Monday, November 28, 2005

Hats off to Gary

For some reason over the weekend, I thought of Gary. Gary was my best friend in high school and college. Not sure if he knows how many times I tried to steal his girlfriend. I was unsuccessful, someone else stole her our freshman year in college. Last I heard, she was married with a couple kids.

Gary was the kind of guy who would do anything for a friend. My senior year, I drove my hunk-a-junk car to Atlanta for an interview. The transmission was slipping but it had never failed. I drove into downtown Atlanta for a trade show, then followed the person interviewing me out to the office on 285. On the trip out, I weaved in and out of traffic following the fellow and my transmission started slipping. At one point, I thought I was going to have to pull off, but it got me there (it usually worked better when it was cold).

On the way home, it quit. I let it sit for a while, still nothing. I sat for about 30 minutes, then walked 1/2 mile to the nearest exit (where are the highway patrol when you need them). I called my fiance and asked her to find someone to help me. She called Gary. He had been up all night the night before studying for a test and had just gotten in. He agree that he could help if she couldn't find anyone else. She tried several people, then called Gary back.

Gary ended up driving from Clemson to just inside Georgia to pick me up.

I'm not sure I know anyone who would go to that length again for me. My hat's off to Gary.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Day after Thanksgiving

It's the day after Thanksgiving, can I still be thankful?

I'm thankful for family who all came together yesterday. I'm thankful for food which they all brought and mostly consumed, so that there's litte left to stare at me next week. I'm thankful for humor, which I try to have and share. And which they have to have in order to put up with my attempts at humor.

I am thankful for someone who stepped into my life 5 years ago and puts up with me, and actually ENJOYS being with me and ENJOYS the family around me.

Mostly, I am thankful that I've been allowed to be here for 46 years. Tomorrow (or today) may change all of the above, but I am thankful.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

I apologize

For some reason, I feel the need to apologize lately. Yesterday, I got an email from someone who was offended by an email I sent (I think I spend all my time sending and reading emails). He explained that he wasn't normally responsible for the job I thought he was doing (he was a fill-in, my mistake) and that he had done his job well (no question about that on my part). He also made some comments about how I had done my job.

All this in response to an email I sent. I looked back over the original email. All it was saying was that a customer had encountered some problems and in retrospect, they could have been avoided. Would have required some work on my part and his part, his part would have enabled him to charge more for his work, which he SHOULD have seen as a good thing.

I started to fire off another email. Instead, I decided to pick up the phone (such a novel invention) and call and apologize for the confusion. I figured I would make a new friend.

Instead, he explained in more detail how wrong I was, how it didn't matter whether I did my job or not and how he wasn't to blame anyway. Then he proceeded to tell me he had missed three other calls that were important.

I apologized for him missing the calls...

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Clemson Reigns

Much was said last week going into the big weekend. I chose to remain (mostly) quiet. I have great respect for both schools (Clemson and USC). Each has their strengths. Each has weaknesses. Football is just a sport, just a game. But oh, what a game it was.

As hard as Clemson tried, they couldn't give away the game. From a muffed punt to an interception that was ripped out of their hands. I can't remember the last time the game was played and only one touchdown was scored by both teams combined.

How many nationally ranked teams has Clemson beat this year? I also heard a stat about Bowden being the first coach to beat both Spurrier and Papa Bowden in the same year. (not sure if this was in xx years of forever).

Some will choose to speak ill of the colors, or tradition (rubbing the rock, run down the hill, etc.) Some will choose to dig up old history, talk about a championship year from years ago and how it really wasn't deservered. (even though they point out the almost decade between the championshop and recruiting violations - a long time in football history). They will point out a dark history as if that represents the school completely (even though WB stadium was 1/2 empty after half time 2 years ago).

They point to all these things as "evidence" that Clemson is a lower class college. Instead, I point to the scoreboard....

Friday, November 11, 2005

Fixing things

Men are accused of trying to fix things. A woman comes to him with a problem and talks. And talks. And talks. He buts in and trys to fix it. Turns out she doesn't want it fixed, she just wants him to listen. On the show Two and a Half Men (which rates higher than Earl), Charlie said all you have to tell a woman is "I understand". I think he's right. It works for him.

Being a sensitive man, I like to listen to my wife's problems. I knod, say "uh-huh", ask inquisitive questions and such. Sometimes I say things like this: "I know you need to talk and I'm a sensitive person, so let me know when you finish" (for some reason, this doesn't help).

Women , on the other hand think they listen. They listen to the details, and ask questions. Then they say smart things like "it will be allright" or "you'll know what to do" or something else like that. What good does that do? If a man tells a woman a problem, he wants it fixed. He doesn't want just listening. It does him know good.

So how do we solve this problem? Well, as Garth Brooks said "I could have missed the pain, but I'd of had to miss the dance."

Oh, and by the way, I understand.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Anna Louise

Some very good friends of mine just had a baby. She was less than 24 hours old when we got to see her, to hold her. She's small. fingers not much bigger than toothpicks (well, a little hyperbole here). She was actually a big baby (7lbs, 14oz, don't throw that one back!), but they are still small.

Mother and baby and even father are all doing fine. Scared, but fine.

My dad once said that baby's are God's sign that life should go on. Something like that. He was right.

Congratulations to the new family and welcome to the world...

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


I used to be technical. I prided myself on how technical. The geekiest of the geeks. One of my customers bought me a button that said "That's Mr Nerd to You" and gave it to me. That's how proud I am of my technical abilities, it shines through.

So what am I doing now? Filling out spreadsheets and muckracking. A google on Define: Muckracking brings up this definition: "a journalist ... who investigates and exposes societal issues such as political corruption, corporate crime, ... and similar topics."

Ok, I'm no journalist unless internal emails count. The issues I've been investigating are not involved in political corruption, corporate crime or anything like that. But I'm stirring the pot and playing politics to make people mad and hopefully take action.

I'd rather be technical...

Saturday, November 05, 2005


I've decided to be a hermit when I grow up. You know, the kind of guy who lives in a house, way off in the mountains and never comes out. The idea is that you don't have to see anyone, or deal with anyone. You don't have to answer questions or anything.

If someone wants to come visit, they can. I may even have a spare bedroom or two. You could come and stay. But, when I build my hermit house, don't plan on me coming to visit you.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

dry humor - DOUBLE trouble

My economics professor is hilarious. The other night he was lecturing and talked about doubling the inputs to a production process. He started to write "DOUBLE" on the board and was talking. He wrote "DO" then turned around to say something. When he went back to the board, he wrote "BLE". Then he looked at what he wrote, "DOBLE", confused. That look that says, "something is wrong, but I'm not sure what".

Someone commented that this was Spanish for DOUBLE. He asked "Really?". They assured him that they were serious. He turned back to the board and said "Well, I'm bi-lingual and didn't even know it."

Later he commented about two economic terms, the short-run and the long-run. He wrote them on the board and asked the class the difference. Everyone was quiet (sometimes when he asks questions, he wants an answer, sometimes not). After a moment of silence, he commented well, in the long run, we're all dead so it really doesn't matter.

Class is always interesting....

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


I missed Halloween this year. I think it's the first Halloween I've missed in at least 24 years. I always enjoy Halloween, seeing the kids dressed up. One year I bought a gorillas mask. Sometimes, I wear it when the kids come to get candy.

Each year, I count the number of kids that come to the door. My mom came over this year and counted for me. 96 kids. That's a lot of candy. That's about how many we've had the last few years.

I missed it....