Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Wednesday, and I Look Like I Feel

Wednesday is supposed to be one of the better days of the week. Hump day I think it's called. Yeah buddy, after today it's all downhill to Friday. That used to be true in Corporate America but no more. Now it's more like... Oh My God... it's Wednesday, I've only got two more days to get four more days work done!

Workers used to have a voice in this country but no more. The power has shifted to the corporate boardroom where a flip decision over a catered lunch can mean the end to thousands of jobs. I get it, okay? I understand companies need to make a profit in order to please their stockholders and survive. I understand that as Americans we are much to blame as well. We demand the cheaper products from Walmart even though it ultimately puts our own out of work as a result.

From my vantage point things seem to be spiraling out of control and I can't begin to guess where it might end. People are afraid for their jobs. They work longer hours and make more sacrifices hoping it will make a difference. It won't. As soon as the pendulum of the balance sheet swings the right way... you're history, bon vonage, don't let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya!

I don't say that to be cruel. It's reality and it's here to stay. I work in corporate America so I'm right there with you. To live with blinders on saying it will never be me while your friends are escorted out the door is ignorant. It will be you... it will be me. It's just a matter of time. It's like I've told friends who drink and drive and boast about never being pulled. If you drink and drive you will get caught. It's no longer a question of if... it's a question of when. Working for corporate America today is pretty much the same. The days of starting a job at a company and retiring forty years later receiving the gold watch are over.

The sooner we as American workers realize this and take steps to prepare for it, the better.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Big Day for USA in World Cup

Okay I admit it... it wasn't until recently that I recognized soccer as a legitimate sport. At first I wasn't sincere about it either... I just wanted to appease my good friend Bob, who happens to be English and loves soccer, or football as he calls it, with a passion. As I learned more about the sport however, thanks in large to Bob, and to a Soccer for Dummies book he and his wife gave me for Christmas, I began to change... I became a fan.

For months now my friend has been talking about the World Cup. Yeah, okay, I'd reply with a yawn. Now that it's here however and I've been watching countries compete from all over the world, I've been truly impressed. Petty differences have been set aside and the result has been some awesome matches. The passion of the players and fans is something to behold. Just this past week we went to a local pub for the USA match against Czech Republic and there were actually people there who showed up to watch the game. Soccer! Can you imagine? Unfortunately the USA didn't have a very good outing and the result was a 3-0 loss.

Today the USA plays Italy in a must win game for them to have any chance of advancing in the World Cup. Think I'll be watching? You bet I will and I suspect so will a lot of you!


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Don't Crucify Reddick

J.J. Reddick was arrested for driving while impaired early Tuesday, story on MSNBC Reddick Arrested for Drunken Driving. Critics and heretics have descended upon Durham, Duke, & Reddick complete with lit torches and wood with which to build the fire and burn him at the stake. The cries of anguish are heard across America.

His career is ruined. He's given Duke another black eye. His spot in the upcoming NBA draft is jeopardized. Yada Yada Yada.

Oh grow up. Reddick is a college student celebrating graduation not unlike thousands upon thousands before him. I remember kids in my high school senior class who drank to celebrate the end of school. Some of them had never drank before and I dare say some never drank since. It just kills me that we are ready to crucify someone who has been nothing short of a model student and athlete because they make a mistake.

It wasn't that long ago that Michael Phelps found himself in the same pickle, but America was quick to forgive because he was one of our Olympians and God forbid his accomplishments be tarnished. But Reddick hails from Duke... the elite school of the South that people naturally love to hate. Even though evidence against the Duke Lacrosse team is sketchy and circumstantial at best, there are many who want it to be true simply because they hate Duke. Shame on you.

For the record, I am not a Duke fan. I am a Virginia fan, tried and true. I am also not a big fan of Mike Krzyzewski, but I respect him as a coach and the way he is standing by Reddick. I am however a fan of Reddick. I have not enjoyed watching a player more in college basketball since the days of Michael Jordan at North Carolina. He plays with a relentless passion for the game few others have. I can't wait for him to prove the NBA scouts wrong who think he is too small.

And lest we forget... we're talking about his career in the NBA folks. Ethics, c'mon, give me a break. This is a league constantly tarnished by a bunch of overpaid babies who throw temper tantrums, incite brawls, and have been arrested for just about every offense you can imagine. I hardly think Reddick's arrest makes a splash in the great scheme of things.

So to JJ, I say hold your head up high. You have made the right first step by admitting your mistake. Face it like a man, learn from it, and put it behind you. Actually I'm secretly hoping everyone passes on you, except of course the Charlotte Bobcats. I would love to see you continue playing basketball in North Carolina.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Death of Mother-in-Law

My mother in law, Dorothy Boyd, passed away Thursday evening about 6pm on June 8th after battling an aggresive form of cancer. She was diagnosed a month ago and just like that... she's gone.

I wanted to write something about her here because she was such a special lady. She was nothing like the stereotypical mother in law that is the butt of so many jokes and cartoon strips. I can't remember a single time I saw her upset or utter a cross word... even when her pain with the cancer was at it's worst. More often than not, she would try and just bear with her pain not wanting to trouble the nurses and ask for anything.

People like her are rare. She raised six children and bravely fought off death yesterday until all of them could make it to her side.

I don't know how I'll be when death comes calling for me. I hope that when it comes however I remember Nanny, and am somehow able to rise up to just a fraction of the bravery, dignity, and love with which she faced it.