Thursday, January 31, 2008


The long-awaited return of ABC's Lost will air tonight. As a faithful viewer since day 1, I can say that the next twist of the show will only make me feel more lost. The coming rescuers have a hidden agenda which will probably be the mystery of season 4, which will be very short anyway. I'll be rushing home from class to catch the latest adventure of the losties.

Speaking of class, I am in week 2 now. Public Management is the Wed night course and I think this will be a very good experience for me. Lots of issues that I deal with everyday are discussed and help me organize my own thoughts and feelings about how things are and how they should be. Unfortunately, I probably won't get to use what I learn because of the culture that exists in my workplace (school district). It can get very frustrating to be a creative manager in a stale environment (bordering on extinction). It's starting to feel like a missed opportunity to make some lasting difference here. I know that I have contributed in many positive ways but it's time to keep pushing and challenge people for more improvements. Doesn't the taxpaying public deserve our best efforts? Some possible reasons for stagnation...

Everybody is selfish
Nobody wants to be blamed for anything
The public doesn't trust the decision makers
Decision makers don't want to rock the boat
Political correctness overpowers truth
No recognition for quality effort (which will squash entrepreneurship real quick)
Lack of communication

To summarize... what's the point? I mean really. What good does it do for one or a few persons to try to chip away at a system that is dominated by senior management that has no interest in taking some chances. And they could be very small chances with low risk. Shouldn't that be a part of organizational leadership? No business would ever survive with this structure. For me, I know that I am supposed to be doing everything as if I were doing it for God. That is what gives me some motivation, but my human side says this is not going to be worth it in the end. There are too many battles going on between people and departments. Luckily that's mostly work related. I do have some excellent co-workers who I get to share my life with when I need to get it all out. Is that enough? What do you think? I'm LOST.

Choose Wisely

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Extra long weekend

Today is my Monday. Since I work in a school district, I had MLK day off and I tacked on a vacation day to extend the long weekend even more. It's nice having so many days off, even though I take it for granted some times.

Now I can look back on the weekend and take stock of what was accomplished. As usual, not quite as much of the to-do list as I had hoped for. Saturday morning was reserved for movies in bed. It's been too long since I've done that. Then Kim & I headed for The Dump and Target. If you don't know about The Dump, it's a furniture store that claims to buy from dealers who need to unload inventory. This allows The Dump to cut their prices way down. Plus they're only open on the weekends. We were a little skeptical of such an establishment but decided to check it out for the heck of it. Overall, it's not a bad place. It might not be the best place for your Grade A furniture but if you want a lot of options for middle/lower grade, this might be a good place to visit. At least it will help you get a better idea of what you want. So, we left empty handed but with plans to visit again when we're looking for a cheap, taller dining room table for the basement.

Next stop, Target. Love Target. Our living room is full of Target. We needed bookshelves and we got them there. Nothing else newsworthy really happened, but the ride back home was nice.

Since we've moved to semi-farm country, we get to drive past lots of open land and farmer's markets. This is a nice change for us because we've both grown up in thickly settled areas, albeit very different environments. This particular drive also revealed a Vineyard that has a wine tasting shop. We'll be sure to make a stop ASAP.

Without giving the full play-by-play for the entire weekend... here are the rest of the notes.
Sunday-Pats win! Bookshelves are assembled. Basement set up for TV/Movies and other fun stuff.
Monday-Worked on my church's Financial stuff since I'm the treasurer. More bookshelves assembled.
Tuesday-Made initial visit to new Primary doctor. Organized home office. No more bookshelves to assemble!
Today-This is day 1 of the Spring semester, so I have class after work. Public Management is a core course in my program and comes with 3 books plus handouts and anything else the professor decides to make us read. I am NOT a reader - this development is very upsetting to me. So, it's time for discipline and responsibility to take over. I'll have to suck it up for the next 15 weeks and press on. My other class, Public Info Systems, is tomorrow and there has been no indication if there is a book for that class. Let's all hope that it's nothing more than the syllabus. Otherwise, if you need me, you can find me falling asleep with a book in my hands.

PS-I'm going to inaugurate my sign off. Feel free to apply it as you see fit

Choose Wisely

Thursday, January 17, 2008

End of the day

It's time to burn the last few minutes of the work day. What a perfect opportunity to use for blogging. I've already received a request from my mom to write new adventure stories of Mr. Dooley. He was a character I made up in order to complete creative writing assignments when I was in elementary school @ First Assembly Christian Academy (Worcester, MA). It was much easier to write those stories with a recurring character since I could just make up a crazy plot and run it into the ground with juvenile twists and with no real outcome in sight. I think I wrote one about a trip to the Grand Canyon, which was hard to do since I haven't actually been there. I suppose I had been there in my mind (back when the World Book Encyclopedia was the only source of information-my goodness that's pathetic). So anyway, I appreciate the memory of Mr. Dooley (and classmate Danny's made-up nemesis Mr. Baldie) but I can't promise any new adventures these days.

Instead, I'm busy painting a new house and playing Wii and as many other video games as I possibly can, because next Wednesday I'll be back in the classroom beginning the Spring '08 semester @ Rutgers Univ-Camden (Masters in Public Administration). Every Wednesday & Thursday evening until May will be spent in class, trying to fill my noggin with new knowledge that will help prepare me for more challenging endeavors in the future. I can't put a label on that end result yet but I'm not worried about it. Hopefully I'll be done in December '09 or May '10. Perhaps then, Mr. Dooley will make a stunning return to life and right the wrongs that have occurred during his absence. And maybe, just maybe, he'll have grown up a little bit too. Personally..... I hope he didn't.

Joining the family in blogland

So, it seems that everyone in my family has jumped headfirst into blogging. I really have no idea if I will be a faithful blogger but I definitely see the value in doing it. It's getting harder and harder to reply to friends' emails and keep everyone in the loop with South Jersey life for Kim and I. Hopefully, this should simplify the process for those who are interested in what's happening with us. I may use this to respond to other blogged ideas too. Who knows, things get crazy at the lofty altitude of the destratisphere. I'll be back later to post actual thoughts and updates. This is just my warm up.