The Big News that Someone (me) Leaked on Monday

The future of this blog may be in peril…

It may never be like it was before…

Hey, who said that… What do you mean… “There might actually be some activity around here!”?

No. I mean that I may never find time to post again. I truly hate to predict the demise of this blog, but there is pending activity in my personal life that will most likely make it hard to blog.

I have written about this pending change in my life before. So much so, that many of you probably thought that it was just talk. Honestly, I was starting to think that it was just talk myself.

I am even a little afraid that by writing about it now, I am going to curse myself, and this wonderful life change won’t happen. However, I must tell you with excitement and glee that tonight will be my last night working the graveyard shift.

Yep, starting with the new year (maybe New Year’s Eve Day), I start working the day shift. It is really hard to believe. I honestly will be in partial denial until I am on the day shift for at least a week.

So, what does this mean for the blog. Well, I usually write while I am at work. Generally, I can do this, because I have no boss, and until recently, I had no coworkers to see what I was doing. So, I felt that I could flagrantly abuse my company free time to write.

Unfortunately, by moving to the day shift, I will be working the same shift as the boss, and there will be a lot less free time. Thus, I don’t know if I will be able to maintain my blog. I will try. I even have hopes of starting up a whole “Why not…” series where I discuss the varied Republican Presidential Candidates. And if time presents itself, that is my next blogging project.

Anyway, if this proves to be my last post, then farewell. If not, then here is to many happy returns.

Merry Anniversary and Happy Christmas

Well, it is a little know fact that three years ago, I started blogging by wishing the world a Merry Christmas. So, in commemoration of the world shattering event, I wish you all a Happy Christmas.

There have been some ups and downs with this blog lately, including a move from one server to another. And some of you are eager to see the resurrection of this blogs as there has been more posts in the past few days than has normally been. However, I am afraid that it is all rather misleading, but you will have to wait until Thursday for more information about why things will be dieing around here again. Trust me, this bad news for you is good news for me.

But, I digress, from trying to get you to tune in after Christmas. I simply wanted to wish you all a wonderful Christmas and I hope many good tidings come your way in the New Year.

A Christmas Missionary Memory

Our local ward is putting together a collection of Christmas stories to send to the missionaries who are presently serving missions from our ward.  They specifically asked for Christmas stories from our missions.  And when I heard that I knew that I had to share the following story:

In 1991, I spent my first Christmas away from my family.  I loved Christmas time as a kid, and it was hard to be away from my family.  But I was serving the Lord in Pusan, Korea and I knew that I was where my family and the Lord wanted me to be.

However, since, I was still a new missionary, and I hadn’t quite learned the language yet, I was lonely.  Sure, I had a companion, and house mates, and many wonderful people in the Ward that I was serving in.  However, I just didn’t feel like Christmas.

Koreans don’t celebrate Christmas very much.  It is at best an after thought for most people.  So, there were no dinner invites, or extensive decorations.  I remember that the only sign of Christmas was a Christmas tree in the lobby of the church that we had managed to acquire through the local U.S. Army Base (it is illegal to cut down any tree in Korea, so this tree was from the U.S.).

I finally realized that I was homesick when I was riding on a bus, and everyone seemed to remind me of someone at home.  I saw my Bishop, a friend from high school, and others.  It was getting bad.

Unfortunately, my companion didn’t make it much better.  He was in his 22nd  month and was ready to go home.  I won’t say that he was trunky, but I got sick and tired of watching the video that his family had sent him for Christmas.

The real kicker for that year on Christmas was Christmas day itself.  My companion had figured that since it was Christmas Day he didn’t need to work.  Instead we went to the Ward building and talked with the members for most of the day.  At first there were very few members, but as the day went on, teenagers started arriving after school was out, and my companion who spoke better than I was enjoying talking to them.  Instead, I was left to myself and the occasion member who felt pity enough to try and talk with me.

It was then that I had resolved that the next year, I was going to follow the council of President Kimball on how to overcome homesickness.  While in the MTC, my teachers encouraged us to memorize a quote from President Benson.  It said, “There will be no homesickness, no worrying about families, for all time and talents and interests are centered on the work of the ministry. Work, work, work—there is no satisfactory substitute, especially in missionary work” (The Teaching of Ezra Taft Benson [1988], 200).  So I committed myself to work on Christmas day.

A year later the opportunity came to follow-up on my promise.  I advise my companion, who was even more green than I was a year ago, that we weren’t going to relax on Christmas.  I told him that we were going to work.  Be a more humble missionary than I was, he graciously agreed.  We had no appointments and little plans accept an activity in the Branch that evening.  So, we hit the pavement.

At first, it was a lot of the usual street proselyting activity.  There was not much success as the city we were in was very small, and most of the people knew who we were any way.  After lunch I remember thinking that we need to head to the business district and proselyte on the way.  But the weather turned cold, and it was very tempting just to head to the Branch building to visit with some of the members.

However, remembering my commitment of a year ago, we pushed through the cold.  As the wind blew fiercely, I talked to a high school student.  Who at first didn’t really seem all that interested.  And honestly, when he made the appointment I was sure that he wasn’t planning on showing up.  Really, at the time I didn’t think much about the situation, accept that I remember the cold wind and this kid’s willingness to talk to me for so long.

He did show up to our first appointment and after several visits he ultimately committed to be baptized.  It was then I remember that I had first met this kid while proselyting on Christmas day.  The Lord blessed me with less homesickness, but he also brought one of his chosen children to help him onto the path.

Mowing the Lawn

I hate mowing the lawn. I have seriously considered xeroscaping my whole yard simply to get myself out of this mundane mostly pointless task. A task placed upon in the true spirit of Adam and Eve. It is the curse place on me because my forefathers partook of the fruit. Our ancestors started this evil practice of growing fescue, bermuda, and rye hoping to be the envy of their neighbors.

All it has left us with is a yearning to walk out on lush greenness in our bare feet and the never ending burden of summer called mowing. We grow then mow then grow and mow. It is more annoying than hitting and chasing a golf ball.

I hate it so much that I avoid it at all costs. Every other week is all that I can muster. And sometimes I push it for a third week. Usually when I do that, the wife steps up and mows the lawn, but it bothers me when she does. She even did it once when she was 7 or 8 months pregnant. Yeah, I know. That’s terrible of me.

This weekend is lawn mowing time. And I don’t want to do it. Do I have any volunteers? Just come on over and mow my .2 acres of grass.  If you take me up on this once in a lifetime opportunity then you can tell the world you had the priveledge to mow the law of the one and only modern day Gazelem. Any takers?

Yeah, I thought not.

Oh, well.  So, if I am abnormally grumpy next week its because of my grass allergy. No, I am not medically allergic to grass. Just psychologically. It is my summer time nemesis. It is the thorn in my side. I can’t wait until October. And you can guarantee my last lawn mowing will be two weeks before everyone else’s.

Getting Off of the Hoot

I have complained about it before. I have even given expressions of hope that it was going to happen before. But this time it is serious.

I have been working the graveyard shift (hoot owl, hoot for short, is what we call it here) for just shy of 4 years now. And as trite and even cliche as it might sound, I am tired of it.

Well, after almost two years of letting the boss know that I am ready for a change, it looks like things are pointing in the right direction. The big difference is that I am finally training someone who will be my replacement. He started working the hoot shift (after some day side training) at the end of last month, and he seems to be catching on quite well.

If I had the absolute say in the matter, I would be off of the hoot shift by the end of September. Actually, if I had the absolute say I would have been off two years ago. But you get my point.

Unfortunately, I only have a minute say in the matter. And those who do have the power will probably hold me hostage until the end of the year. My only hope is one of the three people who are in control of the situation (Yeah, I know three bosses). This person is my direct boss, and he feels that I should be off the shift NOW. He just needs to be a better politician than I, and convince the other two that he is right.

But you can guarantee that I am doing everything I can to get my replacement fully trained. I just wish that there were more training opportunities here on this shift. We don’t do as much as the other shifts when it comes to the work load. However, we need to be able to do everything that the others shifts do in case of emergency.

Right now we are in the training stage. Starting next month, we go straight into the you-are-on-your-own-stage. The month after that, I hope I am off the hoot, but if not, then I am going to get a lot of personal things done at work, because I will honestly have nothing to do.

Posted in Life, Work. 3 Comments »

Fabulous Farding Friday: I Am Tired of Graveyards

If you don’t know, I work the graveyard shift (our company calls it the hoot owl or hoot for short). And I am ready to change my shift.

When I first took this position with this company it was with the idea that I would work our day shift. But it seems that there has always been one reason or another why I can’t go to that shift. And I am getting tired of all the excuses.

Perhaps, it is because I am being too forthright with my boss and telling him that I don’t like my shift and I want to go to days. So, he is just getting back at me and keeping me here. But it is really getting tiresome. I have worked this shift for 2+ years and I want to return to the world of the nightsleepers.

The last time I made the request he was rather amenable at first. Sounded like he would do what he could, but explained that it would take at least 6 months to happen.

However, I had to keep talking and I ended up saying something made him mad. I think it was my saying that I had done my time on the hoot. And he just got mad. so, I am probably going to be stuck here forever.

Posted in Life, Work. 2 Comments »

Fabulous Farding Friday: Wow! Things Have Been Busy

Yes, I know. Things around here have been rather quite. I have been very busy lately. First of all, I haven’t really had a quiet day at work for a long time. A little something that you might want to know because it could be a question on “Millionaire” or “Jeopardy” is that the ocean shipping business’s peak season starts in July and lasts until December. That’s because the retail industry is getting ready for Christmas.

But that isn’t the only thing that has been keeping me busy. You see, everytime we get pregnant we decide to move. Okay, that’s not entirely true. But we have moved during 2 pregnancies and you think we would have learned after the first go around, not to do it again.

Regardless, in order for us to move this time, we need to get our house in condition so that we can sell it. That isn’t to say that the house is in disrepair. It’s just that there are a lot of little projects that you put off until later (you know that later that never comes). Well, when it’s time to move “later” arrives quickly.

So, for that past few weeks, if I haven’t been at work, there is a very good chance that I have been working. From weeding the unplanted garden, to painting a room, to fixing toilets that don’t quite flush right. I have been projected out.

However, it all hasn’t been for naught. Because last week we officially put our house on the MLS, and it is on the market. Now, if you are some creep who is going to use this link to do the unthinkable, just note than when I am at work, my wife sleeps with two friends, Smith & Wesson. And don’t forget that the dog has an attitude.

Isn’t it terrible that we have to put such notes in these writings?

Now, to get back on subject. So, if you would like to say that you too lived where the one and only Gazelem of the new Millennium lived, check out the property and we would be glad to sell it to you. If you aren’t interested, you might have a friend who is. So, pass it on.

I am expecting to be able to blog a little more down the road. We are going to a few changes here at work, and that is going to move me to working straight overnights. Which means that I should have some more time to vent about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness or those who would take them away from us.