January 29, 2013

Tonto or Sitting Bull?

Over on G+, a friend, +Erica Lucarotti had posted a few images of a bow she was shooting that belonged to a friend. That had brought back a lot of memories for me when I was younger.

When I turned 15, my uncle gave me his old Martin compound because he bought a new one. IT was well used and needed some TLC. But the fact he wanted me to learn so I could hunt and he knew i could never afford a new one, it was awesome.

I ended up working on the farm a few extra weeks for money to buy upgrades and equipment. New arrows, field tips, strings and silencers to start. I never did go hunting that first year, though I did take my bow course. I was to interested in learning the bow.

The following summer, I spent more money and got better sights. Neon tipped so they were easier to see. Upgraded the quiver and tried the automatic release. Out of all of the upgrades, the auto release was the only thing to go. I felt I had no control as i couldn't feel the string on my fingers.

I spent hours outside at my uncles shooting. Learned how to control my breathing, how to adjust sights on the fly. The whole nine yards. My uncle even taught me a trick to learn how to shoot from behind cover. Basically take a few arrows and toss them up. Shoot from where ever they land. This worked great, as he had massive willow trees in his back yard that hung low. So there where times, where I had to kneel just to shoot.

This actually helped, because unlike gun hunting, bow hunting, very seldom will you drop your target with one arrow. And if you have to track, you need to make sure you can get the final shot off, even if you don't have that 100% direct shot.

It got to the point, I didn't go hunting much with the bow. I just spent all my time shooting. Maybe I should have gotten into a club or something, but there was nothing like that around. I remember not hearing anything but what I wanted to hear. I could zone out and "hear" the target. It was very peaceful. Kinda of weird for a deadly weapon.

I no longer have the bow. Sold it a long time ago when I went to college. Who needs a bow in a major city like Pittsburgh? I've been thinking for awhile now of getting another one. Just for something to do. These new bows look like something out of sci-fi movies. Twisted and bent, screaming of distortion. Other then re-curve, what happened to basic compounds?

Anyway, just a little reminiscent of days gone by. This image is not my bow, but identical to the one I had, minus of course my customization's.


January 27, 2013

Who's Who For 2013

I'm not sure what data they compiled or how they got to their final decision. But this is a strong list of companies. The title of the article is the Best 100 Companies To Work For In 2013.

Only one company from the telecommunications sector made it and it wasn't my company. Even though all of the market analyst and researchers say my company is great for long term investments for your portfolio, this list is more or less how employees and customers are treated.

What I find ironic is, we made the 15 Most Hated Companies In the US just last year.I can see why with over 250 complaints filled on the Consumer Affairs site. With the latest being just the other day. But it's no big surprise that we didn't make this list. There really is a big difference on which companies treat their employees and customers well to the ones who don't. But when your an acquisition company, nothing else matters except the bottom line and share holders. Now I may not have enough stock in the company to vote or have a say,  but I am a share holder. And I disagree on how this company treats people.

But then, I'm a simple employee who can be fired or outsourced in a blink of an eye.


Orlando Monster Jam - Speed TV

So I took my nieces little boy to see the big boys tonight. Son Uva Digger, Medusa, El Torro and more. I haven't been to see monster trucks since I was in high school. Then, it was nothing like this. This was actual production for Speed TV's Monster Jam series, which this will be aired Feb 1 at 3 pm on Speed TV (shameless, unpaid plug).

Needless to say, I had a great time. Though we did leave early because the little one decided no matter how loud these things were, he was going to fall asleep. So during Spider Man's freestyle run, he started to doze off. Only to come around before Spider Man crashed and burned.

It was an all day event, and if I didn't have to work mandatory overtime, I would have taken him earlier. Then we would have got to meet the drivers, see the trucks up close, etc. But he had a good time.


January 21, 2013

Burning Flames of Life

I was always one for having nightmares. They always let me know that I was still alive in side. Especially when I would wake up in a cold sweat, sheets drenched, heart racing.
It's been many years since ive had any. Not too long ago, they started again. But they were never as intense as they used to be. No cold sweats, no racing heart beat. Just typical nightmares.
Only once did I have one remotely close. It all started with an eerie feeling earlier in the day. That night, the nightmare had me standing in a burning house that seemed all too familiar. But I couldn't make it out. I was choking on smoke. When i did come too, i was a little out of it. Later that evening, my dad called and told me my grandmother passed away.
Hadn't had one since and that was 2 years ago. last night was different. Sitting at my PC, i was working on a web site and had this nagging feeling starting about 9pm. Something i couldn't place my hand on. A feeling that left me cold inside, empty. Finally i went to bed about 3:30 and passed out. awoke  at 5:00am sweating. And it was about 70 in the bedroom.
The nightmare is a little cloudy. But what is clear, is the fact i was standing in a massive burnt field as far as the eye could see. Burnt stumps smoldered, the ground smoked.
No sound what so ever. No echos of cries, no clamoring of insects or wildlife. Not even the crackle of a flame. Pure silence. I remember I started to walk, my feet getting warmer. I started to run up a small incline to stop and see a small tree stump that went untouched by the fire. Sitting at the base of the fire was a small baby four leaf clover. It too, untouched by the destruction.
As i leaned in to touch the clover, is when i woke up. Now, im not one for dream meanings. But the last time I had one like this, someone close to me perished.
I'm hoping everyone out there is doing good

January 19, 2013

Still On The Hunt

Since May of last year, I've been actively filling out applications for a new job. In today's world, the days of going to the job site and asking for an application are almost all but gone. Unless it's places like Mcdonalds, or CVS. Hell, even Wally World does online applications.

I keep a record of what get's sent out, who I speak with, etc. And so far, out of over 70 applications, there have been 2 phone screeners and 2 sit down interviews. The majority of my replies are you're over qualified  not qualified enough or the best one is, it's already filled.

These companies want everything for nothing and are the ones making jobs so hard to find. What it comes down to I think, in my opinion is, because i don't have a degree or am not paying back a current student loan, they feel i won't be worth any value to them because i can walk at any time. regardless of my real world experience or the fact that I've stayed at my jobs for a great length of time.

Guess my decision years ago when I got into tech to learn as much as I can, but have no one real specialization has hurt me. Though I can design web sites, install networks, do network security, minor programming, graphic design and a lot more there is no one specialization.

Jack of all trades, but a master of none. And to pay for schooling now is something I have thought about. But I really don't want to take out loans, because should something happen, I need to make sure I can repay those. So grants and scholarships is the way to go really. but not too many I have found for technology basics.

I'm sure if I got a degree in Computer Science it would help. But what I would really like to do is get into Cyber Security.

Captain's Log: Star Date - Eh, Who Am I Kidding?

Sitting here at 6:45 am staring blankly at the computer screen. Why? Normally by now, if my insomnia was in full swing, i'd probably just be going to bed. After getting out of work about 9:30 last night, and in bed by a little after midnight, my usual hour or so of tossing and turning and here I am. Waiting to head into work for overtime.

Really, I am surprised i'm able to complete full sentences right now, much less than a complete thought. The coffee sits here mocking me, knowing it has no effect on me to wake me up. Just the fact that it's hot and as I drink it, the heat loosens up the garbage in my head.

I've never been a morning person. All my best work was always done in the wee hours of the morning. Some say that people like that are usually highly intelligent. Sometimes I beg to differ. Even in the military, waking up at 0500 and some days at 0430, I would look through the drill sergeants and fantasize them being tortured like those people Chuck Norris was always sent to rescue.

Now the birds are chirping away outside my window. It's still fucking dark outside. Go back to sleep you furry little bastards. Hell, even the sun hasn't even rolled over to hit the snooze button yet. There's no worms out yet. And if there are, they're not just getting up. Hell, they're just getting home from a night out in the Rancor Pits from a full night of partying.

What makes it worse is, it's Saturday morning. And there's not a damn good cartoon on TV. Not like there was  back in the day. No Bugs Bunny, Mighty Mouse, Tom and Jerry, nada   I might get to watch reruns of the porn watcher Sponge Boob or some campy remake of what should have been defunct by now Power Rangers, (Pink and Green ranger all the way). Can't even enjoy a simple hour or so staring blankly at flashing colors of outdated decent animation. What a rip off.

So, while I get ready to coddle people who are too ignorant to read the little instruction manual that came with their DSL modem that says, "Your wireless network and wireless password are printed on the bottom of the modem," and yet call in complaining they can't connect to the internet because they don't know what the wireless password is... Or for those people who think "b" and "8" are the same character and can't get their password right.... You all have a wonderful Saturday morning.

I so wish I could replicate myself sometimes!!!!!!

January 15, 2013

Say Goodbye To My Little Friend

An assault weapon has a detachable magazine, in conjunction with one, two, or more other features such as a pistol grip, a folding stock, a flash suppressor, or a bayonet lug

NY States new Gun Law:
Under the stricter definitions, semi-automatic pistols and rifles with detachable magazines and one military style feature will be considered assault weapons.

So according to the definition of an assault weapon, a pistol grip is a military style feature. So essentially, what NY State just did, is outlaw all semi automatic pistols such as the Glocks, M&P's, Beretta's and all other hand guns that have a pistol grip and use a detachable magazine.

But it doesn't outlaw a .38 with speed loader? To load your cylinder, align, drop and pull rearward, done! With about 10 minutes practice, you can load one of these as fast as changing a magazine in a Glock.

All dealers in ammunition must be registered with the State Police, and each sale will require both a state background check and transmission of a record of the sale to State Police in real time

Who's paying for this software and network set up? This is about every gun shop in NY as well as shooting range and gun club. Does separate sales of powder, load/shot and slug count as ammunition since it is not one piece in a box? But separate pieces where a user can reload rounds in their house?

Honestly, this new law doesn't do much to protect us. It more or less hampers law abiding citizens. The criminals will still get their guns, they will still shoot people. It's not going to stop that. It will only make them stay behind bars a few years longer, but not prevent anything.

What I think is far more worse then anything in the bill is the fact that, they snuck this in over night on Monday and passed it on Tuesday. So none actually had anytime to read it and voice concerns. But then again, that's just like anything NY State has done. But when things really matter like jobs, economy, they can't do squat. Yet another reason I will not move back to NY. 

To read more, check out this link from my home town news channel: http://goo.gl/t3Ab5

One part f the bill which I do support is the registration  I've always thought that you should have to register your weapons every few years like you do your vehicles. As long as you register the weapons every few years for a small fee like $10 a weapon, then it's good. Say maybe every five years. Even if you have 6 weapons that need to be registered, that's still cheaper then the registration on your car or truck every two years.

The registration isn't hampering anything. If anything, if the gun is stolen and you do your duty to report it, then when found it can be returned. Unless it was used to kill someone. But then the insurance can repay since a claim was filed. 

First Check Of The Year - Big Surprise

So we got paid last week. First check of the year. Now I've been with he company for six years. And to my big surprise, This was also the smallest check I've ever gotten. Which includes holiday pay for New Years.

So I grossed almost $1125 but only brought home $769. Big fucking difference there Tonto. Broke out my Bat computer and started some calculations.

There's three types of deductions from our checks. These are Taxes, Pre-Taxes and Post Taxes. Taxes being what it says, Federal, Social and Medicare. Pre-Taxes being the 401k and health benefits and Post-Taxes being Stock options, Life insurance etc.

So looking at my pay stub, I had in 82 hours and 49 minutes. So that is 2 hours and 49 minutes of overtime as well.  Now let's look at the deductions.

Taxes - $160.15
Pre-Tax - $115.96
Post Tax - $76.91

Total: 353.02

Normally, when I gross over $1,000, my bring home is usually around 825-850 per check. So today, I canceled my Stock Options. I will keep the stocks I own, However, no more money will be taken out for more purchase. I will sit on what I have. I also lowered my 401k from 4% to 1%.

Barring cancelling my health benefits all together, There's a need to find more money here.

And on a side note, I find it very funny like Wally explaining to the Beaver what masturbation is, that I work for the countries 3rd largest phone company and get a $5 employee discount on my home phone bill. But Because I work for the phone company, I get a 21% discount on my cell phone bill through Sprint.


NY Has To Be The First

Always knew NY would be the first for this. But here's a few things i'm not liking about this, as there is very vague wording.

1- It would create a more powerful tool to require the reporting of mentally ill people who say they intend to use a gun illegally

So this includes all inmates, anyone on any kind of medication and anyone who just gets pissed enough to yell, i'll shoot you? Where is the line of the "Mentally Ill" and the normal person who gets pissed off?

2- failing to safely store a weapon could be subject to a misdemeanor charge

What is their idea of safely storing a weapon? Some gun cabinets being sold and in homes have glass front doors (like this one from Dicks Sporting goods:http://goo.gl/8xBVt). Is that considered safe? Will this require all gun owners to purchase a bio-metric gun safe? Will this portion require all guns owners to now have a house alarm through some company like ADT? How will they know if a gun is stored safely or not? Are they going to be going home to home and checking?

3- An owner caught at home with eight or more bullets in a magazine could face a misdemeanor charge.

How will they know? Are they going to go house to house asking to see all weapons and ammunition? A standard Glock 37 comes with a 10 round clip. While for first time buyers, the Glock 17 comes with a 17 round clip with 19/33 as options. So now as an owner, I not only have to sell the stock part, but buy a extra part? And as a collector, now i just devalued my collection because the stock part is now considered illegal?
Even a hunting rifle, not an assault rifle, such as the Marlin XT-22 (.22 caliber comes with a 10 round tubular magazine. Which, even by CA laws are legal as it's rim fire.

These weapons listed are not assault rifles like the AR-15 Bushmaster, or the M&P rifles from Smith and Wesson. However, they can cause just as much damage in the wrong hands.

These laws that are about to be passed are going to do nothing to protect me, you or your kids. Because they're not getting to the root cause as to why these people are taking their frustrations out on innocents with a gun. 

Mark my words, with all the media attention they're getting. Some fucking moron is going to one up them and blow some shit up with items bought at Home Depot, Lowes and Walmart. It's inevitable.

January 4, 2013

Large, Rich and Scrooged

I find it funny that, the company I work for is the third largest phone company in the US. Yet, we have more internal software issues on a daily basis, its not funny. Seems everyday, multiple servers or internal services go down, interrupting work flow. Sometimes, the same service will go down multiple times a day.
For a communications company, we fail at proper communication. And for a company that has on average of a quarterly profit of over half a million plus, we can't seem to get decent working services. Hell, we even own one of the largest cloud computing companies. And yet the internal employees suffer as much as our customers.
They wonder why our morale is low' when we can't help our customers because our tools do not work and the customer gets upset. Spend some damn money and give use good tools to do your job for you.

No respect. No respect at all

So, apparently respect doesn't mean much to some. Being a puppet is fine. Mastering the art of ass kissing is more then a proficiency for them. It s their existence. Its the reason they breath when they wake up in the morning.

Always saying yes ma'am, no sir, how can I please you more master, is not for me. I will respect you, as long as you respect me. But, if you want to be a self centered ass, then don't really expect much from me.

So my decision to take a demotion, because I have been tired of the bullshit, lack of respect, and being a dumping ground for anything and everything, it seems to some that I'm weak. Or at best, not worth it. Yet, its these same self centered assholes that master the art of ass kissing, that have come to this conclusion.

But in the end, really, its me who will make out. It seems out of those and myself, I have better ability to think outside the box to solve problems. And I'm one to go out of my way to help others when needed.

So in the end, you may think I'm weak or I walked away. You're right. I walked away for sanity reasons and self respect. So please say what you will. However, I'll be more then happy to light your basket on fire as you head to hell.!



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