Sunday, November 25, 2012

What Will You Do?

Judges 6:13-14

“But Sir,” Gideon replied, “if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our fathers told us about when they said ‘Did the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and put us into the hand of Midian.”

The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”

Things don’t work out the way we expect them to, but God is in control. Furthermore, he has placed us here to hold His word and His laws in place. If we fail, we have only ourselves to blame.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Little Torn

I posted the Willie Wonka "Have a Twinkie" picture on Facebook yesterday and I had a good giggle.  I figured it was worth a chuckle and some dark humor, so whatever.

The interesting thing was a friend of mine tore me a new one pointing out how the union was just trying to protect the workers from having their salaries cut and listed the huge bonuses the executives were still getting.

I felt kind of bad.  Mainly because the friend who posted that is unemployed because the company he worked for went out of business.  Pretty sure it was a union shop.

For the record, when I worked for NEC, at one point we had an across the board 5% pay cut (this after a few rounds of layoffs).  I was angry, but I still had my job.  We coped with things by using dark humor, usually talking about how we came to work every day to give our full 95% to the company.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

How To Be Legendary

I started following a podcast called "Better Off Undead" a while back. As most of my friends know I am a horror junkie and have been since I first discovered Stephen King by reading some of his old books that my mom had. I stumbled across these guys and their podcast is well produced, has interesting topics (even when they run off topic) and most of all it is entertaining.

I didn't realize at first, but I heard the guys mention their "Other" podcast called "The Self Publishing Podcast." Since I like horror, I liked these guys and I'm interested in writing so I decided to check it out.

It was also very good stuff. Basically three self-published authors explaining everything from the creative process, how they work, how they put everything together, the tools they use and how to self-publish.

Greatness. I have been in bliss ever since.

One of the guys in particular named Johnny B. Truant put out a book he GIVES AWAY on his site called "How to be Legendary." It's a book on how to achieve your dreams, do what you want to do, be happy with what you do and best of all, how to do it. I hate to steal his thunder by summing up his 73 page book in one phrase, but here it is:

Decide what you want to do then get up off your butt and do it.

Pretty simple huh? Too simple right?

Look, I know you're skeptical, but think about it. You only fail if you decide you have failed. If you're doing what you want to do and are doing it (or even working to do it) how can it be considered failure if you are satisfied?

I want to use myself as an example. I was born in a small town in Tennessee. I grew up in the small town, graduated high school and dropped out of college. I played in bands but none of them ever took off and I couldn't decide what I wanted to do with my life. At one point I had a job selling knives and teddy bear backpacks on the street.

In short, I was a total loser.

My dad called me and told me the company he worked for needed some temporary help and if I wanted a job to get my butt to Knoxville by 8AM Monday morning.

I got the job which was pulling and terminating phone cable. I put on phone jacks, set and labeled phones etc... I worked up from there to working moves, adds and changes and service calls.

At some point I decided I wanted to work on PBX systems. (Big phone systems to normal people. Like the ones used in hospitals, colleges and large businesses.) I started learning about them, working on them when I could and agreed to learn the stuff no one else wanted to so I could eventually get a shot. When I got my shot, I took it and I was then trained on the biggest system we sold and worked an on-site job with our biggest customer in the area.

When I became frustrated with that job I applied to the manufacturer of the particular phone system I worked on. The next thing I knew I was flown to Dallas, interviewed and offered a position with the company supporting the big phone systems.

I stayed with that company for twelve years working my way up from a hillbilly out of his element to someone who was a respected and had people coming to me for tough questions.

Eventually I became frustrated with the way things were going and being unable to get the company to see technology moving the way I saw it moving. I moved within the company to a position where I was working on a Windows Server based phone system. While working there I heard about Microsoft's Lync product. I talked to a few folks and did some research. I did enough web searches to figure out how to install the thing and get it to work.

I then was invited to an event at the local Microsoft campus where they were looking for prospects to hire. I tracked down the guy who was the manager over OCS/Lync support and pitched myself to him. he got one of the guys to sit down with me and run through some basic questions on telephony, IP, Server stuff etc... I submitted my resume and applied for a job.

The next several weeks were spent beating down Microsoft's door. I hounded the recruiter, got my follow up interviews and was hired.

Right now, I am working on a product I believe in for a company I think has vision and a plan. Most importantly I got here not because I am the smartest guy in the room, the most talented guy in the room, the guy with the most experience, I got the job because I went out and did it. I took the leap of faith when common sense would tell me I'm a college dropout from a hick town and that I didn't stand a chance.

Read Johnny's book. Believe in yourself and do it. If you don't someone else will and you won't.

That, my friends, is a fact.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

America's Choice

America has made it's choice. A man with no real history of doing anything was elected in 2008, failed, and was reelected.