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Rated: 13+ · Book · Personal · #1921220
My thoughts released; a mind set free
These pages contain my thoughts, from meandering ideas and persuasions to deep cerebrations and serious mentations.

Why, for what purpose? To release my mind and set creativity free. Somewhere inside the constraints of my mind dwells a writer, a poet, an artist who paints with words. In here I release those constraints and set the artist free.

Perhaps, lost somewhere in the depths of thought, is a story or a poem, waiting to be written.

I'm docked at Talent Pond's Blog Harbor, a safe port for bloggers to connect.
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March 26, 2018 at 2:15pm
March 26, 2018 at 2:15pm
#931525
It's a good thing this isn't a daily journal, but even so, I do need to do better at getting in here and writing. Eleven days... sheesh!

I found a wonderful surprise when I logged in today, one of my posts was tagged in the March 2018 Blogging Bliss Newsletter. It's always nice to get a little recognition; just wish that post would have had better results. At the time, I had just done a corrective action for attendance problems and was to review it with the person at the end of the month. She didn't make it that long and has again called in less than twenty-four hours to say she can't make it.

I tried to help her find a solution, since it was just a blown tire, but everything suggested was shot down. Then she let me know she could borrow a vehicle to go get a tire, but wouldn't be back in time and have it on the vehicle in time to make it to her afternoon shift. I bit back my question, "If you can borrow a vehicle, why do you have to miss work?"

I already knew the answer, she didn't have to miss work, she chose to miss. The verbal warning was nil, and I would have to take the next step, a written warning. I contacted my boss to inform him we need to look for someone to possibly fill her position and that if she failed to correct the problem, I wanted to terminate her.

Today, I wrote up a written warning, and on Wednesday I will go over it with her and inform her that the problem ends now or she's out of a job. It tends to take quite a while to find someone, so I'm looking at the possibility of not having much for time off until the position is filled. So much for having more time to write and spend in WdC.

But, we do what we have to, even when it's the unpleasant things like reprimanding and terminating someone or having to give up my days off to cover shifts. Things will work out with time and I still intend to do my best at getting here as often as I can.
March 15, 2018 at 2:22pm
March 15, 2018 at 2:22pm
#930716
It's been a pretty good week, but a busy one. I was off on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and will be returning to work later this afternoon. Even with the three days off, I wasn't sure if I would be off or filling in for our problem child. If you haven't read anything on this yet, our problem child is a new hire who does a great job, but has a real problem with attendance.

It has gotten so bad that I had to do a corrective action, and had planned on going over it with her last Thursday, but she called in and that plan fell by the roadside. Instead, I spent Monday afternoon writing up the document and then went in to work and went over it with her, so much for being a day off. After, however, I salvaged a bit of the remaining day and took my wife out for dinner and then some shopping.

Tuesday was another messed up day, but not work related. Both my wife and I had to make a two hour drive to take care of some personal business, nothing enjoyable at all. But, it was nice to get it done and over with finally, a little less stress to deal with now, and just a few loose ends to tie up and that whole situation will be done and over.

Being on the road pretty early and then spending an hour or so in conference before heading back home meant we were up way to early for a day off. As I mentioned, it was also very stressful, but everything went well and soon enough we were heading back home. Since we both just wanted to get home, we didn't stop for anything other than gasoline and a breakfast burrito on the return home. Then, after getting back home, we settled in and took a nice long nap. The last month has been exhausting having to fill in at least once or twice a week for our problem child, the stress of that, as well as the stress of the situation we had just taken care of. We slept deep and hard, getting some well deserved rest.

Yesterday we just kind of sloughed off most of the day, enjoying the one day off together with nothing going on. It was nice and relaxing, no problems at work, and nothing interrupting or day. I'm hopeful that maybe our problem child responded well to the corrective action and that situation is now under control. Of course, she does have a lot going on and does still need some days off, but nothing we can't handle and plan around; I'm still a bit skeptical and waiting for her to prove me wrong.

All in all, not a three days off, not very relaxing, but productive and hopefully paved the way to having our time off undisturbed and open to enjoyable activities.
March 9, 2018 at 3:49pm
March 9, 2018 at 3:49pm
#930318
It's been quite a week, but then it's been quite a month, for that matter. I wish I could say that in a different context, indicating it's been a good month and an especially good week. But, in my case, it's just the opposite. I am hopeful that things will get better, but I'm also experienced enough to know they may get much worse first. Time will tell.

Despite the problems of the last month and especially this last week, I did mange to get quite a bit of time spent in WdC. I'm especially happy with all the reviews I've done. There was a bit of embarrassment with some I wrote on Wednesday, thinking they were included in a Flash Reviewing Event for the Power Reviewers Group, when in fact, the event was the day before. Oh well, what can I say, it's been the kind of week that I haven't even been sure what day it is.

I'm happy to announce that I have gotten my days figured out, today is Friday. For most, the last day of work and the for bearer of the weekend. Not the case here, it's the last day of my weekend, so to speak, and tomorrow it's back to work. Of course, with things going the way they are at work, I never seem to know if I'm working a particular day, except for the ones I'm scheduled for. Days off have been a rarity and sporadic at best. My scheduled time off is about as decisive as the weather forecasts!

I'm scheduled to be off Monday through Wednesday next week, but already I see I'll have to go in for a while on Monday for some unpleasant business, Tuesday I'll be in court -- no I haven't been naughty, but Wednesday should be a relaxing day. Hopefully I can get in here for a spell then.
March 8, 2018 at 1:51pm
March 8, 2018 at 1:51pm
#930231
Well, I know I wasn't functioning at full capacity yesterday, too stressed and a lot of unpleasant work to do. It even showed up in WdC, when I took a break from work and came in here to relax. I first looked over the latest Newsfeeds, then went to my email. I seen the Power Reviewers has 12 hour flash review event going on, so I began browsing for items and did three reviews before the deadline. Yea me!

Today when I logged in, I again looked at the Newsfeeds and then went to my email. I still had yesterdays items in there and looked through both the new and the old, only now realizing that the 12 your Power Review event was on Tuesday not Wednesday. Not that it's bad that I got my dates messed up as far as the reviews, but to not even know what day it is?

My lovely wife, Rhonda, who is also my supervisory assistant and fellow worker also noticed how burned out I'm getting from all the problems at work over the last month. She was scheduled to work this afternoon, me this evening. Of course, when I covered a shift for another worker on Tuesday, she had agreed to work my shift tonight. But her attendance is terrible, most of the current problems at work, and as expected, she text me that she wasn't going to be able to work today. When I told Rhonda, she informed me that I am not working this evening, she will cover the shift; I am on direct orders from her to enjoy my day, relax, and not do anything work related.

I was a bit heated, since this isn't the first time she's agreed to switch a shift and then called in and couldn't work the shift she had agreed to pick up, so I text her back and informed her that she needed to decide if she wants the job or the time off. I also let her know that if she's not able to work, I would have no other option than to cover for her, but there would be even more corrective actions when she returns (I'm the site supervisor, not the best co-worker to screw over on top of her excessive absences).

I still don't know if she will show up this evening or not, she did reply and said if she's able to, she will work today. But, that is not a real answer, so Rhonda may be pulling a double so I can get at least one day off this week, or she may be home around six this evening so we can spent a little more time together. Either way, I'm thankful for the break and a chance to clear my head a bit.
March 7, 2018 at 5:28pm
March 7, 2018 at 5:28pm
#930175
My last entry was a short story written from a prompt here on Writing.Com, since I couldn't think of anything else to write about. Not that I don't have anything to write about; I have plenty. It's just that it's the same problem still going on, and who wants to read, over and over, about my problem. Hell, for that matter, I don't want to waste my time writing over and over about it.

But, the problem continues on, and if anything, is getting worse. Personally, it's a real pain in my backside because it takes away my time off and often with very little notice. It's created a problem for me to even think about having any activities or going anyplace on my days off without fear of having to cancel, drop everything, and run into work.

Yes, the problem, even though I mentioned it a time or two before is a new hire who just cannot work her scheduled shift and tends to call in anywhere from a couple days to a couple hours to say, "I can't make it."

For me, it's more than just the time I end up having to work for her. I'm the supervisor and have a professional liability with her absences as well. Even though I try to be a nice guy and try to make things nice and smooth for everyone, I also have to interfere with other's time off if I can't cover her shift. In short, her position exists only so my wife and I can have our days off together, and for the last month, that hasn't happened. Considering this new hire has only been with us for six weeks, you can understand the problem.

I find myself dreading any information coming over my phone, both calls and texts, suspecting that she's letting me know once again, she can't work. It's also making more paperwork for me updating schedules and letting everyone involved, the corporate office and the store we work at, updated to the constant changes.

I just recently talked with her and informed her that this has to stop. In fact, it was just last week when she sent a text requesting the day off. So how did it go? Well, she worked Monday, called in Tuesday, today, and just a short time ago, text me to inform me she won't be able to work tomorrow.

My day has been spent finding someone to cover her shift, updating schedules, and contacting the corporate office with the problem. I had hoped to work on a poem I'm trying to write, but the only writing I've done so fare today is emails with the office, texts with the person needing yet more time off, and filling out corrective action forms. If she does work tomorrow so I get one of my days off, I will have to go into work anyway to give her the corrective action, if she doesn't make it to work... well then I'll be working her shift and waiting for her to return so I can present the corrective action.

I have reached the point that I have requested permission to terminate if she continues to take time off, and that is the most unpleasant part of my job.
March 2, 2018 at 4:09pm
March 2, 2018 at 4:09pm
#929804
Written to one of WdC's writing prompts, "As the Frisbee left his hand, he knew ..."

Jimmy, his mom, and his dad, lived in a small two bedroom house. It was small, just a kitchen and a living room that doubled as the dining room. His parents bedroom was right off the living room, there was a small bathroom off the kitchen, and Jimmy's bedroom had formerly been a fair sized pantry off the kitchen and right next to his parents bedroom. The house was old, the walls thin, and not much for a yard, just a bit of patchy grass behind the bedrooms. His family has just moved to the small, rural town so his dad could take a better job, so they rented the small house, for now, until they could afford something a bit bigger and better.

Jimmy's mom had found a job at the littler cafe uptown, working as a waitress. His dad, worked for the sheriffs department and since he was the newest member, worked the night shift. He would get home shortly before his mom had to leave for her job. She would wake him after she got home, either bringing supper with, or after fixing something. They had the evenings to enjoy together as a family, as well as every other weekend.

While school was in session, everything had worked fine, but now, it was summer vacation and Jimmy was home with his dad, needing to entertain himself without making much noise, or it would wake his dad. He didn't have enough room in his bedroom to play, so he had to entertain himself in the living room. As long as he was quiet, this was not a problem. But, after pushing his toy cars around the hardwood floor for a couple hours, he had become bored. Not thinking, he had turned on the television and was looking for a movie to watch.

He settled in with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich his mom had made for him before she left and was just getting started with the western he had picked out of the DVD's. But, when the cowboys started shooting, it got louder and his dad had waken and stormed out of the bedroom and shut the television off. He yelled at Jimmy, "What are you doing? You know I need to sleep so I can work tonight!"

Jimmy lowered his eyes to the floor, "Sorry Dad, I didn't think it was too loud."

His dad glared at him through red, sleep depraved eyes. "I know. it's got to be hard for you. But, Jimmy, I've been having a rough time sleeping with the sound of you scampering around the floor in here and the TV was just too much. I know you didn't mean too, but you need to think about what your doing. I have to be up all night and need to get some sleep. Find something quiet to do -- if you wake me up again, your going to find yourself in trouble. Understand?"

Jimmy nodded. He felt bad, he knew his dad was tired and didn't get enough sleep, and he had tried to be quiet. "Well," he mumbled to himself as his dad returned to the bedroom, "You will have to try harder."

He sat on the sofa for a while, then decided he would read one of his books, that would be quiet. He went to his room and looked through his box of books, picked one out, and headed back to the sofa. He almost fell asleep reading, so he put the book down and walked quietly around the small room to wake himself back up. Stopping in front of the small window, he looked outside. It was now early afternoon and the sun streamed in. A beautiful spring day. Jimmy knew now what to do, he would go outside and entertain himself in the small backyard.

He quietly left the house and was exploring around the bushes and hedge that enclosed the back yard when he found a Frisbee wedged into the hedge. He worked his hand and arm into the overgrown shrubbery until he felt the bright yellow plastic disc. He had to work at it a bit to get it free, but after a couple of minutes and a few little scratches, he was staring down at a slightly beat-up and dirty Frisbee.

He turned it over and pondered where it may have come from. One of the neighbors, he thought, but who? Most of the people that lived in his neighborhood were elderly, he had not seen any other children close by. he pondered this for a few minutes and then decided that it was unlikely anyone would be looking for this, at least, not anymore. How long had it been stuck in the hedge? Had a former renters child lost it? Well, he thought, it's mine now.

He had seen people in the park playing catch with a Frisbee, but he had never thrown one himself. He went through the motions and liked the way it felt in his hand. Cautiously, he tossed the disc a short distance. It curved to the right and went almost straight up. After retrieving it, he turned and tried again. This time it went much straighter and bounced off the over-grown hedge.

Jimmy's heart skipped a beat when it hit the hedge, he didn't want to loose this treasure like someone else had. "No," he spoke quietly to himself, "I won't throw it towards the hedge."

With his back to the hedge, Jimmy found the proper grip on the Frisbee. He concentrated on holding his hand level, drew back his arm and as the Frisbee left his hand he knew, he was in big trouble. The disc flew straight and level, quickly traveling across the small yard and impacted dead center on his parents bedroom window. With a loud crash of busting glass the yellow disc vanished into the curtained room as a very deep and horse voice cried out, "What in the hell..."
March 1, 2018 at 3:46pm
March 1, 2018 at 3:46pm
#929716
Yes, I'm here physically, but mentally I'm not so sure. I have a head full of cobwebs and so far the coffee hasn't cleared any of them. How did they get there? Well, there's a few ways to get cobwebs in one's head.

One most of us are aware of is drinking too much. The alcohol creates them but often we don't even realize it until we wake the following day. This often is a very painful way to get a head full of cobwebs. Of course, there are other substances that can do the same thing and have the same results or even worse ones. For instance, I know a few people who smoke something that creates these cobwebs, and they have done it so much that even when they don't smoke anything, they continue to have a head full of cobwebs that never go away. I've heard of this phrased as perma-fried.

Another way is just talking to some people, they don't make any sense and trying to figure out what they are even talking about can create cobwebs in the head. More often, however, it just results in a headache and sometimes a stomach ache as well. I learned of this years ago when the Peanuts Cartoon was popular. Charlie Brown often got a stomach ache when talking with Lucy. I've also experienced this myself, numerous times.

Other times cobwebs form in the head from medical conditions and or the medications used to treat them. Fevers can create them, severe pain, and even a sharp blow to the head. In fact, having a bad cold often no only stuffs up a persons head, but stuffs it up with cobwebs as well. I'm sure many of you have suffered this form of cobwebs in the head from time to time.

Mine are a combination of two things, one being lack of sleep. Again, not sleeping forms many cobwebs in a person's head, and the longer you go without sleeping the worse they get. Other times you manage through many hours of not sleeping without letting the cobwebs develop to much, then sleep for a few hours, but not enough, and wake with a head full of the nasty things. That's partly how I got mine. I was up fairly early yesterday, had a pretty good day, and was looking forward to a nice relaxing evening and getting to bed a little earlier than normal, since I was pretty tired.

But, that all changed when I got a call requesting someone to come in and work through the night, from 9:00 pm to 5:00 am. Well, there was only one person who was available to do this, me. So, instead of relaxing and getting to bed early, I had my supper, visited with my wife for a short time and then headed in to work all night. I got home about 6:00 am, had a bite to eat and relaxed a bit, then headed off to bed felling very exhausted.

But, wouldn't you know, sleep just wouldn't come. I was too tired to get to sleep. I did finally fall off into slumber about the time the alarm went off for my wife to get up and get ready for work at 7:00 am. Yes, blissful sleep, finally. At 11:30 am, I woke up. Yes, only 4 1/2 hours of sleep, but i was awake and there was no going back to sleep. So, I got my retched carcass out of bed and poured some coffee to get myself jump-started. after three cups of coffee, I was jump-started and ready to start my day, but unfortunately, the coffee wasn't able to burn through those dreaded cobwebs.

To top it all off, I have been dealing with a new employee who is taking excessive time off. On Tuesday she was given a firm talk to and it was explained that she needed to work her shifts or face more serious consequences. Later, Tuesday evening, I received 3 requests for more time off for her. I was tired and frustrated, somewhat stressed over it, so I ignored it, deciding to put it off till the next day. Wednesday, before I can even address this with her, she texts and needs to take Thursday off to go to the dentist. I was literally dumbstruck by this. It was like the talk had never happened, or if it did she completely miss understood the part of not taking any more time off to mean she was suppose to take even more time off.

My head hurt and I was getting a stomach ache; I know how you felt Charlie Brown.

Well, to wrap it all up. I got home this morning, slept for a few hours and then got up to start my day. My wife is working today because the other person took the day off to go to the dentist. So, with a head full of sleep deprived cobwebs, I look on the company web site and find another three requests for time off from this person... As Charlie Brown used to say, "My stomach hurts..."
February 28, 2018 at 4:56pm
February 28, 2018 at 4:56pm
#929632
Well, it's the end of February and getting right close to spring, even though it may be another few months before it really looks like it. Even so, we should be past the worst of the real cold weather, we are seeing much more of the sun, and it's getting lighter earlier and dark later. Spring is my favorite season and after the last month and a half, I'm ready to see life begin to renew itself.

Not that the problems of the last month and a half have been resolved. They may have been, but I find myself in doubt. Perhaps I should explain the problem. Mid January one of our better employees quit to pursue another job in his career field. Great for him, but not so good for us, as it left us short on help and made for little time off for the rest of us. We found a replacement shortly after, and it looked like things would get back to normal right soon.

The new hire trained and did great, she also does a great job and has a lot of potential. At the time I hired her, there were some red flags, but with a nice interview and a long chat, I tended to believe her that she was seriously attempting to make a new start and move past past problems. The company I work for did a background check and called with some question as to whether she should be hired or not, but put it up to me, if I felt confident in her, they would get her started.

Like I mentioned, she did great during training, and even now does a terrific job. The only problem is, she has an attendance problem; she has needed seven days off in the last month and a half. Not only does she need to take time off for all sorts of things, she has a problem with dropping this information one or two days before, making it a real problem. Since I supervise the site and my wife is the assistant supervisor, it's up to us to change our plans for our days off to cover for her when this happens.

In being fair, I had a long talk with my assistant supervisor about the problems, who then sat down and told the new hire that she was already treading on thin ice and if she did not correct the problem, would be facing corrective and disciplinary actions from me. She cried, she understood, and she stated that she would do her best to resolve the problem.

I was on site during this time talking to another employee and doing a bit of training with him over a recent change in policy. Yes, it was one of our few days off, but we both thought if we get the problem corrected now, it will prevent future issues. After we both finished our tasks, we went out for a nice dinner, the returned home. before relaxing for the evening, I logged into our work site and seen there had been three requests for time off submitted just two hours after the long talk about not taking so much time off and missing so much work.

Yes, she went home and requested more time off; I can only assume that the meeting was a waste of time and that things will only continue the same. I just don't get it, who sits through getting their butt chewed for taking too much time off only to go home and ask for more? For me, it's looking like not only will I not have my time off, but I will be spending more time doing corrective actions and likely hiring and training another person. Time will tell if the message got through, but as I said, I have my doubts.

*** Update to entry added:

I guess my doubts are well founded, I just received a text requesting tomorrow off. Yep, she completely missed the point and the ice is cracking under her.
February 26, 2018 at 5:03pm
February 26, 2018 at 5:03pm
#929518
Wow! Has it really been a month since I made an entry?

It's been a hell of a month, but I really need to get focused an more engaged in Writing. Com. There is no excuse, I just need to do it.

I had an idea of writing from prompts in here if I didn't have anything else to write about, just as a means to stir up my creative side. Well, so far that hasn't happened.

It all started just over a month ago, when one of our people resigned and took another job, leaving us short handed and making for a lot more work time for me. Luckily, we did get another person hired fairly quickly, trained, and on the schedule. This should have been the end to that and provided me with more time to spend in here.

Unfortunately, the new hire was great at saying all the things needed to get the job, and even did great with the training. In fact, so far she has done a terrific job when she can get there. Yes, she is a good worker, but she has an attendance problem, needing to take time off almost weekly for reasons that are pretty much all B-S. I will have this issue addressed tomorrow and hope it is the end. If not, well lets just say we may be looking for another person soon. What a pain, since she does a great job.

Along with this, I found myself with a very nasty eye infection. Seems a gland plugged up in my eyelid and became infected. My left eye was swelled to the point of barely being able to open it and was very sore, sensitive to light, and my vision was terribly blurred do to the yuk seeping out.

Between the extra time spent at work and the misery of the infection, it was difficult to get motivated to do much of anything. I did see a doctor and took some oral antibiotics as well as some salve to put directly into the eye. It's cleared up a lot, but there is still a small lump in the eyelid. Another batch of ointment will hopefully lead to a full recovery, but if not, the next step is to see an ophthalmologist.
January 27, 2018 at 3:35pm
January 27, 2018 at 3:35pm
#927885
Another ten days since I made an entry, not very good. But, that's the way things go sometimes, especially when we are short people at work. The good news is, we have someone hired and trained, they will start next week and then things should start getting back to normal. Of course, there have been some major changes in our schedule, but I think once everyone has adjusted it will work well.

Other than spending way to many hours working and feeling a bit burned out as a result, things are going pretty well. I managed to get yesterday off without having to do anything work related; I pretty much just chilled all day except for a little work on the car. The brakes started acting up Thursday so I wanted to look at things and try and figure out what it's going to take to get it fixed.

Turns out, I was very low on brake fluid, but I couldn't find any leaks. So, I filled up the reservoir and will see how it goes today on my way to work. I'm sure it's leaking someplace and if that's the case, I'll have to take it in to have the leak found and repaired. But, I can't remember if I have ever checked the brake fluid since I bought it, and it could be that it's been low all along and just got to the point of being so low it became noticeable. If that's the case, the reservoir should stay full and I won't have to take it in for a while. We can always hope for the best, right?

For now, it's time to get ready to head into work, hopefully I get a little time to get in here again tomorrow. Things are looking better for me having more time next week, depending on how the schedule changeover goes. Again, we can always hope for the best. And, that's what I'm going to do, hope things work smoothly and soon, very soon, I will start having more time to spend in here and trying to get something written.
January 17, 2018 at 4:03pm
January 17, 2018 at 4:03pm
#927276
I recently started a goal to get more active in WdC with reading and reviewing, as well as to get motivated in my writing. Things were going pretty good, I did get some reading in and reviewed a few items. I also was getting my motivation going towards some writing. The idea was, if I had nothing much to add as a blog entry, I would find a prompt and write in here a short item about it.

Just when it looked like things were going to work out, things fell apart at work; someone quit. He did give two weeks notice, but also took his vacation time during the two weeks he had left, which kind of messed things up right after his notice. To understand how much, a breif description of my job. I'm a security guard for an out of state company, and I'm also the site supervisor. My job is to ensure things are working correctly and all shifts are covered, as well as all the little things that go along with supervising.

Our work dictates one person on per shift, so there are no extra people to call in to cover if someone is gone; it's up to the rest to cover the open shift until someone gets hired, trained, and into the open position. This resulted in me having less time off, and a lot more to do during that time off. So much for more time to spend in WdC. Even worse, all the added work outside of my working hours has had a very negative impact on my newly found motivation to write; my mind is very preoccupied with looking, interviewing, and hiring a new guard.

Just when I thought I had it going, it fell apart. It's kind of like getting all ones s*** together in a big paper bag and having the bottom tear open, quite a distracting mess. But, I'm going to stay optimistic about things, we will get someone hired soon and everything will go back to normal.

Oh, I should also add that even as wee need everyone to pick up some extra hours, one of the other guards decided to take some short cuts and now I get to go in today and give him the riot act. One day off this week and I end up having to go in and find out what's going on with this person and try and get things corrected or we will be hiring two instead of just one...

Wish me luck.
January 12, 2018 at 5:48pm
January 12, 2018 at 5:48pm
#926922
It's been about a week since I've written in here; it's been quite a week.

My position as a site supervisor puts a burden on my free time, but usually it's not a lot. One time it piles up is after the end of the month and I have additional duties to take care of, but even then, it's usually just a few hours of my time. I should add that my type of work makes it difficult to sometimes impossible to do all my supervisory functions while on the job, therefor I'm required to do them outside of regular work hours.

The other big impact on the amount of work I have to do outside of my regular hours is if someone terminates and I have to rehire to fill a position. That's what happened this last week. I knew the person would be looking for another job within his actual career field, but neither of us knew when that would be. We also thought, and hoped, that the work hours wouldn't conflict and we could work around the new job. That was not the case, and he had to choose one job or the other, which means we will be short one person.

Because of the nature of the job, we have just enough people to provide work coverage and cannot carry another until someone quits and creates a new opening, Therefore, until the position is filled, it's an added burden on everyone else, but especially on me to provide extra coverage. It's also an added burden on my time to go through applicants and do interviews until someone is hired, trained, and can start working alone. So much for any free time for a while; it's going to take a least two weeks to get things covered, possibly longer.

Even so, I'm going to try and get into WdC as much as I can, and while here, I will keep as active in reading and reviewing as time permits. I also plan on trying to keep my blog entries fairly regular...
January 6, 2018 at 3:23pm
January 6, 2018 at 3:23pm
#926499
How's that for creating a new term? Mojo Interruptus; at least I think I coined a new term.

I discovered this condition earlier today when I logged into WdC. I had found a few reviews in my email on an item that had been showcased in Newsfeed Highlights, thank you for the honor. I was replying to one of the reviews and feeling quite motivated to reply to the reviews, then do some reading and reviewing.

Just as I was getting a good start, I heard my cell go off, "...Chimes... You have a text message."

That was all it took, my concentration was interrupted and I had lost my mojo. I stopped my reply and looked to see what the message was. A text from my beloved asking me to cook her up a couple of chicken breasts. "Mojo Interruptus!"

It was all innocent, no harm meant, but the damage is done, the mojo is gone and my intentions of reading and reviewing are scattered through the cosmos. I did finish that reply, then took out some chicken breasts and started them cooking. I did the next reply and then checked on the chicken, and now am in here to write about my Mojo Interruptus as I wait for it to cook, then put it in a container and into the fridge for her.

For other's, this is likely no problem, but for me, it's disaster. When my creativity is flowing, my mojo, I need to stay focused only on my mojo. Interruptions draw me back out of that place I go when I'm creative. Yes, I get completely lost in my creativity; when I'm writing, I forget to eat, sleep, and function outside of writing. I can handle some interruptions, if they are light and far between. But, one that dashes my mojo to thousands of little pieces is the phone.

It's nothing new, I have never liked to be interrupted, especially by the phone. I reckon if ever I had a pet peeve, this would be it. I don't mind talking on the phone, or even texting, for that matter, when it's the point of focus. But when my focus is elsewhere, it's nothing short of an immediate shut off to my mojo.

So,m turn the damn thing off! Right? I wish I could, but my position as a site supervisor means I need to be able to be contacted if there are any problems on site. I can live with that, it's my job. Unfortunately, most of the texts that come in are non-work related. For most, the cell phone is a wonderful way to stay in contact, but for me, it's Mojo Interruptus. Being the introvert that I am, I turned inward and enjoy peaceful, quiet alone time. I thrive on it; it's where my mojo resides. But that damn phone...
January 5, 2018 at 5:54pm
January 5, 2018 at 5:54pm
#926443
It's that time when we work at undoing all the Christmas decorating we did after Thanksgiving. In the process, I'm filled with thoughts and images of my wife bustling around the house putting up garland and decorations to the festive sound of holiday music. I help out a little, but I enjoy watching her too much to get very involved in the decorating myself. Christmas is her favorite time of the year, and seeing her youthful excitement as she fills each room with holiday decorations fills my heart and soul with warmth and holiday cheer.

Of course, taking things down always is less festive, but I can't say either of us feel depressed by the end of the holiday season; I know some who are. We enjoy our Christmas and New Years celebrating and once they have past, we start looking forward to the next holiday we can celebrate together. Since neither of us are of Irish heritage, we don't do much for St. Patrick's Day except enjoy the festiveness of other's who do celebrate.

For us, the next celebration is February 8 and 9. This is the anniversary of our meeting. We met, for the first time on the 8, so that would be our official anniversary, but it was nothing more than an introduction that afternoon. The following day, however, we spent most of the evening and night talking, lost in conversation. Therefore, the 9th is actually the first day we spent together. Well, actually we spent the evening of the 9th and it carried right on into the morning hours of the 10th, lost in conversation with each other. We've been lost in each other since.

Of course, there's plenty of other special days, holidays, and birthdays for us to celebrate. For that matter, we don't need a special day or a holiday, each and every day we spend together is wonderful. Of course, some days are just typical days, others are spent doing something memorable. Soon enough, we will be back to putting up Christmas decorations and I will watch this wonderful lady filled with youthful excitement and think, "Another year passing way too fast, but another year about to start; another year of celebrating life with my best friend, my lover, my wife, my partner and soul-mate.
January 3, 2018 at 5:56pm
January 3, 2018 at 5:56pm
#926262
Back from our winter vacation and time to get back into WdC... it's been way too long since I was very active in here. Where to start? Well, I've done well at getting in here to check through my mail and look at some of the daily activities, but my reviewing is almost non existent. I did one review last month, and that was an improvement. Just one review, and I ranked in at 99 and got a merit badge. I like getting them, but I don't feel this one was really earned. Still, I ranked high enough to get one, which indicates I'm not the only one not doing many reviews; all the more reason to get back into doing some reviews for my fellow writers. Of course, I also need to get some writing done; where of where has my mojo gone?

One place to start is in here, in my blog. I kind of add entries haphazardly instead of trying to write on a regular basis. The problem is my mojo, again. I mean, what the hell do I write about? There's usually something work related I could share, but who the hell cares? Besides, why should I be spending my time off thinking about work? I need my mojo to get something going, and just an idea would help. I'm thinking of trying something different, when I can't think of anything to enter here. I'll look for some prompt on the site and see what I can come up with to kind of jump start the old mojo.

Today, I do have something to share, the results of our vacation. We headed over to my mother-in-laws Christmas day. We had a late start, but not too bad. The weather was good except for the extreme cold and wind. If you consider the old vehicle we drive, it's easy to understand how the wind whipped right through the doors and windows. Of course, a good heater would counter act the frigid cold, but we don't have that, either. After the water pump was changed, we lost most of the heat in the thing. Luckily it was only a four hour drive or I think we would have suffered hypothermia; the ambient temperature was a minus sixteen with a stiff wind gusting to nearly twenty miles per hour.

We made it no problems, well except for being mighty chilled. Normally, it's so stuffy and hot at my mother-in-laws that it's almost unbearable with all the people packed in. This time, however, it felt good and helped to warm us back up. The visit was short, just the afternoon, evening and then off again the next morning, but the time there was well worth the cold drive.

We left a bit late again the following morning, to head farther north to my daughter's house to spend a day with her and her family. It was another cold day, but sunny and mild winds. Another four hour drive, but not as cold as the previous day, thanks to no gusting winds. Even so, we were well chilled by the time we got there. Another afternoon and evening with family, good times and then off the next morning to my wife's sister to see some grand children that are in foster care.

It was minus thirty when we got up, very cold. We left a bit late so we would have a little warmer drive back, since my sister-in-law lives close to my mother-in-law. Again, no wind, so it didn't blow through the old truck as bad, but still mighty cold. Once we arrived, we were greeted by two dogs who just refused to get along with our dog. In fact, the entire time we were there, they continued to bark and get out of the front room to attack our dog.

No serious injuries, but quite an ordeal for the few hours we were there. To add to the discomfort, she has cats, lots of them. Our dog doesn't like cats so when we weren't protecting her from the other dogs, we were restraining her from going after one cat or another, since they had free run of the house. I should also add that even though I like cats alright, I can't be around them, they trigger my asthma, I break out in miserable rash, and I get genuinely sick. Yes, I'm allergic to cats. My daughter has two, but did a good job to keep them away from me. My sister-in-law did nothing to restrain them and I got a terrible case of cat-fever.

The visit with the grandchildren was pretty good considering everything, but by the time we left my eyes were itching, watering, and nearly swelled shut. I was suffering from constricted breathing, coughing, and hacking. I itched all over and knew I had a hell of a rash starting, and I felt like crap.

After leaving there, we headed over to St. Cloud to visit my son and his family for the evening and then head home the next day. It was a cold drive and it didn't take long once we reached the metropolis to remember why I don't like big cities. Luckily, just as we entered the hectic mass of buildings and people, we stopped at a gas station to call him and get directions. He had an escort come and show us how to get to his apartment, only about four or five blocks away.

They have a dog, and of course our dog and his didn't want to get along, although they didn't actually fight, they just grumbled a lot. Well, except for a few times when they forgot their differences and seemed to buddy up only to return to some grumbling and mumbling moments after. It was a good visit and we had a terrific evening and stayed until afternoon the next day before finishing our vacation and taking the long, cold drive home.

All in all, it was a terrific time and spent with wonderful people. My only complaints would be the extreme frigid temperatures we had through the whole time, and after we returned, and the time spent at my sister-in-laws. We enjoyed the visit, but she was not a host at all; it was as if she really didn't want us there, even though it was her idea to have the get-together at her house. In fact, the last time we had been over to my mother-in-laws, she had wanted us to come over and see her house and visit. Now, we do, and she makes it as uncomfortable as she can for us? All I can say is, it's just the way she is, nothing meant by it, she just doesn't have the hospitality thing.

Anyway, enough about the vacation. We had a fun time, survived the cold, the dogs, and the cats. We got home late Thursday, enjoyed a quiet day Friday before returning to work on Saturday. The cold continues, but at least it got above zero the last two days. Yesterday it was a balmy sixteen degrees when I got off work and today hit a high of six. By the weekend, we may be at a tropical twenty five degrees and out sunbathing.
December 24, 2017 at 12:37pm
December 24, 2017 at 12:37pm
#925744
Looks like everything is set for our Christmas vacation, we will head out tomorrow morning and spend most of the week traveling and visiting. It would have been nice to head out today, but both my wife and I have to work. However, we do get to close up early tonight, and I should be home by six.

I can understand the store being open, last minute shoppers and all, I've been there and done that myself. But to have the yard open really doesn't make a lot of sense. Who is going to be picking up lumber and building materials on Christmas Eve?

You would think that it would be dead back in the yard today, with everyone spending Christmas Eve with family and friends, but I've heard it's been a bit busy so far. Of course, that's typical anymore. Working evenings, I would anticipate things to be pretty slow at work, but that's not the case at all. It seems to be even busier in the evenings now.

I think a lot of the people who come through are just trying to avoid spending time at home with family. Some even comment something on this order. It's as if they need to have something to do; time at home with family is boring. It's a sad situation, indeed. I know it's not true of everyone, but I see a lot of people come through for whom it is true. they cannot understand why a person would want to get things closed up and go home, after all, they are there to avoid having to be at home.

Of course, it comes down to the fact that many people just need to have something going on to stimulate them, or they are bored and miserable. I tend to be just the opposite, I love my time at home with my wife, and we can find all sorts of way to spend our time and enjoy it. For that matter, I'm perfectly content and enjoy my time at home alone, as well. It's not a matter of finding something to entertain me, it's a matter of finding enough time alone and with my wife outside of work and things going on.

Oh well, maybe I'm the strange one in all of this. After all, I'm the one being a bit comprehensive about all this traveling and visiting. Sure, I know it will be good times and fond memories, I have no doubt. Yet, at the same time, it means a busy schedule and very little time to spend quietly with my wife and alone, and I'm going to miss that.
December 22, 2017 at 6:33pm
December 22, 2017 at 6:33pm
#925694
The weekend before Christmas and all through our home, we were getting things ready to travel and roam.

Yes, for the first time in about five years we have more than just Christmas day off. Things worked out for us to take the day after Christmas off in conjunction with our regular days off for a nice little winter vacation. Not only a nice change for us, but a nice little winter break and time to do a bit of traveling and visiting.

The last few years we did manage to get over to my mother-in-law's house for Christmas day, leaving early that morning and then returning home the following day. This year will be about the same, we will make our four hour drive over Christmas morning, spend the day and night, then travel another four hours to northern Minnesota to visit more family for a day and a night. Then we drive back south to my sister-in-laws, who lives close to my mother-in-law for a few hours before driving over to St. Cloud to visit more family that evening and a bit the following morning before returning home.

A lot of driving and kind of a full schedule, but it will be nice to make these long over due visits and spend a little time with family. What makes this trip even more special? We will get to spend time with some grandchildren in foster care that we don't get to see very often. Yes, a very wonderful Christmas gift for us.
December 16, 2017 at 2:39pm
December 16, 2017 at 2:39pm
#925402
Wow! Has it been over a week already?

It's been a bit busy with work and getting things ready for Christmas, but it's also been enjoyable. The work schedule is still a bit out of wack with people taking time off and having to fill in, but it's finally slowed down a bit at work.

We have the Christmas decorations all up, and have since shortly after Thanksgiving, our cards are all mailed and hopefully have already been delivered. Much of the Christmas shopping is finished, except for gift-cards for the other guards, but that will be done soon. Our time off for Christmas has been approved and it's looking like we will have a nice Christmas vacation this year.

The only thing that really needs more attention is my time in here, at WdC. Well, that and my writing in general, I really need to get motivated and get some writing done. I do have a couple ideas for some poetry that I have a crude start on, but haven't done anything more than some rough draft notes on the first two verses. I may need Santa to slip on my Christmas stocking and give me a swift kick in the rump to get me moving!

Ah, but perhaps that's the problem, waiting for someone or something to motivate me. Yes, I need to give myself that swift boot to the gluteus maximus and get it into gear.

Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays, no matter what your beliefs, may the holiday season bring you joy and peace.
December 8, 2017 at 6:05pm
December 8, 2017 at 6:05pm
#925082
Still struggling along with an old laptop and a new Windows update. The display is messed up, many of my preferred settings changed, but the computer is working a bit faster.

Since I use my computer for work as well as personal use, it's important for me to have something reliable. I also use it for writing, so it's even more important to have reliability, I would be devastated to lose anything. This site is a nice place to store items as well as just a super-terrific site, and I do use cloud back-up for my writing and work. I really should use it for photographs as well, but haven't gotten to them yet.

Backed up or not, they are useless if I cannot rely on this computer, so it's just common sense to upgrade to something newer and more reliable. The problem, as many of you will know, is money. Especially this time of the year, with Christmas right around the corner, and winter utility bills climbing steadily up. Also, we have old vehicles that require a lot of upkeep, and the cold weather brings higher costs there, too.

In time, I will get this old laptop replaced, but another question has come up; what operating system should I go with? I've almost always had Windows, except for a short time a long time ago. My first computer was a Mac, used, and already outdated when I got it, yet it served it's purpose well, I liked the operating platform, and it did not have the issues I've had with Windows.

Of course, all of my pc's since then have been Windows, and I haven't had much for complaint there, either. The one I have had over and over again, is the constant updates. I start out with a new computer, a new version of Windows, and everything is fine. But, as time passes and more and more updates install, more and more of my system is used up for Windows itself.

Also, each update costs a lot of time, restarts, and adjusting to all the changes, only to find in a few years, I should upgrade to the newer version of Windows and start it all over again.

I was shopping at Walmart a couple of days ago and as we stood in line, waiting to get checked out, I commented to my wife that the only thing that takes more time than waiting in line in the stores is waiting for Windows to update. I sometimes wonder if this is not a personal joke incorporated into Windows by Bill Gates; please wait while Windows updates, and of course, please wait while Windows restarts. Is there really anything happening, or like I stated, is it just a cruel practical joke.

Anyway, the question now is do I want to continue to wait for Windows to do it's thing, over and over, until it's time to install a newer version and find myself without enough memory to run it? Or, should I look into purchasing an Apple computer?

I have not kept myself informed on Apple products and I do not know if they also have all these constant updates and newer versions. I do know that everything I have is for the Windows operating system and I'm not sure how many are available with Apple.

It will be a while before I can afford to upgrade my laptop so I will have ample time to research my choices. Then, I reckon the deciding factor will be which is more affordable in the long run.

Of course, if anyone happens to read through this and has any suggestions, I would be thrilled to hear from you. Thank you in advance, for both your insight and for reading through my blog post.
December 3, 2017 at 3:54pm
December 3, 2017 at 3:54pm
#924869
Eight days since my last entry, what can I say? More computer problems. Yes, Windows did it again.

I had just gotten things working right when what to my wondering eyes should appear, another Windows Update I fear.

Okay, enough with rhyming, It's fun and entertaining, but I have no time to entertain; I need to get ready to leave for work.

Anyway, I downloaded and installed the update and now I have the same problems as before. My display is stretched, but this time I cannot roll back to a previous driver, there isn't one on my system to roll back to.

I looked online but had no luck, Windows insists this is the best driver for my display. The manufacturer, you say? Yes, I checked there too, but my machine is too old, they don't have a driver compatible with my laptop running Windows 10. I could download the one for version 7, but Windows support says that won't work with version 10.

It looks like I'll be writing to Santa and asking for a new laptop. Well, we'll see how that goes.

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