Apr 21, 2009

Two days worth of the Lost Coast and a slew of photo-documentation.

Its a strange thing, really, how we have so many things to do and see here on the North Coast, and we hardly ever do them. My folks are in town for the week, and we have made a point of getting out of the house and seeing some of the local sights. Here is a little taste of the things we have done over the last two days.

On Monday we took a walk to the North Jetty. Eureka, at one time (I think), had a much busier shipping trade in lumber. Now, however, Its mostly a commercial fishery that keeps business going. But Monday was beautiful, so we packed up the dog and made our way out to the Edge of the World.

One of the things I noticed immediately was the water was extremely clear, even divable. Sadly though, the current along the jetty (on he out-going tide) is treacherous, and not a suitable dive environment for one of my skill level.
I don't claim to know the history of the Humboldt Bay, but if I were a betting man, there was a system of rails for carts that was used to drop the "dolos" off at the end of jetty. Now its a walk way that, in foul weather, can be a deadly place to be.

At some point, the jetty is blocked off to normal traffic. Again, while on a day like today it provided a rather nice walk, at times this seemingly friendly path would be a death trap at the wrong time of year.

Of course, we can't have such a telling tale without a shot of our narrator atop these mammoth pieces of concrete.

Yep, I'm standing on the Edge of the World while sea water relentlessly pounds against it.

Today, we went North, to Fern Canyon and Gold Bluffs State Beach. We brought Bear along as well, and were greeted by a sad sign:Sorry Bear.
Yep, no dogs on this trail.
These people look so familiar... Who are... Oh well, they sure seemed willing to pose for a picture. I thought it added a nice human element.
While traversing the canyon, I came upon this fallen tree, which lead to my only real pearl of wisdom from this trip:
Even a tree, when left to it's own devices, can pick itself up after falling.
After a bout a 1/4 mile hick we decided we had gone far enough, as it appeared to be getting more and more narrow and simply dark.
Time to get back to Bear and head out to the beach. Bear wasted no time getting down to business with a piece of driftwood.

This dog is relentless when it comes to chasing and retrieving sticks.
Anyone who has lifted a crab pot from the watery depths knows they can be pretty heavy when laden with crab. Sometimes, though, they are simply not liftable. This is because they become caught on the ocean floor and so we are left with buoys that simply mark a fisherman's loss. This buoy must have been in the water for a long time before it broke off, and washed ashore here.
The beach was totally ours. There were other people up the canyon, but the shoreline was ours for as far as we could see in either direction.
In the end, I had to pry the stick from Bear's mouth and pretty much force him to get back on the leash. But I think, judging from the look on his contented face, he had a pretty good day.So did we, so did we.

Apr 12, 2009

I have violated my own personal policy (and I feel so dirty, so ashamed).

Personal Policy #1: Do not talk politics at work.

There are a number of reasons for this rule being in effect. Workplace laws make many subjects “taboo.” Can we talk about sexual preference in the workplace? Can we talk about religion? The mere mention of these subjects can slap a person in the face with Hostile Work Environment issue. And, according to law, if an employee makes a claim of a hostile work environment, the employer is forced to act.

There are some subjects, however, that are not specifically mentioned. But these same, “grey area” subjects can cause some of the most heated debates and cause more tension than perhaps even some the listed “taboo” subjects. Case in point: Politics.

Here is the situation as it went down. About a month ago I sent an email to the President of the United States. As of yet, I have not received any response. The problem here is I announced this fact in a conversation I was having with others here at work. As I have stated in previous posts, I work in an extremely conservative environment. So, this announcement, made by me in what I would call an egregious violation of Personal Policy #1, prompted my co-worker (who was sitting next to me), to say, “You probably voted for him, too.” And, again in violation of Personal Policy #1, I answered in the affirmative.

This opened a rather large can of worms. I quickly attempted to change the subject, realizing my error, when my co-worker made numerous other statements as to how he was seeing me differently, and how this would change our relationship. And then he said the following, “You probably don’t think much of our armed forces, do you.”

What the #%*&!?!?!?

He tried to call this a question. It was not. It was a statement of fact (as he saw it); the tone, the attitude, coming from a former Marine.

My response to this asinine statement was, “That’s a pretty asinine statement.”

I don’t really lose my cool at work that often. In fact, I think my patience is one of my stronger points. But I did lose it a little. I made it abundantly clear that he doesn’t know me, and so he has no business deciding where my beliefs and convictions lie (as far as politics go, anyway). He attempted to back pedal a little, trying to say it was a question. But I would not back down. This was a statement of fact based off of very little information in the first place.

Again, nothing but an asinine statement.

So it begs the question (or maybe a whole slew of questions, or at least a bit of a diatribe on my part), why in the #311 can’t people simply respect the opinions of others. Do we have to enact laws that will make it taboo to talk about politics too? Perhaps we should address the issue of the chicken and the egg. I am sure there are plenty of people out there who have their own opinion on this subject. I have mine, but I’m going to keep it to myself. After all, there may be someone here who feels differently than I do.

Ok, that may be a bit of an extreme, but does it make a point? Over the last 10 years, or so, I have changed my views on many things in life. I’m happy with my own personal convictions, and I don’t plan to change them. I also recognize that I am in the minority here at work, and as such I must be more cautious in the conversations I find myself getting into.

As for those people who disagree with me? Well, I say only this: We can agree to disagree, and generally speaking we can leave it at that.

Apr 5, 2009

Let the games begin (and please let me win)!!

Hope? Anticipation? Apprehension? Jitters? Nerves?

I don’t know if matters what you call it. The fact is, when you are applying for a new position, all of these feelings come into play.

Here is how the process goes: Usually a few weeks before any official announcement begins the rumor mill. This, in and of itself, is an intricate process that goes on in such detail and tenacity it could have its own written policy. The questions start flying, “When is the position opening up?” As a suspected time gets narrowed down, then begins the possible candidate pool. “Is he going to try for it? Is she?” Suddenly people, who rarely ever talk to each other, for whatever reason, find a common reason to suddenly make idle conversation. And trying to be as smooth as possible, people begin probing others about their intentions. And for whatever reason, it seems there is a protocol that says I can not illicit a direct response from the person I am questioning. It needs to be the person’s free admittance of intentions, or I will be left to speculate.

As time slowly wears on, the official announcement is made. In our office, this comes from the upper echelon of management. The memos usually include the following information: the position, the length of time the position is, the required qualifications for the position, and the application requirements. In this case, the application process was announced as a memo of interest and a one page, word document in essay format that details my understanding of the position and any ideas I have for improvements or change.

Once the official announcement is made, it’s on, baby! All gloves are off. No punches are pulled. It’s a dog eat dog world and we are in it to the end!

Ok, perhaps that was a bit extreme. In fact, there was actually very little of that. I, in the spirit of friendly competition, even sent a copy of the memo to a co-competitor who was out of town and would miss a week of prep-time. There were three of us who were open and honest, and yes, even friendly about this competition. It is on baby (but in a good way).

It’s now Sunday. The deadline for the applications is tomorrow at 1600 hours. I have taken this whole process quite seriously. I spent a good week working on the memo alone. The memo is pretty much a bragging sheet. I start with a work history. I then move to my qualifications, then to an “I’m the best guy for the job” closer. It was written, revised, revised again, and again, and again. I gave it to many people, close friends with experience and some general know-how, to read a advise. Then I revised again and again. The end product is what I believe to be a pretty polished and good looking document.

The essay portion was handled in a very similar manner. So much effort and thought was put into the project I left myself brain-dead. And again, I feel the end result is a polished work of art.

I printed my works on linen resume paper, a blue that is almost gray, and then put it into a complimentary linen envelope. I hand delivered the package to the Head Boss on Friday. Sure, I could have reread and reread over the weekend. But I wanted to show I understood a deadline, and was able to manage my time appropriately and complete a task ahead of schedule. Something I know plays a part in the decision process.

Now it’s simply a waiting game. Deadline is tomorrow afternoon. And how long it will take for them to announce the chosen candidate is a complete mystery. I would expect by the end of the week. But you never know. It may take longer. I hope not. I don’t know if I will be chosen, however, I obviously hope that whoever it is, its me! I can handle the fact that it may not be, I ‘m adult enough to admit that. However, I am also hopeful enough to say of any of the candidates out there, I hope they choose me over anyone else (don’t expect me to say something silly like, “Whom ever is chosen, I’m sure it will be in the best interests of this Office.”). I want to win. Oh yes, I want to win.

So, even though the deadline is tomorrow, I have already begun the waiting game. There is nothing more I can do. I’ll keep you posted.

Apr 1, 2009

Brain Dead

The last few days I have spent working on this memo and essay project.

Right now, the memo is complete. The essay is nearly finished. And I am feeling rather brain dead.

I think its time to step away from the computer and take a break. Perhaps a refreshed look at it later will leave me a more open view to revision.
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