the company “won’t be able to do anymore” in a tone that sounds like someone who is about to be calling the shots. Anti union employees are saying what people will have taken from them if the union gets in and what the company won’t agree to in a tone that is threatening. Pro union employees counter with the fact that the last time we had a union push the company made a lot of promises and kept almost none of them and things indeed got worse. Some are planning to vote based SOLELY on that. None of this is productive.

I have spoken to employees in other companies who are union and the results are mixed. Some like it, some don’t. The one thing they all agree on is that when the time comes to vote, you have to decide what’s best for you and your family.  But is that really the best way to decide? Are you not making a decision that could impact more than just your family? There are people who will not be unionized who could bear the brunt of the changes the company has to make to accommodate the union. What about them? Not everyone is in the same place in life that you, and your decision could hurt them as it pertains to retirement. Are you aware that if the union strikes you will be required to use up your 401k before they will give you financial aid? I know some guys with almost 30 years seniority who would have all they have worked for ruined if that happened or they would be forced to retire before they were ready. When you are making a decision that effects a group of people, you should take into account what the whole group needs and act for the greater good. For a Christian (as a lot of our employees claim to be), prayer will bear out the right thing to do. No union.

It is time for us all (management and labor) to stop all the positioning and posturing, find out what is troubling everyone and find real (this time) solutions and follow through with them (this time). 

There was a time for unions. This was when workers were really being treated horribly. Unsafe working conditions, pay that wasn’t even close to meeting with the economic climate, and unfair hiring and firing practices. That time is long gone for most people. It certainly doesn’t apply to us. 

 

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The San Diego Chicken has nothing on this mascot:
 
 

Here we go again….

 

Once again baseball season is upon us and with it the hope and optimism that entails. Being a Ranger fan is unlike being a fan of other perennial loser baseball  teams because the people of this area have the Cowboys and Stars to fall back on for championships, leaving us with the ability to endure the endless losing seasons with patience. Like so many other seasons, we go into this one with the idea that we finally have a competitive team despite what the facts tell us. Those facts are that the Rangers can hit the ball a ton, have unknown talent defensively, and have no pitching.

The Bats:

901 runs last season. 901. That is a behemoth offense. Not much has changed from last year except that Hank Blalock is healthy and they’ve added Andruw Jones. Jones bats well against left handed pitching which was a sore spot last season (Rangers went 21-31 against lefties).

The Fielders:

Errors, errors, errors. Supposedly moving Michael Young to third base is going to improve the porous nature of the infield, but adding shortstop Elvis Andrus (who was a error machine last season in the minors) is a step back. The right side will be Chris Davis and Ian Kinsler. If this group doesn’t step up we’ll need those 901 runs again.

Pitchers:

Here is the rotation: Millwood, Pedilla, Harrison, McCarthy, Benson. Any of those guys scare you? Here is some perspective. Our “ace” Kevin Millwood went 9-10 last season with a 5.07 ERA. I’m sorry but that just sucks. ERA is earned runs, not unearned runs from errors so it wasn’t the defenses fault. We need help on the mound.

But hey, hope and optimism right?

Yep…. Hope and optimism. Call me crazy but GO RANGERS.

Theft

 

Just had a theft of the tools in my garage yesterday. Happened in the span of about 10 minutes. Do criminals not think they will get caught or do they not care? I’ve had many things stolen from me in my life and most of the times its perpetrated in a very short span of time. I wonder if that’s due to them seeking the thrill of a narrow escape. Not sure “thrilling” is the adjective they would use to describe the situation were I to show up and catch them in the act….. This is frustrating because I just don’t leave my doors open and unattended for very long. Evidently we should make sure all is secure and accounted for at ALL times.

 

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