Monday, May 28, 2007

Decoration Day

The original name for Memorial Day. Years ago my dad wrote a nice story about celebrating Decoration Day as a Boy Scout in his hometown of Napa - the focus being on soldiers who had made the ultimate sacrifice and the town's way of honoring them.

Unlike today, for the most part, where the focus is on retail sales, barbecues and drunken boating.

Watching 60 Minutes last night, it's impossible to understand why we still have people in this country supporting the bogus "war" in Iraq. Even one of the National Guard soldiers interviewed thinks there's a connection between 9/11 and Iraq, and he didn't try to connect those dots through Al Queda posting up in Iraq, he linked the two unrelated entities with a giant leap of nothing.

One mother interviewed two years ago just before this battalion shipped out was proud to be sending both her husband and son to Iraq. Proud. Of them, I can understand, but of the mission? After you've been lied to repeatedly? How can that be?

With their deployment extended until this August, now she's not so sure how she feels about it. That's a start. Other wives/mothers interviewed recently had similar feelings. It took losing a life or having their husbands'/sons'/daughters' commitment taken advantage of to get them to think about what's happening.

Some soldiers themselves have changed their opinion of what we're doing over there, admitting that originally they thought we should be there, but believing now that we shouldn't be there and it was a mistake. I'm sure they're but a handful of others.

If we know that Bush lied, using faulty intelligence reports to support his flawed agenda and that there were never any WMDs, the very basis of his reason we should start this war, how can anyone today believe this war is still justified? If we're truly fighting a global war on terrorism, why are we still dumping money into and losing lives in Iraq?

Oh, right, I forgot, "global war on terror" is Texan for "there's so much more money to be made, we can't pull out now."

And then there's this, and this and oh, hey - this. with support from this. Turns out those soldiers weren't lying after all. But there's also this, and let's not forget this. Unforgivable.

There's no way to thank our servicemen/women for the job they do, though I have a few ideas - buy houses for their families at home, support their families while they serve in conflicts, and address their health needs, whatever they might be, for life - for a start.

Their service is an amazing, selfless gift and it's sad that our leaders are so cavalier with that gift. We support the troops and all they do, but not how the CIC abuses them. Where are the leaders who want to do the right thing?

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Future Captain of Industry

Happy Graduation Dylan! My nephew is off to college and the big, wide world. Maybe he'll hire me someday.

Friday, May 25, 2007

And Then There Were Three

And my new nickname is "Lights Out Lady," living in Crazytown, Population 3. In the span of a couple of months, our group has lost seven people from a total of nine. I'm the last remaining employee of the group we formed just two years ago. Maybe it's me. Maybe I smell.

The first cut came from the nonsensical re-org that moved four people out of our group, which no one's been able to explain in any way other than, "change is like chocolate or broccoli - some people love it and some people hate it, but like broccoli, change is good for you." That was actually in a presentation about the re-org.

I should add, too much broccoli at once causes painful gas and intestinal cramping, and too much chocolate doesn't do anyone any favors, either. They could have easily compared this sort of change to chewing a mouthful of nails or wearing clothes made of steel wool - really not necessary and in a nutshell, stupid.

And as a result of the chocolate-coated changes, four people bailed and a few more have one foot out the door. One person left before the re-org realizing things were quickly going downhill and there had to be better options.

So why am I still there? There are a few reasons. I'd been looking and had a good offer from another company, but then David's job got a bit wonky, I don't want just another job, and crazy as it sounds, I feel like there's more I can do as a writer/editor before I go. Meaning, there's so much more material to gather. I could never come up with the things I see and hear there every day. It's a treasure trove.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Phones Don't Swim

But they should. We're way overdue for water-friendly phones, and I don't mean some big contraption that looks like the old yellow Sony sports Walkman, or a crazy-expensive phone only Eco Challenge athletes might buy.

I mean, by now all cell phones should be water-resistant. Even with basic rubber gaskets installed in key areas, they'd still be flimsy enough to support the disposable phone market. We should be able to eke just a bit more life out of them by making them withstand a few moments of complete submersion.

One friend of mine has already lost a phone to toilet dunking, an unfortunate result of keeping it in her back pocket, and today mine took a dip in the shallow end of the swimming pool.

It doesn't matter who picked up the corner of my towel or how that person never bothered to look at what they were doing as my phone tumbled helplessly from the warm, dry towel into the cool, blue water. It happened, and my little toy went glub, glub, glub into the deep end. I did get a nice dinner out of it, so there's that.

I'm told that after a few days we can try to power it up & see what happens. Of course I tried right away to see if it would work and probably fried something, but I was being optimistic. Or in denial. It looked kinda dry - shouldn't it boot right up? I *thought* all my data/phone numbers were stored on the SIM and memory cards, but alas, the phone numbers were not. They're all in the soggy phone.

So, now we wait... It sits alone on a towel on a table in its tiny ICU ward. Poor little thing never saw it coming. Enjoying a warm afternoon one minute, drowning the next.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Go Meat!

This killed me - choose View TV Spots from the home page.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Ass End of April

Sure am happy May is here - April sucked.

A couple of weeks ago David was suddenly "reassigned" at his job without any warning or rationale, after five years of stellar performance and constant, consistent high praise.

The reason they first gave was that a few deliverables weren't on target. Deliverables he had no clear requirements for, nor any feedback to guide the direction, despite repeated requests for requirements and reviews.

The second reason had something to do with supervisory style, yet, he was not a supervisor. What's next - he was coming in too early and staying a little too late? What's the actual story kids?

I think what a friend said might be true, that it's becoming more common to work in companies run by people who have no clue how to run a successful business.

And without any time to process all this crap, his grandfather passed - not unexpectedly, though still sad - and he had to jump on a plane back east.

Today I went to move his car into the driveway and it didn't turn over. He left his parking lamps on for, I'm guessing, three days. I jumped it and drove it around for 45 minutes, but I'm not sure it'll be enough. He might light it on fire if it's still dead when he gets home.

And now I think Neo is depressed, missing his dad - I'm hoping that's all it is. He wasn't interested in his dinner, but to be fair, I didn't give them wet food tonight, which to Neo is what makes the sun come up every day. He seemed to perk up when I put his dad on speaker phone later on.

As my dad said, you never know when something might jump up & bite you.