Beautiful Silence…The Network is Down!

The phones have been down here at work for the last 2 days. They¬† went out around 10am yesterday and didn’t come up until after 11am today. The new highway work they are doing led to a “network issue” wherein they cut the main phone line for our business park rendering approximately 20 businesses entirely impotent. We rely on email, fax, and phone calls to do everything in our business, without it, we’re dead in the water.

How can you plan for this? We were using iPhones to check some critcal email accounts. But faxing? How can you back this up without email? How can you provide alternatives to email when most of the organization is not on smart phones or laptops? We used our cells to communicate with key customers about the issue, but still I’m sure something got dropped along the way. I’d really be interested in any thoughts you might have out there…

I enjoyed the peace of no phones ringing though, unfortunately ringing phones provide money for us and in turn a job for me.

I can’t imagine being an immigrant now

I have been working on this post for quite some time, I just can’t seem to get it finished. But on the week that we celebrate being Americans and all that it stands for, I am releasing it anyways. I hope that it makes you think about those around you who may not be natural born citizens or even those that are but are of a different race than you are.

I can’t imagine what it’s like to be an immigrant now, whether from Mexico, South America or even Europe and the Far East. Lets ignore the huge problem that America seems to have with people of the Muslim faith and those from Arab countries for now.

I was at a store the other day where a Latino couple and their two children were purchasing some things, home products, toothpaste, toilet paper and the like, trivial things really. The couple were discussing their purchases, I can only assume that’s what they were talking about, they were speaking Spanish and my Spanish is not so good. They were still a few people back in line so their conversation wasn’t holding anyone up or slowing things down in the least. I noticed the people around me.

The stares that these people were receiving were cutting, like the wind on a January morning. The lack of respect that others had for them, they were lesser people, they weren’t good enough to be in that line. They didn’t deserve to buy the things we were all buying at that store. I was ashamed of my countrymen. I was ashamed to say that I was American in that small moment.

I love America, the things we take for granted in this country are amazing, the things we do cherish are even more breathtaking. I can sit here and write this without the fear of someone coming to attack me or my words. I can travel about the country without regard for where I’m from. The women of this country are (at least in principle) treated on the same level as men, I realize there are still disparities here, but for the sake of argument they are at least similar. We can freely choose our leaders and in fact, have the right and privilege to question them both in their personal character and in their ability to make smart decisions on behalf of and for the entire country. There has been a saying in my head the last few days, “You don’t even know what you don’t know.”

People in this country have their problems, most of it is centered around money and other resources to make our lives a little better or easier. What I think most people don’t know is that in places all over the world, money or other material things aren’t even a thought. Getting through the next day with enough food, water and other basic necessities is more critical than having the latest X-Box game. “You don’t even know what you don’t know.” We have things that others cannot even fathom while they have problems that we cannot being to comprehend.

People who come to this country, either legally or illegally are trying to attain a life that we don’t realize we have. A man once shared a story with me about why he came here. He was well educated at a top Latin American University in computers. He was working for a large computer company and making decent money, not rich, but at least comfortable. He had a friend who was here, no education and no real training who made 5 times as much doing simple labor. This was an easy choice, coming here would allow him to support his family much better and give his children the opportunity for an education that he could only dream of growing up. Why wouldn’t you want to come here?

Sure the immigration system in this country is completely messed up. No matter what side of the aisle you come from, its clear that things need to change. Reforms must be made and the process must be streamlined, immigration costs money and we as taxpayers will ultimately pay for a sloppy system. I will keep my explicit opinions about immigration silent for now, but I think we should all take a stand and demand reforms.

Seeing a person of different race, particularly those who do not speak English well should not make you think that they are lesser than you. In the movie A Time to Kill, Matthew McConaughey tells the horrific story of a child being sexually assaulted and at the end he says, “Now imagine if she were white.” The jury is visibly moved by the story and when he speaks those words it’s clear that all of them were picturing an African-American girl being attacked. A clear insight to our prejudices I think.

I ask all of my readers to consider that anecdote when they consider people around them who may or may not speak English well. What if the person beside you who looks like they could be from Piedmont, North Dakota suddenly starts speaking in French, German, or Gaelic? Would you think less of them, would you think they were not good enough to purchase toilet paper and shampoo at Wal-Mart on a Saturday evening? Of course not, they why do many of us think that a Mexican-American speaking Spanish should not be allowed to do the same?

Many people believe that illegal immigrants are taking jobs away from Americans who want to work, I think otherwise. The welfare system is packed full of people who would rather collect checks and benefits each month than find a job that they consider beneath them. If I were unemployed and had a family to take care of, I would be out everyday working as hard as possible at any job that I could find, from cleaning toilets to flipping burgers. No job is beneath you when you have no job at all. Collecting benefits and complaining that you can’t find a job that is at your level is a cop out, sure some jobs may not pay glamorous wages, I’m sure some can’t even support a family, get two jobs. Make the sacrifice to make yourself better. Take the assistance if you need it, that’s why it’s there but don’t sit around all day doing nothing, collecting welfare and then complain that someone from another country took your job away. Most likely, you wouldn’t do that job anyway.

Farming is hard work. Lots of sweat and muscle power go into a good crop. You must prepare, plant and harvest a field efficiently in order to make a living at it. Harvesting is extremely critical to fetching top dollar for your crops, too early and it won’t ripen properly, too late and it’ll rot, either in the field or before it gets to market. Many Mexican workers work the fields of this country diligently providing the food we eat, they work long, incredibly strenuous hours for what we would consider not much pay. They do this not because they want to feed their WASP neighbors well, but because they want to provide a better life for their families. Isn’t that why we all work, to provide for our families and give them more than we had?

This is a very dear subject to me, I know people and have heard many of their stories. While they may seem tragic to some, I see them as heroic. These men and women are risking their lives and maybe even that of their families all for a small chance at living a better life than those who came before them.

I can’t imagine seeing someone like that and thinking they are less than me. I wish others around me would do the same. What do you think of immigration, not just the policies on immigration but how has it affected you?

Drew quit his job!

Drew of The Dawn and Drew Show has announced that he quit his job. This is huge, they are betting that podcasting is enough to keep them going. Wow. I realize that they are part of Podshow and I know that Podshow has recieved something like $8.5 million, but still. That’s a huge gamble. I hope it works out well for them and for podcasting in general, I know I’d love to quit my job to podcast all the time. Craziness.

Monotony begats monotony

I can’t wait for school to start, I know that is probably the last thing I should be saying, but really, the summer is done for me. It was a great one, filled with bon fires, weird love triangles, new adventures in rocketry, concerts, and countless nights of stars and the moon. I loved it, but now I’m done. Work is becoming more of a chore now, money is so bad that I can’t even begin to think of how I’m going to pay for stuff this fall… I did a budget the other night… You don’t even want to know. I’m ready for something new again. A new job could be on the horizon, I still have my reservations about it, but we’ll see. I’ve just fallen in a rut and need to get out of it. I don’t even have that much to bog about anymore really, I usually have at least one interesting thing to say…I guess this is it, I will be glad when school starts because then maybe the group will get back together again. When summer started we had all these wonderful plans and stuff, hardly any of it happened, people just got too busy or something. We haven’t hung out as a crowd in at least a month, I miss that, we always had fun even when we did nothing. Maybe with school starting and everyone back on the same schedule we can get back to hangin out again… I should get back to work…

Long overdue again….

It’s been too long. OH well I’m just going to write some junk and get off here… other stuff to do.

I have a new blog started!

This doesn’t meant that I will stop writing here but since I’m constantly telling people about computer stuff I’ve decided to start writing it down. This page will likely not change a whole lot for the time being, but I hope to have it grow over time. Check it out here.
-Money management is not my forte. I wish I coudl tell you all what kind of financial straits I am in right now, but I can’t. Just know that things are bad and they will likely get worse over the next few months… In that same regard, others seem to be good at it and think that… well I’d better leave that one alone for now.
-Erin and I are wonderful. I coudlnt’ be happier. Life is good.
-School starts in less than a month
-Matt comes home in less than two.
-I need a new job.
If you want to know more, ask me in person. I’m just not in the mood right now.

I got a job…

Well the job search didn’t’ take too long… I called my old boss this afternoon, asked about anything they might have open, he said they didn’t have anything really but that he would discuss it with the other owner and get back to me. An hour and half later he called me back; made me an offer and I start on Monday. It’s a totally new position that they basically just made up for me. I’m the tech/sales support/admin support guy. The pay is pretty good, and the hours are flexible… Should be a good deal… Right now I’m on the phone with Cingular… they charged me $8 in roaming and are telling me now that while sitting at home, I will be paying roaming charges… I haven’t’ for the last year and a half! Grr… More to come later….