Posted by: nhfalcon | December 18, 2008

Misc News & Observations

* – so I got fired from my job back on the 13th. Merry f$%king Christmas to me!

Suddenly Obama’s talk of “redistributing the wealth” sounds pretty good to me! 🙂

Did I deserve to get fired? Yes, technically speaking, I did. If you want to follow the letter of the law (or, more specifically, my former company’s policies), I did. However, I find it interesting that I had been in the jewelry sales business since September of 2001, and had never been verbally reprimanded, written up, or fired before. I come to this store, work and act no differently (as far as I could tell) than I had in the previous 6.5 years, and in the span of five months I get written up three times and then fired.

I’m just sayin’…

A baser side of my nature really wants to lash out, but I’ll do my best to take the high road and say to my former employer and coworkers, “Sorry it didn’t work out, best of luck, and Merry Christmas.”

* – despite living further north than Mrs. Chili, Auntie, and others, the Eyrie survived that ice storm from a few days ago without incident. No lost power, nothing. We heard from Bowyer‘s ex-wife last night, and she said he’s still without power! Ouch!

In other weather-related news, we had a small snowstorm yesterday that dumped a couple of inches on us. We’re expecting the northernmost fringes of another storm tomorrow afternoon. Some news sources in the area are telling us to brace for a true nor’easter on Sunday. I’ve even seen one extended forecast that says to expect more snow on Christmas Eve!

Guess I don’t have to worry about whether or not we’ll be having a white Christmas around here, huh?

* – I can’t believe, after the season they had last year, that my Atlanta Falcons are currently 9 – 5 and have a shot at the playoffs! They have to win their final two games and hope the Cowboys and Buccaneers trip up along the way, but they have a shot. Needless to say, I’ll be a big Charger, Raider, Raven, and Eagle fan the next two weeks!

* – the Red Sox have been pretty quiet so far this Hot Stove season. They signed the Japanese kid, Junichi Tazawa, back on Dec 4, but he’s likely going to start out in the minors. They traded Coco Crisp to the Royals for relief pitcher Ramon Ramirez, who’ll just be another setup option to get to Jonathan Papelbon, on November 19. That’s it. They’re rumored to be the front-runners for the big prize, Mark Teixeira, but I’ll believe that when I see it.

While we’re talking about Teixeira, I need to admit to a mistake. A while back I had commented on how I didn’t want Teixeira. Yeah, I said, he’s a big bat that will protect Big Papi, but bringing the former Angel in would mean having to move Youk to third base and trading Mike Lowell, and that would hurt the Sox team defense.


Since then, I’ve read numerous reports that state that Teixeira is an excellent defensive first baseman. My bad. I still don’t know if Youk would be as good a defensive third baseman as Lowell, but now the Sox signing Teixeira, if it happens, does make more sense to me.

I’d still be sad to see Lowell go, though. Hopefully we get a good young catcher for him.

* – sometimes I just can’t figure Cookiemaker out. She finds Weird Al’s “The Night Santa Went Crazy” disturbing, but has no problem with Cartman getting shocked while trying to sing “O Holy Night.”

Go figure…

* – so Adam Sandler has done those two Hanukkah songs, right? So here’s what I can’t figure – how can somebody be partly Jewish (“Lenny Kravitz is half Jewish/ Courtney Love’s half, too / Put them together / What a funky, badass Jew!”)? I mean, it’s a religion, not a nationality, right? If my father’s a Christian and my mother is Jewish, but I decide to practice Islam, I’m a Muslim, not half-Jewish, half-Christian, right?

And it’s not as if if you’re Israeli, you’re Jewish. I’m sure there are some Israeli citizens who aren’t Jewish. On the other side of the spectrum, there are more Jews in the U.S. then there are in Israel (6.1 million to 5.6 million, according to some numbers I heard on the radio this morning).

So exactly how is someone partially Jewish?

* – can somebody tell me what the difference is between ham, pork, and bacon? It’s all dead pig flesh, right?

* – I stumbled across an episode of Anthony Bourdain’s show on the Travel Channel the other night. The chef he was interviewing?

Ted Nugent.

Yes, that one.

They were out on Ted’s ranch, grilling various things Ted had shot. For some reason, it caught me off guard to see Bourdain firing M4s, MP5s, M60s, and a short-barrelled, pistol-gripped shotgun with “the Motor City Madman.” I loved Nugent’s answer, too, when Bourdain asked him what he would do if, after Obama took office, the Feds came to try to take all his guns.

“It’ll be a target-rich environment.” 🙂

* – I forgot how funny Family Guy is. Cookiemaker and I ran across a few episodes the other night. Effed-up, but funny as hell.

* – House is a pretty good show, too.

* – this is why I have a problem with the way the War on Terror is being fought. I don’t have a problem with the war itself. I think it needs to be fought. It’ll never be won, but to not fight it would mean that the terrorists would win. I just think we’re fighting it the wrong way.

The article I’ve linked to was written by Mark Bowden, the man who also wrote “Black Hawk Down” (among other titles). The story details the hunt for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, an al-Qaeda leader. The hunt was successful. We found the bad guy, and we killed him. We also killed his “spiritual adviser,” along with two women and two children, both under five years old. They were killed by a pair of 500lb smart bombs dropped by an F-16 fighter jet.

As you might imagine, the problem I have is with the “collateral damage,” but that problem isn’t just based on purely humanitarian reasons. One of the biggest arguments I’ve heard against the War on Terror is that it’s creating just as many terrorists as it’s killing (if not more). This is a perfect example of how that’s happening. If a commando team had gone in with the right plan and equipment, Zarqawi – and only Zarqawi – would likely have been the only person killed in the operation. Instead, millions of dollars were spent in jet fuel and bombs, and two innocent women and children were killed.

There’s a better way to fight this war.

* – I wish I was Michael Phelps. 😉

* – here’s one for all the ladies in the house.

* – and, finally, here’s a little Christmas gift for the guys (the naughty ones, anyway 😉 ).


  1. Seriously?! FIRED?! WTF?

    Jewishness is one of those weird things – it’s both religious AND cultural, so one CAN be “half Jewish.” Don’t ask me exactly how it works, though, because I’ve still not figured it out for myself.

    Hey, when you get a minute, call me. I’ve got something I need to vent, and you might be a good guy for the job.



  2. Sorry to hear you lost your job, bummer.

    Ted Nugent. He is one heck of a guitar player. I have never heard even one recording by him that I thought was worth listening to again (virtuosity on guitar or any other instrument simply cannot make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). As for his interest in weapons and hunting, I care nothing at all (in line with my caring nothing at all about the personal lives of anyone who finds their way into the public eye).

    My Babycakes has a Jewish mother, and had a Catholic father. By tradition, someone born to a Jewish mother is Jewish, I think. Of course, Babycakes is not “half Jewish.” She is all a beautiful smallish human being without any qualifiers, fractionizers, etc. To the extent being Jewish is religious, I am unaware of Babycakes ever having gone to shul. Her mother does not attend, and neither does her grandmother (my Honey). Since I don’t recognize “race” as a meaningful way to distinguish between human beings, it is little use me commenting on that. Culture? Well, Babycakes plays with computer games more than dradels. Heck, I guess I really never think about this.

    I have said before (and it did not originate with me) that the wars in “Iraq” and “Afghanistan” are what our government is doing instead of fighting the “war on terror.” On 9/11 a bunch of Saudis killed a bunch of Americans. In turn, we have killed a bunch of Iraqis and Afghanis (oh, plus a few stay foreigners who came to those places to be killed). So, I guess, if my neighbor throws trash on my lawn, I should come to your (not his) house and kick your cat.

  3. So, I guess, if my neighbor throws trash on my lawn, I should come to your (not his) house and kick your cat.

    Gerry, this made me laugh, but then I realized that this is EXACTLY our country’s foreign policy. What’s up with THAT?!

  4. I cruised through the “50 Sexiest Men” gallery and came back with eight of ’em; #48, Mark Wahlberg; 39, Will Smith; 35, Richard Gere; 31, Viggo (we’re re-watching the LoTR series – thank you, again, for my Christmas presents; the extended versions are SO much better!!); 29, Blair Underwood; 21, Patrick Dempsey; 14, Christian Bale; and 10, Matthew McConaughey. Yum.

  5. I can see a post on “The War on Terror” coming soon, apparently. And, hey – it’s not like I don’t have time, right? 🙂

    Actually, I found a job yesterday. It’s a short-term solution, but it’ll keep us on our feet until something better comes along.

    Back to the war, I’ve been meaning to post about something like this for a while. Ever since I finally sat my ass down and watched “Black Hawk Down” and then read the book, if you remember that post. Kizz then had a long post on her site that inspired me to ask a lot of questions at the time, but I never got around to it.

    Stay tuned…

  6. Yeah, sorry about being fired, dude. That sucks.

    So, um…at the risk of sounding vaguely indelicate, whadja do? I mean, what did your “write-ups” say?

  7. Well, Bo, the biggest issue was not meeting my sales goals. Was I meeting them? No, I was not. In terms of percentage of my goal, I was behind people who hadn’t been in the business a fraction of the time I had been.

    In terms of pure dollars, however, I was #2 in the store for the month of December at the time of my firing. I was #1 in the store for the month of November, and for the month of October. I was number #2 for the month of September. For all four of those months, in terms of pure dollars, I was kicking my manager’s – you know, the one who was giving me shit for my performance? – ass. I doubled her for the month of October and for the month November. At the time of my firing I had sold almost $3,000 for the month of December. She had sold – get this – $76. That’s right – SEVENTY-SIX dollars. Pardon my French, but where the fuck do you get off bitching about my sales performance when your’s is worse?

    Now, for this particular company, managers don’t have sales goals. They don’t make commission on their sales. Their “commissions” are based on how the store performs. So, given that she didn’t have a goal and didn’t make commission on her own individual sales, you could make an argument for her sales performance (or lack thereof).

    However, follow my logic, here. She’s the manager. One of the things a good manager does, imho, is lead. One of the best ways you lead, imho, is by example. And, in terms of sales, her example sucked.

    Another big issue was complying with company loss prevention policies. For example, a sales person is never supposed to pull more than one piece out of the case at a time. When you pull that one piece out, you’re supposed to close the case and lock it. If the customer wants to see another piece, you take the first piece back, unlock the case, put the first piece away, pull the new piece out, and lock the case again. You never walk away from the customer and / or the piece.

    Did I violate the above rules? Yep. Repeatedly. Maybe I just trust people too much. But, I’d worked in three jewelry stores prior to this one, for seven managers prior to this one, and saw those rules violated all the time, often by the managers themselves. It was obviously one of those policies that the company says you’re supposed to do, but in reality rarely, if ever, gets followed.

    To be honest, there was no excuse for the final straw other than just plain carelessness on my part. I was packaging up a 1.36 carat solitaire diamond ring to transfer to another store when a customer came in. I greeted the customer and proceeded to sell him a $200 amethyst ring. He asked me to gift wrap it, and I did. He left, I finished boxing up the diamond ring, and then had the next two days off. When I came back to work I found out that had gift wrapped the DIAMOND and transferred the AMETHYST. Was it intentional? No. Was it a mistake? Yes. But it was a major league fuckup on my part, and, when piled up on top of the other crap, was a legitimate reason to fire me.

  8. […] Gonna Kick Your Neighbor’s Cat (aka The War on Terror): A couple of weeks ago I wrote this “Randomness” post. Part of that post focused on an article I had found by Mark Bowden […]

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