Monday, November 19, 2007

Corporations Should "Give Back" Too

President Bush, all caught up in the Thanksgiving spirit, urged Americans to "give back" to their communities as a sign of thanks.

Mr. President, those of us who live paycheck to paycheck would be very thankful if we could get back some of that gas money you stole from us this year. Imagine if Exxon or Mobile gave back 5% of their enormous profits to the communities they took it from. That would be incredible.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

State and Church

I have two points to make on the separation of Church and State - both of which occured this week:

1. When Churches preach that you are sinning if you vote for a candidate they don’t like (as the Catholic Bishops are once again urging) they should immediately be considered a Corporation, and be taxed accordingly.

2. I think it is perfectly OK for a Governor, acting outside his official office and off Government grounds to urge people to pray for rain. I believe in the power of prayer. However, every effort should be made to include all faiths to pray in the manor of their teaching. Rain is headed for Georgia – coincidence?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

In The Line of Duty

Sadly in South Florida, we have had 3 high profile Police officers killed in the line of duty in the last several months. The outpouring of support for the families, friends, and co-workers has been huge – as it should be. Today while at the gym, I noticed that one of our local TV stations had pre-empted their regular programming to bring live coverage of the latest funeral. I watched for a while as people gave speeches behind the flag draped coffin and I couldn’t help but wonder why this is so different than the troops that are also killed in the line of duty.

Please understand, I mean no disrespect for ANY of these fallen heroes and I support them all. But why would the media focus so much time and energy on one fallen police officer and hardly even mention the soldier that just came back to S. Florida in a coffin? We don’t even see that soldier’s coffin – none of them (nearly 4,000).

Police officers and military personnel are very similar if you think about it. Both paid by taxpayer money to protect our rights and freedoms. Both of them put their lives in danger every day to protect and serve. All of them parents, bothers or sisters, and members of the communities they serve. Why should one get so much attention and the other barley mentioned?

It’s the same reason why celebrity tabloid news is so important today while the war isn’t mentioned at all. The media, which is controlled by a certain few, wants us to focus on our own community so we forget that there is a terrible war going on. And the reasons for that have already been mentioned in previous posts like this one.

At this time I want to say Thank You to both the Police and the Troops who risk their lives every day. My condolenses to the families of those fallen heros and may God bless those that have been seriously injured in the line of duty.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Live and Learn - Never Stop

I learned recently that if you put your clothes in the dryer in a jumbled mess, they will likely come out in a jumbled mess. But if you take just a couple of seconds to unravel them and lay them nicely in the dryer - they come out looking fresh and nearly wrinkle free. Joy!

Throw Away Society

That title above is not a request – but a description. It seems we don’t “fix” anything anymore. If something breaks we just throw it out and buy a new one. Meanwhile, our landfills are heaping with this junk, our resources are being depleted, our water poisoned with old batteries and poisonous parts, and more energy is needless used to re-create what we already have.

I think the problem isn’t just with consumers – in fact I think a lot of the blame rests on those that manufacture these electronics. They are not built to be fixed in the first place. In the name of getting it on the market fast and cheap they integrate all the parts into one unit that can’t really be modified, upgraded, or repaired. It is way more expensive to fix something like that than just to buy a new one. I think “fast and cheap” is a terrible way to run a society. I wonder if we will ever get past this. Once again, it comes down to money – so it will not likely change.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

OutSourced In

I try not to write articles about my workplace because even in the land of free speech, you can be fired rather quickly for something you write in your personal Blog that your bosses don’t like. But there is one issue I’d like to vent about that hopefully won’t get me into too much trouble. I’ll try to be vague.

I’ve worked at the same job for 11 years now – we will call them Company A. Recently we “merged” with another company about the same size as ours – we will call them Company S. Merged is in quotes there because it felt more like a hostel takeover to me. I’ve had a few issues with this merger but I’ve kept mostly quiet about them until now (see above). Let me try to explain my frustration.

Our e-mail addresses at Company A are composed of a combination of 6 letters from our first and last names and sometimes they form nice little words (often even funny). Since several people in my office had my same first name when I started, and my combination of letters formed a nice little nickname – I became known throughout the company as denbec. It’s been that way for all 11 years. Now we merge with Company S and it was decided that the IT department where I work (and only the IT department) will work directly for Corporate, and as such we will assume their e-mail address standard. We were told we were no longer to use the old address and we even needed to change our signature files, business cards etc. Suddenly denbec is dead. Now even people inside our original Company A get messages from me with Company S’s address. It feels like a shotgun marriage where I was forced to take a new name and the old one is gone forever. I wonder how many of my messages are being deleted because people don’t know it was from me.

While I am still mourning the death of denbec, I have another issue with this change. The building I walk into each day says Company A, the security badge I wear says Company A, and most of the people I support work for Company A – yet it appears to all concerned that I work for Company S. It’s like I have been outsourced to my own job while I sit at the same desk. When new employees call do they realize I really work directly with them and not at the new corporate office? Does it matter? Well I think it really does. For example, since the merger we also take support calls for Company S after hours and when they call and realize they are talking to someone who is mostly unfamiliar with their business it can be unsettling. But that’s one of those topics I decided not to comment on before so we will leave it at that.

Since this merger, Company S has “merged” with several other companies and I’ve been assured that eventually we will all assume the new email standard. I would have been happy to wait and make the change with everyone else.

The good news is that denbec is not totally dead. In the years I have worked this job that nickname has become such a part of my life that I use it on my personal accounts as well. You might even notice it happily residing in the URL of this blog. Maybe Company S won’t be able to recognize denbec and I won’t get fired after all.

Ro and Me

I've enjoyed Rosie for many years now so I went to her book signing to check if perhaps I was "star struck" or maybe she wans't really "all that". While my visit with her was necessarily short, I was able to watch her interact with the other people as I waited in line. Let me just say that Rosie is the real deal. My admiration for her only grew deeper watching the warmth, the "yellow" she shares with everyone as though we were all her personal friends. And I honestly believe we are - even the "stranger friends" that haven't actually met her in person but share her very personal life on her Blog. We all love you Rosie!