Saturday, November 19, 2016

For What it's Worth - Refugees, Emigration & Immigration

Just my humble opinion on packing up and getting out...


Not doing it...

I just wrote a rambling screed about people fleeing so-called tyrrany; Moronic celebs talking big and then not following through, then countering with my oh-so-brief thoughts in 2008 of living on a sailboat off the coast of South America to escape Obama's Folly...
And any discussion of refugees needs to touch on the Great Middle East Diaspora and the backdoor invasion or Europe.

The whole thing went from a 2-paragraph opinion piece to a 4 page lecture on refugees, Emigration, sleeper agents, patriotism and history if Sandbox Countries.

When my thumbs started cramming from writing I saved the draft and did a wikiwander on Syria, Lebanon and other garden spots in the ME...
I came up for air 30 minutes later....
Listen to Uncle Jay... if you haven't done any recent serious reading on the history and situations in the ME, and are relying on the Rand McNally maps from your junior high school years,  go do some research. Especially on the historical aspects...
I deleted several pages of foolscap that no one (not even me) would have enjoyed reading.
Instead of wasting time here, go edumacate yo'sef.
Start with Wikipedia, and if you read the US news sites take them with a grain if salt.  Don't shun BBC and some of the Aussie stuff. And some of the smaller blog that try to provide "Understanding the Syrian Civil War for Dummies" actually have some interesting points to make.
'Nuff said.
Someday I'll write a coherent screed about it, and try to keep it under 2000 words.

TBG - moving out

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Entitlement: Not Just For The Underprivledged Any More

Sitting in 'upscale' diner in Hyde Park, waiting to go look at a shoebox in a retention pond at 10am.

A well-dressed woman is picking up a togo order at the counter...
Looking at her ticket she has a hissy fit that her 2 eggs and turkey sausage to go is $11.
WDW: "When I eat here Delores (another waitress I guess) always rings them up separately so its only $4.00."
Manager explains that although the other waitress was violating restaurant policy, he would make an exeception and ring her up that way, but moving forward they would have to go by SOP.
Woman continues to have a meltdown, customer is always right, such poor customer service,  how can you possibly expect to stay in business...yadda yadda yadda.
The dude is a testament to diplomacy and tact- took the entire tirade in stride. Sorry you feel that way, and we do appreciate your business,  have a nice day.
I'm wondering if Delores will be getting a talking-to... I know places where she'd be getting her walking papers.

I like to think I'd have voided her charge, grabbed her Styrofoam box and pitched it in the trash and bade her Good Day, Madam. I said Good Day!

But probably not...


Monday, November 14, 2016

Housing Market is Scary

Been out of the market for 20+ years.
I didnt realize how bad getting reasonably priced accommodations was getting...

Places in my price range are either geographically undesirable  (too far of a commute for my blood pressure) or are just a shithole in general...

And if it is somewhat close to Downtown, and it isn't insanely overpriced, the neighborhood is bad.
Like really bad.
Like I'd walk down dark streets in NYC with $20 bills hanging out of my pockets just for excitement, and in these places I would need to be fully-armed - defcon 1 - condition red locked and loaded just to walk to (whats left of) my car every morning.


TBG - Apartment Hunter

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Moving On...

From my AMF letter to the other employees at my (former) employer.

Yes- I Am Moving On…
(Stick with me here… It’s long but it should be worth it.)

As (the big boss) said, it is with mixed emotions that I am leaving…

The 20 years I spent here at the company were amazing- Working here taught me a nearly infinite number of lessons:

Many technical skills, project management, problem solving, diplomacy, how to get an alligator out of a hotel bathtub and many more life skills.

I have a section in the old company policy handbook dedicated just to me… Talk about a legacy.

I have gone to interesting places and events and been called upon to fill many roles over my tenure...

Golf events like the Masters, PGA Champs, USGA Events, CPC and many more;
Tennis such as the US Open, China Open, the French Open- where I nearly destroyed a pair of servers singlehandedly, Kazan Russia, Miami Open/Lipton and Sydney, but never Wimbledon or Indian Wells, thank Ghod.
Countless NBA Events from All Star ’97 in Cleveland to the Finals to Global Games in Guangzhou China…
NHL Events like the Winter Classic in 2008- an outdoor game in Buffalo NY, All Star games, Stanley Cup Finals over several years. Also a 6 month on-site contract that grew into a 13-month slog through every arena in the country several times installing waves of new equipment.
Multisport Events like the Olympics (Salt Lake, Athens, Torino, Beijing, Vancouver, London, Sochi and Rio all left some scars;  Goodwill Games were also a specialty- New York in ’98 was…interesting, as was Brisbane Australia in 2001- Especially since the games ended on September 10th, and the next day The World Changed courtesy of al-Queda.

I’ve wedged my size-13 ass into size-10 seats on airplanes for countless flights…
I’ve been on a flight with only 3 other people on a United 757-200, and I’ve been shoe-horned into a middle seat in the back of a fully-packed Japan Air Lines 747- a plane designed around the average Japanese passenger- not a 6’5” 300lb Ogre… Not a pretty sight. 

When it comes to hotel rooms I’ve been in all manner of rooms at every major chain from Marriot to Starwood/Sheratons, to Comfort Inns and LaQuinta Inns – and as Rallis would tell you, “La Quinta” translates to “Next to Dennys”…

I’ve been quartered in a Russian bordello, a Chinese Jìyuan, a by-the-hour capsule hotel in Saitama Japan after missing the last train to Tokyo, but I’ve also stayed in luxury hotels in Beverly Hills and at the Four Seasons in Tokyo- where the bathroom was the size of the average Marriott hotel room.

I’ve driven forklifts, lulls, cars, pick-ups, and a rowboat while on the job. I went cross-country in the old company #2 box truck – where the sound level inside the cab was 90+ decibels and it would only go 62 miles per hour. Downhill. With the wind.
And the capper- in October 2001, while on a site survey for the nascent NBA Development League, I was on a trip from Jax, to Mobile AL, to Columbus GA, Charleston, Greenville SC, Ashville, Fayetteville NC, Roanoke VA and up to the NBA offices in New Jersey. While on this trip (on my motorcycle) I wound up behind a pig truck in southern Georgia, and  in order to provide service to our client and enhance value by going above-and-beyond, I was required to be covered in a shower of pig snot, pig slobber, pig earwax, pig shit, pig semen and pig urine, essentially causing me to throw away half of my wardrobe that I had on the 8-day trip.

This, as they say, is Taking One For The Team…a/k/a The Pig Truck Story

I’ve endured a lot over my tenure with The Company, and conversely, the company has endured a lot from me.

(See comment regarding the TBG section of the company policy manual.)

Over my tenure I have traveled, worked, drank, dined and broken laws with countless other company staff members;

Working with other staff at events was always one of the best parts of the job, especially the new, young impressionable idealists that want to set the event world on fire. (Figuratively speaking of course…).

It’s always nice to be an influence on our new staff- it’s not necessarily always being a ‘good influence’… Sometimes all you can do is be a cautionary tale, or at worst, a horrible warning to others…

And it’s not all work…
Probably some of my favorite (and most painful) memories are the “Career Development seminars” that we held down in the Dry Tortugas…

Great food, sunburns, fishing, adult beverages… and…uh… Well... the Law Enforcement Ranger that visited our campsite at 1:00am starting his lecture with the words-“We’ve had some complaints…” would be a good indicator of the Inebriation Quotient.
You know what they say- Work hard, Play Hard.

Let me try one last time to be a good influence-

Listen to your Uncle Jay:
·        Communicate with your project manager promptly and clearly.
·        Label everything.
·        If you’re done with something, put it away.
·        Put the damn cart on charge at the end of the day.
·        Never let a laptop, piece of electronic equipment or software program know you are in a hurry.
·        If it’s broken, either label it, fix it or throw it away.
·        Don’t run with scissors.
·        If you arrive early enough parking isn’t a problem.
·        Getting the job done is no excuse for not following the rules.
·        Leave early for the airport.
·        Use the right tool for the job.
·        Don’t piss off Susan.
·        Do your expense report on time.
·        Carry the message to Garcia.
·        Take the time during your event travel to enjoy the city you are working in. (I suggest going early, rather than staying after the event is over.)
·        You can never put too much butter and garlic on escargot.
·        If everything seems to be going well, you have overlooked something critical.
·        Put your name tag on your luggage.
·        There is a time to be looking at your smartphone. Use good sense while on the job regarding this topic.
·        If you wouldn’t say it to your Grandmother or clergy, don’t say it on the radio.
·        Never mix plaids with stripes.
·        A dead cart battery is nature’s way of telling you to slow down.
·        You are not Superman. Go find someone to help you with that box, cable, rack or angry bartender.
·        Always store beer in a dark place.
·        If a cable has one end, it has another.
·        The man who knows “how” will always have a job. The man who knows “why” will always be his boss.

I’m heading to Tampa FL and a new job.
I can be reached at my old mobile number  and at (email) beginning next Wednesday 11/16.
And of course will continue to be updated at odd intervals.

Take care of business, and take care of each other.

With my kindest and most heartfelt regards-


Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Ponderables: Election Results 2016

One wonders how the Obama Administration is not going to let this crisis go to waste...?


Holy crap...

Well... its all over but the shouting...

Things are really going to get interesting now.