Monday, November 23, 2009

Congratulations . . .

. . . tentative job offer.

That's what the email said, but there was no information about salary. Only a request for the appropriate paperwork to continue with the process.
You have been tentatively selected and are being actively considered for employment for the position of <deleted>. If you are interested and would like further consideration for this position, please provide the following information and documents: <deleted>

I guess there's some deep, underlying reason the government must communicate in this manner, but it escapes me. I would assume that a job offer (even tentative) would include at least an afterthought about salary.

Perhaps not.

More later . . .

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Good news . . .

. . . I hope.

Monday, I am to receive a formal offer and proposed salary for the job in Naples, Italy. It supposedly was emailed to me on Thursday, but there was a glitch somewhere.

The process of applying, selecting, etc., has been going on since 27 JUL. I have found that the wheels of government truly grind slowly.

Film at 11 . . .

School ties . . .

. . . dissolved.

The mascot/team name of the small-town high school I attended in Illinois was the Bulldogs. The Virden (IL) Community High School Bulldogs, that is. Our colors were purple and white.

No longer.

Virden schools have now consolidated with nearby Girard (IL), and now the Bulldogs and our #2 sports rival, the Redbirds are now one.

Of course, neither mascot could survive, as that would cause an inter-village war among the athletic supporters (so to speak). So some sort of referendum was held, and the schools have a new name, new colors and a new mascot.

The school name is North Mac, the colors are black and blue, and the mascot is a panther - showing a complete lack of imagination, I might add.

North Mac comes from North Macoupin County, IL, where the schools are located. However, I suspect a forthcoming lawsuit from McDonalds, as they believe they have full rights to anything starting with Mc or Mac.

Black and blue colors for a football team? Come on. Besides, the new logo is an exact copy of an existing logo for a semi-pro team.

Finally, there are NO panthers in Illinois, panthers have no historical connection to Illinois, and there are already dozens of teams in in the state with the same name.

At least it's an improvement of the name the Pekin, IL teams formerly used. Can you believe the Pekin "Chinks?" Yep, because Pekin sounds kind of like the old pronuncation for China's capital, they were called the "Chinks."

Makes the Washington Redskins and Cleveland Indians nicknames a bit tame.

Why should I care?

I guess I really don't, but high school years are some of the most formative of our lives, and changing those anchors of who we are just doesn't seem right.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Nicknames . . .

. . . for Lisa

Rocky - from my college roommate.

La - from her older brother because he couldn't say Lisa at first.

Ahsa - from her younger brother because he couldn't say Lisa either.

Lucy - from a point in her life when she was younger and rather vociferous. Charles Schultz fans will understand.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Check Lisa's post . . .

. . . "My dad + wiring = fire"

No, not THIS Lisa. Another Lisa.

That post brought back a fond memory.

My dad could do anything BUT wiring. He was a machinist's mate in the Navy. He ran a service station, a grain terminal, a fertilizer depot and a quarry at different times. He built a motorcycle from parts, painted cars, overhauled engines, poured concrete. He jacked up our house and put a basement under it.

He is why I am so mechanically inclined. However, he didn't study electricity, and I did.

My first year in college, he asked me about running 220V wiring for the new clothes dryer. When he showed me what he intended to do, I told him it would cause a direct short and burn out the wiring.

He didn't seem to believe me, so I took a very fine piece of wire, held it in insulated pliers and touched the ends where he thought he should hook up the dryer.

Result? Sparks. Wire burned in half.

After I helped him hook it up, he patted me on the back and said thanks. That was the first time I can remember that my dad asked me for technical advice.

It was a nice, fuzzy, warm feeling - from 47 years ago. I can still see it in my mind's eye.
Have some pride . . .

. . . damn it.

Stop it, and stop it NOW!

You are the president of the United States.

You do not bow to ANY other head of state.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

What we are teaching . . .

. . . our college athletes.

In the Virginian-Pilot this morning:
"I want to apologize to the officiating staff. I kind of lost it a little bit. You guys are just doing your job. I should have just did my job a little better."

- University of Virginia quarterback after losing his temper at the officiating crew.

He's a senior in college. After 15 -1/2 years of schooling, this is the result?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans' Day - 11 NOV 2009

My Father
MM3, USN - 1943 - 1946

Friday, November 06, 2009

Well done . . .

. . . Officer Munley.

This is Kimberly Munley, who faced off Major Nidal Malik Hasan at Ft. Hood. She shot him four times and put him down, despite being wounded herself.

A hero among heroes.

And, what was Barry O up to? Addressing the nation? Well, sort of. He spent the first 2:17 of his "address" commenting on the conference he was attending, including giving a "shout out" to a Native American Medal of Honor recipient.

Then he got around to Ft. Hood.

Tacky, Barry. Tacky.

There's a special place in Hell . . .

. . . for those who kill their brothers-in-arms.

November 5 . . .

Remember, remember the fifth of November,
The gunpowder treason and plot,
I know of no reason
Why the gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.

That's one of too many rhymes stuck in my head.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Staying cool . . .

. . . can save your life.

But panic can kill you.

On 16 SEP, a highway patrolman, his wife, daughter and brother-in-law were killed in a crash because the accelerator pedal on the loner toyota they were driving stuck down.

Actully, the stuck accelerator didn't kill them, the panic did.

If your accelerator pedal stuck, what would you do?

1) Jam on the brakes?
2) Turn off the ignition?
3) Put it in neutral?

If you chose 1 or 2, you're likely dead. Here's why.

1) Wrong! If you jam on the brakes, they probably won't be able to hold against the engine, and will burn out. Then, you have a stuck accelerator AND no brakes.

2) Wrong! That will kill the engine, but most cars today (in the US at least) have that theft-defeating steering wheel lock. Now, you have a stuck accelerator AND no steering.

3) Right! That may blow up the engine, but at least you're not accelerating, and you DO have brakes and steering.

The 911 call is really disturbing to me for two reasons. First, the guy in the car taking way too long to describe the situation. That's understandable because he's in dire stress. Second, the 911 operator has no sense of urgency. What bearing does "where are you?" have on the emergency? Instead of saying "Can't you turn it off?" he needed to say "PUT IT IN NEUTRAL!"

I know that's second guessing, and I wasn't there. But every driver and every 911 operator should be trained on this situation.