Rest in Peace Zoe Bear!

Zoe BearToday, we said goodbye to a family member; Zoe Bear. Zoe was a little 6lbs apple-head Chihuahua born with a condition called hydrocephalus or water on the brain. When we first got her the vets told us that she would not live more than 1 year and that normally when this condition is discovered the default plan it to put them down. Shonda and I said no, and that as long as she was never in pain and had a good quality of life she would remain on this earth with a family that loved her; that was 3 years ago.

Zoe was special in so many ways. She would not let anyone but Shonda hold her for more than a minute without trying to bite your face off. She would bark at the bigger dogs as though to say to them, “Bring it…I can take you all on” and she would cuddle with you in bed for hours as long as you did not move since moving resulted in a bite. See what I mean by special but no matter what she was loved.

I knew something was wrong last night when she was stumbling around like she was drunk and then I really knew something was wrong when she let me hold her for over two hours. She was scared and as I tried calming her down I reminded her how much we love her and that everything would be ok.

This morning as the vet examined her I knew what the answer was going to be and I greatly appreciated the way he tried to give me other options but I knew what the right answer was for Zoe. Her quality of live had deteriorated and so it was time for her sleep.

Rest in Peace Zoe Bear! You brought much love, joy and happiness to our family and we will always love and remember you.

Work – Life Balance = Owning a Unicorn

Personally, in IT having a true Work – Life Balance (WLB) ranks right up there with owning a unicorn; it is never going to happen. Why? It is simple, computers tell time they do not know time, so when a problem arises at 11pm on a Saturday night the computer did not realize you were sleeping or you are out on a date, the problem just happens and you need to be available to resolve it.

You must be willing to accept this as part of the profession or find another profession. Now don’t get me wrong, there are employers that will work you to death and when you finally speak up and say you need a break, look at you with utter distain; forgetting all the extra hours worked. In this case, my suggestion is to find another company or not, the choice is yours. If you choose this type of WLB make certain you can live with it because working yourself in to the ground is in your control not your employers.

In my spare time…

In my spare time…there is an oxymoron if I had ever seen one. Does anyone really have “spare time”? Life is all amount making choices and one of the biggest choices is how we spend our time. According to an article in the Huffington Post, the average American sleeps 8.5 hours daily. Assuming you have a normal 8am to 5pm job there is another 9 hours allocated an according to the U.S. Census Bureau the average commute to work is 25.4 minutes so rounding up there is another hour accounted for. Therefore, in a 24 hour period, 8.5 hours is sleeping, 9 hours working and 1 hour commuting to and from work that leaves just 5.5 hours of time for family, friends and “spare time”. I won’t go in to the details of my schedule but I would love 5.5 hours a day for “spare time”. How much “spare time” do you have?

Everything Happens for a Reason

The belief that “Everything Happens for a Reason” has never rang more true to me than of late.  Here is my story and once you have finished reading it feel free to offer another explanation.

In 1978, at the ripe old age of 8, I was reunited with my soul mate.  We attended the same schools and social functions for most of our childhood.  Although, we did not understand the attraction to each other since we were too young to realize what that meant, but at the age of 16, I mustered up the courage to ask her to be my girlfriend…she said Yes. Unfortunately, we dated for only a short time and then moved on to other relationships.  Now here is where the interesting part begins.  No one remembers why we separated.  None of our friends or family has any memory of the reason why we moved on, only that we did.  There was not a defining reason as is usually the case in teenage romances.

At 17, my girlfriend at the time became pregnant and on my 18th birthday, I began my marrying life.  Between the ages of 18 and 32, I was married and divorced 3 times. Although, I love the idea of being married, my relationships were never right.  My soul mate shares a similar experience however; she was destined to be in a single relationship full of pain and heartache for 12 years.

In the middle of 2002, I received an email from my soul mate asking me if I remembered her.  We were both in the process of dissolving our existing marriages and decided we would meet for dinner.  Seeing her was pure magic and the years apart vanished; in December of 2002, we were married.

It is now 2010 and shortly we will be celebrating our 8-year Anniversary as a married couple.  However, I believe we have been together far longer than that.  I believe that our souls have always been together and in 1986, Heavenly Father saw that we had reconnected on earth and decided that we needed some time apart too fully understand what being soul mates truly meant.  We needed to have trials in our lives; we needed to experience pain and heartache before understanding what true and everlasting love means. 

I know that everyone reading this will not have the same beliefs but I ask you this.  If you were currently with your one true soul mate, would you want to be with them forever and ever? 

To my soul-mate:  I love you so much and am so extremely grateful to have you in my life and as time passes it only further solidifies my believe that we are destined to be together for time and eternity.

Reflection on Veterans Day

As I started my day today I did not realize it was Veterans Day.  Strange that I would not remember since I myself am a Veteran – disabled at that.    My family history is full of Veterans, my Dad is a living 3-time Combat Veteran (WWII, Korea and Vietnam), I served during Panama (Just Cause) and Operation Desert Shield/Storm.  My brother and sister-in-law both served during round two of Iraq. 

Although, we have all either retired from service or opted to seek other opportunities in life, the bottom line is we served.  My family knows first hand that Freedom is not Free and that we served our country to the best of our abilities in an effort to guarantee that Freedom for ourselves and your family.

My family asks for nothing in return for this service and would gladly do it again if called upon.  I write this simply to say thanks to all “Families” that have served, are serving or will someday serve. 

First MBA Class in the History books

Yesterday I took my final exam in BUSN601 and today I started my next class BUSN602.  All-in-All I found the class extremely eye opening.  I have been in the business world for many years and I still managed to learn something happy  I guess old dogs can be taught!

1 down – only 12 more to go.

Sharpening the Saw

As a Technical Professional keeping my technical prowess is a must if I am going to compete in today’s job market.   Like most people with a family and a full-time job finding time to break-away and go do training can be difficult but as I am fortunate to have an understanding family and an employer with a tuition reimbursement program the “finding time” is now up to me.

Over the last few weeks I have practiced what I preach and attended several Microsoft Official Curriculum  courses; Microsoft Exchange 2010 and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2.   These classes provided me the technical skills upgrade that benefits not only myself but my employer as we continue upgrading our Corporate Infrastructure.

Technical Skills are not the only skills that need to be constantly addressed; Soft Skills are as important but normally the most neglected.  IMO, the mark of a well rounded Manager is having the appropriate balance between Technical and Soft skills which sometimes can be hard to find…that is the topic of another post. :-)

Soft skills are essentially people skills — the non-technical, intangible, personality-specific skills that determine your strengths as a leader, listener, negotiator, and conflict mediator.


Under Construction

Welcome to my BLOG!

I am  finalizing the configuration and should be ready to start posting my thoughts shortly.   At first I suspect my thoughts will be random but I am hopeful a structure will emerge.

Stay Tuned!

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