Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Company Change That Didn't Happen

As a friend and I would discuss a particular topic, I'd often say, "I don't know why we're here (i.e. in this situation)...if it's solely for our friendship, that's good by me.  We may never know."

"We may never know."

"We may never know."

That thought struck me as other realizations hit home this morning.  I was THIS CLOSE to having a different job this past February.  More money.  More responsibility.  More like my previous job, but bigger.  More recognition, more spotlight. The person for whom I would work selected me for the job; that person's boss selected an internal candidate, pointing to the company's hire from within policy.  I ended up not getting the job.  
Another friend told me about an opening at their company about the same time I started interviewing for the job I did not get.  I liked the opportunity, thought it would be a great fit and that I would enjoy the work.  I got the job.  It is a great fit, and I do enjoy the work.  A big win!  Fast-forward to today....
"We may never know."
Hindsight is 20/20, and I can now play Monday Morning Quarterback on the company change that didn't happen.  Thinking about it, I was hit with such a sense of overwhelm that it, figuratively, knocked me off my feet.  Had I been selected for the other job, I'd be:
  • Working, minimum, 60 hrs per week, plus normal air travel to two other locations.
  • Missing everything relative to my daughter's growth, schooling, and baking pursuits.
  • Missing everything relative to my son's growth and musical accomplishments.
  • Making my wife play career widow, yet again.
  • Missing my brother and sis-in-law have their first child.
  • Not having any time to join my current band, or make new friends that have come through that experience.
  • Likely not having enough time to remain with my previous band, either.  And...
  • Not having any time to pursue my original music dreams.
That was enough to freak me out.  Then I also realized:
  • I would have been supporting a system I didn't believe in
  • For an industry I don't like
  • And a political entity in which I have no confidence, at all, yet likely...
  • Out of a job today due to the performance of the systems I was to support.
I can't put into words how thankful I am to my family and friends for their support as I made a decision to change companies.  The extended time with my wife and kids, the new friendships I've made, and the existing friendships that have been enriched, wouldn't have been possible if not for the way things worked out.  Thank you, God, for your grace and mercy!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Coming Clean

Okay, it's time for me to come clean. I've been hiding something. Most of you won't like it.

I have become numb to the abortion issue.

Yes, there, I said it.

No, you didn't correctly see what I said. Either that, or your brain didn't process it correctly. I did not say that I no longer take a stand on abortion. I didn't say that I no longer care about the almost-moms or the never-to-be-children. I said the issue itself has made me numb.

Why discuss the issue? No one listens. (I'll bet that at least half of you have stopped reading already, simply because you "know what's coming next.") Everyone walks into the discussion knowing that they are right, and that the opposition is wrong. All for morally-correct reasons, depending on your definition of morality. All depending on what you define as a right, and who has that right.

I could shock you by presenting a picture of an aborted, post-birth baby. It will make a great visual affect, and take hold of you for mere minutes.

But then, like everything else that shocks you, you will see it, again and again, and become desensitized to the image. Just like you did to Columbine, just like you did to 9/11, just like you will to Newtown. Some of you might have an epiphany, but most of you will go on with your lives, as if nothing here affects you. Unless it's "for the children". Then, you'll stop listening to reason, and go all in for whatever our glorious politicians are selling. Get out the little violins, please, the politicians are acting on behalf of "the children". Ironic, isn't it? But I'll get back to that later.

I could pull the Rahm Emmanual slogan, and say, "Never let a crisis go to waste," or go all Alinsky rules-for-radicals on you. But I won't; look at the establishment's response to the Occupy movement to see how well that went. They figured out an effective approach to Alinksy-type protests: let them peter out or self destruct. I could go all Cloward-Piven on you, but our federal-government loving Statists on both sides of the aisle have already succumbed to that one, so why belabor the point?

Or, I could argue a pro-abortion point. I can show that some people don't deserve to be born, because their mommas, or their baby daddies, won't support them. Practically, socially, and economically speaking, why put them through that misery? But then, Christians will get riled, go all Westboro on the pro-abortion crowd, and forget that all have fallen short of the glory of God, that all our good works are as filthy rags, and that, yes, even Christians sin, and continue sinning to their dying day.

Or, I could argue an anti-abortion point. I could use scientific and medical fact to make my points, but the pro-abortionists won't listen. See, science only matters when negating religion, not when dealing with an emotional issue of a woman's right to choose. It matters when disputing creationism, but not when discussing when life begins. Funny how we speak out of both sides of our mouths: we will create designer babies, which implies understanding that life begins at conception because "that's when you have to fiddle with the wiring", but then say that the developing life is not a life. 

Or, from the medical perspective, I could argue that those with a mutated 23rd chromosome shouldn't be born at all. After all, the parents' lives will be changed greatly, and they then have to sacrifice so much for the sake of a single child, while the rest of society has to suffer the selfishness of those parents and, ultimately, deal with the child's "shortcomings". (Oh, and BTW, please don't use the slur "retarded" around me, it is very offensive.) 

Or, I could take the athiest's view: religionists are assholes, simply trying to ram their views down my throat. Hence, I will never, ever listen to a religionist because they are simple folk, who obviously couldn't hold their own in an academic environment, and therefore could never understand this issue. Discredit the source, don't you know; don't discern their information and discredit THAT. It would take too much thought. It's easier to discard the whole person than to have to decipher and vet their message. 

(Disclaimer: Since I've taken special care to piss off practically everyone, note that I recognize not all people fit nicely into any one of these categories. But, come on! Even if you know that, isn't that your first thought when you have to digest an opposing view point? Isn't it easier to stereotype than to suck it up and process what someone else is saying?) 

If I know all this walking into a discussion, then why should I bother? If everyone already knows what they think, and no one is open minded or willing to accede on even a single point, what does it matter? Because, you know, compromising on one point of fact, and checking your emotions at the door, is like taking a gateway drug: once you take that step, you have to keep going down that path. 

And why should I care, knowing that the media could play a marvelous muckraker role in this issue, but that wouldn't fit the contemporary meme? 

Over a decade ago, I penned a tune, which had the lyric "where is the line of demarcation?" In other words, when is it an abortion, and when is it murder? (Yes, I know there is a premise in there. Whether you agree with it or not, follow me on this one.) 

Still with me? 

I thought the question was valid. I thought it was reasonable. Partial-birth abortion blurs that line, depending on your perspective. Gosnell-ing crosses the line. 

And this is why I am numb. 

I'm happy to debate with anyone about my views on abortion. I'm happy to debate with anyone on practically anything...if it is rational to do so. This debate is no longer rational. 

If you've read this far, you've probably agreed with a couple of my points, and disagreed with a few more. You've probably said that, yeah, this is what we argue. 

That's the problem, it's what we ARGUE. 

And it's not even on point. 

The "line of demarcation" question is moot. That, woefully, is a game changer. If there is no line of demarcation, then anyone, at any time, can set the precedent for premeditated murder of anyone, at any time, for socially practical reasons: 

  • Overpopulated demographic? Too bad, so sad. 
  • Wrong political view? Take 'em down. 
  • Active dissenter? No longer any need to plead "enemy of the state". 
  • Economic problem for the state - wipe out whole wards of the inner city. 
  • Pre-existing condition that will never be cost-effective to cure? Good bye. 
  • Mentally unstable adult? Not any more. 
Some of you are calling B.S. I don't think so, and am willing to go on record here. Think of it this way...wasn't partial birth abortion supposed to be an anomaly? Wasn't abortion supposed to be safe, legal, and RARE? Wasn't abortion "for the safety of the mother" supposed to be a worst-case scenario? Did you ever think that a doctor would be on trial for killing a birthed child (a living human) because he fouled up an abortion? As I stated earlier, those things that we find vulgar, we tend to accept as we receive additional messages of similar nature. 

The Declaration of Independence states our inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Think about the order: without life, liberty doesn't exist. Without liberty, you cannot pursue happiness. Yet, for the sake of health care, the federal economy, and politics, we are discussing what constitutes a viable life. How sad. 

The real issue isn't one of faith or lack thereof, prayer in schools, or even parental responsibility. It's a culture of death. We've permitted it to permeate everything that we do. We don't value life; we reason why some shouldn't have it. We are not shocked by anything, and we let everything slide. We've decided to discount the professional research of blocs of professionals, even when we should listen, because it's easier than dealing with nuance. And we'd hate to have our bubble burst when proven wrong, or maybe only proven inconsistent. Because our value is based on our own self-worth, our "brand", or our ability to keep up with the Joneses. Hence, our self-worth is vain and fleeting, not based on any substance. 

That's what made me uncomfortably numb. It won't end any time soon. Sanger, the eugenicist, would be proud. So would Kevorkian, and anyone else arguing for a societal, utilitarian rationale for killing live babies. The abortion issue is not the issue. Acceptable, premeditated death, as defined by our allegedly caring government is. And we are foolish enough to fall for it, every time.

Monday, May 25, 2009


May 25, 1991

Seems like a ways back, but it's always fresh in my mind. It was an 80+ degree, 95% humidity day. The Cleveland Cavaliers were in the playoffs. My buddies and I were sneaking off to find a TV showing the Cavs playoff games. But it wasn't the temperature, the humidity or the Cavs that make that day special.

May 25, 1991. Eighteen years ago, it was the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. This year, May 25 is Memorial Day.

Lots of things have changed since then. Beer commercials show guys sneaking off during parties to find a TV showing their sports games. The Cavs are back in the playoffs on a consistent basis. And the Cleveland temperatures still reach the mid- to upper-80s with a significant dose of humidity added.

Eighteen years ago, I was in a limo with my brother and buddies, sneaking a peak on the limo TV of the Cavs playoff game. A mere hour earlier, I was sweating like crazy through my shirt, cumberbun, and jacket, being wed to my wife in a very hot and muggy church.

One thing hasn't changed. That is the love, adoration and admiration I have for my lovely bride. The Cleveland weather may change every fifteen minutes, but not Marie. She is the most consistent, stable and supportive person I know. She is simply amazing. Marie runs our household, home schools our children, knits like no one else I know, and puts up with me, 24x7. Whether it's ranting and raving about work, talking politics or bands, or just figuring out where we want our life to go, Marie is always there for me. I couldn't have asked for a better helpmeet if I had designed that person from scratch. Who says God doesn't know what He's doing?

Happy Anniversary, Marie. Thank you so much for a wonderful eighteen years. I can't wait for the next eighteen to unfold along with you, side by side. I love you!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

The Repetition of Life

If I were to tell you what I did on a daily basis - oh, yeah, I have several times throughout the course of this blog - many of you would find it boring, mundane. Many times, the job is not that exciting. What you think about the job, though, doesn't matter to me. To me, it is satisfying and financially accommodating for my family. It enables me to pay the mortgage, pay bills, put food on the table, and still have time to engage in community and recreation activities as I choose. You would never see my profession made the key character in a b-grade movie, let alone a marquee production.

With those thoughts in mind, I introduce you to Animal Crossing: City Folk, available on Nintendo DS and Wii.

My brother and sister-in-law bought Animal Crossing for our kids for Christmas. It does not disappoint. If you are looking for high-energy, action-packed activities, this game is not for you. But, if you want your children to learn about our common, everyday existence - you know, the one TV doesn't show any more - this game is great.

You start by moving to a new town. In that town, you first meet the proprietor of the community store - Tom Nook. He gives you directions to follow before you can officially settle in with the game. You need to meet everyone in the town, work for him, and select the house you are going to purchase. After you work for Nook, then you are on your own. Yep, you are an employee for your first hour or so in the city, then you are a sole proprietor. Good luck!

How do you win in this game? You don't. It is not a "game". It is a simplified version of life. You earn "bells" by fishing, harvesting fruit, digging for gold, and other various ways. You have a mortgage, and can start a savings account which eventually earns you interest. And after you've paid off your first mortgage, you automatically get upgrades requiring a second mortgage. There is even the equivalent of a stock market - they call it the "Stalk" market, and you buy and sell turnips that have a fluctuating market value - but we haven't figured out how to use it yet.

You also continually run into the characters you met originally before you settled in. They often ask you to deliver packages for them, or they want to buy something you have. They have events you can attend - I attended the flea market and the fishing tournament - and you can visit the city for shopping and entertainment. You can also donate items to the city museum and recycle tin cans, boots and tires that you catch while fishing; the recycle bin is located conveniently in the Town Hall, which is also where you pay your mortgage and conduct other banking activities.

Whenever you decide to stop playing Animal Crossing, you retire to your bedroom. And the weather approximates our seasons because the game tracks current date and time. For example, there is finally no snow on the ground! Spring is here! (Okay, not really.)

You can send letters and gifts to other characters. If your Wii is internet-connected, you can even invite other friends to your town.

Marie and the kids have been playing since Christmas. I just started a couple weeks ago. Marie is on her fourth home improvement, and now has a basement. She has also planted several peach trees and is harvesting her bounty. The Artist is on her third home improvement, and the Engineer on his first, just like me.

I kept waiting for the game to get fun and exciting. You know, to have something really thrilling happen. Then I realized that the game is like life, especially for us who believe in the Lutheran definition of vocation. All four of us in the Quipper household have our preferences in home decor, how to earn bells, how much to spend and save, and how to contribute to the community itself. All along the way, you inherit the responsibility for paying down a mortgage and earning your keep. Mundane? Yes. Pertinent to your existence? Of course!

If you get annoyed with the entertainment industry constantly bombarding you with rock star type lifestyles, where you've failed if you only live a clean, safe, orderly, respectful life, and raise responsible children, then I strongly recommend Animal Crossing. It will give your children a good view of the day to day activities that we all conduct regardless of our vocation and talents.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

What is the Cloward-Piven Strategy?

If you think the latest attempts at reviving the economy through the politician stimulation plan (a.k.a. the stimulus bill) and the mortgage plan make President Obama and Congress look like total doofuses, then you are looking at their activities through the wrong lens. See, you are thinking only of your own self-interest, and not of the politicians' self-interest. They know exactly what they are doing.

If you've never heard of the Cloward-Piven Strategy, it's worth reading. This is all organized chaos, and happening according to plan.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Looks tantalizing...doesn't it!

How to get that day off work...hmm....

Change You Can Count On Not Happening

Last week, Marie and I stopped into our local second amendment support center and picked up some new hardware. The gal assisting us happened to be the owner of the business, and spoke freely about anything and everything. (She was very helpful, too.)

She started talking about how both Bush and Obama blew it. If they really wanted to help the economy, they could have taxed guns and ammo an additional 5%, and they would be in tall cotton. I thought she had a good point there. Not that I liked it, but that it was a good point.

On the way home, Marie and I started talking about this. We came to the conclusion it would never happen. Why, you ask? That's easy: Democrats and RINO's would never, ever formally admit that the gun industry is a significant part of the consumer economy, and would never knowingly support it by depending on taxes from it. That would be like a Christian knowingly and purposely supporting the porn industry.

So, instead, Obama will increase regulations on things like foreign manufactured guns and ammo, and put wholesalers and American manufacturers in a position of not keeping up with demand. If you haven't heard yet...yes, that is the plan. That way, Obama can say he will defend the Second Amendment but still eradicate our ability to use the arms we now own.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

This One Is Too Easy

How is the Democrat-led recession affecting you? Go here to let our beloved federal leaders know. Be sure to use terms that let them know. Like "Democrat-led recession".

I wonder if "transparency" means letting us see all the stories, even the ones that include phrases like "Democrat-led recession".

The anti-socialist/big brother side of me says you may want to set up a separate yahoo, google or msn e-mail address and use it. We all know that Google is already in bed with the lefties, so why push it?