I Must Be Adopted

I am truly hopeful that I am adopted, and thus not as messed up as the rest of my family.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

It has arrived!

My diploma came in the mail today!!!

I have not opened it yet, as I wanted Traci to be there too.

The opening will happen tonight.

Take Down

If you've read previous BLOG postings, you should remember that there are neighborhood kids that come to my door and ask to play with my dog.

Last night, two of the kids showed up at the door and asked. I said sure, as I knew them both, and they've been doing it for quite some time now.

Not more than three minutes after putting my dog out back, I hear yelling, screaming, and commotion of all sorts. I look out back and see that there are 4 kids out back in the yard, and 2 waiting on the other side of the fence. Out of these 6 kids, I know 3 of them. So I go out back to be with the kids, and to make sure Bailey and the kids play nice.

The 2 kids waiting on the other side are girls. I only point that out, because up till now all the kids Bailey has played with have been boys, and as such, they like to wrestle and play very physical with Bailey.

While my back was turned, the one girl came into the yard. I'm OK with it, and just tell her NOT to run. "If you run, he will think you are playing, and he will catch you. Do NOT run." -- that's actually very good advice for everyone. The worst thing you can do with a strange dog is run; walking away is not near as bad as running away. The dog is more apt to chase you if you run.

I bet you realize from the title of this post, and what I've written so far, where I'm going with this...

So, what does she do right after I tell her NOT to run. Yep, she runs. Not only runs, but screams while running. Bailey thinks this is just another game, and starts to run after her. I yell over to her, to stop. She does, and Bailey winds up trotting past her heading somewhere else. As soon as he passes her, she runs and screams in the opposite direction.

A 60 lb. 8 year old (I'm guessing here), has NO chance against a 130lb dog. He takes her down almost immediately. And winds up just standing over top of her. She's face down on the ground.

I run over and by the time I'm there, Bailey has moved on to someone more receptive. I get the girl up (Jessica), and check her out.

"Are you all right?"
"Are you hurt?"
"Nothing hurts?"
"My nose."

And then the screaming and water works started.

I looked at her nose. No bleeding, and after a minute or two, it wasn't even red anymore. I think it was more shock than anything, but this girl screamed when she cried.

Eventually the kids left, and went over to another's house and played in the backyard. I was almost expecting a call or a knock on my door later that night from the girl's parents, but nothing yet.

New rules...

1) Whenever the kids ask if they can play with Bailey, I will find out EVERYBODY who plans to play. Before last night, everyone who was going to play came to the front door... Last night they only sent 2 representatives.

2) NOBODY allowed in the backyard until I clear it with their parents, or the adult responsible for the child. Bailey is a big friendly dog. But he is 130lb. and he does like to wrestle. He can easily hurt a child without really wanting to.

The main group of kids who come to play with Bailey have been doing so for almost 2 years now, and I know all the parents, and none of them have any problems with the kids playing with Bailey unattended, so for the most part, I'm covered; I just have to talk with the other parents.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Todd's Last Friday Night Poker

Todd has attended his last Friday Night Poker game.

All in all, it was a very good night. In attendance were:


There were several other people invited that for one reason or another could not attend, and one individual that I would have invited, but that person won't play with another person that was there, because of a chair throwing incident that happened years ago -- all very sordid...

Under differenct circumstances, I would have invited person B over person A, but person A worked directly with Todd for years, and it just seemed more appropriate to invite person A.

So, person B, when you read this, just know you'll be invited to the next game.

Good news for Todd was that he won money at his last hooray. I lost about $10, but overall not too bad.

For various reasons (that I won't go into so that I don't embarrass someone), the night deterioriated to the point where when anybody said "That's what he said", everyone would break down into uncontrolled laughter... that is everybody but one person.

Todd stopped by my place on Sunday, to drop some stuff off, and say good-bye. Apparently they were leaving town Sunday night...

Good-bye Todd. Keep in touch.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Public Service Announcement

WARNING: The following post may be offensive to some.

Traci and I are somewhat health conscience. We like to watch what we eat, we try to do some exercising, and all the other stuff that a somewhat health conscience person might do. To that end, we try to buy "healthy" ice cream for a treat on occasion.

Last night we tried "Breyers' CarbSmart Almond Ice Cream Bars"

This stuff is like an oral high colonic.

We will NEVER purchase or eat those ice cream bars again. We've had their "No Sugar Added" line of ice cream, and it's pretty good. The CarbSmart line... Not Good.

Anything else I could add would be truly offensive, but let's just say there was nothing left in my stomach once I finished last night. This morning, I feel much better, but I'm not up to doing anything strenuous.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

And the final grade was...

A 3.5, just like I thought; nobody earned a 4.0.

Stayed up till 01:00 waiting for the prof to post. They finally got posted today around 11:00.

That mean's not only am I an edumacated in-duh-vidual now, but I graduated with a 3.91. If York college allowed MBA's to graduate with Honors, I would be eligible. Unfortunately, they don't so, I'm just another schmuck with an MBA.

Look out world, here I come.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Well, it's done...

Here I sit, eagerly awaiting the coming of midnight.

You see, tonight was the final class of my MBA career. We gave our presentation (first), handed in our paper, and sat and watched the others give their presentations.

After everyone finished, we entered our final decisions into the on-line business strategy game we are playing as a class (www.glo-bus.com). The program will render it's verdict and spit our our final grade for the game shortly after midnight. This grade accounts for 30% of our final grade for the class.

The presentation and paper from tonight account for 40% of our grade. All told 70% of my grade is an unknown. HOWEVER, the professor spoke to one of my group members after class this evening and told him that our project/presentation was outstanding. By far the best of the class, and perhaps one of the better ones he's ever seen. He liked our presentation and topic so much that he started to read our paper while the other groups were presenting.... said he couldn't help it.

BTW, our topic was ways in which Comcast could innovate their current business model and increase revenues/profits/customer satisfaction. I have to admit, I'm pretty pleased with our ideas.

He told the class that he would read/grade all the papers starting immediately after class (with ours first, since we went first.) Whenever the final grades from the game are made available, he would immediately post all grades he has up to that point.

So... I'm thinking that he'll have the grades for myself and my group members posted shortly after midnight... so I wait...

Not really sure why. I've run the numbers, and am pretty confident that I'm getting a 3.5 which means I graduate with a 3.91 GPA. Getting a 4.0 in the class is almost impossible based on the grades I already have (not bad, but not 4.0 material), and the score we have in the game now. The game spits out our running scores after each decision is computed against the rest of the industry (other groups in the class).

A 3.0 means we totally bombed the paper/presentation, but based on the prof's unsolicited comments, we didn't bomb... so a 3.5 it looks to be.

So... Here I sit, eagerly awaiting the coming of midnight.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Update on Me


Lost another post to blogspot... And I didn't cut/paste the post into notepad before publishing, so I lost everything.

OK here's a compressed version...

First and most important, I finish my MBA this Wednesday (8/9/2006). No more classes, no more test, projects, group meetings, reports, etc... Nothing... I'll be finished!!!

YIPPIE!!! I started this process September of 2002. I'm glad it's over!

Second. I've been Comcastrated.

Comcast has moved myself, and my department from our original building down to a stuffy, albeit physically sweet, office building. Along they way, they've cut access to things such as AIM, certain webpages (via filtering), and other Internet applications like FTP.

True, some of these have no impact on doing our jobs, but some do. At this point in time, I can honestly say I can do my job more effectively from home, but alas, I have to work from the office.

However, I only have to continue this until December 29, 2006. At that point in time, I become an ex-Comcast employee. I declined permanent employment. Why? Demotion, constriction of responsibilities, on-call -- the compensation for which will be reflected in your compensation, and a significant reduction in compensation.

In short, for now, there just isn't any positives to taking the job; short of "at least you'll have a job." While this last argument is true, I have to believe I'll be able to find a job within the severance period Comcast has given me.

I already have 2 possible job opportunities. While neither is guaranteed, and could just as easily fall through as come to fruition, at least they are possibilities. Time will tell what happens.

Admittedly, I am scared of the idea of unemployment. I realized the other day, that this will be the first time I am without at least one job, since the age of 14. There have been periods of time that I had two or even three jobs at the same time (college is expensive). Going from that kind of background to no job, is quite a change. The only exception to that statement was the first couple of weeks of my first semester freshman year, back in 1990 when I didn't have a job.

However, for most of the rest ex-Suscom people, things have worked out, so I have to believe things will work out for me.

Time will tell.


Apparently the trash collection company he works for has moved his work hours. He now leaves the house around 1am for his 45 minute commute -- around the same time Jeff arrive homes.

His response... "If they think I'll keep these hours for long, they can kiss my ass."

Yes, Chet. Your skills as a garbage collection engineer are in such high demand, that I'm sure they'll take your demands into account, and rearrange you schedule so that you are happy.

I don't know of any other garbage company in the area that he could work for. He's quit several of them up to now.

If anybody reading this owns a garbage collection company, and wants to employee a highly skilled collection engineer, please contact me.

Sister Update

Multiple updates...

She's purchased a motorcycle. Apparently she paid off some credit cards and such, and had some free money. So rather than save the money, or use it to pay on other bills, she bought a motorcycle. OK.

She's getting some work done on the outside of the house -- re-siding, etc... I think I've mentioned the fact that she has 20+ cats. Most of these cats live in the breezeway (an enclosed area that typically connects the house to a garage.). As you might imagine, this area is not the cleanest, best smelling area. 20+ cats, 5~6 cat litter pans, 12' x 8' enclosed area... Not a good combination.

Well, the contractors refused to work in that area until the cats were removed, and the area was cleaned up. Her solution was to purchase an outdoor shed. She'll just make that the temporary home for her cats.

7am one morning, she tells Jeff (remember he works during the evening/night so he's home during the day) that a dump truck is bringing a load of rocks around 8am or so.. Just have them dump the rocks in the middle to the stakes out back. (the stakes mark off a 20' x 20' area).
He does this, and goes back to bed.

Noon comes, and she wakes him up. Apparently they have to now spread the rocks over this 20' x 20' area before the shed is delivered. "When is the shed being delivered?" The answer - 1:30. Bear in mind that the ground where the rocks are to be spread has not been leveled (it's not a bad slope, but a slope nonetheless), nor has the grass been removed. With the help of the 6 contractors working on the house, they spread the stones just in time.

I'm waiting for the first heavy rain. I want to know how far the shed slides.

Brother's Job

As stated in previous posts, my brother works for a debt consolidation company. People call him and ask for help in resolving their debt troubles. Previous to this, he usually worked the other side of the coin... meaning he worked in collections and would call people and try to get them to pay their debt.

He used to think he dealt with stupid people before... However, that was nothing compared to what he deals with now.

Here are some choice examples (abbreviated for simplicity):

1) Man calls and asks him to wipe his debt off his record.
Jeff says, "I can't do that, but I can help you setup payment plans, consolidate your debt, reduce interest, and maybe get your creditors to accept a lower balance."
Man says, "so you can't just make it disappear?"
"I waited until all my credit cards were maxed before I called. I thought you could wipe it all out for me. Are you sure you can't?"

2) Man currently pays a little over $1,000 a month on credit card bills (not bad by the standards Jeff tells me about.). His total credit card debt is just north of $40,000.
Jeff works with his creditors and gets APRs reduced, and lowers the total balance to $35,000. Gets the payments down to $500 a month.
Man refuses to pay $500. Only wants to pay $100 a month on $35,000.

3) You do the math on this one.
Man calls and explains that he brings home $1,700/mo. Has wife and 2 kids. Wife is stay at home mom.
Monthly mortgage - $980
Monthly car payment ('05 Mercedes Benz SUV) - $600
Jeff's response - "You need to sell your car, and maybe even your house. I have no idea how you are getting by."
Man's response - "Credit Cards."

4) My Favorite so far.
Man - "Can you help me. They are reposessing my car."
Jeff - "Yes, we can help. When are they going to repo your car?" (for those not in the know, they will send you multiple letters giving you a drop dead date to make payments or arrangements to pay.)
Man - "Right now. Can you help?"
Jeff - "Sorry. I can't do anything to stop them right now."

Surprisingly, most of the people who call fall into the first example category. People just think these agencies can magically wipe debt away. I am truly amazed by people some times.