Monday, August 31, 2009

School and time traveling messages

School has begun and I am busy again. I feel pulled in several directions. I work, spend time with my girlfriend, am a full time student, am the recruitment chairperson for my fraternity and I am trying to find time for clubs. This is all made more difficult by my 40 minute commute, one way.

However, the object of this blog is not to rant; I do that enough already. The object is to convey my feelings of sadness, excitement, happiness, and worry. I am sadened by the thought that the lifestyle I have lived for the past four years is about to come to an end. I am happy to be back in school again. I am happy to learn new things, to be an integral part of my orgainizations, to be busy, and to have large social groups again. I am excited by the thought of having a good and steady income. I am worried that the possiblitiy of not getting a job might come true. I am sadened by the thought of never seeing the majority of my college friends again. And, I am sadened to think that I will have to start all over again.

Starting over has always been a daunting prospect for me. I've moved a couple of times in my life and started college so I have limited expierence with it. However, this does not belittle the fact that changing can be scary. Now, there will be some throwbacks to my old lifestyle. I will no doubt carry some friends forward from college, be with Ashli, and have my family; but they will completely underwealhm the udder change in location, scenery, people I interact with, schedules, and more things then I have space here to write.

Not knowing where I will be a year from now is probably the scariest thought, and also the most exciting. Now, if I had no loans to pay back I would care a significant amount less; but that is not what was in the cards for me. I just hope everything works out. But, more than that; I just want to be happy. And, I have to spend some time figuring out what would make me happy. I'm pretty sure that if I had Ashli, a few good friends, and a city-ish setting; I could be happy even with a crap job.

I have an after-thought. Now, I have blogs that date back to almost two years ago. I almost wish that I could look at future blogs. I mean, I wish that somehow I could see all the blogs I would ever write on the side bar and just scroll through them to now if everything would be alright for me. But, if given the option I would only want to see them if everything turned out well. And, if I said that and nothing showed up; I would know something terrible happend. Oh well, I guess I'm caught in a catch 22 here. I want to know, but only if it is good. But the act of not being told would tell me what I didn't want to know. I sincerely hope that I look back at this particular entry one or two years from now and I am sitting at my desk on my lunch break at, at least an ok engineering job, near/in a city.

To my future self: If you are reading this try and remember what you were going through when you were sitting down in the erc at 11:39 before computer networks writing this. I hope that you/I have at least met some of your/our goals. But take heart if you haven't acheieved it yet. I have faith in you/me.

Time is a funny thing...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Home Insecurity

This morning I awoke at the bright and early hour of noon and walked downstairs into the dining room. I was met by my mother and father who were having a conversation. I sat down and enjoyed my coffee and Spanish rice and eavesdropped in on their conversation. Eventually the conversation found it's way to local current events. And, I was informed that there was a woman on our street who had her house broken into last night, and she was assaulted. To make matters worse it turns out that this is part of a string of events, and the front door was unlocked.

Seeing I had the day off, I began thinking about how our home was vulnerable to such an intrusion. I knew for a fact that the basement door was less than burglar proof. I knew that the deck door might be vulnerable. And, I knew that the front door is a thick and is nearly impossible to get through when locked. Therefore, I began planing and building.

Do you remember ever watching one of those old fashioned movies that had castles in them? Do you remember how they had those cross pieces that sat in hooks across the doors to keep them from opening during a siege? Well, that is exactly what I put on our basement door. Yes I know, it might be a little much seeing as we already have a locking mechanism on the door. But, this is my family were talking about. I also made sure the deck door could lock properly (I put in beefier screw so that it would take a small bull elephant to get through. And, I plan on buying those beeping things that you put on doors and windows. You turn them on and if the door is opened they basically scream at you. I had them in my apartment and they really work well. To top it all off I am going to set up a motion sensitive light fixture in the back yard. Overall, our home security is at or above average. A level I am happy with.

If all else fails I've still got my aluminum bat by the door.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Grunt Work

I am very tired of doing an incredible amount of work and being paid the absolute minimum for it. In my entire life I have only ever had one job that paid above minimum wage, and it was great. I felt like I owed the company more and I worked harder. I was happy to be at work because I felt like the company respected the value of my time, on some level. Even on the days, like today, were I woke up tired and didn't want to move; I took comfort in the fact that I was being paid well.

But that day has passed, and today I find myself moving slowly because it is "truck" day at Kinney's Drugs and I am a minimum wage clerk. I get to break my back putting away stock so that I can receive seven dollars and twenty five cents for an hour of labor, before the government takes their piece. Don't get me wrong. I am very happy that I have a job that pays this well, because I can remember not to long ago getting paid $5.15 per hour before taxes. Those days really sucked.

If getting paid little for a lot of work isn't bad enough, I find myself critiquing my supervisors. I find that they make me adhere to a strict policy of one break and one lunch every 8 hours(which I find fair). But, what I don't find fair is that everytime they find someone they know in the store they talk for an hour with them, then they "escort" them out and smoke for fifteen minutes; on top of thier breaks and lunch. And, they make take two breaks already and do this with two to three customers. But, heaven forbid I stop sweeping for two seconds to catch a headline in a paper. Even more troubling than that is the fact that their are more shift supervisors than clerks. This means that I get decent hours, but do the overwhelming majority of the work while they sit in the office doing what ever it is they do. I don't know. Maybe they're making out or something. Who knows? Who cares? My rantings aren't going to change anything, that's for sure.

I guess I'll just have to keep on trucking until I'm a fabulous engineer...

Friday, August 7, 2009

Women in the workplace

I am an educated young man who has very few sexist tendencies. However, I do have one grievance to air concerning women at work. Now, I believe that women can do the same job as men, if they are qualified. And, if women put in the same amount of time and effort they should be paid the same as men. Basically, I believe in workplace equality. And to that end, I believe that men and women should be held to the same standards for workplace attire. At a job where the dress is business formal, women should dress that way. Now I understand that women have a myriad number of more clothing options than men. However, when a man wheres a suit or a dress shirt and tie with slacks; it isn't right for a woman to wear the same ambiguous, semi-formal clothing she would wear any other day.

Seriously, I cannot count the amount of times I see women breaking the clear dress codes of work. Meanwhile, men are forced into stuffy suits, neck choking ties and pants meant for appearance and not comfort. While I will never have to walk in heels, and I have tried it, women will never have to wear crotch grabbing pants.

Anyway, my point is that if men are required to obey strict dress regulations then women should as well. In fact, I believe that if a man has to wear a tie to work then so should women. And, why not? Women were collared shirts. And, if women or HR refuses to enforce it; then men everywhere should cast off their ties and start dressing in what feels good and might be passable for work wear.

Come now men! Rise up against social tyranny! Burn your ties! The years of oppression will soon end!

I've got my baby back, baby back, baby back...

I wonder how many people will recognize that Chillies reference. Anyway, yesterday my darling made her way back to Massena from Rochester were she had been staying for the last few days. She strolled into my work at about 5:30 and surprised the h3ll out of me. I was very happy to see her.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

My Anticlimax

So Last night I was watching the colony in between absurdly loud commercials and all of a sudden I heard a car alarm go off. Now Massena is a small enough place so that there isn't a lot of crime, but it is big enough to make you want to lock up all your doors at night. Point being that, at first I didn't realize that it was my car that was going off. However, the second I realized that it was mine I hit the ground running. I sprinted through my dark cluttered house like a Kenyan chasing a meal. I basically completed a difficult obstetrical course, including vaulting, in less that ten seconds.

But lets get back to the point. Try putting yourself in my shoes. You're a young student who's only means of transportation may be in jeopardy. You have very few resources and your already stressed out. It is night time, it is chilly and you are outside in the dark in just a tee-shirt and your boxers. O.k. now that you can identify with my situation, lets get on with the story.

My heart is pounding and I am beginning to sweat as I jump outside. My loud car alarm is going off and I suspect someone may still be in the area. I grab my baseball bat and do a circle around my car. No one is there. I continue my search with a flashlight and pants as my father calls the cops. The scoundrel must have run. I shout "Next time I'm bringing out my gun!," before the cops show up and wonder if it was a douche thing to bellow into the night.

We talk with the cops for a minute and they promise to check on the car throughout the night in case anyone returns. Relieved, my father and I walk back into the house. A few moments after the door shuts, we heard the alarm go off again. "What is going on?," I thought as I power walked to the door. The cops had yet to get into their vehicles, so they stood in amusement of my malfunctioning ride. Apparently the lighting storm was not agreeing with my car's personality. So, I turned the alarm off, apologized for wasting their time and went to bed only to be woken up again at 4a.m for the same reason. So I disconnected the negative terminal of the battery and tried to fall asleep.


Alright, just wanted to post a quick rant here. Why the h3ll do commercials have to be so much d4mn louder than the program you are watching? I barely notice it during the day, but during the evening it is almost unbearable. Last night I was laying in bed, happily watching The Colony on Discovery Channel with the volume at a solid medium volume. All of a sudden a commercial for Time Warner Cable comes on and I can barely hear myself think! It probably woke up my family members one room over. For heaven's sake, could they just make them the same volume as the programs? I know they need to sell air time and products, but come on. This isn't helping anyone. If anything it makes me not want to buy a product that comes on. So to that end, I am officially not purchasing, watching or redeeming:

Crest Toothpaste
OxyClean (yes I do like the late Billy Mayes)
"The General" online insurance
My free education connection Brochure
Any Pledge Products information
5 Hour energy

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Failure is always an option

While working at our local haberdashery I noticed a few things that were not quite right. So, I put down whatever stock I was stocking and snapped a few pictures with my phone for later viewing. In fact, I found them so amusing that I decided to both emulate and share them with you. I hope you enjoy these pictures. If you can't see details, just click the image for a larger version

Why would superman need a car?

What? How is that a sale?

What kind of way is that to advertise pork?

The last photo was taken while walking home one day. I've been waiting for a while for a good reason to show it off.

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