Saturday, January 30, 2010

Just Wondering

Trying to keep it interesting in here with what ever I can come up with to talk about, sometimes.. aw heck, most of the time makes me wonder what is it exactly that causes you faithful readers out there to keep coming back.

I sure appreciate all of you making the trip across the Internet, coming all the way to my house to check in on what's happening in my little corner of Texas and my life.

I just did a quick check to see where exactly it is that some of you folks call home or were positioned when you opted to type in all them letters to get yourself here.

For the record, I am honored that you paid me a visit. Like I have said before, this Internet connection is really amazing. Here I sit at my little ol computer station in the extra bedroom of our simple home in the Great State of Texas...pounding out whatever it is that comes to mind, and hope that someone comes along and takes the time to stop and take a look see.

There have been a couple of other posts where I have mentioned the locations of my loyal readers and this is going to be another one. So sit back and check out a few, not all by any means, some of the recent global connections that have had my rantings on their screen.

As for the several states area:

TEXAS: Austin, Beaumont, Chandler, Houston
ALABAMA: Birmingham, Madison
VIRGINIA: Alexandria
CALIFORNIA: Mountain View

The most recent connections on an international level:

Moscow, Moscow City
Paris, France

Thanks for your time however short or long the duration was. If you stumbled across it by accident, I hope you stay awhile and check it out....but if you're in a hurry, get on down the Internet, but come back another time...if you so choose. Just remember...

It is what it is....

Thursday, January 28, 2010

What's Next...

Picking patterns for the interior design of our home falls directly on my wife. She has more taste and style than me and most of my friends all rolled up into one.

But some patterns are easier to pick out after you've been bashed with them a few times.

For instance this global company I still work for today...which probably should remain nameless for now, has always had a knack for letting out just enough information about corporate changes that will take place, whether it is welcomed or not.

One time it was decided about how the employees would be paid. No more weekly paychecks. It would be either monthly or bi-monthly, depending upon your level of importance.

No more weekly checks? You could look up the phrase...'living paycheck to paycheck' and see my picture pasted alongside the description.

But over time, we have adjusted to the twice a month payday. Not saying I like it anymore today than when it was announced a few years ago, but I do appreciate the paycheck.

Just recently, the announcement to close our facility that just so happens to be the only one in the world that makes 'our' specific type of product, was announced. Then the shutdown date was changed because it wasn't the right way to treat our customers. Regrouping and new decisions were optioned and a brand new timeline was presented.

We, the employees were asked to continue working at our assigned tasks and information would be shared as soon as it was available, regarding our employment.

This all started back around May 7, 2009.... it was a Thursday morning as I remember. The BIG announcement was thought to be possible shorter hours due to the economy. We couldn't have been further from the truth.

In the struggle to maintain the facility, the focus on producing the amount of product that our customers needed to make a transition to replacement began. As of today, the final production date has been decided that we will not...NOT run into the second quarter. At least that's the understanding as of today...Thursday, January 28, 2010.

To enforce the effort, our little crew of electricians has been placed on a rotating 12 hour shift to cover any emergency that may arise which could hinder the production of this unique blend of ingredients that touches just about all of our lives.

Snowshoe bindings, drinking water reservoirs, automotive components, soles of sneakers that cushion our feet, and not to mention the insulation for wire in the electrical industry.

The very mention of forcing our group onto shift coverage, surfaced just about two weeks ago. I knew when I heard the rumor, that it was inevitable....and today, I find myself just 2 hours out of bed from working a set of 12 hour nights, only to go back for my last night a little later today.

From working straight days for over 20 years to a rotating 12 hour shift, takes a bit of adjustment and not just for me, my entire family suffers.

Don't go thinking I don't appreciate my job, I truly do. It's really tough to remain focused on the tasks we are charged with and not wonder about the future. There are certain aspects of the process that we are not hearing about. We are expected to maintain the professional level of support, but in reality are the typical mushrooms in the basement. Kept in the dark and fed the approved daily amount of corporate BS to sustain.

Will we possibly run past the second quarter? No way, but then again, maybe, maybe not. The cost to extend the permits would be to much to bear...or bare. We were told that this shift work, would only go until the end of March...hopefully it's March 2010.

It is what it is...

Monday, January 25, 2010

Eight fingers typing...

Thinking back to typing class in high school, there were maybe 3 guys in a classroom of at least 25 individuals of the female persuasion. For a sophomore in high school, this was a dream class until it became evident that the teacher really expected you to learn how to type without looking at your keyboard...sorry, there was no keyboard back then...not sure I remember what you call the area where all the keys were located on those new fangled 'lectric typewriters.

I am sure glad that I managed to conquer a good portion of the skill set needed to pass typing class. Much to my surprise, after I transferred from the old and now vacant South Park High School in Beaumont and got myself enrolled in Kountze High School, a small wide spot in the road just about 20 miles north of Beaumont, and in a Typing II class, all due to the fact there was a vacancy and I had already had one year of typing and was considered worthy.

My teacher in that typing class was Mrs. Faye Robertson. Between myself and one of my running buddies, we pretty much had the focus on us and what we were trying to pull off by taking up a couple of her typing stations. As I remember, I never got any faster than 30-33 words a minute.


Thanks Mrs. Robertson, for your kindness and your patience during my senior year at KHS.

The Class of 1972. The same year that we lost a fellow classmate, Ricky Johnson.

I think back to the emptiness I felt when Ricky didn't show up for first period class the next day. I still remember him begging me to swap seats with him so he could sit behind his heart-throb and varsity cheerleader, Lynn Elmer. I guess I looked and expected Ricky to show up most any day after the accident...probably for about a month or so.

Later on in my working career, I had the unexpected opportunity to work with Ricky's younger brother a short while. Funny how the world comes back around and messes with your mind. Throwing memories out at you from all angles.

That running buddy of mine from typing class, has basically fallen off the face of the earth. I reckon he will show up one day and surprise me.

B. I. Jordan. Known as Brill by many of his I called him Biggun.

Hey Biggun...where you at nowadays? I'm still here in Beaumont, wondering just how the world you're doing. Ain't seen you in a coon's age....better make that 2 or 3 coons ages.

Anybody out there know the whereabouts of a one Brill Jordan, originally from Kountze, Texas, let me know. I will pay upwards of three or four American dollars.

Well, let me go for now... that's more rambling than I have done in a while..take care and keep your feet dry...until next time.....

it is what it is.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Losing track of time

I suppose everyone of us has lost our concentration during the course of a day, while watching our favorite television program, or during those 'important' weekly business meetings.

With all the distractions that are available at any given moment during our daily lives, it comes as a welcome change the natural occurring incidents among co-workers and their offering to share their stories at the cost of personal humiliation.

The group of people that I work with are a constant source of material for me, most of which can be cleaned up and shared here with you.

Tommy is one of our more 'experienced' valve technicians and is our 'go-to' old timer for the occasional history lesson that involves the past 30 years of employees or the overall changes of the surrounding municipalities.

Having spent so many years working at the same chemical complex here in Southeast Texas, habits become second nature and becoming a morning person is easy to do with a steady job.

Tommy has shared on numerous occasions about his waking up before the alarm clock goes off, getting up, getting dressed thinking that he had over slept and tears around preparing to leave for work only to realize that he had been asleep for about 2 hours.

Just the other day...make that the other night, he woke up, dressed and left his house heading to the plant. Listening to the radio, the deejay gave the current time and temperature. Not believing the clock radio, he pulled his cell phone out for confirmation that in fact it was just after midnight.

He turned around and went back home and back to bed.

Just this past weekend, Tommy turned another year older. This birthday was a milestone for him as he was turning 70 years old. I have to tell you that Tommy is one of those active 70 year old individuals that still lead a very productive life.

One of our unique ways we celebrate our birthdays at work is by bringing something for the crew to enjoy during the day. Monday morning, Tommy arrived with one of those infamous Great American Cookies....and led off with a confession in front of the crew.

He had figured wrong and was not...had not turned 70. His wife had informed him the day before that he was in fact; only 69 years of age.

His argument was that he had been born a year before the attack on Pearl Harbor. Well almost a year, what's a few weeks right? December to January was closer to about 5 weeks short of exactly a year before the attack.

As a matter of fact, Tommy was born just 11 months before Pearl Harbor and had stated it so many times, he had himself believing that he was born in 1940. See what a difference a few weeks will can actually take a year off of your life.

Happy 69th Birthday Tommy.

It just so happens, that my wedding anniversary falls on Tommy's birthday. Cindy and I celebrated 29 years of wedded bliss this past weekend.

For the record, I gave her the same card for the fourth straight year this year...and yes I bought a new card each year. Maybe I will tell you about that tradition in another posting.

Monday, January 11, 2010

I am a work in progress

God's Redemptive Project

Your flourishing is never just about you. It is a "so that" kind of condition. God designed you to flourish "so that" you could be part of his redemptive project in ways that you otherwise could not. He wants you to flourish "so that" people can be encouraged, gardens can be planted, music can be written, sick people can be helped, or companies can thrive in ways they otherwise would not. When you fail to become the person God designed, all the rest of us miss out on the gift you were made to give.
Jesus once said that with God, all things are possible, and the great thing about life with God is that your next step is always possible. That step toward God is always waiting, no matter what you have done or how you have messed up your life. Jesus was hanging on a cross with a thief hanging next to him, and Jesus turned to him and said, "Today you will be with me in paradise."

I received this today and realized after reading it, I am a work in progress. Understanding this small portion of life, I have to agree with author Rick Warren when he explained in one of his books so clearly, even I got it.

The statement simply stated: It ain't all about you.

Boy howdy, ain't that the truth. Folks that think the universe revolves around them are in for a rude awakening one day. The short paragraph that started this posting is an excerpt from a book by John Ortberg, 'ME, The Me I Want to Be'.

All those casual encounters with people throughout your life, not to mention those that are still to happen even as early as tomorrow, were meant to be. You were destined to be a part of their life...OR maybe, bringing it down a notch and looking at it from right to left, that stranger you meet may just have been guided by our angels to intercept you along your path.

It could be their life is the cog in your gears to keep you going, "so that" you can grow and reach the level of importance that God has planned for you.

Just another slant on how small we really are in the grand scheme of things...but some day, you could mean the world to someone, the difference in how a person responds to a situation.

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

They keep telling him no....

They keep telling him no. I am sure that after spending over half of his life in the 'system', the answer is not a surprising one.

Javier is his name. His friends call him Javi.

The system is known as DCF and is governed by the State of Connecticut. DCF stands for the Department of Children and Families.

Javi is one child of many who long for a family to take him in. His Christmas wish of 2008 was simply:

"I'd like a family who likes fishing...pretty much any kind of fishing."

Another unique piece of the puzzle has Javi belonging to the Permanency Unit, which plainly states that these are the ones;

The kids who are not going home. Their parents have given them up. Period.

Javi is like any other 13 year old kid you could meet. He likes math, not so much on reading. Not a big video gamer and prefers to be outside. Loves the game of baseball and loves the Yankees. His favorite player is Derek Jeter. Oh, and he has a strong passion for fishing.

I am telling you about Javi because his situation tugs at my heart. The story is repeated more than we can imagine across our nation and someone out there just may take the time to read this and know of someone, some family out there that would be perfect for Javi.

I look at my own son who is now 14 years old and realize just how much some family, some couple out there is missing out on the blessing of having a void filled in their lives.

Don't just read what I have written here about Javi and his situation, do yourself a favor and go to the website where you can read about Javi and his being 'severed' from the world by his parents.

Please, take a few moments and go to and check out the story; Christmas for Javier.

It is our prayers and hope for Javi to find happiness in the near future but realize that we are but a few that care. The task is in no way unobtainable and know that sometimes, just getting the information out there...could possibly make a difference.

Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to check my blog out, because ... it is what it is.