Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Making Plans

Not sure who said, "Man makes plans; God laughs," but there may be a ring of truth to that statement. The last couple of years have proven that sentiment time and again.

Let me be frank: I hate pizza. I am using the word "hate" here. Since I was 16 years old, off and on, I have had to work at a pizza place in order to make ends meet. I have done two stints at Pizza Hut, and I am presently in my third stint at Papa John's. The problem is that I am very good at it. Recently, I was made Assistant Manager, with a view to moving up to General Manager at some future date. I started as a delivery driver, and I was cool with that. The problem was, I was too good at it. My philosophy in my work, and I guess in everyday life (most of the time) is not to just be good at something, but to be the best. Maybe it is insecurity; who knows? Nevertheless, I have tried to settle into the career of management, thinking it must be God's will, since the 100 resumes or so that I have sent out have turned up empty. The problem is, you will recall, I HATE pizza. I can't even stand the smell of it anymore. As a manager, I feel more like a babysitter, and the pay is not all that great. Consequently, I have been miserable. I work 60 hours a week, never see my family, and make crappy money.

But who doesn't? This is just what people do. I don't mind working long hours. I just want to be able to get out of the red at the end of the month. Besides, is it so wrong to want to enjoy your work? I miss the ministry, but reality dictates that doors are not opening like they used to. I am almost 40 years old, and it is way past time for me to grow up and settle into a career. Fine, but please, ANYTHING but pizza!

For years, people have encouraged me to pursue the insurance industry. I have politely declined, thinking that it wasn't for me. But I had a strange call from my sister this past weekend. Terri is a fairly spiritual person, though, and called to tell me she felt "led" to tell me that I would really be helping people by working in the insurance industry. I had never really thought of it that way, and so I filed the conversation away and gave it some thought. Anyway, that same night Tracy and I were talking about making some changes in our careers, and how unhappy we are, etc. etc. I then called my longtime friend Greg, who works for Aflac (the one with the duck) to inquire about the insurance industry. He offered me a job on the spot. I was able to reactivate my insurance license with little trouble, and everything has fallen into place. I will begin work as soon as all the paperwork settles and I can give Papa John sufficient notice. I am excited about this opportunity. I have not been this excited about a career since 2003.

I also realize that in the last 4 years, I have had a bunch of jobs. That has got to stop. I believe that it will now. Aflac is going to open some doors for Tracy and I that we have been praying for for a long time. The trade off is this: instead of coming home every day covered in pizza slime and smelling like anchovies, I will have to endure people doing the Aflac duck impression.

I can live with that.

Update: Yesterday afternoon when I returned home from doing all the Aflac paperwork, a job I applied and interviewed for in December of 2006 called to tell me that they need me now. Two months with no word, no returned phone calls, and no job. NOW they need me. Furthermore, the pay they are offering is less than what it was in December. No, thank you.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Spring Fever

Today I officially sached from "Snow Fever" to "Spring Fever." I took my daughter to softball practice today and the weather was absolutely grand.

Fresh air, nice temperatures, the sounds of bats hitting balls, the smell of hot dogs, and the advent of the new baseball season is upon us. And let us not forget the falling of pollen!

I enjoyed the brief cold snap we received this year...way after Christmas. Today I realized that I am ready for Spring to come.

Batter up! Kleenex out!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

My Valentine

I have an amazing wife. It is so refreshing to be married to a woman that everybody loves. All my friends adore Tracy. Even my family is coming around. You just cannot help but to love her.
I never run out of underwear or socks. My work clothes are always clean. She even makes the bed! Tracy doesn't drink coffee, but she makes mine every day.
She is beautiful, too. What makes her more beautiful is that she is so full of love for everyone. She is a giver, a helper, and a pleaser.
I scored. Big time.
Happy Valentines Day baby. Many more to come.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Possible Summer Vacation

My cousin Charlie is a pastor in Thompson Falls, MT. I have always wanted to travel to the northern portion of our great nation. I have been to Seattle, but never Montana. He has invited me to do a revival in June of this year. I am very excited. We may make it a summer vacation.

I can hear the kids now, as adults, saying to their kids, "I remember the summer they made us drive to Montana...37 hours in the vehicle, with Dad stopping in every state and making us get out and walk around. I still have nightmares about that trip!"

I am reminded of a summer vacation from the pages of my own childhood. In the summer of 1979, we drove to Orlando to visit a pre-Epcot Disney World. I seem to recall the trip taking about 14 hours. Not bad, except for the fact that we were in a 1978 Ford Pinto...two adults and four kids. Yes, you read it right. Four of us, aged 12 down to 6, crammed in the backseat of a Pinto through three states. Today I have real trouble in crowds. I have trouble breathing when surrounded by lots of people. Thanks, Mom and Dad!

But I digress.

Anyway, I am really looking forward, kids or not, to spending some time with Charlie and his family in the great state of Montana this year. Two adults and SEVEN kids. I may have to look into an RV rental.

Monday, February 05, 2007

One Last Thing on Football

He's coming back!

Why I'd Make a Lousy Bookie

I picked the Bears by 7. The Colts opened a 55 gallon drum of whoopin' on the Bears, who played more like Cubs. As I watched the rain fall on the two teams, along with Chicago's dropped balls and missed snaps, I reflected on "the old days." Football fields were nothing but grass, and if it rained, the players just got muddy. There was no astro turf. The Bears played like sissies last night. George Halas was no doubt doing somersaults in his grave.

Maybe I am just getting old, but last night's game did nothing for me. None of my teams were in it. I supported the Bears because of my Midwestern heritage and because it was nice to see them back in the Super Bowl. Also, the gah-zillion dollar commercials were somewhat disappointing. They were funny, but not as funny as in past years. The one exception for me was this Bud Light commercial.

Then there was the halftime show. Prince? Whose idea was this? This was a football game! Myself, I'd have rather seen a KISS reunion. Full make up, of course.

At last my bantering has run its course, and I will now employ the most trite, tired, and worn-out cliche in football history:

There's always next year.

Friday, February 02, 2007

NYR: Update

Kiss 3 more pounds goodbye as of this morning! That brings the total lost to 7 pounds since January 1. 33 more to reach my New Years Resolution goal of 40 lbs!

It was most definitely easier putting these pounds on.

Thursday, February 01, 2007


What a marvelous day! There is snow falling, and up until 30 minutes ago (9:30 am EDT) there was accumulation. Now the rain is back and melting the snow into a sludgy muck. But for me, it was nice to look out the window and see the white stuff, if only for a few minutes.