Thursday, November 5, 2009

There Once Was a Blog

I guess I'm not much of a blogger anymore. It just kind of died.

I blame Facebook. I will also point out that some not so pleasent things have become of my life and I'd rather not publicly post about them.

Overall life is good. I work and... hang out with Angela... and work some more. That's pretty much it.

The end.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Batch Pad

I've lived in my Pad for almost a week now and it feels like it's been about 4 hours... I realized that I'm just not home enough to get all settled and "used to" it just yet.

I got home last night, after a pleasant evening with the family at Josh and Jackie's lovely home and had nothing to do. Nothing! It was the strangest thing. I've been so busy with moving and two jobs and etc., that I just now finally had a night with nothing but me and my batch pad. It was a bit weird. I just walked around and looked at things and kind of digested my apartment. It was a strange experience to say the least. And then I played video games until the wee hours of the morning.

The sink and mirror part of my bathroom are actually in the hallway. The toilet and shower are the only things actually behind a door, much like a hotel. So after assembling the bed in its place in my room, I sat upon it to relax and looked out into the hall. I immediately noticed the problem. "That is not okay," I said, seeing that the extra large mirror was a straight shot from my bedroom. Angela laughed and said she knew I would say that.


I have a thing about mirrors. I am not a superstitious person, but because of stupid movies I watched as an impressionable youth and some underlying psychopathic qualities of mine, I do not like mirrors. I don't trust them. They're mischievous portals to the evil world of Satan... okay, not really, but... I... just... can't get past it for some reason. At any rate, I need it covered. I bought a curtain railing so all I need now is some curtains and someone with a drill. I don't remember the exact dimensions. I think 4x3 or 5x4 or I don't know but whatever the size, its been hard to find curtains that size.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Consumer Whore

I just experienced this phone call and I think it portrays a mindset that I'd like to make a public example of.
~beep~

Me- "This is David with Charter Communications, how may I help you?"
Her- "I'd like to add DVR to my service."

~insert probing questions and up-selling attempts here~

Me- "Well, in that case, you have some options... You can do a free self-installation if you pick up the equipment yourself or I can send a tech out to install it for $29.99."
Her-"Well, I don't really want to do a self-install, but I don't want to pay for it either."

~moment of silence~

Me- "So which one do you want?"
Her- "Well, can't you just have someone bring it out?"
Me- "Yes, I can. For just a one time charge of $29.99."
Her- In a very perplexed voice, "Well, can't you just waive that?"
Me- "No, I can't."
Her- "Well, can I speak to your supervisor?"
Me- "No. We're the sales office, we don't wave charges. If you want to speak with customer service, I'll give you their number."

~gave number for customer service~
I bet this lady voted for Obama. It's okay to ask for deals, but there really is a limit. There's a difference between asking for a break and expecting a handout.
I wanted to ask her why I should wave the installation charge. Why? What is the reason? Should this technician not get paid for his time taken to get the DVR Box and drive out to this persons house and spend about half an hour there or possibly more installing this DVR? If this process takes one hour from the time the technician obtains the DVR until he gets back to the office or onto his next job then this technician got paid $15/hr and that is only if 100% of this installation charge went to the tech. Should this technician do this as a volunteer service to this customer out of the goodness of his heart? Does the goodness of his heart feed his family? No.

*Read my political analysys of this situation here*.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

New Political Blog

So, I mix a lot of political mumbo jumbo into this blog. I want this to be all about my personal life, miscellaneous thoughts, etc. So I've made a separate blog for political commentary only. I know you've been waiting for this day and it's here.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Ides Of September

*Mr. Independent
So I've done it. I'm moving on September 15th into my very own apartment on Gilbert and Southern. If you didn't know, I've been living with some friends. They own a three bedroom home and I rent a room. It's a good situation because I only pay $220/mo, but you know... I'm a very independent person and it's just time for me to have my own little place. It's a tiny one bedroom. I have a bed, a desk and a nightstand. If you have anything you are just dying to give me that would be great!

If it's not cold already by the middle of next month then I want to have an apartment warming party! Just an idea so no formal plans, but there is a pool so it can be a pool party because there's no way i'd be able to fit a party in my apartment :)

*Why I Suck
I sold someone a bundle of Cable & Internet and told him the installation is $49.99 and he flipped out and told me that he was quoted only $29.99 and was very rude. After he explained to me why I sucked, I apologized for sucking and said, "Is there anything else I can do for you?" He was genuinely shocked that I was not going to help him with the charge and that I was just brushing him aside. It was obvious that he just needed the service and charge or not he would still have to go with us, so grudgingly, he set it up with me whining the whole time and I charged him full installation charges.

A couple calls later I had a customer call in with a similar order but he said that he was quoted free installation. Using my very unhelpful tone, I said, "No, I'm sorry that's incorrect. Installation is $49.99." He just sounded sad and asked very nicely if there was anything I could do. I said of course and I waived his installation, no problem.

Remember that people have more power over these kinds of things than you think and if you're just nice we are more likely to help you.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Test of Socialism

This is an e-mail I got from a friend. I don't know if it's true or not, but that's irrelevant. It gets' the point across.
As the late Adrian Rogers said, "you cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."
This man is truly a genius!
An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had once failed an entire class.

That class had insisted that Obama's socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer. The professor then said, "OK, we will have an experiment in this class on Obama's plan". All grades would be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade so no one would fail and no one would receive an A. After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy. As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little. The second test average was a D! No one was happy. When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F.

The scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else. All failed, to their great surprise, and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.

Could not be any simpler than that.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Missed One

So, I had posted at least once every month since December 2007. Last month was the first month with no post. Sad day. I guess its because I've become ridiculously busy. "Life" is actually pretty crazy and I'm enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would.

So currently, my life includes my two jobs (DAC and Albertsons), school, Angela, church and family stuff. All pretty normal and important and I love how they all fill my life with variety and excitement.

CASHIER Last week I was given my One Year pin at Albertsons. My manager just handed it to me and carried on with her work. I just felt like this was a little bit less than celebratory, so I told my next customer about it and we did a little dance together. It was pretty awesome. I only work one or two nights a week. I like Albertsons.

SALES DAC / Charter is the most prominent aspect of my life right now. I'm full time and most weeks I'll do as much overtime as I can stand. Currently, myself and one other person keep switching between first and second place on the rankings on the floor. I've applied for a special management program class for which they will choose only 8 people from the whole company to have special, one on one management training. I have been accepted for an interview on Monday. I have also applied for an actual Management position within my department. My manager is doing all she can to prepare me for management including assigning me to be a supervisor all last week where I spent my days walking the sales floor assisting the new people and also doing the managers' various projects. I have discovered that I love sales and I love teaching people. I like my job.SCHOOL I took some time off and was planning on going back in the fall, but I got a bit anxious and took a summer class. It was very intense but I finished and passed and now I'm free to take what I want in the upcoming fall semester. I'm glad I did it. I am a smart guy, but I am not academic. Many people are the opposite. I will argue that academics do not secure for anyone success in this life. I have no respect for the college and university academic systems nor their politics and if I had the power, I would call for a complete reformation. I could go on, and on about why the system sucks and perhaps I will, but not in this post. I have taken many classes and I have failed many classes. It was not my time. I will get my degree in my time and I hope that if you are sure enough that your way is correct that you keep that to yourself because I don't want to hear it. I'm not angry at the people who's opinions have proven to be different than mine. I am happy and proud to be able and ready to do things my way. I am filling my plate with everything I can and just getting it done. I live in peace knowing that I provide for myself in the now and I am constantly providing for my life in the future. That's all that I need to have peace. And I have that.

LOVE It has been almost 21 months since that day at the Macaroni Grill when I asked Angela if she would be my girlfriend. Sometimes I'm shocked that she could stand me for this long. Since that day we have entwined our lives, learning about each other and about love in general. I don't think it was an accident that Angela came into my life when she did and I can honestly say that all the best things in my life right now are because of her. If you ever really get to know Angela, you learn quickly that her life is full of giving. Sometimes I have a hard time understanding why she gives so much and so often to those who just never give back. Often I'll classify myself in that category. I don't how to give the way she does. She is a great example to me.

If I were a bit more of a man, I would be able to fill this section with sappy words that would describe how I feel about Angela, but honestly I don't think sufficient words exist.

SPIRIT I'm not an active member of the church and haven't been for over two years. A couple months ago, something happened. I'm not sure what it was exactly, but really it was a combination of things. Perhaps I just needed to establish my independence in order to appreciate the influence of the church in my life. Maybe it was just 24 years of spiritual education from my church leaders and parents finally kicking in in my adulthood. It's very possible that all of this was set off by Angela's outstanding, constant example. Whatever the reason is, I have decided to give it another shot. Not a major change or an absolute commitment, but a subtle shift in perspective. We'll see.

LIFE The way I look at it, I'm progressing pretty darn well in all aspects of my life and I have peace of mind. There are a lot of good things in my life and there are also a lot of crappy things, but I know I'm doing the best with what I have and so the crappy things don't get to me. Life is good. Thank you all for reading and thanks to all those of you who have and still play a big part of my life.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A Word from the Cable Guy

If you didn't know, I sell communications; Charter Communications. That includes cable, internet and phone.

If you want to get a good deal while signing up for Cox, Charter, Quest, Comcast, Time Warner, or any other communications company I'll give you some pointers from the inside. First off, there are no guarantees. You may just get a sales rep who wants to milk the sale for all it's worth, so calling in a few different times to get quotes is a good practice. I'm the type that typically wont give you a good deal, but I have been known to on very rare occasions to girls with sweet voices.

Here are some tips.

1) Be nice to whoever you talk to. Laugh and chat a bit, but don't waste too much of their time. They want to be quick. It's up to you to get them in a good mood in a short time.

2) Most of the time you can get a better deal if you ask. They may say no at first, but ask again. Don't just ask passively, but say something like how you're really poor and how you know there are better deals, but say it like you're talking to your best friend.3) Usually, communication sales reps work under commission so they are less excited to help you get "deals" so it's good practice to look around online beforehand and see what offers there are and maybe even call in and tell the rep that you're just looking for information and not to buy. This way they're more likely to tell you the best deals and then you can call in a couple times to ask different reps and when someone quotes you a good, low price, take it.

4) Remember that there are scum bags out there who may be dishonest. After placing an order, call in to the billing department and ask them what you're signed up for and make sure that the rep gave you the deal he said and didn't tack on any unnecessary maintenance charges or anything like that. Remember to get the names and numbers of departments for everyone you talk to.5) Be understanding that there are also new people who may do it wrong out of genuine ignorance, so don't call in and freak out at someone because someone else messed up. That really ticks us off and we're likely to hang up on you or put you on "hold" and just never come back.

6) If you feel comfortable doing it, you can call in and say you want to sign up and when they quote you a price you can say something like, "Well, I talked to (insert made up name here) and they said (insert a price $10 less than what you were quoted)." Then see what the rep does.7) I don't know about other companies, but with Charter, there are lots of online promotions like $150 gift cards or free modems and routers after rebate, etc. So find out before you just call in out of the blue and sign up.

8) If you already have cable, internet, or phone and your introductory promotional rates expired, you can call into the retention department and tell them that you're thinking about switching over to their competitor and they'll most likely strike a deal with you.9) Another trick in getting back into promotional rates is downgrading your services back down to the very basic, wait for a month to pass and then call the sales department to do an upgrade and make sure you get back into a promotion that will last you 6 months to a year. This is better than canceling and restarting because you will avoid credit checks and installation charges, etc.

10) If you happen to reach me when ordering your services and you're saying numbers, don't say "Oh" instead of "Zero" because that annoys me to no end and I will get you the highest price I can.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

PlatinumClub AoM

So... I got Associate of the Month for March. Woot :D

They took my picture to put up on the Platinum Club wall and gave me a parking pass to park in the special AoM area.

I already know that I'm not going to get it for April because I'm spending the first half of the day as floor support for the new group of part-timers that just got out of training and Support Staff aren't eligible for AoM. I'm still sales, so if they seem to not need me I'll make a few sales calls and once they're more comfortable on the floor I'll just go back to full time Sales. Although there is a current outbound/administrative group in our department that will soon be learning the sales systems and will need support once they're out of training so I imagine they'll ask me to help out again. I really enjoy it actually.

My manager told me that she wants me to sign up for all the Sales Training Classes called the Boost Program and then by the time I'm done with all those they will be starting the management training program and that I should do that or I'll have the choice to do the Trainer training classes which are interesting to me as well. We shall see. That wont be for a few months still.

Time to bust out...
the Gold Star

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Right Wing Extremists!

So I guess I'm an extremist because I'm a capitalist. I believe in a free market, the right to bare arms, and freedom of choice, and I'm pro-life, but I guess I should take my fellow extremists, the founding fathers, and leave.

Um... No.


So I went to the Tax Day Tea Party at the Arizona Capitol Building in Phoenix yesterday and it was amazing!There was a reported 10,000 people there and there was speaker after speaker and each person had a unique message that got the people cheering. They covered everything from housing and inheritance taxes, nationalizing health care and the right to bare arms. These were all briefly mentioned, but the main focus, and most of the speakers spoke on different angels of how the government is overspending money they don't have and bailing out freeloaders and failed businesses and how doing this is going to put our children and children's children in the hole trillions of dollars. A common theme on the posters were pictures of children with captions such as, "It's not my debt!" or "Punish your own grand kids!" I even saw a few young kids holding signs saying "Keep your hands out of my piggy bank." There were a lot of signs in the shapes of pigs for lots of reasons.

There was a little bit of attacking Obama, but very little. It was the issues. People spoke about how the government runs out of money and starts to spend ours and says they're giving us tax breaks and we all fall for it and forget to actually think about this because money doesn't have value just because Obama printed it. We WILL have to pay for it. At any rate... Here is a link to a bunch of pictures of the event: Phoenix Tea Party Pics

And here are some of my own:
Of course I had to be goofy...You may think the trees grew there, but they actually came for the protest too.The closest blue tent is were the speakers were. We got even closer than this once people started to get all cost and close togeter.

Let me know if you hear of anything like this happening in the future and I'll do the same for you. I would love to get more involved. I want to be a Right Wing Extremist Activist!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Tax Day Tea Party

City: Phoenix
When: *New Time* April 15, 5:30pm - 7:00pm
Where: Capitol building
Contact: Keith Sipmann
Other Info: http://www.americanpoliticalanalysis.com
Facebook Group: Click Here

This is the Official Website for the movement : http://taxdayteaparty.com/

So I just switched my schedules at Albertsons so that I'm able to go to this on Wednesday. I just heard about it the other day, so forgive me for not posting about it earlier. What this is, is a protest against government spending and bailouts. All this stuff I've been talking about and finally something I can do. I'm very excited. So far It's me and I'm pretty sure my brother-in-law Clark is going to join me. If you want to come please, please let me know. If you're worried about our man Obama's spending habits and his recklessness with YOUR money or if you don't think that companies like AIG should get millions and millions of dollars to spend on CEO bonuses or if you think that money should be taken out of political "pet projects" and put back into worthwhile places like our public schools, then you need to be a body in the crowd and no longer be a silent majority!

Lets let our government know that they just need to be a little smarter with our money.
"Be not intimidated... nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberties by any pretense of politeness, delicacy, or decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for hypocrisy, chicanery and cowardice." -John Adams
Call me 480.xxx.xxxx

Friday, April 10, 2009

I Love

I do a lot of attacking in my posts. I've talked about people and policies that tick me off. I was reading something last night that our man Obama was doing and I said to Angela, "I know what I'm blogging about next." But I was thinking, maybe I'll talk about that later. I wanted to post about things that make me happy. Small and big. I went hiking today with Angela and Karina, Angela's sister. We went up to Strawberry, past Pason.I pointed out how nice it was to be out of the city. On the way back, we were huffing and puffing up the mountain but the air was clean and easy on my lungs. It was nice. The sky was blue and the horizon wasn't brown. We saw a snake and Angela screamed. That was awesome. The other day I was sitting by the "Numbers Board" at work taking notes on where I can improve and one of the other team's managers commented on how well I was doing. Not many words, but a quick, passing acknowledgement of my success. I like trying and succeeding. Especially at work.

A little while ago Angela took me to a little place called Pop's Soda Shop and I got some obscurely branded Root Bears and a couple Vernor's Ginger Ale in old fashioned glass bottles. I love Root Bear and ice cold Vernor's Ginger Ale.

On Wednesdays I work until 11 at Albertsons after working a regular day at Direct Alliance and when I get home I'm really tired and just want to go to bed. About that time is when my babies are awake and doing their thing. When I come in, Babs climbs all over the cage, trying to get my attention and she melts my heart every time so I take her out and hold her against my chest and she'll squirm around because she wants to play so I put her back in her cage and let her chase my hand around inside or maybe I'll put her in her ball and lay on the floor, letting her run her ball into my face.
I love Babs.

On the bottom of my Blog I have a playlist with my favorite music. There are quite a few songs on there from Hip Hop to Christian Contemporary and everything in between. I suggest, if you have some time, take a listen. Maybe put it on while you're doing other things online and see what you think. I love music that I can sing to or gets my head bobbing or makes me feel uplifted or makes me think deep or maybe just puts me in a fun mood. This is the kind of music I love.

At a young age, my brother Daniel got me into Superman and ever sense then I've been a superhero fanatic and connoisseur. My brothers and sister and I used to watch Lois and Clark every Sunday night together and I really looked forward to it. I would borrow my brothers comics and eventually I got my own. I love Superman, the X-Men, my City of Heroes PC game and I am a loyal watcher of the show Heroes. I know the histories and powers of a practically limitless amount of comic book heroes and villains. Each scenario is an exaggeration of some kind of real life drama. Other than being serious, it's sometimes just an escape from the rigged structure of reality and lets me go somewhere where anything that you think of can happen. I wrote a poem about this interest of mine actually:
Entitled Escapism

I am average when I am at home
I write stories and rhyme and poem
When my world is mundane and a bore
When reality is cold and a chore
I am superhuman when I close my eyes
I fight the villains and fly through the skies
I escape into a new reality
When there is trouble, I am the remedy
With my cape I fight my battle
The laws and bondage of physics I rattle
My fame and my name are widely spoken
The sleeping villains are awoken
There are heroes in my imagination
When they save the damsel, one comes to know elation
Free flow of ideas in tragedy
Comedy
Fiction
Flight
Control of elements
Fantastic powers and might
Escape
I can go back when I am done
Saving the world is all in good fun
When life calls and reality is in need
I am no fool, for their voices I heed

As mentioned in my poem, I love stories and writing. I love imagining and writing about new, complex characters. People who are flawed yet heroic. Who don't quite fit the mold of a pure hero but are more relateable. Maybe one that makes more mistakes than he does good. Any kind of character, not just heroes, but villains too. I love the real complex villains that you can almost relate to. The one's who have real noble goals, but maybe corrupt methods. I wrote a short stories and posted it on my facebook. You can read it here if you have a facebook too.

Sad truth: The only worthwhile class that I've earned an A in has been Psychology. I love that subject. I love understanding why people do things the way they do. I love the idea of being able to predict, correct or control behavior. Being able to control it is kind of scary and a lot of bad people use that power to their advantage, but I think that if people as a whole studied Psychology, then the world would be a more balanced, understanding, productive place. We would know how to raise children. We wouldn't have so much prejudice, racial or other, if people took the time to try and understand why people are the way they are. We'd understand why we, ourselves, make mistakes and stop blaming others causing wars and unfairness. People can preach love and tolerance until their blue in the face, but honestly, I believe that those things are unachievable without real, practical, honest understanding. We could all be more at peace with ourselves and the world if we understood the human brain. I don't mean acceptance. Just peace. I love Psychology.

I love Angela. I've known Angela for a year and a half and she has been my girlfriend for all minus one month of that time. I realized that I loved her only a few months after we started dating and I remember the first time I told her that I loved her. I don't know if she does, but I do. I told her that I didn't really know what love is, but that for the past week or so, I had been suppressing the urge to tell her that I loved her and I didn't want to hold it back anymore. I'm not very good with words when it comes to stuff like that, but she said she felt the same, and that was it for us. When she's sad, I'm sad. When she's happy, it seems like the whole world smiles with us. I may not be the world's greatest boyfriend. I have my faults and I've learned more about them than I ever really wanted to... But I know what love is. Love is holding hands and feeling like she's just an extension of my own body. It's the smile that shines so bright that nothing else can be seen. It's a laugh that's contagious. It's doing something to hurt her and feeling like the world is in darkness and that life has no purpose until you've made it right again. Love is the sharp pain, deep in the back of the stomach that comes when you haven't seen her in a couple days. Love is finding something awesome and wanting to share it with her. It's the motivation to be someone worthy of her. Love is the lonely feeling in the car when she's not in the passenger seat. It's cuddling. It's the excitement I feel as I walk in her house and the spotlight heaven shines on her as she walks down the driveway to my car. I love Angela.

I love a lot of things and could go on and on. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Letting the Eye Nine Slide

So I was watching CNN at lunch like I always do and they had a woman on there that I wanted to strangle.

The issue was immigration raids done on the job site. I don't know much about this but it sounds like there's some bill being passed by our man Obama that will take the punishment away from the illegals and putting it on the employers. The news anchor brought up a good point to the woman by saying that the employers can't always know. They can't tell if a green card is fake and why should they have the responsibility to manage the immigrations issues of America?

Good point.
The woman skirted the issue nicely and didn't even respond. She sat right next to him, and on live TV, she looked him in the eye and started talking about something else. I don't know what world politicians are from or how they've all gotten to the point where that's okay, but please. That is so inappropriate and rude. You are a guest on his TV show and you answer his questions. He is then bound by his responsibility as a host not to embarrass his guest so he lets it slide. The American attitude at its best. Just letting it slide.

What she said made me so upset. She was saying how these raids violated the rights of US citizens because sometimes the police would handcuff people at these work sites before they checked them and sometimes people would end up being American Citizens. Basically, what I interpret is that the police should come with a list of all the people who are illegal and only handcuff them before they do the check to see who is illegal... wait. that doesn't work. It may not work, but if we did it no one would be offended. That's more important I guess. Making sure everyone is all smiles.

She said that we shouldn't discriminate these immigrants because "they're Americans too." I think that if we're going to have closed boarders then we need to have closed boarders. Are these people breaking the rules or not? If we're just going to let it slide then open up the boarders and we'll see if people like this woman feel the same after just one day of open boarders. What an idea. They may be Central or South Americans, but I'll embrace that fluff the day I hear native Mexican people in Mexico proudly claim to be Americans. They're as American as Canadians are American. They are not legally Americans so... no. They're not American.

This made me think about immigration and the economy.
To be short...

Idea: Crack down on immigration hard core. If you're not here legally, then you get the boot unless you're the lucky few to have a legal child of age. You get mercy. If not, then you are forcibly removed.

Result: The government doesn't spend money to feed and shelter these people nor pay for their medical care. Also, there are masses of job openings for legal Americans and less American dollars being sent to worker's families in other countries.

Problem: My coworker brought up the point that Americans don't want to do those jobs and even if they did they wouldn't want to be paid what these people are being paid now.

My response was that that was a sad American state of mind that will have to change. I can't imagine a well educated father of four picking strawberries, but what about one of his four children? I'm sure there are loads of teenage people who would do these jobs or other people who could fit the mold. Maybe they'll have to pay more. Maybe produce will go up a bit more in price. At least it will be going to Americans. Just think of the poor situation we're in when it becomes too expensive to produce fruits and vegetables or to get a house built or a ditch dug. Maybe we're just thinking wrong. Maybe we should put more value in these things and less in our fancy cars and our fast foods and fancy restaurants. Maybe we shouldn't be spending money on so many luxuries. Maybe we should realize the state of the economy and the true worth of our dollar and only spend it where it's truly worth spending.

The dollar is a representation of our ability and personal work. Maybe physical work, maybe intellectual work. It is, either way, the result and physical reward of the usage of our talents. It's important that we redeem it for something worthwhile.

Time to go home. Thanks again for reading.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Babs the Beloved

And now for something completely different.

I'm changing up the tone and introducing you to one of my babies.

This is Babs
She is a Cream Banded Teddy Bear Hamster about 6 or 7 inches long and about 7 months old, so she's still a baby. She may be small, but she has a huge personality. She is very active and whenever I'm in the room, she'll run around in her cage trying to get my attention and then when I come up to her, she grabs the bars and puts her nose thru the cage until I start poking at her and letter her grab my fingers and try to nip at them, but she'll get impatient until I take her out. She loves going in her ball and running around the house. She has a few corners that are obviously her favorite and for some reason she thinks it's fun to run full speed into doors. Especially my door while Karina and Eddie are sleeping. So I lay my robe in front of it so she smashes into that instead.

Some more pictures:

"Do you want to play with me?"
"Ever had the feeling that you're being watched?"
"Grace!" nom nom nom...
"Are you still there?"


So that's Babs. She's my baby girl, and now you can love her too. Next time I'll introduce you to my old man:

Spud

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

This American*

*This post is the opinion of the writer. Please be aware that this is not directed at any one person, but it is in response to the news and media.*

So I've recently been more and more interested in politics. If ever my dad talked about it while I was growing up, I would nod and smile and be thinking about superheroes while he talks about national and world issues.

It was the recent election that did it for me. I remember the governal election in California that was a parade of midgets and silver screen stars. The only normal person running got fed up with being overshadowed by the overpowering personalities he was up against. The movie star won and he is sucking all the moral fiber out of California.

This past presidential election was similar. We had a Mormon, a woman, a black man, an old war vet with his flashy female sidekick and then a hippy that we only heard about because of his cult following and their rebel-inspired banners on the freeways and on car bumpers.

I would have supported the "Hippy" Ron Paul had he been more of a leader. He couldn't even get himself noticed enough to be mentioned on the news on TV or the radio, how could he lead a country? I liked his views, but he was not a leader.

I ended up voting for Romney in the primaries because he seemed to be in line with my moral standards and the general teachings of the Mormon Church which holds high regard for moral and financial responsibility which, in my opinion, are the two things this country really lacks. People flipped out about him being a Mormon and he just wasn't getting the support. We've had other very religious presidents, but for some reason, Mormon was just too much for the people to handle.

So I voted for John and Sara because they were the most down to earth. They talked about things with practicality. For example, the war; McCain said we needed to get the job done and then get out; as opposed to Obama saying that we just needed to get out of there asap, denying the responsibility we have to fix what we've broken. We will all see together that he will end up using McCain's policy anyway because we can't just pull out.

I liked how he talked about money. They mentioned a spending freeze. Stopping spending where it was excess and spending wiser where it was needed. Putting America on a budget is what any wise American would do in their own lives were they in this financial situation. They talked about tapping into natural resources currently guarded by hippy treehugers, and while we made money off of that, looking for alternate sources of fuel.

America looked at this financial plan and said, "Whoa!... The other guy is talking about tax breaks and bailouts while you're talking about spending freezes and budgeting!" These fat Americans sat in their large houses and glanced at their fancy cars and said, "No way am I giving these up!"

"I deserve these things," they thought.

"This is the American Dream!" they thought.

The decision was obvious to most people. 1) Struggle while we try to fix a mess we've created, or 2) create a large government who will just give us money for free.

I know a country who made this decision years and years ago. That country is England. I lived there for two years and I can say that Americans don't understand what it means when they decide to give the government so much power to take from the rich and give to the poor. I don't know a lot about the inner workings of England, because I was a focused missionary while I was there, but I have intense first hand experience with the neighborhoods they call "The Council", named after the government programme that owns a massive portion of British property. Somehow, the people have surrendered endless amounts of entire neighborhoods to the ownership of the government. These houses are dived out to people who can't afford anything. If a teenage girl has a child, she gets a house. If someone is out of work for so long for whatever reason, they get a house. Sounds a little sketchy, and seems harmless right? Entire generations grow up in these houses. These people get more money from the government for not working than they would get from any entry level job position. I heard many British people admit to my face that they chose to stay in this degraded existence because they would struggle more in the real world and had no conscience to tell them what they were doing was wrong because there are millions of people in exactly the same situation.

What is the solution? I don't know. Are we headed there? I think so, yes.

It's harsh, but I think that some people need to fail. Some businesses need to close. People need to learn to use their money wisely and only spend what they have and can afford. Don't tell me it's not that simple because if you think that then you're diluted. Diluted by the people who feed off of our desperation. Those who rise to power in times of turmoil with promises of free passes and bailouts. These people live in a fantasy world where they can spend pretend money and feed their children with a Peter Pan banquet of fantasy foods. The dream sequence fog clouds these people's vision and they are unable to see the long term consequences of their actions. If this is not the case then the other alternative is that they are liars who purposefully deceive the desperate with their quick fixes. Either way, these people are now our leaders. They have been given the power to suck away the value of our money by printing billions of fake, worthless bills so that we can feel like we have money to spend on our fancy cars and large houses and government bailouts.

A wise man once had a vision of a time where people ate, drank, and were merry in a large and spacious building that was floating as it were in the air with no foundation, no stability or anchor in and substantial value... with no real purpose or product. These people pointed and laughed at those who clung to the iron rod, fixed to the solid ground and straight path. We know the story. And for those who don't; the end is tragic for those who wore the facade of security and they lay in ruins, crushed by the great fall of the world in which they invested their lives.

I'm young and inexperienced, but isn't that what we need sometimes? Someone from the outside to step in and say, "Hey, what are you guys doing!?"

Please take into consideration the views I expressed. Don't take offence but take pride in yourself by taking responsibility for your actions.

As I step out the door of my parents nest and take flight into the world of independence, I'm afraid of the change I feel in the winds. I'm afraid of this man Obama who we, the people chose to fix our financial situation. Listen to what he says. We need to step out of our security blankets and look at this from the standpoint of cold reality. Long term. Not for our children or their children, but for us. The long term effects may be felt before long, so make sure that you, yourself are secure.

Get a skill. Get a voice.

Money, Money, Money!

So, Great News!

I sold Martha off to slavery to some nice little 17 year old girl and her mother. They were very nice people and they really seemed to like the car so they took it for a healthy $2,2000 which is $1,200 more than what the Mazda dealer was going to give me and $200 more than what I listed it for here, so I'm pretty darn happy. I used the money to pay both my credit cards to a balance of $0.00 and put a big chunk of cash toward my car. She still owes me $600 so... suffice it so say I'm pretty happy about it.

I went shopping after with Angela and bought a nice shirt with no remorse. It's been a long time sense I've been clothes shopping just for the heck of it.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Martha For Sale

* 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee Loredo *
$2,000!
You know you want her.

188k Miles, amazingly comfortable and loads of space inside. I'm starting the price below Blue Book because there are some minor defects with things like the power doors and stereo. The car still runs great and in today's economy who can argue with an SUV for $2,000!


Call me with questions at (480) 258-XXXX


**Update: Car status=Sold

Saturday, February 21, 2009

My New Baby

I did it!
Scary stuff.

Some car dealers are liars. Unfortunate. But some are quality and they now have my money. It came down to an 06 Nissan Sentra or an 06 Mazda 3. The Nissan dealer was dishonest with me and I just liked the Mazda better so I paid a bit more for something nice.
**Winner**
06 Mazda 3**Loser**
06 Nissan Sentra**Loser**
08 Chevy Cobalt

I promise that it's just a coincidence that they're all red. Those were all about the same price with the Mazda a bit more. I spent about 6 hours getting a car yesterday. I guess I've been looking for about a week and I was just done. Sleazy dealers and me not knowing really what was going on, I just decided to narrow it down to my top two favorites and I talked to my dad and brother Dan on the phone and they educated me and dad came down and we made a decision.

I'm so glad that it's finally over!

I didn't trade my Jeep in, but I am selling it. I'm going to ask $3k from the general public but a special $2k price for you for reading my blog because I'm just cool like that. If you don't know, it's a '97 Jeep Grand Cherokee with a lot of love to give. Her name is Martha and she needs a new home. I'll post a picture later. Let me know if you're interested.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Digital Transition

So I work for a cable company and I have a lot of inside info into the digital transition so I thought it would be nice of me to share. I can't "copy and paste" the documents I have into public posts like this, but I can share what I know.

Before February 17th, and even still now, some cable and all antenna televisions get analog reception. The analog signal clogs up the airwaves for government and emergency communications and it is also unhealthy to have all that stuff floating around and microwaving our brains, so The Man (the FCC) has mandated a switch to digital which stays confined to the wires.

The date for the switch was February 17th, but the government ran out of converter box coupons and they just felt like being nice to people so they postponed the switch to June 12th. Pretty much everyone was ready for the February switch anyway, so companies will be switching over any time between those dates and even after that date some companies will leave a "night light" analog signal on for a while to throw a bone to everyone who isn't prepared.

Important Facts:
*If you are plugged in to cable through a cable provider with a digital tv set your service will not be interrupted. You do not need a converter box.
*If you have an antenna or basic cable you may still be able to receive an even more limited lineup at the charity of the provider for a limited time.
*Analog-only TV sets should still be able to receive the upgraded signal but at low power "Class A or translator television" lineup.
*You cannot make your antenna work with a converter box. You need to plug into cable.
*Some areas will lose Closed Captioning and TV Guide features in the basic lineup.
*Some areas will see their picture in a wider format with black bars on top and on bottom of the screen. This is not a cable provider issue, but the actual channel broadcaster's.

For more information, go to www.charter.com/localtv or www.charter.com/digitaltransition.

Crappy Channels

I just had a funny experience. A customer called and in a relatively upset tone he said,
"Hey, what's going on with my TV!?"
"I don't know. What is going on with your TV?" I said.
"Well, channel 4 is coming in crappy and channel 2 has been coming in crappy for weeks now and a few other channels are getting crappy reception..."
"Well," I said, "Let me get you to the Crappy Channel Department."
His frustration turned into a laugh and I sent him to technical support :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

थे हंटर [The Hunter]

I don't know why my titles keep being automatically translated into some middle eastern language. Strange.

So I am officially on the hunt. The story goes...

I noticed one morning that the wires were showing on my tire and I went the next day to get them replaced. $200 for two new tires. I kept one and got them rotated. The guy told me it was so bad because of my alignment, so I went to get it fixed. The grease monkey looked at my car and said that the arms on my wheels were whatever and whatever... It was going to cost me over $500 to get it fixed so I told him to give me my car back and get lost, then I sharpened my spear and went across the street to the closest dealership to start my hunt.

So far I have seen and liked:

2008 Chevy Cobalt $10k 20k miles
2008 Chevy Cobalt $9k 2 door 23k miles
2006 Nissan Sentra $10k 35k miles
2006 Nissan Sentra $8k ?miles (Private Seller)
I also saw a couple Versas that I likes but didn't really investigate much.

Now, I know these prices aren't the best and I plan to get more cars in my knowledge base and then let my dealer friends duel it out for my business.

What I'd like is a newer car. Preferably 2006 or newer with under 35k miles. Something small and definitive Commuter with great gas mileage. I'm quite ignorant about cars and prices and pretty much EVERYTHING to do with buying a car. If you have any advice for me, it would be appreciated. So far my dad, brothers and brothers-in-law have been great helps. Thanks guys and please let me know if you have any more advice for me. Also if you ever want to come with me to a dealer and be my wing man while I talk with a dealer that would be excellent.

I just talked with a coworker who was a car salesman in his previous employ. He gave me some tips and even offered to go with me to a dealer. Cool beans.

What I've learned is that dealers are pretty intense. The Nissan dealer kept me at the dealership for about 45 minutes or more and called me twice that night after I left and pretty much every day after. I haven't been able to catch his calls sense that day but I'd like to so that i can tell him that if he offers me $7k out the door then I'll drop whatever I'm doing and run over there.


Update: I bought a car! More info to come.

You guys are the best! Thanks again for all your help.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Damn Good

ब्राग Board

When I typed in Brag, it automatically turned it into "ब्राग". I don't know why, but there you have it. My title was meant to be:

Brag Board

I'm excited about my successes and I figure that my blog is a good place to brag about them.

So I was sitting down with my manager a couple weeks ago for the regular One on One thing and I was asking questions about sales figures and where I should be as far as numbers and another manager sat in and we were discussing it and my manager asked what my sales were like and I answered and she said, "That's very good." And the other manager said, "No, that's damn good!"

Of course that makes me feel good and I go on my merry way.

Then this week my manager comes up to me while I'm working and waits for me to finish my call. Kind of distracting and worrisome. I get off the phone and she tells me how she wants me to know how good I am at my job. She said that she was discussing with the other managers how under recognized I was and she told me that I was Number 1 in our group of about 20 and number 3 in the sales floor of about 65.

My program is a new program and it recently finished growing. Once it did, the management had to shift around every one's schedules so we filled out shift bids and numbered the available shifts from 1 to about 30 in order of desirability. Everyone was nervous and there was a buzz in the air because there are AAAAAAALLLL kinds of shifts including evening shifts and weekends. You probably didn't know but I've been working Saturdays and Sundays with Mondays and Fridays off for a bit over a month now. Of course I bid to have my Sundays off. They waited until the last minute the other day to tell everyone and before they were all passed out, my manager came up to me and showed me my new schedule. I now work 8-5 with Fridays and Sundays off. I was so happy and my manager said she was so worried and was relieved that I was happy with my schedule. I let her know that I was very, very happy. Later in the day I heard her go up to another of my coworkers and apologize to him for his schedule and let him know that they based it on sales and other sales numerics. I put one and one together and felt pretty good about myself.

There is only one manager on the floor on the weekends and yesterday, another group's manager was in charge and he came to me about mid day and waited till I was off a call. I don't know why I worry so much, but I was worried. Once I got off the phone he told me to set my phone to the "Coaching" setting which meant that he was going to coach me and him not being my actual manager made me think I was in trouble or something. He had me follow him to his desk and said, "I want to show you something." He then showed me the program on his computer that monitors all the other employees on the floor and how many calls are waiting to be answered. He said he wanted to go to lunch and that I was in charge. Woot!

So today is my last day working on a Sunday. Hopefully forever. I don't know what I did to deserve it, but I'm blessed.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

His People

Kelsey Grammer......has internet in his Malibu house because of me. That's right. "His people" called me today and I set him up with 16M High Speed Charter Internet Service at his Malibu place and billed it to his LA mansion. I must admit that i googled both addresses after and wow... this man probably has golden toilet paper.

And PS. I'm doing extremly well at work as one of the top sales reps there. Just thought I'd share so you can all be so proud of me :D

Monday, January 5, 2009

Matrix Philosophy

I want to take a philosophy class. Does anyone have any favorite philosophers? I would recognize names, but not what they teach. Is Ayn Rand a philosopher? I think so... if she is then she's the only one who's works I've read. I really like her ideas and i think they're productive, but still very carnal. She doesn't seem to be concerned with anything that's intangible.

I was watching the Matrix and I realized that all the good philosophy comes from the bad guys. The good guys have a few good lines and Morpheus seems to know things, but he's a tool. His knowledge is only relevant to duty and what must be done. As far as the really deep juicy functions of reality and existence... those things are discussed by the "bad guys." I think this is because we're afraid of it. The Merovingian mentions that there is no choice. I think that choice and action/reaction is really what interests me. The Oracle tells Neo that he has these choices and she can't tell him what's going to happen because she can't see beyond the choice, but then later reveals that the choices have already been made and that Neo is only there to understand why. Are we really "free"? Can we change anything or is everything already laid out and we're just falling into place like dominoes? Personally i think we are just experiencing life... not controlling it.It's an interesting task to try and label the characters as "good" and "bad". You think that the Oracle is good because she's pleasant and seems to be a mentor or guide, but really, she is a deceiver. Someone who tells people what they need to hear and nothing more. A manipulator. She is also the opposite of the "Architect." Meaning she is the destroyer. She is the representation of chaos. She was the ultimate victor. She got what she wanted. Chaos. Chaos is what destroyed the "programs" and freed the humans from bondage. Her ability to calculate the consequences to actions gave her foresight which was worshiped by those who couldn't. Knowledge was the only power. During the great last battle between Neo, the "Savior" and his opposite, the "Tyrant", think about who won that fight. Agent Smith was the champion. He was holding back. He was only using a minuscule fraction of his power. He controlled the whole world but only used one of his minions to fight Neo so that "the rest of [him] could just enjoy the show." He got confused and frustrated so he used his overwriting abilities to absolve Neo. He succeeded. He consumed him and took on his strengths, but Neo's strength was really his knowledge and sacrifice. The darkness was unable to consume the light and the light, being consumed by the darkness, penetrated every part and reset the Matrix. Neo was the end and the beginning. Obviously I'm not worshiping Neo, but i think these are fantastic representations of philosophy. Anyway, i just had to share my thoughts so that i can rest my mind and sleep. Thanks for reading. Please reply if you have any thoughts on this subject.

If you don't know what i was talking about, go watch the Matrix movies.