Archive for February, 2012

TGIF: February 24, 2012 Mardi Gras Edition

Yes folks its finally Friday.

Time to stretch the legs and break free for the weekend.

I got a marathon weekend myself so don’t look for me to be around much

But lets get it started right anyway aye?

Now I know that was Tuesday, but lets face it. It runs damn near all week in Louisiana.  So howzabout a New Orelans Street Band for our music today?

For our quote howzabout one of the kings of Jazz?

Critics have their purposes, and they’re supposed to do what they do, but sometimes they get a little carried away with what they think someone should have done, rather than concerning themselves with what they did.

Duke Ellington
And with that folks, lets get out of here and get this day over so we can fire up the weekend!

How to earn Employee Dedication

I have worked for some companies in my time who I regretted later.

Quite a few of them honestly.

Maybe I have an attitude, but after having spent almost ten years in the Army, being deployed all over the world and having sacrificed (literally) a marriage I felt I had paid my dues when it came to proving my dedication.

Not so.

Civilian employers, I quickly found, love labels.

As long as you are doing precisely what they want you to do, your dedicated.If that paths deviates even one iota, your slapped with the “not dedicated” label and more often than not, off you go.

About four years ago I was getting really burned out on this mentality of employers, the idea that employees are not worth investing in, and taking care of your employees (beyond just a paycheck) was a fantasy that I would never see accomplished. 15 years of bouncing from contract to contract and you quickly get to see the under belly of companies and their dirty dealings.

Thats not to say that every company I worked for was the poster child for poor civics. I had several companies who I enjoyed working for, but one thing or another pushed me on my way.  Some went out of business. Others changed their strategic direction. Some I decided we just didn’t fit. At least one my personal life intervened.

As a Project Manager, and a Field Manager, I did my damnedest to put my people first in all cases. I bumped heads with more than one company owner, supervisor and upper echelon member. I was ultimately fired for my efforts at one company. I have no regrets. I stood by my guns and made a decision on something I felt strongly about. Marcus Aurelius wrote “Never esteem anything as of advantage to you that will make you break your word or lose your self-respect.” I kept my self respect, and ultimately lost some for some individuals whom I thought very highly of until that moment.

However, shortly after I was beginning to give up hope regarding ones ideology. At least one company made it their personal action to keep me from work. Such a lack of basic business ethics proved to me just how low a company would stoop to have their way, or no way at all.

And the circle continued.

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Always Running Behind

Well I’m still playing catch up.

So I managed to corral an old blog buddy from my Techo days to come around and give us a hand.

You should be seeing him post soon, and be sure to welcome him to the party as well eh?

Hopefully we can get some content rolling.

With March coming up we’ll be changing to our usual Irish themed layout. I’ll be reposting some of our Irish History work, and posting some new ones as well.

Probably my favorite time of year for blogging frankly

TGIF: February 17, 2012

Been too long since we posted one of these yes? Thank Gawd its Friday!

So lets get this party rolling!

It’s also helpful to realize that this very body that we have, that’s sitting right here right now… with its aches and it pleasures… is exactly what we need to be fully human, fully awake, fully alive.

Pema Chodron

Cell Tower Deaths to take the Frontline

It’s been long over due.

Numerous website’s such as myself, Wireless Estimator and Tower Dogs have talked about the dangers for cell tower climbers time and again.

We’ve documented incidents, and been a grounds eye level view on things that have happened.

Not quite a year ago ProPublica contacted me to ask questions regarding the cellular industry. I sent a lot of E-mails out to my friends and blogging peers asking questions about them before I submitted to the questionnaire. I’ve been out of the cellular business almost two years now, but many of my friends are still in it, and it’s a industry that I spent over a decade working in. It’s a industry like no other, not all of those ways good.

I will tell you that I made a contribution to this.

No you won’t see me on TV.

I a great deal of time answering questions to the best of my ability regarding turf systems, contracts, time tables…all of them as anonymously as I could. Because frankly at the time my career was still at stake.

I don’t feel its at stake any more, as my new job has nothing to do with cellular communications. I also make no apologies for remaining anonymous in my contribution. It’s my life, my family, and my career. The world works a certain way in my experience, but feel free to invite me to your utopia once it materializes.

But I’ll tell you what I told ProPublica, and everyone else I have met, the same thing that I have said for years:  It is probably the most black market industry that I have ever been involved with in my life.

Watch the show when it comes out. Make your own decision.

Stormchaser Down

It has been a hectic week.
I’ve tried to stay ahead of it all, but I have failed miserably.

I must have sat down a dozen times to write this post, just to be called away for something else, some other task, some other issue needing my attention.

Andy Gabrielson, aka Find the Tornado, was killed over the weekend by a drunk driver, just a hour from my backyard.

He died, coming back from doing what he loved: chasing a storm.

I can’t say Andy and I were close. That would be a lie. However I met him on roughly a half dozen occasions when I first started as a storm spotter. We met for coffee and chit chat as he gave me some insight. We had met via twitter. He was a good man, with a love for the chase and a eye for video and pictures. You have probably seen his footage on countless Weather Channel shorts and news work across the country.

Andy was the real deal.

Last year his truck was flipped with him inside (the last 45 seconds of the video if you want fast forward to it)

Andy did his best to get good footage, which he more often than not succeeded in. He also gathered good data which was very important to meteorologists.

His work, his candor, and his will to do good for people was practically legendary. Last year he picked up Joel Taylor of Team Dominator fame from the side of the road after Reed and Joel parted ways. Andy was always, always willing to help.

As tribute over 500 storm chasers came together to honor Andy, in a way that can only be seen on the Radar screens that we watch, haunt, and stare at for hours. He would have appreciated it I think:

The world is a lesser place, and this storm season won’t be the same without him


If your in the area, or you wish to make a donation to Andy’s family, or attend his service, that information is after the jump.


God speed Andy, and where ever you are, ride the lightning.
Read the rest of this entry »

Slowly but surely

Well between the ankle and work things have indeed been moving slowly. I stay piled under time wise. Its like I never have a free moment to myself, and the weekends scream by in record time. Sometimes I feel like I lay down Friday night and wake up on Monday.

It isn’t that stressful, thats the good thing. It’s just I have so many things that I am trying to get accomplished.

I have school work for both of my classes every night.
I have work that I do all day, and sometimes I spent a few minutes each night on it.
I have my CAPM test I will be studying for shortly, hopefully I’ll be taking the test by the end of February.
With Spring on the way I have a training class all next week for Spotters.
My ankle is not as healed as I would like, and I’m still using a cane. I am hoping to be done with that next week if I can but right now it feels like someone smashing my foot with a hammer when i put any sort of real weight on it. Not a pleasant experience I can assure you.

During the course of all this fun and excitement I have several pieces of software that I have to buy, Microsoft project being one.

But the one that invariably always folks ask me about is my meteorological data processing program: GrLevelX.

I have used GrLevel2 for the last several years but this year I am also going to try to get my hands on Level3. They aren’t very expensive, but the work and detail they provide are extremely reliable.

With as mild as this winter has been, I am worried that the spring storms may be more robust and violent than what we have seen the last three years. Thats saying something seeing as how 2011 was one of the most deadly seasons on record.

Unless this winter freezes up soon, I think Spring may have a few surprises for us weather wise and I doubt highly we will like any of them.

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