Tag Archives: reflection

Heavy D — A Part of My High School Years Has Died

Man, word is hitting all over the place that old school rapper, Heavy D, has passed away at the age of 44.  I guess we’ll get a word on the cause of death later.

I was introduced to Heavy D in my later teen years with his song, “Mr. Big Stuff,” which he made in 1986.  Here’s the official video for said song (there may be a commercial at the front since it is an officially uploaded video).

Back then, I found that my musical tastes were toward this “fad” called “rap” and so when an electro-funk/rap station came on air, I recorded as much as I could from the radio (depending on the weather since I lived just on the edge of the radio station’s transmission range at the time).  “Mr. Big Stuff” was one of the early rap songs that I recorded, and it also introduced me to the concept of “sampling” since Heavy D & the Boys used Jean Knight’s song title and music from the early 1970’s for their rap version.

For most folks though, Heavy D was seen as more of a 1990’s element since he had several hit tunes that came out in the early 90’s. For me, he will be a part of my high school years and a reminder of things like Max Headroom, Ronald Reagan, Coca-cola clothing, and other things that were great about the 80’s.  So, I’ll close with another of Heavy D’s 80’s tunes.

My thoughts and prayers go to Heavy D’s family and friends at this time of loss.

Remembering 9/11/2001

Remembering 9/11/2001

Remembering 9/11/2011In my life, there have been a number of tragic, momentous occasions such as the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster or the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, which are burned in my mind.  However, the events of 9/11 trump all of this simply because this was the modern day equivalent of the attack on Pearl Harbor, only instead of a foreign nation using military assets to attack the United States, Muslim terrorists used our own commercial planes as weapons attack us and attempt to bring us down as a nation.  As such, I thought I’d reflect on how that day was for me now that ten years have passed.

For me, the day was a normal work day when I awoke that Tuesday morning. I had a great job that paid me a ton of money on top of the perks.  Heck, I was even planning a trip back to Japan to see my old stomping grounds the following year.  Life was pretty good.

As was my normal routine, I woke up at 06:300MT as I normally did back then and turned on the TV to the news so that I’d have a rundown of what was happening in the world as I got dressed.  I got into the shower and took my time.  When I got out and had dried off, I could hear the announcer stating that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center.  I paused to look at the TV and the smoke rising before heading into my spacious, walk-in closet.  I wondered what possibly could have happened to have caused a plane to crash into a skyscraper like that.

While I was in the closet, I heard the announcer say that they had just witnessed another plane crash into the other tower.  I ran out of the closet to look at the TV, seeing the new plume of smoke rising.  My first thought was, “This was no accident” and I found myself annoyed at the news guy who was reminding folks that there was not any evidence as yet that there was terrorism involved.  OK, technically, that may have been true but in my mind, there was no doubt that this was terrorism and the work of Muslims who want to advance their ideal world where Islam is the only religion and the world is one big Caliphate.

It was a struggle to finish getting ready for work and I had to drag myself away from the TV and get out the door so I could drive the ~30-minutes(give or take, depending on traffic) to the light rail station for a 10-minute ride to downtown Denver.  I immediately turned on the local news radio station and they were reporting that another plane had crashed into the Pentagon.

I was horrified as I drove in, listening to the non-stop coverage of three planes that had crashed, not only killing the folks in the planes, but killing unknown numbers of folks in the buildings they crashed into.  That horror grew as the news broke that the first Trade Tower had collapsed.  Whereas previous attempts to bring down the World Trade Center towers had resulted in criminal trials, I knew that this attempt would mean war, plain and simple.

The train ride to downtown Denver seemed longer than normal to me, mainly because everyone was talking about the plane crashed and the destruction of one of the Twin Towers. Rumors were everywhere with one rumor saying that all major cities with skyscrapers would be targeted.  That didn’t bode well for me since I was heading for a 42-story building, where I worked on the 41st floor.

Finally arriving at my destination, I decided that it might be a good idea to go ahead and pick up breakfast on the way in since my colleagues and I would likely be glued to the Internet looking for news.  When I made it up to the 41st floor, no one was working and everyone was talking about what was going on.  It was then that I learned that the second tower had gone down.  Rumors were that the Air Force had shot down another plane but that there were more heading to different destinations.  No one knew if Denver was on the target list.

Naturally, getting anything from the Internet proved to be mostly hopeless as all of the major news websites had crashed.  Our local news radio station’s website was also down if I recall correctly, and I think they were doing audio streaming in 2001.  I remember CNN’s website was changed to something pretty low-key to better handle the traffic but provided only very basic information and was slower than molasses to access.  I remember saying a prayer for those who’d lost loved ones as a new rumor mill hit our tower — a jumbo jet was in route to downtown Denver but no one was sure which building was the target.

We all started putting our stuff together when our second line manager sent out an e-mail telling everyone to stay put and to get to work.  If there was a problem, we would be told of it and then at that point, we could leave.  This e-mail provokes a lot of anger, myself included, as our department and the departments that supported us (developers, DBA’s, system admins, etc.) all had the ability to work from home.  As such, we all decided that we were going home and the 2nd line could fire us if he didn’t like it.  After all, our lives were worth more than this job, no matter how well paying it was.

Waiting for the train to take me back to the Park-and-Ride put me into a further foul mood and I regretted not going ahead and driving in all the way and spending the $15 to park (my train pass was a benefit from my company).  It was a relief when I finally got to my car and could turn on the news, but I was eager to get home and actually watch what was transpiring.  One thing the radio did was clear up some of the rumors we’d been hearing and made me think that maybe the worst was over.

When I got back to my apartment, I immediately flicked on the TV to see the live broadcast before sitting down at my desk to connect my PC to my job’s network and sign onto everything like normal.  I checked my e-mail and couldn’t help but laugh as we had a new e-mail from our second line which informed us that we could work from home.

The rest of the day is kind of a blur to me.  While I was logged into the network to be able to do work, I only did those absolutely essential items required of me and spent the rest of the time glued to the TV.  As a former military member, I thought about those whom I was sure would be sent into combat and hoped that we would unleash the “wrath of God” upon those who’d dared do such a thing to us, thus hopefully getting things over quickly with the least amount of casualties for us.

Now that ten years have passed, it saddens me to remember that for a few days following the attacks back then, it didn’t matter if you were liberal or conservative, we were going to make these Islamic bastards pay for what they’d done.  It sickens me to know that it didn’t take long for the politics of things to rear their ugly head to where now, we have elected officials who’d rather play politically correct games for fear of the media or for fear of being branded an Islamophobe.

It frustrates me to know that as a nation, we’ve had problems with Middle Eastern militant Muslims since shortly after our country was founded. The Islamic Barbary Pirates forced the United States to pay MASSIVE amounts of tribute, resulting in our nation creating a new navy in 1794 to protect ourselves. The demands for tribute continued, so in 1801, President Jefferson refused to pay any more tribute and the First Barbary War started, lasting until 1805. We won but the War of 1812 against Great Britain saw the return of Muslim pirates attacking and plundering U.S. ships.  In 1815, the Islamic Regency of Algiers declared war on the U.S. for not paying required tribute.  The U.S. responded by sending a large naval force to the area and after a brief conflict, we forced Algiers to back down.

After the fall of the Ottoman Empire, for a time, Islamic nations didn’t seem much of a threat to us.  The British took control over what is now known as Israel and Jordan, both being part of the Mandate of Palestine.  As I understand it, the British then used the Jordan river as a border to create the Mandate of Transjordan,  which was designated for Arabs and Muslims while the now MUCH smaller Mandate of Palestine section would be for Jewish immigrants. Transjordan became an independent country (Jordan) in 1946 and Israel was made a country in 1948, leading to numerous wars and conflicts between Islamic nations and the Jewish state.  However, from the standpoint of the U.S., these were simply middle eastern conflicts and nothing much to do with us directly.

In the 1970’s, all that began to change with the Islamic revival, where the Arab Oil Embargo was the first flexing of Islamic power.  That escalated with the Iranian Revolution where the Shah of Iran was deposed and for a very short time, a government that was non-theocratical was created. That ended with the take over of the U.S. Embassy in Iran in 1979 and the resignation of said interim Iranian government. From then on, Islamic revolutionaries all over looked for ways to attack the U.S., whether it be by hijacking planes, planting bombs on warships, planting bombs in buildings, or doing “whatever” to fight us.  Throughout all this, our country never really took the threat seriously (in my opinion) and sadly, despite the events of 9/11, it seems that we still don’t really take the threats that seriously, other than to put ourselves out lest we be seen as Islamophobic.  *_*  We fight two wars but in both, we still held back out of political fear rather than getting the job done and getting the heck out of Dodge.  I fear that the result of this will be bad juju when we finally do pull out of Iraq and Afghanistan.


So, this 9/11, I will remember those who have died in the long-running war between militant Islam, who would see the entire world converted to Islam or die, and the United States.  I hope that one day, our nation will take the threat seriously, beyond extra screening of old folks and the like at airports, and that an ultimate victory, such as we had against Japan and Germany in World War II, would result in peaceful relations between Islamic states and the United States.  Such is the dream.  Somehow, given how weak and self-involved our political ruling elite in Washington are, we’ll be in conflict with militant Islam for the rest of our lives.  Too bad the leadership of 1801 and 1815 doesn’t exist today.

Memories of Grandma and Grandpa

I was running errands today, one of which took me by a supermarket. As I drove to find a parking place, I saw the car my grandparent’s used to drive when they were able years ago. The appearance of the vehicle was so similar as to take my breath away. Heck, for all I know, it could have been Grandma and Grandpa’s old car.

Whether it was or wasn’t, I find myself missing Grandma and Grandpa a great deal at the moment. I hadn’t realized how much I missed them until I saw the car.

I think of my Grandpa’s life as a brick layer and seeing his various works on chimneys and certain monuments. I smile when I remember him in his volunteer police work and his love of the classic cowboy way of life. I fondly remember his stories of fighting the Japanese in World War II and though I didn’t smile at the time, I can now smile remembering his negative reaction any time he saw a Mitsubishi car on the road. Mitsubishi made the various bombers that had to be fought off in the Pacific.

I think of Grandma’s love of taking pictures of us no matter where we went during vacation. As a teen, that was always so embarrassing to have our pictures taken at restaurants and the like, but the pictures end up capturing something unique in the mundane. I smile as I recall Grandma’s love of singing, playing the piano, the organ, and the accordion. That’s why she was the organ player at their church for so many years.

It has been a few years since they both passed away and Lord willing, they are in heaven singing the praises of Christ.


Man, I have to be the world’s biggest procrastinator. Here I am on my third night off and I’ve done precious little to be productive even though I’ve had the time. ^_^; I had planned to get caught up on all my anime blog stuff and maybe even the manga, but instead, I find myself playing the game Torchlight or even some silly mob game online with friends and family members.

Then when I’m not doing that, I’ve been craving various “Star Trek” stuff, which started after I received my Blu-ray for the most recent movie. So, I scored S2 and S4 of Star Trek: The Next Generation (having owned S1 and S3) for ~$35/DVD set (and a shame I didn’t score the rest since the prices went up to $50/set) and watched those. Since I had no more TNG to watch once I finished the final DVD, I went to my favorite Star Trek series, Deep Space Nine.


Oh well. Maybe I’ll be motivated more in 2010…maybe. ^_^;

When It Is Your Time, It Is Your Time

Everyone dies, but it is still a shock to me when someone I know very well passes away. It is more shocking for some reason when said person happened to be one of your doctors.

Some of you may recall my little adventure with a bloody nose that happened in January 2005. That was followed with seeing my Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) doctor for the first time, Doctor Dennington. I finally had surgery on my nose in April 2006 which was performed by Dr. Dennington. I received word today that he passed away in a rafting accident over the summer. He was 57.

When my nose finaly stopped bleeding after my 3rd trip to the ER, I went to my normal physicial (as instructed by the hospital) to have the packing removed from my nose. However, my doctor informed me that I needed to see an ENT doctor and immediately refered me to Dr. Dennington. Fortunately, Dr. Dennington had an opening. Dr. Dennington was a nice, professional doctor who was pretty effecient in what he did. Unfortunately, the act of walking into his office was $120 followed by $580 to have the packing removed from my nose (I found out all this later when I had to pay most of my medical expenses out of pocket…gotta love the medical insurance nightmare scheme Senator Ted Kennedy helped bestowed upon us many, many years ago).

I digress.

While Dr. Dennington’s bills were a great shock to someone who actually had to pay them (as opposed to having some insurance company pay everything save for a small co-pay or detuctable, which is what I was used to), he quickly saw some problems with my nose and recommended surgery. If it could help, I was all for it and eventually after I had some better insurance (meaning the majority of the nasty costs were paid by someone else, though I still had to pay a ton), I went in for my surgery.

I never wrote about this after my surgery, but despite the warning that Dr. Dennington gave me about my nose possibly being in great pain, there was no pain. In fact, once the packing was removed from my nose and all of the clots cleansed from my nostriles (thanks to a nifty nasal attachment to a waterpic that the good doctor gave me), I breathed well through my nose for the first time since I was a child.

I had to see Dr. Dennington a lot after my surgery…too often for my tastes since I don’t like having to go to see a doctor. However, he attempted to make the visits as quick and easy as possible for my sake. We would talk about different things while he did his exam or while . I felt comfortable enough to joke with him about how much a trip to see him ended up costing me and he had no problem with that, even joking about it himself.

After a while, I stopped seeing Dr. Dennington because there was nothing else he could do for me regarding the ongoing nasal crusting issue I have. That said, I will miss Dr. Dennington now that he has passed on. He was a good ENT doctor and he was well-rewarded financially for that, enough so that he could do what he loved on a regular basis — head to the great outdoors with his family.

My thoughts and prayers go with his family as well as to his office staff, whom I got to know quite well.

Decisions Made

I’m sure that most of us have had major crossroad moments in our lives that we know without a shadow of a doubt is a crossroad moment.

“Do I ask this girl to marry me or no?”

“Do I take this risky job that’s paying a ton of money or stay with the safer job for much less?”

“Do I write the novel within me despite my doubts about my abilities or do I press forward and let the chips fall where they may?”

I just pulled three random examples out of the air, but you get the point.

About ten years ago, I had a choice in my own life — work for a company on a Y2K project as a contractor where I would likely be hired at the end of the contract, or stay put. I chose the former because (1) the money was so huge and (2) working for a major telecommunication company seemingly on top of the world seemed like a safe choice whereas my own company, having been purchased for the second time, seemed less safe.

A lot of things have happened to me over those ten years. I didn’t get hired by the telecom company because they outsourced the work to another company. I went to work for another company that I loved (though I didn’t love my lack of benefits contract) but they were sold to a company who said, “We aren’t in the IS/IT business” and so outsourced our jobs. I went back to work for the major telecom company at a new location, but then the illegal activities of the company heads sent the company into bankruptcy and me out of a job. Now, I’ve worked for “The Company” both as a contractor and as an Extended Tenure Extra employee for well over five years.

With time against me as to whether I continue to have a job or not, I admit that I have at times wondered on whether the decision that has led me to where I’m currently at was the right one. God works in mysterious ways, because my old friend and co-worker Jibster contacted me the other day, letting me know that his job is being outsourced but he didn’t say where (I have a good idea — somewhere in the world where you can get some “foreign bastards” to work for pennies on the dollar).

So, what’s the lesson from God? I am right where I’m supposed to be, even if I lose my own job. This is the U.S. with lots of opportunities and should I lose my job, I’ll have to do some serious consideration and prayer on what to do next.

Arthur C. Clarke

If my memory serves, it was the summer of 1985 (late) when my friend Jimmy had the movie 2010, based on the novel of the same name by Arthur C. Clarke, that he thought I’d like. Being a sci-fi fan even back then, I thought I’d check it out. I knew of the movie 2001 but had never seen it. Jimmy assured me that I wouldn’t need to have seen the first to enjoy the sequel.

I went to Jimmy’s house and watched the movie with him. I have to say that the movie made a huge impression on me. It felt so real back then, as if the things in the movie could be technology we’d see in 25-years and the Cold War still very much in effect (who could have predicted that the Soviet Union would fall a few years after the movie was released?). The space stations were designed on how they’d have to be done to provide simulated gravity. The space ships Discovery and Leonov were very real feeling, especially since it took them 2-years to reach Jupiter. The sleeping chambers seemed a bit more of a stretch, but it felt reasonable and real.

Finally, the ultimate thing for me was the HAL-9000 (and SAL-9000) computers. The movie had them looking like mainframe consoles of the time, only they contained proper artificial intelligence, where the computer could carry on a relatively normal conversation with a human, not based simply on a series of preconditioned responses like those automated phone systems of today, but one where the computer could come up with its own, crafted responses and questions. The ultimate in A.I.

I wanted to get into the A.I. field very much because of 2010. In school, I started taking computer classes and for the first time, I knew what I wanted to do when I “grew up.” Getting into the A.I. field was not the Lord’s will for me. Instead, I got into the IS/IT field where I indeed worked on mainframes before branching out into other areas.

In Japan, because I was working in a large Data Center with the large mainframe and all its equipment (tape drives, disk drives, network equipment, and other items to support a mainframe), I had achieved at least part of my dream, even if the A.I. part wasn’t there. As such, it was here that I not only bought my own VHS copy of 2010, but I bought the novels 2001 and 2010. The books were very enjoyable and I read just about everything else that Mr. Clarke had published. Some I found great and some I found so-so.

Because Mr. Clarke’s work influence on my choosing a career path, it is with sadness that I see he passed away today. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.

Come Back With Me to 1976

For those of us old enough, remember the good old days in the 70’s and 80’s around Christmas time. J.C. Penney’s and Sears would always put out a special Christmas catalog. As a kid, I would st and dream of all the cool toys I’d see there. Heck, I even managed to score a few. ^_^ Still, thanks to WishBookJason, we can relive Christmas of 1976 with a J.C. Penny’s catalog from then.

The "Vacation" is Over

Took last week off from work because I sorely felt the need to get away, especially since we are about to lose another co-worker (going to what he hopes are greener pastures) and I don’t think they are going to hire a replacement. (What happens when there’s no one left to do the work and no one to train the people in India and Brazil?) I call it “vacation,” but my current status in The Company just calls it paid time off. That’s so when they decide to give me the boot, they don’t have to pay me for unused vacation days.

Anyway, the week was pretty good I have to say despite several unexpected pitfalls. I didn’t count on getting a massive sinus infection that had me down for a couple of days. That lead to a doctor’s visit to see my ENT doctor. Sadly, due to scheduling, I could only get an appointment at his Parker office, a 65-mile journey (and I took the bloody toll way because otherwise, it would have taken an hour and a half to get there). I didn’t count on the expensive day at the car shop where I was without transportation for an entire day.

On the other hand, I did get some anime watching done for my anime blog, which is something I really hadn’t been doing lately. I finally got around to unpacking the rest of my books and getting them on my cheap bookshelves in my office (they’d only been sitting there for 2-weeks). I got some stuff sorted to take to the used book store, the Goodwill, and some stuff to possibly sell on eBay. And I started my new Japanese class (which will start killing me as of this week).

Ultimately, I got to just relax, which was very, very nice. But tomorrow night sees me back to the old grind.

A Look at 2005

Everyone always takes a look back at the previous year when the new year is about to start. So I figured I’d do the same because I can.

January of 2005 saw me move to a new department within the company I was contracted to. That meant more pay, challenging work, and a boss from smeg! ^_^;;; Still, the pay was nice and the work was what I wanted, so I tolerated the boss, who to be fair, is the most intelligent people I’ve ever worked for. He knows the inner workings and infrastructure as if he built them. Because he has this gift, it is extremely difficult for him to deal with the fact that no one else will know it as he does and that no one will learn it to that degree because knowing it doesn’t really help us with our jobs (even though he can make a good-sounding case that knowing it is key to our jobs). But at least I have a job!

The spring of 2005 saw me have a bloody nose event that lasted for well over 24-hours, sending me to the emergency room by ambulance from work the first time, then two more visits the next day from home. I learned what it was to pass out from loss of blood, what it was like to be fed by an intravenous tube, and how great it is to be able to drink something without mounds of packing in your nose. I also learned how terrible my insurance company was. To this day, I’m still fighting with them to try to get them to pay something. However, since I’m still responsible for the bills, the nearly $10,000 I owe, I have to pay. If the insurance company ever does decide to pay, I’ll get refunded.

Because of this, I decided to try my luck at selling things on eBay. I’d sold a few things before, and in addition to selling DVD’s and stuff that I had owned, I attempted to try my luck at selling new things. Since anime is a very popular item, I figured I’d sell anime DVD’s. I scored several titles I knew were very popular and a few test titles, all which I paid 40% or less of retail. I figured that if I sold them for half the retail price, I’d be making a good profit. So, even though I had nearly $10,000 in medical bills, not counting my car and one other bill, I spent $1000 and bought some anime.

At first, it was a success with my first sales mostly doing well, some well enough more than cover those few titles that didn’t sell as well. However, as time went on, titles that were selling well started selling for less and less with each auction. Other test titles were selling, but for only a few dollars. By the time all was said and done, I broke even. Actually, since I never counted my gas expenditures (since when I went to the post office, I took care of other business), the cost of labels (since I also use them for personal things), ink, and my time, I lost money on the venture. I don’t know how folks make money on eBay, but I can tell you that it isn’t easy, no matter what the scammers tell you.

By August of 2005, my unreasonable, irrational, impatient, berate and belittle you in front of the whole command center, etc. boss converted me from contractor to “long term supplemental” at the company. That meant more money, great insurance, and a chance to be a full-time employee down the road. While it wasn’t a total surprise since he had stated that he wanted to do that, to that point, I really wasn’t sure where I stood or if I’d even have a job after six months. So I do appreciate him doing this for me and a few others, but that doesn’t change the fact that he needs some SERIOUS work on his management/people skills. ^_^;;;

Now that I was in the door of the company, I decided that I’d had enough of the 96-mile round-trip commute from my apartment to work. So I moved to a town near my company and to an apartment complex that takes about 6-minutes to get to work and 8 to get home (because of a couple of left turns). So while gas was up around the $3/gallon mark, I was VERY thankful to live so close to work. Of course moving was a complete and total nightmare. I had a bookshelf which I don’t think I’d looked at in 5-years (it was in an odd spot) and the dust was…well, there was a lot of it.

Also, I discovered that I had way more stuff than I had even imagined. As the boxes began to pile up in my living room, I began taking stuff to the Goodwill when I went to see my folks. And still the boxes rose and there was little sign to show for it in empty space. I even took an entire week off to finish packing. Good thing I did because frankly, I barely got done. I was so worn out by the experience that I just gave my deposit over to my old complex and asked for forgiveness.

Further adding to my stress that week was a call from my boss. He wanted to know if I were interested in a support job, which would mean more money and to work from home. I asked him for his opinion on the matter and he said he thought is was an excellent opportunity. I thought so too, not just because I would escape from him, so I told him to put my name in. The night before my move, I get a call telling me I need to have in my resume now (Thursday) but by no later than 4pm on Friday. That way my boss could get it to the other manager. Now the last thing on my mind was finding my resume. My computers were all packed up and I was desperately trying to get the last of my things packed for the movers to come in the next day. Because my boss can be very unreasonable, my team lead and I attempting to figure out some way to get a copy of my resume. Unpacking my computer was clearly not an option. Had I been thinking clearly, I would have remembered my resume on Monster.com and sent them there, but I wasn’t.

I called my boss and asked him if it would be OK to get it in Monday. After all, I was in the middle of a move and I wouldn’t get my computer unpacked until very late Friday night at my new place. Well, that wasn’t going to cut it. I asked if he could just explain to the other manager what was going on. Reasonable people would do that and assuming the manager at the other end was reasonable, waiting until Monday wouldn’t be a problem considering my situation. My bosses response? “Excuses are like horse shit.” Nice! That’s REAL helpful, boss!

In the end, he did accept my resume on Saturday and forwarded it on to the hiring manager. That being the case, why give me such a difficult time over it? No wonder turnover is so high in my department. Those people my manager doesn’t fire are deemed acceptable material, yet all of us want out badly! *sigh* At least I have a job, right?

Also during that week, Granddaddy died. He was my dad’s dad and was the man who taught me to fish, the joy of laughter and a good joke, and more. I did not get to attend the funeral and I had planned to write something about him here, and I will do so sometime, just not today. I had been blessed with both sets of grandparents and Granddaddy was the first to pass away. I know it won’t be that much longer before Grandmother departs, as well as Grandma and Grandpa.

Because work kept me busier than normal, I didn’t have as much time to study Japanese. Indeed, when I had free time, I ended up goofing off to blow off steam from work. That’s kind of sad because I’m sure I would have learned quite a few Kanji by this point and would have had a greater vocabulary. This year I’m going to have to force myself to carve out time for study!

By years end, work had become a nightmare of sorts. I didn’t get the support job, but several others in the department did and left. A few more found jobs in other departments and left. This left us very short handed, just in time for the month of December and all those Christmas vacations. To make it more interesting, my boss let two contractors go as “their services were no longer required” while bringing in a couple of others. So I ended up working nights a couple of times, working six 12-hour days in a row, and getting frantic phone calls on my day off about how they need someone to come in and help. But at least I have a job.

So while 2005 wasn’t a great year, I do thank the Lord for it, for my job, and even for my boss. Seriously! I may complain bitterly about him (helps me to release stress, you understand), but I’m sure it will be for my good!

I want to wish you all a Happy New Year! May 2006 be better for you all than 2005!