Sunday, July 15, 2012

Reflections on Life

Last month marked the 25th anniversary of my exodus from high school (more commonly known as graduation). Next week is the quintennial high school reunion (the 25 year one, of course) and it is one that I won't be able to attend due to the recent move, and lack of fundage and transportation (hopefully, I will be able to make the next one in five years, since the past two that I attended were rather enjoyable.) Anyway, this anniversary prompted me to look back upon the past 25 years and all the changes that have taken place since high school. My life has had its ups and downs, and it's been rough quite a bit of the time, but I've been lucky. In the 25 years since graduation, we've lost too many young promising classmates too soon (OK, we've only lost seven that I'm aware of, but in my honest opinion, seven is still too many.)
One girl, Vicky Comstock did not even live to enjoy her senior year. She lost her life in a house fire the day before school started that year. I still remember the shock and sadness of the first day of school that year. The usual excitement of catching up after a summer of not seeing friends and classmates was replaced by a somberness and the realization that one of us was missing.
The second loss was probably the most shocking. Amy Rusnak, a bright young girl with an infectious smile and laugh and a promising life ahead of her had her life cut short about a month after graduation. She was on her way home from work when her car was struck by a drunk driver. That news was probably the saddest I had received that summer. I remember sitting in my brother's dorm room in Rose Hall on EUP's campus talking with him and some of his friends when I heard the news (I believe it was our mom that called and relayed the news). I just sat there for what seemed like an eternity in shock (it was in reality probably only a few minutes) before I choked up and broke down and cried. At that time, I was a fairly peaceable and docile young person, but I remember wanting to go out and kill the guy for ending this young girl's life. Someone so sweet and kind didn't deserve to have her young life taken away like that.
The third came shortly afterward. John Klimek had been diagnosed with Prostate Cancer sometime earlier on, and despite the chemo, and other treatments, he succumbed to the disease. I never knew John that well, but his death hit be hard none-the-less.
The fourth came three years later, when Bruce Sokolowski lost his life in a frat house fire. I remember that night vividly, as I had just returned to my dorm room on campus from a party at a friend's house. I could see the flames from my room on the 8th floor of Lawrence Towers and watched it from my window most of the night. The next day, I learned of Bruce's fate. His death really hit me hard as Bruce was my self-proclaimed "protector" all through high school. If anyone would pick on this short quiet kid, they would have to deal with Bruce. That night, the world lost another good soul.
The other three I didn't find out about until a year or two after they passed from this earth. Cindy Trask, and Nicole Wittenburg both lost their lives some years later to illness, and Lisa Petulla, if I'm not mistaken lost her life in a motorcycle accident.
It's been 25 years, and we're all getting older. I guess the real reason I'm disappointed that I won't be able to attend this class reunion is because this might have been one of the last chances that I would have to see some of my classmates. We're not getting any younger, and each passing year brings us closer to our own passing. I just keep praying that the rest of us have a few decades left to us. And to those that have gone before, I look forward to the final reunion when we can all be together agaim.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Rude People and Inconsiderate Drivers

It occurred to me today that people and drivers in general around this area are a rude bunch. I've noticed this in certain customers that come into the store where I work, other shoppers when I'm doing my grocery shopping at either WalMart or Giant, and especially in the other drivers on the road. First, let's start with customers. There is one woman that comes into the store that causes EVERYONE (including other customers) to cringe every time she comes into the store. For all intents and purposes, I will refer to her as "Jane". Every time we see the blue PT Cruiser pull into the parking lot, we pray that it's Jane's husband, "Shane" (of course, not his real name) that is coming into the store and not her. Whenever Jane walks into the store everyone knows it, because instantly, you hear a caterwauling worse than Fran Drescher's "Nanny" butting into somebody's business. She'll not only say rude things to the employees, but make rude comments to and about other customers. To say her infamy precedes her would be a gross understatement. Another customer, although not nearly as rude, but still rude enough is "Corrie". Corrie is one that will come in while there is only one person working, see that employee waiting on a line of customers at the open register, and proceed to remove the "register closed" sign from the other side of the counter and expect to be served right away. Most of the time, I have no problems with Corrie, but when she does that, I just want to tell her to leave the store and come back when she has the common courtesy to wait in line like everybody else. There are a few others, some regulars and others that just come in off the interstate, that come in talking on their cell phones, and don't have the common courtesy to put the person they are talking to on hold while they are checking out. They'll keep talking on their phones and expect not only the person waiting on them to wait for them to finish their phone call, but they'll expect the line of customers behind them to wait as well. Again, if you can't be considerate and get off your phone, get out of the store until you're finished. Next, let's look at the fellow shoppers in the grocery store. We'll start with Betty Jo Redneck and her gaggle of screaming, kicking, punching, yelling, crying, etc brats. While Betty Jo is blocking the aisle talking to her girlfriend, Hilda Hicks, her gaggle is running rampant, chasing each other down the aisles, knocking displays over and running into other shoppers, sometimes hitting the unexpecting person and oftentimes uttering profanities that I never heard when I was their age. When approached about her childrens' behavior, good ol' Betty Jo looks at you, shows you the finger that doesn't mean "you're #1", and tells you to mind your own business. You turn around and finish getting the small list of 10 items or less and proceed to the express checkout, where you bump into your old friend Betty Jo once again, and she's unloading two cartloads of groceries (either she can't read English -or read at all- or she's holding up the express lane to support her smoking habit of a carton per day, since she just bought 7 cartons of cigarettes.) You patiently wait, hoping that she'll hurry up and get checked out, fearful of a repeat performance of your last encounter. Last, there are the drivers. I thought people up in Erie were bad (hey, at least they could drive in adverse weather conditions and not cause any major catastrophies), but down here, it's every man for himself, and heaven forbid if you try to do the speed limit like a law abiding citizen, because you'll get blown off the road. I've seen more people make left turns before waiting for opposing traffic to pass, more people driving 20+ miles/hour over the speed limit, and more major traffic accidents here in 2 months than I saw in 2 years in Erie. I tried to merge onto Interstate 81 while going to get groceries last week, and had to stop at the end of the exit ramp until I got an opening to merge into the right lane of traffic (on what was a 4 lane stretch of road going in that direction). No sooner had I pulled out onto what was a clear opening 5 seconds prior, than I was almost rear-ended by some maniac in a Prius blasting his horn and doing 80mph (I had to floor it to get enough speed to get going.) It's gotten to the point that I try to avoid the major interstates, and the Harrisburg Expressway (the I-81, PA 581, I-83, US 322 loop around the city) as much as possible, and try to avoid rush hour altogether if possible. While I like this area in general, I REALLY miss the friendlier customers, somewhat more considerate shoppers, and relatively tame drivers of Erie.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


(Originally Published 27 July, 2009)
Just a video I found of one of my all-time favorite filk songs, done for Elfquest: A Wolfrider's Reflections. I was feeling a bit nostalgic today, and longing for times passed, and this song came to mind (Leadership lessons- Part VI to follow shortly, so enjoy)

Cutter: Tam's Song
words & music: Julia Ecklar

"Brothers in heart, Soul-Brother, are we,
Though in blood we be no more than friends.
I value your life with all that is in me,
More than my life or its too brief end.

Earth-humbled, Skywise,
How it must hurt your heart when you look to the skies.
Together we stand in a world not our own;
Skywise from the sky, and me from my home.

For too many seasons we've lived in this sand,
With no deer and no trees to behold.
I can hear the Holt call like a maid in my dreams,
And a cry of pain howls from my soul.

Wolfbrother, let's ride
To the land of sweet greenness where out fathers died!
No Sun People we, our hearts must run free!
If I run to the sun will you still follow me?

When I finally have peace and my own family,
How can discontent stir in my mind?
Why do I want to run back to sad memories
With the wolf and my friend by my side?

My wolf-blood runs high
Every night that the moon shows her face in the sky.
This life was not meant for those made such as we.
Run away with me, Skywise, our homeland to see.

I'll not stay still too long, for this is not my home;
To a place far from here I must flee.
I know you, friend, will come to that land of our own,
To the Holt we were both loath to leave.

Soul-Brother Skywise,
Let no one tie you down in your search for the sky.
They can't tame a wolf's soul, or set soft chains on me.
Let us run from this safety and once more be free."

Who's the Fool?

(Originally posted 15 July, 2009)[Note: This was one of my favorite posts from FtAoD] “A fool may be known by six things: anger, without cause; speech, without profit; change, without progress; inquiry, without object; putting trust in a stranger; and mistaking foes for friends” This proverb came up in class discussion today, and it got me to thinking about recent events, and certain people involved. It is an interesting proverb (Arabian, I believe), and is so true in so many ways. Let's pick this apart, piece by piece:

1) Anger without cause:
OK, this is an easy one. Why be angry with anyone for no reason? Let's say someone does something contrary to the ways you think it should be done. Is it really wise to start a war over something so petty? All things considered, the other person will not be persuaded by angry words, and you'll end up coming out looking like a bigger fool than when it all started.
2) Speech without profit:
Another easy one. If nothing you have to say makes sense, is pertinent to the topic or conversation at hand, or is productive in any way, then it is all for naught, and- you got it, you become a bigger fool for speaking it in the first place.
3)Change without progress:
Simple enough- Change without progress is no change at all.
4) Inquiry without object:
laymans terms- Asking a question and not pursuing the answer. Why even ask a question when you don't want to hear the answer to it? Enough said on this one.
5) Putting trust in a stranger:
This one speaks for itself. By putting trust in a stranger, you could be putting yourself, your valuables, or others at risk.
and, Last, but not least:
6) Mistaking foes for friends:
This one ties in with #5. Knowledge is the key. Know who your friends are and who you can trust, and who to count on when you need them. If you don't, and put your trust in the wrong person, well, you're going to end up cheated, robbed, or worse yet- dead. Know your enemies.

Don't be a fool.

Posts Hitting Home

(Originally published 02 July, 2009) [Note, again this post references things that happened three years ago, but has been preserved in its entirety]Most times, I post about stuff that just hits me and I feel compelled to blog about. Recently, my last post Fear The AoD!!!: Imitation and Charades had inspired someone to "come clean" about things that were going on in his life, as he felt somehow, my post was directed at him. It wasn't my intention to force confessions from anyone, but the resulting confession of my friend led me to respect him even more for doing something that I, myself, would have a very difficult time doing (hence my own skeletons remaining locked in their respective closets) and we had a nice little talk after the fact. My friend left himself open to criticism, of which he will have my support if it ever comes to that, and my prayers as he is struggling with a lot of the inner demons that I myself face on a daily basis.

As to the REAL inspiration behind that post, I was in the car on my way to class the other day, and the song "Show Me the Way" by the band STYX was playing on the radio. For those of you not familiar with the band, or the song, it was released in 1991, and reflected upon one individual's disillusionment with the opening line "Every night I say a prayer in the hopes that there's a Heaven." That song, and a subsequent selection played a few minutes later, Poison's "Something to Believe In" and it's opening lines "Well I see him on the TV preachin' 'bout the promised land. He tells me to believe in Jesus and steals the money from my hand. Some say he was a good man, but Lord I think he sinned..." (Their video portrayed the Rev. Jimmy Swaggart, I believe) prompted me to post something. Yes, I myself have been disillusioned with organized religion for a long time. It started as a slow decline while I was in college, and took a major nosedive around 1992, when the blind girl I was dating, a "devout christian", suddenly started seeing someone else, and falsely accused me of raping her when she got pregnant by the other guy. I was devastated, and feeling rather suicidal at that point (I had done everything for this person, and devoted my life up until that point to giving her what she needed-only to be stabbed in the back by her, so yea, I really didn't feel like living at that point). As I stated, I was rather distraught, and suicidal, so I committed myself to the psychiatric ward of the local hospital, where I stayed for three weeks until they felt I was no longer a threat to myself. During my stay there, I had received calls from friends and the Edinboro, PA police chief telling me that the girls father was on the warpath, and threatening to kill this "beast that defiled his 'innocent little girl'". Needless to say, I had to watch my back upon my return home, and never went anywhere unless I had a friend or two with me for at least a couple of months after that. I turned to the people at my church for help and guidance, only to find that most of those who had known me for YEARS would not speak to me, as they had been poisoned by the lies being told by the girl. My life, and my faith shattered, I turned from God (not enough to be completely convicted) and I turned to other things to solve my problems. I began to drink regularly, and at times, heavily. I still recall a few things that happened while under my drunken stupors, that make me shudder to this day:
While drinking with friends out on a rooftop, one night, I got up to go inside and relieve my bladder, and almost walked off the roof.

Another night, I was walking back from a "drinking party" with my friend, Bill, and I stopped on a bridge and told him flat out "I don't want to live anymore, I wonder if I jumped now, if I would drown quickly or slowly, or even feel anything." I know I scared him, and it was one of the few times I saw him, a person that doesn't show emotion very often, cry. Bill pulled me down off the guardrail, and walked me the rest of the way home.

I know that there are probably other incidents that I was too drunk to remember, but those two in particular stick out in my mind, and looking back on it all, I know that God was watching over me, despite my own belief that he didn't give a damn about my life. If it weren't for God, and Bill, as well as other friends, I know that I would not be here today to tell about it. With that being said, the aforementioned post was directed at my own inner conflicts with religion, and religious leaders more than anything.

Show Me The Way-Styx
"Every night I say a prayer in the hopes that theres a heaven,
And every day I'm more confused as the saints turn into sinners.
All the heroes and legends I knew as a child have fallen to idols of clay,
And I feel this empty place inside, so afraid that I've lost my faith.

Show me the way, show me the way.
Take me tonight to the river
And wash my illusions away,
And show me the way.

And as I slowly drift to sleep, for a moment dreams are sacred.
I close my eyes and know there's peace in a world so filled with hatred,
That I wake up each morning and turn on the news to find we've so far to go,
And I keep on hoping for a sign, so afraid that I just wont know.

Show me the way, show me the way.
Take me tonight to the mountain
And take my confusion away,
And show me the way.

And if I see Your light, should I believe?
Tell me how will I know?

Show me the way, show me the way.
Take me tonight to the river
And wash my illusions away.
Show me the way, show me the way.
Give me the strength and the courage
To believe that I'll get there someday,
And please show me the way

And every night I say a prayer in the hope that theres a heaven..."

Imitation and Charades

(Originally published 30, june, 2009)[Note: since first publication, some links are no longer valid, but I kept the post intact to preserve the meaning of the post. djs)First off, let me make some clarification regarding my post of 6/26. I have received numerous comments regarding imitation between my blog and two others on that date, so, before anyone else comments, let me say this, two of the posts were original, and uninspired by previous posts. My post and this post over at Soliloquy were both inspired by a conversation the two of us had over the telephone on Friday morning, in which the words "This would make a good blog post" were uttered. Neither of us knew the other would post it, and acted on our own without outside inspiration. Any other post on the topic was inspired by the original two postings, hence the duplication.

Now I'll move on to the main topic of this post: Charades. I'm sure that a lot of us are familiar with this game as we've played it from time to time since childhood. Sadly, many people carry on this "game" in their real life. People like to make people believe they are one thing when, in fact, they are not. People in leadership positions are not exempt from this game. I've seen many people in leadership positions, some "Christian" leaders, that have fallen once their mask of deceit has been removed. They'll preach at you and condemn you for doing something that is "immoral" or "sinful", all the while maintaining the mask of perfect sainthood. Then, all of a sudden, BOOM! One slip of the tongue or badly thought out decision, and that mask is shattered, revealing the life of duplicity said leader has been leading. Some examples include the Revs. Jim Bakker and Ted Haggard, and- on a broader spectrum- the Catholic church. My question is this: How are we, as those of the "following" supposed to believe what we are taught is right and wrong if those that are the "teachers" do the exact opposite of what they are supposed to be teaching us. What gives them the right to shove their doctrine and -more often than not- personal beliefs down our throats, when they can't practice what they preach? And people wonder why there is a constant decline in moral standards. When will our leaders' underlying motives reflect what their masks are trying to project?


"I'm all dressed up in my finest attitude
Pretending I don't care.
Guess I really messed up by trying to be two,
When only one heart can be there.
Why can't I be just what I am,
And [live my life] without any shame?
Why can't [they] see what I am,
Is a costumed fool trapped in a tragic game?

Charades and pretty lies
They hide what's deep inside me.
Charades do disguise
All [that I hide deep] inside me.
Charades! Can't see me,
But can you feel the real me,
The real me behind my charades?

Oh, please don't mind me,
Performing at my hardest
As I paint upon the air.
You won't find me
Cause it's a portrait of the artist
As a man who isn't there.

Charades and pretty lies
They hide what's deep inside me.
Charades do disguise
All [that I hide deep] inside me.
Charades! Can't see me,
But can you feel the real me,
The real me behind my charades?

Can't you feel the real me,
Behind my charades?
Have I lost the real me,
Behind my charades?
(Gibson, Caulfield- with words altered by myself to fit the post)

The Value of Love

(Originally pulbished 09 April, 2009)The following was written by a friend of mine, and I couldn't have said this better myself. I would rather be this kind of rich, than have all the money in the world. Enjoy!
The Value of Love
Patricia Ann Coleman

“Are we rich mommy?” my eight year old pondered as we made our way through the toy store. I glanced down as he was standing amidst isles of extravagant and fancy gadgets. I contemplated my answer for a moment or two and then happily declared that we indeed are rich. “Then why can’t we buy this?” as he held a new game system in his hands. With heartache I explained we could not afford it. I, as most parent, would love nothing more then to be able to provide my children with all their hearts desires. Though after a messy divorce and starting over ends are extremely hard to meet.

His inquisitiveness turned to confusion as we made our way to the register. “If we are rich then how come we can’t afford it?” he asked perplexed. “What makes a person rich sweetie?” I inquired. At that moment he gazed at me as if I were insane. “Money!” he eagerly explained. The cashier looked up in amusement of his respond. It was at that moment I understood that my sweet son’s ideas of riches were askew.

Explaining the difference would be one of the most important jobs I ,as parent, could ever perform. In this age of immediate gratification and excessive unnecessary possessions, how do you challenge the value of money over the value of love? “Having money is not what makes you rich”, I rationalized as he stared blankly at me. “ Being rich is how you live your life not what you have.” I went on to translate how to determine a persons’ real value. I informed him that the richest people in the world are those who love themselves as well as other. How someone lives and loves is what indeed makes them truly rich.

He looked softly at me, almost as if enlightened by the information, and smiled. “Well then I hope I’m rich when I get older.” Still unsure if he grasped the concept I laid out, I probed for the nature of his hopeful wealth. He fervently stated love. Enjoying the warm feeling within, I confirmed to him that waiting was not necessary. Young, old, boy, girl anyone can possess all the riches in the world. Well you would have thought he won a million dollars when hearing this.

A month later my son had a few friends over to celebrate his birthday. They fluttered around the house as my son showed off his room and toys. Clearing the plates of left over cake and broken balloons I over heard one of the boys state how rich his father is. Pretending not to listen I was surprised to hear my son quiz his buddy over this new found fact. “What does he do?” he began with to which the boy responded quickly. “He works”, he exclaimed. Bewildered my son struck back, “yeah but what does he do?” His friend went silent not understanding the question. “Does he help others, treat people nice, and do all he can to be a good person?” The boy looked down shaking his head no. “Well then I guess my mom is richer than your dad”, he affirmed. They trotted off leaving me standing there in awe.

As I might have thought I taught him a lesson what my son taught me that day was immeasurable. It’s not about having the best game system or that i-pod they think they can’t live without. What kids genuinely need it to be taught the value of love. This Christmas my son wants to volunteer at the soup kitchen, to give our love to others so they may feel as rich as we do. So next time you are battling five other parents for that last Elmo doll ask yourself if that is the lesson you want your child to learn.


(Originally published 26 June, 2009) Peer pressure: this is such a wonderful term, is it not, especially when it is used to coerce one into bowing to the "will of the pack" or getting one to believe the pack mentality. It is a useful, albiet (more often than not) unethical tool used by many to get others to bow to their will. This "do as I say or else" mentality is pervasive everywhere you look and, sadly, it seems that even the most "ethical" of people are not above stooping to these tactics of mental torture in order to get what they want. Even the strongest of people sometimes buckle beneath the will of the torturer, if the torture goes on long enough. Take, for example, Jean-Luc Picard (Yes, another Star Trek reference.) In the episode shown above (Chain of Command, Part II), he is captured and tortured by the Cardassians in order to gain information on an invasion Picard has no knowledge about. When he truthfully disavows any knowledge of the invasion, he is constantly tortured by his captor in hopes of getting him to break. "How many lights do you see?", his captor constantly asks him, trying to get him to admit that there are five lights, when in fact, there are only four. When Picard answers truthfully that there are only four lights, he is shocked for his insolence and told he is a fool. This continues until, near his breaking point, he is offered a life of confort (if he answers that there are FIVE lights) or a life of endless torture if he continues to defy his captor. Picard is about to give his final answer when guards enter the room and tell him he is free to go, when he stands, turns to face his captor, and says quite vehemently "THERE... ARE... FOUR... LIGHTS!, and walks out the door. However, once back upon the Enterprise, he admits that, at the end, when faced with the options, he could actually believe that there were FIVE lights. However, he persisted in his will, despite the potential consequences.

I am like Picard a lot in that aspect. I do not bow easily to the will of the pack, especially when I feel that will goes against my own principles. Oftentimes, people try to bully me into seeing things their way (which incidentally doesn't work) or resort to the "do things my way or else" tactic, which works in their favor even less, because, more often than not, I choose the "or else" path, regardless of the consequences. I have told people quite often (especially lately) that I think for myself. I make my own decisions, and have my own will. Other people rarely have any influence on what I decide, and I think to a point, they resent me for that fact. If I feel something needs to be said, I'll say it, as diplomatically as the situation permits. But regardless, I will not bend to anyone's will when I feel they are wrong. To these people, I say "THERE ARE ***FOUR*** LIGHTS!"

Make It So: Jean-Luc Picard- A Lesson in Leadership

(Originally published 24 June, 2009)It annoys me to no end when I make suggestions on how to improve leadership, and people treat me like I know nothing of what I am talking about and then proceed to either ignore me or try to silence me. For starters, I will clear up any misconceptions that ANYONE has regarding my knowledge or experiences in leadership responsibilities.
1) I have been a "Chapter Commanding Officer" of various Star Trek fan organizations for the past fifteen years. I have organized, and LED people in various activities on the local level, as well as on the international level (Yes, at one point, I even took the reigns of the parent organization for a brief time) and had to LEAD and deal with a LOT of people.

2)Aside from that, I have also taken up various responsibilities at other organizational levels, including handling diplomatic relations with other clubs and organizations, and holding LEADING positions in the clubs' various branches. Therefore, I would say I have plenty of experience (if three years is considered "experienced", then I guess I'm "over-experienced".)

With that being said, I hope people will not be so quick to brush me aside as an "inexperienced upstart" who "knows nothing about what he is talking about."

Now on to the topic of this post: Who did I look to for leadership lessons? The answer is Jean-Luc Picard. Granted, he is a fictional character, but I firmly believe that the writers of Star Trek: The Next Generation, or any other incarnation of Star Trek had to do some research into leadership roles in order to make the show and the plot believable. Jean-Luc Picard was the prime example of a leader. He was always motivated to get the job done, no matter what it took. He was a leader, a diplomat, and probably most importantly fair and respectable to all of those under his command. He rarely faltered, and when he did, he would re-evaluate the situation and correct his mistakes before they led to disaster. He never charged blindly into any situation, nor did he procrastinate when action needed to be taken. He also knew how to properly delegate responsibilities to the appropriate members of his crew in order to get the job done, and done right. The end result was a ship that ran smoothly with little or no conflict or problems of any kind. I looked to Captain Jean-Luc Picard for inspiration whenever a decision had to be made. If conflict arose, I learned to deal with it as diplomatically as possible in order to resolve the issue with the utmost expedience and success. I also learned that different people have different leadership styles, and while no one style is necessarily wrong, some leadership styles are better than others. Using what I've learned, I was able to keep my own "crew" intact, despite differences, for many years (and I continue to do so).

In closing, I highly suggest Make It So: Leadership Lessons From Star Trek, The Next Generation to anyone in any type of leadership position (and it was a church pastor that recommended it to me) as a tool to hone leadership skills. MAKE IT SO!

The Tree of Swords and Jewels (repost from "Fear the AoD")

(Originally published 28 July, 2009) Yet another of my favorite filk songs. This one performed by Heather Alexander, in tribute to The Tree of Swords and Jewels by C.J. Cherryh. Enjoy

Elfquest: The Confrontation

Yet another from A Wolfrider's Reflections. This is the classic confrontation between Strongbow and Winnowill. This is also the first of many posts that I am copying over from my old blog (Fear the AoD) before I delete it (yes, that blog has outlived its usefulness, since I no longer play WoW as frequently as I used to, and the rantings of a night elf turned blood elf turned night elf death knight are no longer of interest.) so... Enjoy.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Just A Short Post

It's been a rather busy, hectic, strange week here. I forgot to mention in my last post that I'm working in a convenience store called Turkey Hill, in fact, it's the same store that I worked at 16 years ago before moving back up to the Erie area in '96. Anyway, things at the store had been in somewhat of a disarray since before I started working there in late May. In the absence of a full manager, the store was being run by an assistant manager who seemed to have somewhat of a "lackadaisical" attitude about things. I noticed from the start a lot of outdated products on the shelves, and started pulling them when I got the chance. I also got hired into a store full of its own brand of drama. One employee seemed content to put all the other employees down, and calling them lazy, fat, etc. and not only saying this to their faces, but to and in front of customers. This caused quite a bit of dissention in the ranks, and being as I am, I tried to remain neutral until said employee tried putting the other employees down in front of me or trying to do the same to me. I wouldn't put up with it, and so I told her, which quickly turned her attitude on to me. About two weeks ago, they brought a new store manager in, and she started trying to get things back in order. Shortly afterward, the assistant manager got fired for neglecting her duties, and we were back to square one with being understaffed. Also, complaints about the one employee started coming in from customers, and a store meeting was held on Monday to "correct" the situation. Since then, the area manager, and other higher ups have been in the store trying to figure out how to get things in order and get the store running as it should. Needless to say, it's been a bit busy, and at times frustrating. Hopefully things get to some semblance of "normalcy" soon.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Back Again and a Contest

So, I've been a bit lax with the blogging. Well, more than a bit lax, but I'm still here. What's new in my life? Well, I am no longer in Erie, PA. We transplanted ourselves to Enola, PA in Early May, and left Erie behind. I can't say I really miss the area there, but there are a few people that I do miss, and hope to get back to visit before too long. I was planning on going back to visit this month for my class reunion (this year is 25 years since I graduated from High School) but lack of fundage and vehicle issues prevented that. Anyway, Things are pretty decent here. I'm closer to family, and it's a nicer area. We live about 3 blocks up from the rail yard, but don't really hear the trains that much, just an occasional whistle or bells, but nothing more. Kat got a job at the local nursing home, making about 1.4 times what she was making in Erie. I got a job working for the same Turkey Hill store I worked at before I moved from LeMoyne 16 years ago. I'm still looking for accounting work, but since we moved at a time when all the recent college graduates were looking for work, I haven't found one yet. Not giving up hope though. I haven't really been doing much gaming lately, as I got bored even with the beta testing of Mists of Pandaria, and Diablo 3 got boring really quick (one can only do the same quests over and over again for too long before it gets old.) Been playing a game online called "Lords of Ultima" (which is supposedly a continuation of sorts of the old Ultima games from the late 80s/early 90s.) It's not really time consuming, and I have time to do other things as well. The weather here has been really HOT of late. Today, I think, is the hottest so far. It's only 97degrees in Harrisburg, but outside my own window, my thermometer was reading 104.3 just an hour ago, and the sun wasn't even shining on it. Storms are supposed to move through later this evening through tomorrow, and cool things off, but until then, we bake. That's all for my update for now. I shall endeavor this time to update on a mor eregular basis. even if it's random thoughts. Now, as promised, my friend Angela Korra'ti is holding a contest to win a free copy of her recently published book, Faerie Blood. There are 2 eBook copies and 2 print copies up for grabs. For your chance/chances of winning, follow the link below:

my playlist

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