Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Short Week Felt Really Long

I actually took the last weekend off and didn't go to work until Wednesday but by the time I was done Saturday night, it seemed like a mighty long week.  Work was busy and I didn't have a full compliment of staff any day of the week so we accomplished nothing with regard to making things easier to find.  What we did do is sell a lot of parts.

The meds must be working because even though I know there is a ton to do, I am not feeling particularly overwhelmed.  There is still a depressed feeling with a little anxiety thrown in for good measure but I seem to be able to at least take Sunday off.

The only problem with taking the day off is the crash mode that I go into on said day off.   For some reason I just don't feel like doing anything.  If I went to work I would accomplish something but staying home just makes me want to crash.  Not sure what that is all about.  Perhaps the counselor that I am schedule to start seeing on the 2nd will have some insight as to what is going on inside my head because I frankly have given up trying to figure "me" out.

I am not sure where I am with regard to a spiritual life or not.  There are many doubts in my mind and then I hear about the 9 year old boy with a huge spirit who dies from cancer and his last remarks to his dad were:
"Dad, I am not ever going to get married"
"Why would you say that?", his dad asked.
"Because God needs me more."

The last words he uttered as he passed on to what he felt was something to look forward too.  Makes you kind of wonder.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas And Some Catch Up

I have been very busy with the search for new employees (haven't found any), trying to get the department straight, and taking my new set of medications that are supposed to help me with my outlook (can't say they are working yet).

One of the happier times for me occurred yesterday when my grandson Zach and I went on our annual trip to the North Pole to help Santa deliver much needed Christmas Spirit to some very lonely and helpless people who live among us.  As each year progresses it becomes more and more evident that our economy isn't getting the job done.  We expect to go into the poorer neighbors, the hood, the ghettos but not affluent areas.  Yesterday we went to just such a place and found a family (the whole family) living in on house and barely making ends meet.
The North Pole and facepainting

Leaving the North Pole

One of the crews waiting to leave

Zach investigates our truck

Our Shuttle Connect with Santa and Head Elf

Santa and Head Elf

Our Crew

Zach unloads the truck

Zach with our crew of lovely Elfs

More of Zach and the Elfs

The truck

The gentleman in charge of assigning the delivery trucks didn't take in to consideration where those trucks need to go.  We ended up in the south end above Seattle in some of the most narrow streets you could imagine.  The people in the Connect Van said there were moments when they thought I wouldn't get down the street but we did and we made it safe and sound.  Well, Zach was a little touchy a couple of times when I got really close to cars on his side of the street.  But all in all we did good.  Now, I just owe the joker who gave me this truck to drive.

As I said at the beginning there is really no progress finding a replacement guy for the parts department and the department is still in a state of chaos.  We got a little bit done, but it has been busy and we just haven't had time to do what really needs to be done.  I have been working long hours, six days a week and I seem to get a little bit done only to have something added to the list.  It feels like I go backwards every time I think I am getting ahead.

I went to the doctor for a followup visit after my little incident at work.  She said that everything looked fine except my platelet count was off so they retested me for that.  We had a long discussion about my current outlook and I took a short written examination and discovered that I, like a lot of my fellow human beings, suffer from depression and anxiety.  This came as somewhat of a shock to me since I never really felt I was depressed.  Unfortunately for me, I had a family member who was depressed, a lot.  Apparently all of the increased pressures, deadlines, commitments and such have rendered me unable to make responsible decisions about what I should or shouldn't be doing.  So now I have drugs.  Drugs that are supposed to change my outlook over the next 30 days to one where I don't feel like I am in a deep hole (even if I am)
and no way to get out.  I am certainly hoping it works.

Today we celebrate Christmas with family and friends.  I grew up in a Presbyterian household and in later life converted to Catholicism.  Don't ask me why.  At the time I think it had something to do with symbolism and my need to straighten my life out.  I think it worked because I did stop drinking and smoking but I became more work oriented than I was before.  Church was a big deal when we were kids until my mom had an illness and no one came to visit.  It soured her on Church and to my knowledge she never set foot in another Church after that incident.

I traveled away from the Church and then back at times when life seemed to be closing in and then I would travel away again.  Right now I am away.  I haven't been to Church for a very long time.  I question everything and wonder about the beginning of the world.

If you believe the scientist the whole thing seems to have began in a puddle of water with a single cell.  I guess you just have to have FAITH to believe that scenario because there really isn't any proof that this whole big world could come from a single cell in a puddle.

Then there are the religions of the world that believe that an all powerful entity is responsible for the beginning of the world.  I guess you just have to have FAITH to believe that scenario because, once again, there really isn't any proof that this whole big world was the handy work of the all powerful entity, God or whatever you choose to call it.

So where does that leave us?  Everyone must decide for themselves.  Some in my family think the second scenario isn't possible and there are some who believe the first scenario can't be right.  It seems in times when I am down and out I lean on the second scenario and when things are good, I walk away and move somewhere in the middle.  Still kind of believing as I wonder and question.  Then something in life slaps me and I slide back towards the religious side.

So here I sit kind of wishing I could believe in something on a constant basis instead of riding the fence all the time.  I have family who believe beyond a shadow of a doubt and I envy them.

Oh well, there you are.  I hope each and everyone of you have a very Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

It's Sunday And I Took The Weekend

I got some devastating news last week from another one of my valued employees.  Instead of just loosing one employee I will now be loosing two and apparently neither are my fault as a manager which is often the case.  Still it makes you question your ability and doesn't help the morale in the department for those who are remaining.  We now have to find two replacements and thus far the people applying are no where close to those that are leaving in product knowledge or abilities.  That leaves me to do more which always seems to be the outcome.  I am dealing with it but having worked everyday since Thanksgiving and often very long hours, I decided to take the weekend away.

It is late afternoon on Sunday and I am not sure that being away has helped my attitude or my stamina in any way, shape or form.

Last night I took Mia to the Woodman Lodge in Snoqualmie, Washington.  Snoqualmie is a small town in the foothills and just off I 90 whose claim to fame is a Railroad Museum and Snoqualmie Falls.  My daughter recommend the Woodman Lodge for a special dinner from my wife who hasn't seen a whole bunch of me lately.  (Maybe that is a good thing)  Anyway we had a lovely dinner and a nice drive out and back.  We spent nearly an hour and a half and spent just over $100.  We don't drink so when we go out for special dinners our bills are generally smaller than most.  The Lodge is a steak house but has other items on the menu.  Mia had a nice steak that she said was wonderful and she isn't a big steak person.  I had prime rib and it was excellent.  The only mistake I made was I ordered it medium well and I should have had it medium rare.  Still it was good and I really enjoyed it. appears the Seahawks are killing Arizona in the first half.  Just hope they can hang on to the 31 points they have gotten in the first half.

I am off to study employee applications.

Have fun out there.....I so want to join you.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Facebook Issues And A Short Weekend

It has been a very long week beginning with many  huge orders arriving and people getting sick or being gone for one reason or another.  As you know we are in the process of trying to get our parts department back together from a move.  It is hard to continue to do business while trying to put things back together.  Finding parts is an issue and we have many that haven't made it to a bin location yet and not many bins left, especially for bigger items.

With all the inbound freight I ended up working all day yesterday and got home around noon today after having been in by 4:00 o'clock a.m. both days.  It makes for a tired and weary Ken.  I came home to make a pegboard panel to hang on the end of one of our bin rows.  We saved some of the pegboard from before the move and I used our box truck to bring a couple of sheets home to rip them down for use tomorrow.  I built this one using 1 X 2 and the ripped pegboard.  Today it lays on my shop floor, tomorrow it will have Subaru wiper blades hanging on it.
I use a Shopsmith to do the majority of my woodworking.  They are multi use tools but can be tricky to set up.
Using the side table ( on the right) requires some adjusting as you set the rip fence.  The problem with this tool is the rip fence always seems to move in on one end or the other when you tighten it down.
The measurement can be right on and then you tighten it down and the rip fence moves.  While the measurement here is 24", if you look to the channel on the right you see it is just under 20".  To ensure the rip fence is parallel to the blade you measure from the rip fence to the channel at three spots across the table, front, rear and at the blade.  They should be the same.  If not, you have your work cut out for you.

While working this week my head met up with an immovable object.  Just outside the back door and obviously not high up on the wall is a lock box for a key for the fire department to gain access to the building should the need arise.
It is not a good thing when your head meets this object.
The good news, I have the rest of the day off even though it is just after 2:30 p.m.  My boss mentioned an item that I was unaware was available through a program we have with VW.  I ordered four of these, two for him and a couple for stock.  I am thinking I might want to build one.  They are only $130.00 but are they every cool.  Lots of working items.

In the 50's Volkswagen introduced the Westfalia Camper, a converted VW Micro Bus.  Through the years there have been many versions with the last one built in 2003.  Lego has developed this kit.  It is pretty detailed.  One of my co workers has this on her desk so I took some pictures.  Hope you enjoy.