Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Spotted on Facebook

I saw this photo on the book of face yesterday, and I don't think I've ever seen a better distillation of my thoughts on racial issues than this. According to the original posting on FB, this photo was credited to www.tonystiles.com. I didn't chase links to confirm that. So, take it for what that's worth.

Besides...everyone knows that the green M&Ms are the best.

Last Night in the Car

So, last night, The Queen, M&M and I were driving around town running errands and looking for food. M&M was sitting in her car seat in the back seat coughing because she suffers from a "chockit" allergy and has had way too much "chockit" the last several days because...bad parents. The Queen and I are in the front seat chatting away about something when we hear:

M&M: [cough, cough, cough...POOT!!!]

The Queen and I exchange a quizzical glance and look into the back seat where we find a smiling M&M looking back at us.

M&M: Did you smell it?

It's a good thing we were stopped at a light.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Not Fishy At All

So, the job search continues. I've been getting actual face time with real live human beings here lately, and I am hopeful that one of those opportunities will turn into a real live full time job offer. The wait continues though. In the meantime, I thought I would share the most interesting job search related item to turn up in my email inbox lately.
[some strange email address from a domain that does not look secure]
4:49 PM (15 hours ago)

to me

Hello Daddy Hawk!

I have read your resume and I would like to propose you a position with our company. It is an easy job with a permanent salary in the amount of $3 000 plus commission and social insurance. We are searching for candidates who are able to support business relationship between customers located in another country.

You don't need special skills, our manager will send you a detailed description and support you by phone. To get started you'll need to create an account with any local bank to process the transactions from our clients and sign a contract with the HR Department.

You will be able to get your first money in about 5 business days. If you're enthusiastic about please contact our company by email, we will support you.


Seems legit. What do you think?

Given the interesting grasp of the English language sentence structure and syntax, I'm guessing money laundering for drug cartels or middle man for Nigerian scammers.

Either way...just not interested.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Stop Hitting Yourself

Dear Texas Republican Party Members (and you folks at the National Party HQ need to listen up too),

I'll make this simple: STOP HITTING YOURSELF! Seriously. Put down the shovel, go take a bottle of Tylenol and reread the Bible and the Constitution when you wake up.


Daddy Hawk

I'll be the first to state that, as a conservative Christian, I believe the Bible is very clear on the subject of homosexuality. The Bible is also very clear about not judging others, accepting people as they are (while loving them and encouraging them to sin no more) and looking after your own problems before you try to solve everyone else's. I'll also be the first to admit that I do not understand the "cause" of homosexuality anymore than I do particle physics, and I'm pretty sure no one living has a decent grasp on that subject either. We can debate genetics and nature versus nurture until the end of time; but, if you listen closely, you can just make out the sound of God laughing at us for thinking we have a clue.

So, it strikes me that these well intentioned folks are suffering from a special form of stupid to think that 1)homosexuality can be "fixed" through therapy, 2) that it's any of the government's business in the first place, and 3) there ought to be a law to do something about it.

Do you want to take a stand on moral issues? Fine be me. Live your life according to those morals. Be the example you want others to follow. Talk to people about why you do what you do when offered the opportunity. Talk to them out of love and be respectful of that teachable moment.

Do you want to make a difference in state and national level politics? Fine by me. Stick to things that are defined by the Constitution as being the government's business. Let's talk fiscal policy. Let's talk foreign policy. Let's talk about securing the borders. Let's talk about taxes. Let's talk about how entitlements are bankrupting the county. Let's talk about the ideas you have to make Texas and America stronger (or strong again depending on your point of view).

Let's stay out of people's bedrooms. Let's stay out of people's minds. This isn't Orwell's 1984. There should be no political correctness. There should be no hate crimes or thought police. You don't fix racism by inciting riots and perpetuating the "us vs. them" mentality. You change people's hearts and minds by being the best example you can be.

[dropping mike and stepping off soap box]

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Advise For M&M: Special Edition

I was at lunch today reading The Book of Barley by L.B. Johnson and came across a quote I wanted to share and expound upon a little.

"In looking back, I realize that, for them, being a parent was something the learned by trial and error; that mistakes were made and forgiven, even as my own were. They were two imperfect and flawed human beings whose actions were recognition and protection of that brave bargain that is parenthood." - L.B. Johnson (if you don't already know who she is [and you really should], ask me via email)

Once upon a time, I heard it said that parenting is the only profession left up entirely to amateurs. There is no class that can adequately prepare you for parenthood. The reality of getting up at 2:00 AM to feed a baby or change the sheets that were just violated unspeakably has to be experienced. The responsibility to care for, protect, guide and educate an innocent, clean slate of a human being weighs heavily on the shoulders, but it is not a burden to suffered. Rather, it is a forge that strengthens you and tempers you and the results can be as rough or refined as the effort you put into it.

Children are a blessing. Treat them as such and cherish every moment with them.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Some Thoughts for M&M's Future Suitors

Though I am loathe to admit it, one day, in the not too distant future (the further the better), my little M&M will look upon a boy with a gleam in her eye and captivate the poor, unsuspecting youth thereby earning a level of scrutiny usually only reserved for sub atomic particles and IRS audits. Dear lad, here are some things for you to think about as you enjoy the relaxing sounds of latex gloves being pulled on and shotgun shells being chambered.

1) Don't run...you'll only die tired.

While this has been the motto of the United States Marine Corps Snipers, there is much truth here for you to consider. Note, the slowest bullet I shoot flys at a leisurely (and subsonic) 850ish feet per second.

You don't.

2) No smoking...unless you enjoy being on fire.

3) Old age and treachery trumps youth and ability.

I was your age once. I know what you're thinking. I know what you're going to do before you do it. You, however, lack the breadth of my experience. You have no idea what I am capable of. By the way...your shoe laces are untied.

4) Life isn't fair...neither am I.

You are assumed to be on notice of the rules and expectations. If you are unclear on what those rules or expectations are, you'd best ask questions ahead of time.

5) Freedom of choice exists...freedom from consequences does not.

Go ahead...try and violate the law of gravity. See how that works out for you. Same concept applies with me and my daughter.

Have a nice day.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

More Advice for M&M

1) "Never mistake activity for achievement." - John Wooden, former head coach of the UCLA basketball team.

One of these days, I need to get around to telling the story of Number 1 Follower and I getting his 4x4 Dodge Power Ram stuck in the mud...twice...in the same spot...on the same day. It was truly epic face palm material. The bottomline is that a lot of people spend a lot of their time doing busy work or spinning their wheels and getting exactly nothing done.

2) "If I were persecuted for my religion, I truly hope there would be enough evidence to convict me." - John Wooden

It's easy to say you are a believer in anything, but the reality of living by those beliefs is another matter entirely.

3) "If you're offered a seat on a rocket ship, you don't ask which seat. You just get on." - Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google.

There will come a time when you are offered an opportunity so fantastic that you just need to say thank you, shut up, sit down and hang on for the ride no matter how long or short that ride is.

4) A college degree doesn't make you smart, and a lack of one doesn't make you uneducated. - Daddy Hawk

I've been around more than my fair share of supposedly educated people (with college degrees and advanced degrees in some cases) who exhibited a complete lack of intelligence such to cause one to wonder whether they, in fact, had black mail photos on someone in the registrar's office. By contrast, some of the smartest and most talented people I've ever known never finished grade school much less college.

5) "When everyone is super, then no one will be." - Syndrome - The Incredibles

I would much rather you try your hardest and come home with a third place trophy (or last place ribbon for that matter) than for you and everyone else to be told you are all winners and receive the same reward just for showing up.

Friday, December 5, 2014

That Went Well

I had my first ever on demand digital interview this morning. It was weird, but it went surprisingly smooth.

Basically, the concept is that a prospective employer wants to get you in front of a wider variety of people for consideration. So, they send you a link to a website where you can complete the interview at your convenience (6:00 AM in my case). They supply the questions,  and you get 30 seconds per question to prepare followed by 3 minutes per question to wax eloquent to your webcam.

They give you a practice question to warm up to which I thought I sounded like a bumbling moron which is being unfair to bumbling morons. They also give you helpful suggestions like dress professionally like you would for an in person interview,  look at the camera and not the screen, avoid filler words, etc.

It felt like I spent the entire time looking at the screen saying "uh, um, you know". A recruiter called me this afternoon with a follow up question and said I did really well. Her comment was that I sounded smooth as silk. I'll take that.

Next step is a phone interview with the hiring manager next week sometime which will make three interviews on the books for next week.

Wish me luck. Prayers and good vibes appreciated.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Let It Rain

After what seems an eternity of drought on the job search front, it seems that the heavens have opened up and the latter rains have arrived. So far, I've applied for over 60 positions since I was laid off in mid August. Most of those barely garnered a "thanks but no thanks" email. A precious few of those resulted in screening interviews, and one of those lead to an in person interview with a hiring manager which, unfortunately, didn't pan out because of salary range issues.

Thankfully, it appears that patience, diligence and persistence are paying off in the form of some real interviews in front of real live people as I had a second interview for one position and a first interview for another this week. I have two second interviews scheduled for next week. A connection I met in law school called me to see if I would be interested in a position, and he has forwarded my resume to the appropriate person from whom I am awaiting a call.

Then, today, I got the most interesting one yet. A request for a "digital interview". Apparently, I will log into a website, click a button and answer a standard set of questions via webcam.

That's a new twist.

Hopefully, one of these opportunities will turn into a job offer and not turn back into mice at midnight. One can hope.

I'll keep y'all updated as events warrant and time permits.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

DRT* - Texas Style

*DRT = Dead Right There

In the wake of the mess in Ferguson, it is refreshing to see a story of the police doing a thankless job that needs to be done...but doing it with style and humility to boot.

Case on point from Austin, TX: Here is an excerpt that gets at the heart of the issue (pun intended):

The incident that unfolded rapidly Friday morning was laid out minute-by-minute during a Monday briefing at Austin police headquarters. Acevedo said about 13 minutes passed from the first report of shots being fired at the Mexican Consulate to the moment McQuilliams fell to the ground from a single gunshot.

Mounted patrol officer Sgt. Adam Johnson fired the shot from 312 feet away using his service handgun, which he aimed with one hand while holding the reins of two horses in the other. It struck McQuilliams in the heart.

In contrast to at least 103 shots McQuilliams fired at Austin Police Department’s downtown headquarters, Johnson’s was the only bullet fired by Austin police during the incident, Acevedo said.

“We’re giving (Johnson) a lot of credit, but he feels very strongly there was some divine intervention and he wanted me to share that,” Acevedo said.

A quick Google search reveals that APD standardized to the Smith & Wesson M&P40 in 2010. I have a small bit of experience with that pistol, and I can honestly say I'm impressed with Sgt. Johnson's feat. Hitting a heart sized target at 25 yards with an M&P40 in one shot with both hands is by no means an easy shot.

He did it at 104 yards. One handed. While holding the reins of not one but two horses.

THEN, he says it was divine intervention. How cool is that? In the heart of the most liberal city in Texas, a police officer credits a higher power for an amazing feat of skill under pressure which undoutedly saved lives.

Well done, Sgt. Johnson. Well done.