Predictions, Conclusions, And Reality

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So, it has been about three months now since I have initially mentioned anything about getting laid off. If you are new or need a quick review, just visit Life’s Little Curveballs for that post. I had spoke with my old boss, who also happens to be a dear family friend, this past Saturday at my daughter’s graduation, about how things were going at work. He explained that for 3 months now there has been zero activities happening so everyone op there has just looking busy. Yesterday he and his boss were permenately relieved of their management positions and laid off. The company has left one employee to pack up the warehouse, clean the warehouse, and help get the building ready to sell. Unfortunately his days are numbered and have been scaled back to only 4 hours a day in preparations for the company’s complete closure on a fate yet to be announced. Needless to say he is shitting bricks this very moment. At least they all witnessed the warning shot they dodged 3 months ago, I know 2 of the 3 already had new jobs in the hunt. The company now has 8 essential personnel to shut her down.

We had all sat down last time after my own layoff and made the prediction that this day would be coming within 6 months, but it seems the company wishes to accelerate the end closure. I will need to sit down one day and write something obout the journey this company has had because it actually is quite a story. I asked my friends to remember that every end is the start of a new beginning. I will follow up on this life changing event in the near future.

Spring Break In South Dakota

I was very excited when planning this particular spring break vacation since it would be the first time since all of my kids were very young that we would be all together for a vacation. Why pick South Dakota for spring break? Excellent question. The answer is actually pretty simple, my oldest daughter could not afford to go anywhere so we decided to go be tourists in South Dakota so we could all be together once again. I have deep roots in South Dakota to say the very least. We will get into that later and in other posts as well since that is very interlaced in our vacation because itnwasnt just a vacation it was also a trip down memory lane for me as well. First and foremost our trip was to see our one and only granddaughter. If it hadn’t been for Skype and cell phones I very well would have missed the first 2 1/2 years of her life since the last time I saw her in person was the day of her birth.

So, every vacation begins with the trip, and since I don’t fly, we drive, everywhere. Speaking of which, a brief note, the odometer in my 2005 Nissan Pathfinder flipped 100k on our drive back into town. Anyhow, we left late in the afternoon on Friday 07 March 2014 to begin our 1345 mile trek to our hotel in Deadwood South Dakota. With a gas stops, restroom breaks, and eating breakfast in York Nebraska, we made it in just shy of 24 hours. Yes we drove straight through and yes I drove most of it myself. Since I am not a great passenger I don’t sleep in a moving car. But, a rest from the wheel for 1-2 hours is just as recharching for me personally. Watching the weather the days prior we knew it was going to be a chilly drive as we were headed into a cold front. But, nothing prepares one for 7 degrees with 40 mph winds when getting gas at 3 in the morning. That shit will wake your ass up in a hurry. Surprisingly, the weather at our destination was quite nice and real similar to what we left behind in Texas, minus the 87% humidity. Although, in my opinion, the weather went down hill from that point forward. All and all it was a pleasant drive up there and luckily, we were very lucky, there were no incidents. I will get into it more but the wife and I thought we would have time to gamble a bit (something we rarely do) since the Fairfield Inn was connected to Cadillac Jack’s Casino. Little did we know until checking in that we would get $25.00 per adult per day in Cadillac Cash to spend at the casino. And the room, it was a steal for us, we got upgraded to a $729.99 per night suite and still only had to pay the obligatory contracted $9.00 per night. Yes, we have friends (family) in the Marriot hotel business so it makes traveling great for us. So, moving on…….

After checking in we went to visit my daughter so we could all get something hot to eat for a late dinner. Have I ever mentioned that I was looking forward to my first hello hug from my granddaughter? It was way better than I could have ever imagined it to be. It was wonderful and I really didn’t want to let her go. But I did, I shared, didn’t want to, but I did it anyway. We ate, we colored, we talked, we planned,new reminissed, and the we said goodbyenfornthe night. I personally didn’t want it to end but when the baby says its time then its time. Since my daughter was working Sunday most of the day we decided to make it a “rest day”, stay close to the hotel, and just do a little sight seeing in Deadwood. See, one of the pitfalls of this room was that I this 45 minutes from my daughters house. We woke up late, around 9 or so, got showered, and grabbed the local map to do a little sight seeing. First stop was Mt. Moriah Cematary where Wild Bill and Calamatty Jane are buried. After which I showed everyone where Wild Bill was killed. I know the history of this area real well so I got to play tour guide most of the trip. Now, I don’t want to sound like I am complaining, because we did come to a touristy spot in the “off season”, but the amount of things and places that were “closed for the season to reopen mid-May” became a personal joke for our family on this vacation.

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So, let me give y’all a rundown of what we did or attempted to do each day. Now, for me the closures were no big deal since I have seen all of these things many times before. Deadwood was just that, dead. The casinos were open, some gift shops were open, but things like the Adam’s House, the wineries, and the majority of the tourist like gift shops were closed. We went to Mt. Rushmore, a national landmark, and 90% of the trail was closed. One could walk down under the noses but no further and had to turn around the way we came. We also drove through Keystone, figuring Mt. Rushmore was a bust, and all but one store was closed, not even a restaurant of any kind was open. No, there was not a contingent back up plan, who expects a national landmark and park to be closed. We also attempted to visit Custer State Park, the main route (the paved road) was closed off, diverting drivers off onto the back maintenance roads. On top of that, the buffalo we did see were mere specs when viewed through high powered binoculars. Now, that was disappointing. Then, we went to the biggest tourist trap in South Dakota, Wall Drug. Of course, the “Backyard” where all the really cool stuff hides, was closed.

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There was excitement however, one night we were at my daughter’s house where I cooked them a nice meal, well all of us, and when we left to go to the hotel it was only raining, but in the mountains it was snowing like a sonofabith,nso much that overnight we got over 8″, which is allot for this Texas boy. But, that is where experience pays off for me so it wasn’t as hairy as one might be thinking. The way luck was having it we decided to go for a drive to see ifnincould find the house in Black hawk that my parents finished building the summer of 1968 and where I lived until I was 6 when we moved to Texas. The answer is yes, I did find it, but that is a post in itself. On the way out of town, to return to Houston, we had plans to spend the night in Sioux Falls, my oldest daughter joined us because vacation wasn’t over quite yet. For the first time ever, all of my kids will see where my dad is buried, none of them have ever been there, and my son has always wanted to see his namesake. This will be a post of its own as well, just know it was the highlight of the entire trip. Since we had to leave via Mitchell South Dakota and my daughter had to drive through it to get back to Rapid City, we decided to visit the world’s only Corn Palace, surprise, open for business as well as everything else in the little town. We also took a short side drive to see the house my grandparents built in the 40’s and it is also where both of them are buried.

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Then that was it, the hardest part came, saying goodbye to everyone. That part sucked worse than I could have possibly ever imagined, to put it mildly. Afterwords we did indeed begin the trek home, a long quiet trip that consisted of me driving while drowning out my sorrows with music playing to the max in my headphones. The snow, wind, ice, and rain made sure I stayed awake for the entire trip. Other than that, it too was uneventful. So, there is my spring break vacation to South Dakota in a nutshell. Stick around in the very near future because I have many expanded stories to tell that were merely mentioned today.

Kudos To Our Local Walmart

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I usually give Walmart, in general, quite a bit of grief because of what I see locally and how Walmart seems to be this machine that feeds on greed, deception, and slight of hand. That’s not why I’m here today. today I actually have something nice to say about our local Walmart Supercenter. My son and I found ourselves out at our local Walmart Supercenter on Sunday afternoon because we were looking for a deep fryer since it appears that mine took a dive off the deep end never to be working again. It was a good fryer but it was time for her to be retired after 15 years. Anyway, we headed out to the closest and most convenient place to shop. Now, this is not normal behavior for me because I actually can’t stand going to Walmart for so many reasons. The top of those reasons being the people skills there suck ass, the lines are always long, and it always seems that the one person I get to talk to acts like they are doing me a favor. So, I avoid this place like the plague.

I actually had no intention on going to Walmart, but since I was at the Home Depot that shares the parking lot I bit the bullet and made the choice just to deal with it. I got something unexpected, I found what I was looking for, experienced no line, it was on sale a considerable amount lower than anybody by $20, and I had found a parking spot right up front. What I expected to take a few miserable hours actually took me less than 15 minutes from the time I parked until I got back in my car. I actually left with a smile, like I just got one over on Walmart. Then, the reason for this post, as we exited the store, I saw the huge sign which pointed out that this Walmart would be closed from 9pm Tuesday night until 5am Thursday morning. Which was a shocker, I have never seen this Walmart closed, ever, not even for 30 seconds.

As you can tell I am both shocked and pleased. I was in and out like a flash of lightning and Walmart will be letting their people have Christmas day off to be with their families. As fantastic as that may sound I still wonder quietly at what price it will be to the employees. Walmart isn’t known for paid holiday time off. Will the regularly scheduled employees be getting a paid holiday? I have searched on the internet for answers, found none. A friend at work whose wife has been a part time employee of that Walmart for 15 years stated that she will just have the day off without pay and she doesn’t know about everyone else. So who knows. The important part is that this Walmart will be closed for a whopping 32 hours over Christmas, and for that alone I give them a thumbs up instead of my normal solo bird.

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CNN.com List Of Impacted Agengies

bbM1F_AuSt_7CNN’s list of what is closed and what is open

With the federal government now partially shut down, many government services and agencies are closed, suspended or otherwise impacted. CNN.com  has a list of offices and agencies that are affected until congressional leaders and the president reach an agreement on a continuing resolution to reopen the government, along with the potential number of employees affected. This list represents the latest guidance provided to CNN by federal agencies. Some of the numbers could change as agencies identify ways to divert funding from other projects to keep their workers employed. You can also sort each column or search for specific information, such as “FCC” or “defense.”  See the long list for yourself @ CNN.com and see what you think.

Is the United States still “viewed” as a world superpower?

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I really find it interesting listening to the people around me, different media outlets, and on different forums because everybody seems to have an opinion about not having an opinion. Here’s mine. Eventhough we have the most feared military ever known to mankind we have a government which operates like a freaking barrel of monkeys. We rely on jackasses to make decisions for our country that are heard and seen worldwide. Yet, we the people only worry about what the new flavor of coffee will be at Starbucks. We trust the elitist group of Fucktards with the operations of our country when they should be the last damn people on the planet to be given the keys to the country. As citizens of the United States of America why do we sit back everyday and just watch as we get our asses handed to us? Personally, when it comes to politics and politicians, I could really give a flying fuck simply because most of them were elected to do a job yet choose not to do it everyday as their personal way of not doing business as usual. We have stood for this for way too many years. People are finally pulling their collective heads out of their asses and realizing that there is nothing left, there is no hope, and if we recover what will be left standing will not be what was promised. I have been accused of disliking our President on more than one occasion because I think that everyone in that office should be held accountable for their actions, their words, and the ability to make the best decisions for this country. Am I wrong for wanting our President to be responsible? When the politicians can play well together it is the American people who get punished. Why? We didn’t fuck things up. We didn’t write checks that can’t be cashed. Do the politicians listen to the masses, listen to the people who put them in power, or give a shit how their stupidity reflects on us as a country? The answer is a big fat fucking NO. But they sure worry about their fucking legacy though. Here’s my legacy. I get up every morning to go to work to provide an income for my family, to provide healthcare for my family, to put a roof over our heads, and to put food on our table. I pay my bills with the money I earned and I stay well within a very balanced budget. My children will remember me for being a good father who looked out for their best interests first. I don’t want to die and my wife and kids be stuck with a big fat bill. On the other side of the court we get to constantly see and hear how our government is broken, how we as a country are broke, and how the politicians have their heads so far up in the clouds that they really don’t care about any of us. Why do I need to pay for what another jackhole politician fucks up? Why does one single American need to bear the responsibilities of politicians because those politicians can’t and won’t do their damn jobs? Why? I will tell you why. Too many Americans have just thrown up their hands in disgust, they waive the white flag signaling their surrender, and accept that they will be a slave to the very government which was democratically elected to protect them. Do you feel protected? Do you feel secure? Me either. I wake up every morning amazed that the Stars and Stripes still wave and our fucking country wasn’t given away overnight in some dark backroom deal. I can’t even watch television any longer because the only thing that is ever on is the stupidity of the day provided by our fantastic politicians. But they are elite, they don’t have the same rules as us, they don’t have the same laws as us, and they know it. I think that any law or bill that is passed for the American people should affect the all American people straight across the board. The elite should not be able to opt out or waivered out or able to buy their way out. What is good for me should be good enough for politicians, Congress, the Senate, and even Mr. President. If it is good enough to be a part of my life than it should be good enough to be a part of their lives as well. But, we know better. We know that they get choices we as the American people don’t have. It has zero to do with party affiliation because they have the blank checks written out by force from the American people. Well, piss off, I would like to close my checkbook from this point forward. I just want them to do their fucking jobs, worry about the American people first, and start being responsible for their actions. Is that too much to ask? I still say that one day I will wake up and there won’t be an America any longer. It won’t be my fault. But I will get blamed and you will get blamed for any and all of their fractured failures. Why can’t we point our finger and tell them to their face that we think they are doing an absolutely fucking lousy job running our country? I think we know that they don’t care. I think we know that they are beyond taking what the American people want into consideration. I didn’t fuck this country up! I think when the government wants to cut back it should start with their paychecks. Perhaps if we talk to their wallets they would better understand the rest of us. If these politicians, the President and Congress included, were working in the factories of America they would be fired. When you don’t do your job in the real world you get fired. You are punished for fucking up. You are held responsible for your actions. Unfortunately over the years the elite politicians have a protocol which allows them to do their absolute worst work in the best interests of the American people and still have a job the next day. Must be nice not to have to give a fuck about anything and still get a fat paycheck every week. Personally, I have to give a fuck, I have to care, because if I don’t then I can’t pay my bills, can’t feed my family, and would have to find us a nice box to cozy up into out in the vacant lot somewhere. Not the politicians, they don’t have our rules, they don’t have our resolve for doing the right thing whether anyone is looking or not. Here’s to you, the fucking politicians, you are fired. And, because you fucked over our country for so many years you have been stripped of your fucking titles and status, you have been stripped of your retirement packages and your lifetime elitist healthcare. Now you are fucked so just move on, better yet, go ahead and get the hell out of the country which you so desperately have tried to destroy. I’ll hold the door for you, just get to walking. Don’t look back because we don’t want you back, we want you gone. Does anyone actually think that any of them care that there is at least one person, me, pissed because they choose not to do their fucking jobs? Yes, I know, they could care less. Fuck them all. I extend that same sentiment which they extend to me. Just shut the fuck up, suck up your whining pride, wipe your noses, and fix everything that you have fucked up. Everyone says they agree that shit is broken, stop trying to swing deals and just fix it, period.