Thursday, November 29, 2007

Decisions, Decisions

I know you are saying to yourself, "Does this guy ever do anything at work?" I can answer that particular question with a huge YES. Here at work we are operating at rates that are optimum and allow the process not to strain too much. This actually leads to more downtime than normal when the company decides, in all of it's collective wisdom, to push our feed rates to the edge. When the upper limit is pushed, all types of things can go wrong. (pumps failing, vaporizers fouling, leaks, corrosion etc.) The company pays us not for what we do, but for what we might have to do. Those of you who have worked with hazardous chemicals know what I mean when I say that. That being said, it makes me wonder what the hell am I doing?
I went to college and received a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science. I had all of these plans to attend law school at LSU and be well on my way to being wealthy and rich. Well, the teaching bug bit me late in my career at LSU. Yes, I became an uncertified teacher after I graduated. After one year as a 'long term substitute' in the school district that I grew up in, I was offered a teaching job at a small Catholic high school in Donaldsonville, Louisiana. I can honestly tell you that the years from 95-98 teaching at Ascension Catholic High School were the most challenging yet enjoyable in my working life. Reality set in early 1998 and had to offer my resignation to the school. Finances forced me to leave a job that I liked. The entire time that I was teaching there, I never made more than $18,500 for a single year. I was not able to complete school to become a certified teacher. This forced me to leave the teaching profession, possibly forever.
This all brings me to the job that I have now. We are VERY well compensated for what we do here at the plant. I now realize that I want to do more. I don't want to work shift work for the rest of my life. Don't get me wrong, I like the people that I work with and they are immensely entertaining, but I am finding that I want something else. I do have a plan, however. The company that I work for has a tuition reimbursement program for employees. I can attend classes, and if justified, be reimbursed for the cost of the tuition and fees.
I have decided that I am going to pursue a Masters of Science in Occupational Safety Health and Environment. This degree program is extremely close to what I do now. It is, however, more manegorial in nature. (Is that actually a word? It's almost midnight round time, I can't bring myself to actually look it up.) I am excited about the opportunities this could provide for myself and my family. Not the least being that I could get off of shift work and be with my family for Christmas every year. The two years it will take to get the degree is not going to be easy, but my wife is on board and is extremely supportive of the decision.
The fact that the safety field will be short a few thousand professionals by the year 2012 doesn't hurt either.


While at work tonight, I have been visiting some other blogs out there and realized that I might need to broaden the scope of my writing. My most intense interest, of course, is LSU football. Now that I have been posting for a few months now, I think that there are other aspects of my life that might be 'blog worthy.'

You see, when I was in high school and attending college, I considered myself a good writer. I look back to some of the essays that I have written I say to myself, "How did I ever write this well?" I know that my writing is somewhat disjointed with some run-on sentences thrown in for good measure. Ever since I graduated college, I never put any serious effort into writing, but I remember how it used to be so enjoyable and extremely easy for me. How do I get that back? Where do I go? How do I start? What should I write about?

I know that I have some interesting ideas floating around inside my mind, I just don't have any clue about how to access them. Maybe some 'soul searching' is in order. I have always heard that writing is a skill that dulls with disuse. Maybe this online journal can be the whetstone that sharpens one of the few skills that I was always proud of. I just hope that I haven't lost what I used to have.

Some YouTubage For Your Enjoyment

I think I am going to start a new series on the blog. This past weekend while at work one of my co-workers and I were throwing out some of the groups from the '80s we used to listen to. While looking up bands or groups that I had forgotten about, I thought, 'Why not share with the one or two people who actually read the thing some music."

Be warned. Not all of the music I'll share with you will be good. It's just some music which brings back memories from high school and other things. I hope you come back often to listen to my music from the past. It is rather ecclectic (sp.?).

Anyhoo, here we go:

There was a teen club in Baton Rouge called 2010 while I was in high school. This was a staple song every weekend at the club. If you have any memories of those type of places please comment.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Upside

I guess the upside of the loss to Arkansas on Friday is that Houston Nutt gets to keep his job for one more year.

Hopefully I'll have more later.

Dammit Dorsey, WTF? Is it Saban, or the players?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Crown Induced Stupor

This past weekend was possibly one of the most enjoyable times I've had this year. My wife and I made the road trip to Tuscaloosa, Alabama for the annual meeting between the two SEC schools. Both of my brothers-in-law with their better halves were there as well. It turned out to be a very enjoyable weekend. We are trying to make plans to attend the Auburn/LSU contest next year to possibly top this experience.

I have to give MAJOR props to my wife who worked her ASS off to make this trip happen. While I had to work for almost two weeks straight before the trip, she did everything she could to ensure we were ready for this trip. From making sure the little purple tiger was all set for her soccer games on Saturday morning to purchasing extra LSU gear to help outfit my Florida brother-in-law's RV. I know she is paying for all the work with exhaustion this week.

Anyway, we began drinking the Crown shortly after my wife and I arrived on Friday about 1 P. M. My Florida brother was already there and set up in a lot across from the Tuscaloosa News building. I'm telling you, for $100 from Wednesday evening to Sunday morning, you can't get a better deal. It was managed by the Tuscaloosa Downtown Merchants Association. Check out their website if you ever go to Tuscaloosa for a game, if they have spots available take one, the people are great.

My Texas brother-in-law arrived shortly after 4 p. m. We had been drinking for a few hours by that time. Well, when he arrived J. heated up some brisket he had prepared earlier. We drank and socialized for a while when some older guys came up to see what was going on. They offered some seafood gumbo that they had cooked earlier that day. My wife was in heaven. She absolutely loves any type of gumbo and these guys knew what they were doing.

A couple of acquaintences of ours, Alabama fans were hanging out with us most of the day and I think they enjoyed themselves too. A little later came the time to go out. We were within walking distance from some bars on University. We ended up in one that had a country band as it's entertainment. I was pleasantly surprised with how good they were. I was so numb by that time that I don't remember the bar or the band that was playing, sorry. Remember, we never at any point after 1 stopped drinking the Crown, so we were pretty hammered by this time.

Next, comes the interesting time of the evening. Two seperate events had me thinking that I might actually have to call Ol' Richard Pittman (criminal defense attorney in Tuscaloosa) to keep me out of trouble in Tuscaloosa. The first incident included my wife who confronted an extremely drunk LSU fan who was hanging all over a young lady in the bar. She noticed that this guy was groping and dancing on this girl apparently who did not know how to tell this guy to stop. Well, Mrs. Purple Tiger has no patience for this foolishness and proceeded to tell the drunken slob to get off the girl and get lost. She took hold of the girl and placed her in front of us out of the way of the groping arms of mr. drunk. He looked like he wanted to make an issue of it briefly. He thought better of it and stumbled away. We dodged that bullet, because I would have had to step in front of mr. drunk if he had made any move toward my wife. Being kicked out or arrested pre-game night would have sucked immensely.

Next, we had an incident involving my Florida brother-in-law's wife. She was hanging out in her own little available space when mr. tall drunk guy shows up. J. said that this guy seemed to know every Bammer in our vicinity. Well, he starts dancing and promptly begins to elbow and hit her. She elbows him right back. Needless to say, he did not enjoy this too much. He turns around and starts to yell at her. Well, brother-in-law turns around behind him and asks Bammer friend Shane if he has his back to make sure no one sucker punches him in the event of a brawl. Tami was able to handle her own business and mr. tall drunk guy, evidently intimidated by Tami's demeanor, backs down and leaves her alone. My wife and I left shortly after these two incidents knowing that the next day was going to be long and hard. We got back to the RV and went to sleep. So ends our first day of the Tuscaloosa trip.

Since this was such a long post, I'll post gameday later.

Tigers Win! Tigers Win!!

This covers everything good and bad about the game, I think.