Friday, December 6, 2013

Something new to grab your attention

Now that the holidays are pretty much in full swing, I never know if I have enough time to do much of anything, let alone a blog-post. All the same… I thought I would post to see if anybody is paying attention.

I tend to wonder how much of the universe listens, especially when it is controlled by algorithms that favor those who post often. And even if I posted often, I wonder how large my Sphere of Influence is.

So, if you happen to stumble upon this post, be sure to let me know so I can thank you.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Pen(ish) Pal

I sometimes wonder if I just have poor luck of the draw. All throughout my life I have encountered friends who openly admit that they are not letter writers. One would think that after doubling my age since that time that I would at least have beaten the odds… but I have not. And since I have been writing letters, Email has emerged. The nice thing about Email is that you can easily send correspondence without having to worry about finding a piece of paper, pen, envelope, stamp, etc.. However, even with this added convenience— I am still cursed with non-letter writers. Of course, as of lately I have not been the best of pen pals either— so I guess I need to get the log out of my eye before I complain about the speck in my friends eyes.

I think if you ever speak to anybody I wrote letters to, they would tell you that I wrote quite long letters. I had stationery that was wide enough to fit in a letter-sized envelope and wasn't much taller than the width of a regular page. I would typically fill at least one side of the page, and many times both sides as well. Since I type faster than I write, I typed all of my letters. Of course, this was long before personal computers and ink-jet printers— so I typed my letters on a typewriter… single spaced. Being the creative person I was, I couldn't just type a letter (how boring). One time I typed the entire letter on a 45° angle, and another time I typed it rotating it every line. It makes me wonder if any of the people I wrote those letters to actually saved those letters. I know I keep my letters and like to re-read them them from time to time.

One semester in college I scheduled my classes in such a way that my week was finished on Thursday at noon. I did have a class on Friday, but that wasn't until 4:00 PM, and never required homework. The great thing about this was that I could get my homework finished before the weekend. The sad thing about this was that everybody else didn't do their homework until Sunday night, so I had my Sundays free with nobody to do things with. This gave me a regularly scheduled time that I could write letters.

I have been trying to write again on Sundays— but much like my blog writing… I have not been as diligent as I would like. That, and the curse of non-letter writers is still in full force— so I'm not as inspired to write if there's no one that will write back.

What about you… did you ever write letters to anybody? Do you think that written correspondence is a dying breed, or just sleeping? Do you still keep in touch with anybody through letters, or has the communication faded?

Friday, May 24, 2013

Blogiversary x5

I can't believe I forgot to make a blogiversary post. Not that I have anything to say, but I've been blogging for 5 years now. I realized how difficult it is to go through other people's posts, so I don't expect you to go browsing through my entire site.

I am curious as to who is still reading after all these years, or crazy enough to still follow me. So if you are… I do expect you to leave a comment so I can thank you for your readership.

Sunday, April 14, 2013


If you are unable to add up the number of posts listed in parentheses under Blog Archive, I have now reached 400 posts. II also have 100 followers!

I was planning on waiting until my 5 year moversary, but that is more than a month away and I felt that I should at least celebrate these two milestones before the luster wears off (or I forget). But then the question remains… how does one celebrate?

The Big 400

I think that after the first two hundred posts, there really isn't any need to celebrate— the occasion just comes and goes without any fanfare. But since I haven't been posting as often I noticed the 400 milestone approaching and felt I should at least acknowledge it. If you wonder how anybody could say 400 things, I encourage you to browse through my posts.

Who are these 100 who chose to follow me?

There was a contribution post back in 2009 called "Tuesday's Tribute"— it was soon passed to someone else who changed to be "Tribute Tuesday". The theme of this was that you were to tribute someone or something (It's not all about you). In keeping with the theme— I had an idea to do a spotlight on my followers. I thought… "what a great way of promoting their blogs and give them credit for bearing with my narrative/technical-writer style of writing". I decided to write to those followers that I could and ask two questions so that their words could be a part of the post:

  1. What reason do you have for following my blog?
    I know this may seem selfish, but I am curious what motivated you to sign up.
  2. Why do you think that others follow your own blog?
    I know why I do and will let you know in my post along with my impressions on what your blog is to me.

I realized that posting on all of my followers would be a very long post— so I broke it up into smaller manageable pieces.

I started sending out the survey after I reached 60 followers, but never quite got the next 60 written (I am currently 3 shy of getting 60). I also found that many of my followers suddenly did not have a blog of their own (yet another reason for calling me one of the "Old Guard"). Both of these reasons stopped me from continuing the series, but that doesn't stop me from asking my remaining 50 to at least ask the first question:

  • What reason do you have for following my blog?
    I know this may seem selfish, but I am curious what motivated you to sign up.

Please let me know by leaving a comment, or contacting me directly.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Reason Season Lifetime

Reason, Season, or Lifetime

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
When you figure out which one it is,
you will know what to do for each person.

When someone is in your life for a REASON,
it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty;
to provide you with guidance and support;
to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend, and they are.
They are there for the reason you need them to be.

Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time,
this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.
Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done.
The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON,
because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it. It is real. But only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons;
things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person,
and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.

It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

— Unknown

I have seen this poem around for some time now. I think that it is used to explain why friends come and go. I am one of those people who never want to lose friends… especially those that I consider close to. True, it is unfair that someone you knew is taken from you— but to say that once they are gone, it is over and it's "time to move on" just doesn't make sense to me.

I believe that a person's sphere of influence does not go away once they are gone. It persists as long as we have memories of that person. There may be an experience that you had with the person that you were with. This experience may not have been all that memorable at the time, but later on in life you find that the former experience now has a profound effect upon you. It us much like a form of spiritual communication where the spirit of the person is communicated to you without them even being present.

I tend to ponder what the mechanisms for friendship are. What makes a friend a friend? What types of friends are there? Or even, how do we pick a friend?

Some of you are my virtual friends— those of whom I only know on line. I know that I have not written in this blog as frequently as I would have liked and feel that this may be driving potential friends away. Hopefully you can let me know that you are still around so I can be more diligent at keeping in touch.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Job Interview Part 2

Whenever you get a nibble, I always find the best approach is to keep in touch with those that you interview with so that they do not forget about you. But when you do not get any response— you immediately think that they forgot. Quite a blow to anybody's self esteem.

Of course, the week before the end of November is not the best time to try and get a hold of anybody, mostly because of that crazy thing called Thanksgiving.

I had a phone interview the week before with the company that I wanted work for, but did not have any reply regarding the status of the phone interview. I finally managed to get a face to face interview with them on December 1st— the day after my contract ended. I was really hoping to have all my interviews rapped up and have a job offer before I left, but that wasn't to be.

On my last day of my contract I wrote to those I worked with to summarize the pleasure it was working where I did:

As many of you may or may not know, my contract here at Northern Trust ends today. Before I go, I want to thank those to whom I have worked with these past several months. Feel free to pass this along to anyone I may have missed.

Even though I have been here a short time, I feel that I have gained experiences that take others years to acquire. It is refreshing to witness the professionalism and the dedication to the process that each person I have encountered has. This makes the environment here a model to look up to and one that I will use as an example in the future. Plus, it is great that you are not all work and no play. There is an ease to conversations that do not always have to revolve around work. It is this casualness that makes it easy to approach anyone to clarify a requirement, or learn best practices.

It has truly been a pleasure working here. I will not forget the experiences I have gained, or the comradery that I have enjoyed.

Be good, and take care,

On December 1st I had my face to face interview. Based upon the address they gave me, I went to the front desk and spoke to the receptionist. They indicated that I should go up one floor and ask for the person I was interviewing with. I went upstairs and saw that there was no receptionist upstairs— so I went back down and asked again. They said they do not have a receptionist and just to ask anybody in the room. (that should have been my first clue).

I did feel funny just walking into a room with people all around and casually asking if so and so was in. Fortunately, everybody was really friendly and helpful. Someone walked be downstairs and showed me the office of the person I was interviewing with (had I known…). After I got together with the person I was supposed to interview with we must have spent a good 20 minutes trying to find an open conference room to interview in. (Little did I know that they rented office space and shared it with several other companies). We finally settled to having the interview in the hallway right by the same elevator I went up and down on. (which was quite interesting to say the least). The person I was interviewing with was so excited about the department he headed up I didn't have too many questions thrown my way.

The next day I got the call and the offer, so if you think about it I was only unemployed for one day.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Job Interview Part 1

I do find it interesting that there are two things about a job that I can either like or hate: the people and the work. So often I may love the work, but I don't get along with the people. Then there are those times when I get along great with the people only to find the work to be unbearable. I am very glad that at my current job I both love the work as well as the people I work with. One wouldn't think so based upon what I went through to get the job.

As a bit of background, I will let you know I was unemployed for nine months before I finally got another job. I was hired through a contractor and was the only person from this contractor working on site for a customer. I got the job because I had experience with the former software that they used. The great thing about working where I did was that it was more of a launch pad for the current job I am at now. I got along great with everybody and learned a lot. I was hired with the understanding that this would be a no end-date contract which gave me time to impress the people I worked for and hoped that they hired me on their staff.

The whole transition from working from one contractor to working for my current employer seemed to occur in stages. My current employer had a large presence there already with the majority of the contractors from that company. I really liked the attitudes and methodology that they possessed and thought to myself that I should consider seeing what it would take to work for them. Of course, working for my current contractor I really had no true benefits. I had no paid time off and had to wait 3 months before I got insurance and 9 months until I could apply for a 401K. So you can see why I admired trying to work for the other company.

I suspected that something was up because projects that I was supposed to be assigned to I was being taken off of, so when they called me in and told me that my contract was up at the end of November, I wasn't too surprised. Of course those dreaded feelings of anxiousness and lack of direction crept back in. I was still familiar with the diligence and routine necessary when you are unemployed and put that energy to work to apply for a new position. I asked the two people nearest to me if they could give me a good word.

Interesting what a difference a week makes. About a week from when I was informed that my contract was up I had three nibbles. The recruiter that one of the people near me worked for, asked to have lunch with me to discuss prospects. That same day, I got a call on my cell phone from a recruiter asking for an impromptu interview that morning. On top of this, I passed my resume to the other person near me to send to the contractor I wanted to work for and got a reply back asking to schedule a phone screening.

That day I walked over to another building to have the impromptu interview. I did get a bit lost because the building had two sections, one of which I went up the wrong elevator and couldn't find the room. I went back down to the lobby and called them to find out where the room was. They almost thought that I had the wrong day for the interview and was glad that I was only lost. After the first interview, I went back to the office and saw the person I was going to have lunch with in the lobby talking to the co-worker who passed along my information. I had lunch with him and found out that he was a recruiter that recruited for the company that I wanted to work for. It seemed great to know that three companies were vying for my attention.

Go forward another week and everything appears to have been put on hold. I couldn't get a hold of anybody to see what the status of everything that occurred the week before. Stay tuned tomorrow for "the rest of the story".

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Spin Cycle: Love

In honor of Valentine's day, I thought I would spin up a few poems of mine about Love:

Love is so simple
but we don't have the patience to make it so


Love is like a flickering candle
just one breath is all it can handle

Steady streams of air keep it going
for love is always ever flowing

So find the love and you will know
just how to grow in life's big gamble


If love is endless
then have I found love

Is it creeping around the corner
like a peaceful dove

Will I know its place
like the back of my hand

Or will I have to look further
like a penny in white sand

Can I be sure of what I know
or will I never know

Will I then learn to grow
and see all of the above


Love grows within the briars an bushes for the fire
for love is the only pain we all want to acquire


Where is my love whom I adore
has it disappeared into forgotten lore

A story told to please ourselves
as we put our love on forgotten shelves

To lock the door with unmarked key
and stop ourselves from being free

So free ourselves from this pleasurable pain
so we can gain our love all the more


Love it is a wonderful thing
it makes some cry and others sing

It takes some in and lets some go
and is always there and helps you grow

So don't let your love play the opossum
and let it blossom like the early spring


Beauty is in the heart
where love always makes its start


Life is an axle where all things revolve
and love is the center from which life can evolve


Love is like a plant
give it the proper nourishment and it grows

But stop feeding it
and it will die and fade away


Second Blooming

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

2013 Chili Fest

During the month of January, I tend to want something warm to eat to keep me from freezing to death. One of my favorite dishes to make is chili.

If you like chili, the Ravenswood Fellowship United Methodist Church will be hosting their annual chili fest. There will be several different versions featured including: mild and hot chili with beef, mild and hot chili with chicken— and even a vegetarian chili (for those who can't or won't eat meat). But what makes this festival worth attending is "all the fixin's". What do you like on your chili??? We have corn chips, popcorn, rice, macaroni… and even mashed potatoes, and much much more.

I am including the information on how to get there if you want to attend:

Saturday, January 26, 2013
3:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Children 10 and under $5.00

Ravenswood Fellowship United Methodist Church
4511 N. Hermitage Ave.
Chicago, IL

I look forward to seeing you there.

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