Sunday, April 30, 2006

May 1st Treason

There was a time, not long ago, that I was a supporter of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR). I thought the organization was trying to help Latinos integrate into the diverse culture of the United States. I thought the NCLR worked "to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans." Alas, it seems as though they are against themselves - so why should I want to support them? I don't.

How are they working against themselves?
By wanting the illegal immigrants to have amnesty. Very large numbers of immigrants come to the U.S. legitimately. Those immigrants often become legalized United States citizens; yet, many allow their visas to run out, and they stay in the U.S. illegally. I don't understand why a person that worked so hard to become a legal U.S. citizen would want illegals to have the same rights that the legals had to work for. It seems, to me, that would be the same as asking to be slapped in the face.

The following excerpt is from the website for the May 1st Coalition:
"On May 1st, people all over the United States and throughout the Americas will be taking action to support full equality and legalization for undocumented workers in the United States. Now is the time to act. We can make a difference by showing the power of immigrant workers and their families. Join this new civil rights and workers' rights movement. We must defeat HR4437, the Sensenbrenner bill, which criminalizes undocumented workers. But we must go further. We want full rights, full equality. We want amnesty!"

This is a quote from the petition for Amnesty:
"I demand full rights and equality for all immigrants living in the United States. Neoliberal economic policies targeting Latin America, like NAFTA and CAFTA, have pushed millions of people into abject poverty. Immigrants are forced to come to the U.S. to look for work. Nobody should be criminalized for attempting to survive. No human being is illegal. Racism against immigrants emanates from the same forces behind the U.S. war to conquer and control the wealth of Iraq."

It is my right to opine, and I shall:
Anyone participating in the May 1 Boycott is guilty of treason. I say this because participation - no work, no school, no buying, no selling - is being disloyal to the United States. How can you want amnesty for people that are being disloyal before they are even citizens? And why shouldn't you be deported for being disloyal to the country you claim to love?

Honestly, I could go on for hours. But I'll call it quits for now... It pisses me off too much. As a Hispanic male, I'm embarassed for their stupidity.

Sunday Drive

I received an e-mail from Funk-E, and it reminded me of a great many things - one of which is the "Sunday Drive."

It wasn't so long ago, on my off days, I would take my family out for a drive through the beautiful mountains of East Tennessee. We would go for a ride, and stop to do what ever we felt like doing - whatever seemed interesting. Sometimes we would even travel out of state - just for the Hell of it. There was this one time, we were gonna drive from Knoxville to Chicago, for a three-day weekend - the kids have never been, and there are places we'd like to show them. Well, we didn't make the trip - complications - but it was a nice thought that we were willing to do on a whim.

When I was a kid, my parents and I would take a drive to where-ever, most every weekend. It didn't matter if it was just to enjoy the ride, or if it were for a purpose.

Those drives got us out of the world we lived in every day. They took us to places we knew/didn't know. A drive was like a minor adventure that let us know there was a "rest of the world." Television can't replace the reality you feel from the mist from a waterfall. Nor can a newspaper article capture the freedom of driving with the windows down and childrens' smiling faces being wind-blown to momentary distortion. Bored games... Need I say more?

I'd like to say "Thank You" to those responsible for the inflated prices of gasoline. Thank you for making me "save-up" to take my family for a drive through what is left of the natural beauty of our country. Thank you for causing my gas bill to increase to an amount that now takes a day off of my family's vacation. Thanks.

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. As long as that pursuit doesn't have to be done in a gasoline-using vehicle, I'd say these things are still as true today as when they were first written.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Back On 3rd Shift

I worked on 3rd shift for about 7 years, then I switched to 1st. After working 1st shift for the past 5 years, I've gone back to busting my hump overnight. It's not because I desired torturing myself. It goes a bit past that.

My immediate supervisor has no clue of what he's doing. This has been quite obvious for a good while. Thing is, I have repeatedly tried to help him; however, he has not accepted my advice, nor my assistance. Instead, he has been seeking the advice and help of a person that is as clueless as he. A slap in my face, as I watch our department go down the drain. I requested to go to 3rd shift because a change in departments would mean a loss of money - 3rd shift pays more.

Upon requesting an exit from my department, my store manager asked "why?" - I was happy to explain myself. His response: "Wise decision." Upon speaking with an assistant manager that is semi-well trusted, I learned the store manager is over the incompetence being displayed in my former department's management - change is coming soon.

If I continue employment there, I will probably be asked to take the department. But I think that would be a mistake - call it a "gut feeling."

Yes. Two sentences ago, I said "if". I said it because I have an interview tomorrow - and a high chance of getting the job. It may not be a job in the field I went to school for - it's still retail - but it might be enough to give me back some of the job satisfaction I once had.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

So Much More Than a Beverage

Beer is one of those divine gifts that is great for any occasion. It is one of those beverages that not only, quenches thirst (as it enhances the same), but leaves us with the same mystery as a bad woman: "You're so bad for me. I must have you! Why do you tempt me with your seductive smootheness and full body?" *ahem*

I've been trying a few brews I've not had before. Which is obvious... otherwise I wouldn't be trying them, would I? And here's a thought or two about them:

Flying Dog - Tire Bite Golden Ale: It ain't bad. But it ain't good. I don't recommend it, unless you like water better than beer. Too much like Bud Light. My wife says it goes well with dark chocolate. It's from Denver, so you can't hold too much against them - they can't help it.

Warsteiner - Premium Verum: A nice pilsner. Enough bite to grab your attention. Enough after taste to let you know it's German. Enough smoothness to be a nice dinner beer. Yet, a bit lacking in the area of alcohol (4.8%). But I like it, and I would recommend trying this one for yourself.

Shiner - Hefeweizen: No, it's from Texas. Shiner, Texas. I must say, I'm a bit biased on this one. I love Shiner Bock. Love it. But I was looking for something in a golden ale or lager from the Shiner people. And this is what I found, in a store near me. I love it. Try it. It reminds me of the Honey-Wheat selection from Pete's Wicked Ale. Hint: follow the directions on the back of the bottle (yeah - directions). But then, I felt a bit stodgy when I poured it into a glass. Just use the bottle.

All this beer talk is makin' me want some sake. Looks like I'll be callin' up Johnny-Oh! before too long. I think it's workin' up on sushi time.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Timing & Desire

I have bad timing, when it comes to getting things I desire. Yet, my timing is impeccable for the things I do not desire. Elaborate? Yes... I shall.

I was once the manager of one of the departments in my current employer's building. I was very good at my job and I enjoyed it; though, I did have to put up with a quite slapdash manager over me. I was comfortable where I was and had no plans to advance, nor step down - all was good. Desire.

Then I started college, but I was still doing well at work, excellent at school, and great at a second job (part-time, of course). After a while, my manager quit. Then there was no manager... Then came a lazy, evil, Hitleresque, Barney Rubble looking guy with no sense of diligence, or work ethic. He was the epitome of "deligation without a clue." Thus, I began doing his job and mine. UN-desire.

I was brow-beaten by his boss, and questioned about why I was doing everything else, instead of getting my own job done. Upon explaining, I received the brilliant phrase, "I'm tired of your excuses." My boss then wrote me up for not doing my job. So, I asked if I could hire someone to help with the other duties (not my job) that I was covering - I also asked if he could begin doing his own work. Of course, I didn't get to hire anyone - and my comment about his job was not well received. Timing.

I decided the hostility of the work environment was placing my job at risk, and I needed to be focusing on my future career anyway... so I stepped down and changed departments. The guy that took my place ran into the same problems and stepped down - quickly. Barney quit soon after that. Then comes department manager #3 and a new manager over him. The new dept mgr didn't have to do the things we had to do. His job was made much simpler - he just did his job (not everyone else's). Also, he was allowed to hire 3 (not just 1, but 3) people to help offset his work load and free his time for managing his department. Timing.

Current day: I've been looking for a job for a while, and have not been able to find anything that was going to be "gainful" employment, in my field of study. So I figure I might as well try going into (upper-middle) management with my current employer. I'm not looking too good for it - seeing as how I stepped down from the whole department manager bit - but I'll go for it anyway. Ya know, I could have saved a few years if I would have just tried to do this before I took that last department mgr job. Timing & Desire.

As it turns out, the mgr of my old department is moving on up now. I asked how he got to move up so quickly. His reply: "I've got good people under me. I couldn't have done it without them." Timing & Desire.

Why does it bug me?
$15,000 per year raise + Bonuses

Ya feelin' me now?