Accepting the Blue Sky Challenge Award

            I am graciously accepting yet another peer-distributed blog award for my little offering towards the blogger community. This time I have been gifted the Blue Sky Tag Challenge Award, which like all other unofficial blog awards has some rules upon acceptance. So let's get started, shall we?

My Wrap-Up Of The 2016-2017 Television Season

          Continuing my annual tradition of reviewing the TV shows that I've begun, continued, and ceased to watch. This year, as an added bonus, I will be writing a "part 2" to this post wherein I give my tech tips for how to follow your shows and how to watch them whether home or away. So, without further ado, let's get on with the show! (Pun intended)

How To Learn From the Mistakes of My Youth

            What follows are two tales from my past where I made the wrong choices. I'm not writing these to complain, as I do not believe in regret; but rather, I write these as cautionary tales for the youth of tomorrow. That they may learn from my mistakes and make better choices in their lives. Head my warnings. Save your soul. Challenge authority. Question everything. Believe in yourself. And do other things that are found on motivational posters with awe-inspiring pictures of nature, people doing extraordinary things, or both.

How to be a loser for all the right reasons.

            I'm the fat guy, have been since high school. It's how I identify myself. I'm comfortable with it, and I accept it as my chosen lifestyle. Hey, I like food; so this goes hand-in-hand. I've embraced it. It's part of my identity. And I'm not saying that in the high school girl with an eating complex that isn't super model thin but is in no way even remotely chubby but says she's fat because that's what society tells her, I'm saying it as a matter of fact... not opinion. Don't tell me I'm not thinking you're being "nice", or "helpful", by all medical standards, and anyone who isn't legally blind's own eyesight, I'm short, my belly sticks WAY out, and there's isn't an exposed part of my that doesn't have excess "padding" (underneath the thick coat of hair that grows everywhere except on top of my head of course). Trying to say otherwise, no matter how good your intentions, irritates me to no end.
            So why then, would I put time, money, and effort into changing that?

How to heal our country.

            It's at times like this I remember what I taught the group of Boy Scouts about Citizenship in America. Simply this: "You show respect to the office. If the President enters a room I'm in, I stand up, I address them as Mister/Madam President, and I shake their hand if given the chance. Same goes for all elected officials. However, they do not control my thoughts and beliefs, and I am not bound to agree with them."

The Best And Worst 2015 16 Television Shows

          So I did one of these for last season and it seemed to be well-received, so now I'm going to keep it going. Think I'll play with format a bit. As of me beginning to write this I'm not sure if I want to group everything by air date (Sunday shows, Monday shows, etc.), genre (like last year), random stream of conscience like most of my other posts, or something else. Also, do I do a bullet list, full paragraph form (again, like last time), or some hybrid of everything listed above. Well, let's find out together shall we?

Why I Made One Of The Biggest Decisions In My Life

     If you're an avid follower of my blog, then first off thanks for being one of the few. Or even one of the one. Secondly, you must have noticed that I have taken a bit of a break from blogging as of late. There are several reasons for that, first and foremost has been writers block. I simply couldn't think of anything to write about. My other two reasons for my blogging hiatus are more personal, as I recently celebrated the birth of my third child and started a new job. For this blog I will be focusing on the latter of these events, that of starting a new position with a new company, and the journey along with all the struggles along the way.

Deciding to go

     Up until I made the hard decision to leave, I would have told you that I would be with my old company until I retired. So why leave? If it was that good there that I was willing to stay employed as long as they'd have me, what could make me place my loyalties elsewhere? Well to put it simply, the job was never really that great. The only reason I stayed as long as I did was my coworkers. I was lucky enough to be hired into a group that had similar interests, ideologies, and sense of humor. It wasn't so much a place of work, as it was more like a locker room where work got done. They made everything else tolerable... until it was too much. The beginning of the end was when my original boss, the man who hired me and the best person anyone could ever ask to work for, was forced to leave via underhanded politics and mistreatment by upper-management.

Placing blame

     Senior management's mistreatment of it's employees did not end there. In the weeks and months following I came to realize just how bad it was, as my own search for new employment revealed that things were much worse than I had initially known.We had always known that we were treated as an afterthought in many ways. We were given tasks to do with little more than a tertiary explanation of what we were to produce. The kind of brief summary that wouldn't even cut as a TL;DR post on Twitter. Along with the lack of information, these tasks would also be given to us days, or sometimes hours before the deadline when the rest of the company realized they weren't getting any updates only to find they "forgot" to put in the formal request.The blame fell squarely on our shoulders when said project didn't meet the untold requirements or fell behind schedule due to the unrealistic timetable given.Whether that tactic was truly an "accident" every time or done purposely since they knew they would get away with it, I'll never know for sure; though some people are more suspect than others. Bottom line, nobody had our back, so when it was even hinted that we were to blame... we were at fault.

Bottom of the hill

     Had that been the end of it I could have lived with it. But the straw that broke the camels back for me was the fact that any time some new technology or equipment was brought into the company, it somehow always became the responsibility of my former department to not only learn it, but to get it up and working flawlessly, despite the fact that all those jobs, along with the ongoing use and maintenance, SHOULD have fallen outside the scope of our positions. Asking a web developer to set up the web servers and put all security on their shoulders is like asking a plumber to construct the whole house since their pipes will go inside it. Sure they're both construction jobs, but plumping and general contracting are two different jobs with different standards qualifications. But once again, nobody had our backs, so when the rest of the company put their hands in the air and said "not it", it fell on us. And even if we proved that said job should be done by another department and was not best practice for us to do, we got a smile and told "that's ok, yo can handle it".

Burning bridges

     Now please don't misunderstand me, not everyone treated us like this. There were some bright spots who were a joy to work with. The very few that I am friends with on social media that will probably read this, if I haven't told you to your face how much I enjoyed working with you personally then I meant to. And if I did say it, it was 100% legit. It's because of you that I stayed so long, and hopefully if some of these issues are resolved and you're still there we may end up working together again. My complaints, as stated above, are primarily with "upper-management". Those faceless bureaucrats who I never had the pleasure of meeting or speaking with. The stereotypical stuffed suits that sit in their corner offices and make decisions based on what benefits them personally the most, with little regard for the employees or customers. This probably is farthest from the truth, but that's how I like to imagine it. It's a lot easier to blame a nefarious, over-the-top villainous puppet-master orchestrating everything to purposely try their underlings' sanity; rather than just being overlooked and underappreciated by someone who is blissfully ignorant of how bad they are making things.