It’s Friday afternoon, it must be time for a roundup

August 10, 2007 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Life, Religion, Sports, Work 

You may be wondering why I do these on Friday afternoons.  You see – my employer does something called Summer Hours between Memorial Day and Labor Day.  Employees who choose to take advantage of the program work an extra hour Monday through Thursday and go home at noon on Friday.

I do not choose to take advantage of Summer Hours, so the place is quiet on Friday afternoons.  I have time to write a little on break.

I had a good conversation about career paths and discovery and discernment with my boss this week.  This is probably setting off alarm bells in most of your minds, but we have a really good rapport (we’ve worked together since about 1996) and I fully trust her to be discrete.  There are benefits to both sides in being open and honest with your boss, and we plan to make good use of them.  I can’t say more here.  I’m glad that it went well.

I had a medium-sized project go live today.  It was a bumpy installation – caused mainly by a consultant who doesn’t know our setup and change management package.  It’s not his fault – everybody has a hard time the first time.  Once we got the issues worked out all is running correctly.  I have another one going live soon, and a third larger project going live at the end of the month (with pieces continuing to be worked on into September).

I am getting a brand-new laptop at some point in the next few weeks.  They’re here, but I’m a low priority replacement (others have broken systems or are new employees working on “loaner” PCs).

Work has been generally busy.  In the last 2 weeks I’ve had an overwhelming number of problems, issues, and small requests.  It’s like everybody decided to hold them until the last week of July and then dump them all on me at once.  I think I’m through most of them, but the workload did increase for no apparent reason temporarily.

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This weekend is a bit active.  My parents are coming over on Saturday evening and we are headed out to see a Trenton Thunder baseball game.  The Thunder are the AA affiliates of the NY Yankees and have been playing in Trenton since 1994.  Our seats are behind the 1st base side dugout and I think they’re the 2nd row behind the dugout (or maybe the first row).

Then on Sunday I head up to Camp Johnsonburg for check-in for the last week of regular camp.  I’m going to be in charge of medical form paperwork this week due to my friend Jill’s vacation – she is usually the person doing the job.  It’s looking to be a bit warm.  I think there are lots of kids from my church going this week, but I’m so far away from the actual check-in tables that I probably won’t see them.  This isn’t my last visit for a long time – I’m also planning to attend the Youth Worker Training on September 7, and I’ll be chaperone when my church’s Sr. Highs attend the camp Sr. High Retreat in November.

We’ve finally got the Welcome and Outreach Task Force started.  We have 8 members with 2 outstanding invitations.  For the month of August, we’re doing optional reading assignments on our topic.  I’m reading The Present Future:  Six Tough Questions for the Church by Reggie McNeal.  In September we’ll get everybody together face to face and really get started.

The Youth Director came all the way to Bristol for lunch earlier this week.  We talked about my career search and the upcoming Confirmation Class.  He had lots of good input on the career discussion.  For the Confirmation Class, he’s asking how he can get me involved without overbooking my time.  At this point it looks like I will end up being the Cat-Herder for the group of mentors assigned to the confirmands.  That’s an easy assignment – a bit of work up front but after that just keeping people on schedule and watching for problems.  I’m also probably going to teach a few lessons – probably polity and beyond that we’ll see.  I really want to be involved in this process because the youth that I know who are the right age are really great!

All other areas of my life are fine at the moment.

Have a good weekend!

Blaming the Victim

October 22, 2004 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Current Affairs, Sports 

In Boston, 21-year-old Victoria Snelgrove was killed by police firing “pepper balls” into a crowd of revelers celebrating the Red Sox victory over the Yankees in the American League Championship series. (AP Article via Yahoo)

The mayor blamed the revelers for her death. Apparently, someone standing near her threw a bottle at a mounted police officer, and another officer fired the plastic balls filled with pepper spray into the crowd. One of the balls pierced her eye and she later died of head injuries.

As a result, the mayor is storming about banning alcohol in Boston during the World Series, and asking colleges to expel any students involved in criminal activity.

I think we have two problems here:
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2. The police overreacted. According to the story, the police are supposed to avoid shooting the pepper balls at people’s faces – something that clearly didn’t happen.

I think that the rowdy fans take responsibility for the riots, but that the police have ultimate responsibility for Victoria’s death. Training was clearly broken in the use of pepper balls anywhere near someone’s head.

(Disclaimer – my brother is a police officer. He probably wouldn’t be too happy about what I’ve written here.)

Stupid People #1 – Texas Rangers

September 15, 2004 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Current Affairs, Life, Sports 

(Plenty of people being stupid – it’s time to write a few up.)

Texas Rangers rookie reliever Frank Francisco was arrested Tuesday after an altercation at Monday night’s Oakland A’s game vs. the Rangers in Oakland. (AP Story at

It seems that the game was very close in the bottom of the ninth, and the Rangers had just tied the score with a home run. Some trash talk (note, that *talk*, nothing physical) started between the A’s fans and the Texas bullpen. This apparently enraged Francisco, who threw a metal folding chair into the stands. It bounced off one man’s head and hit a woman in the face, breaking her nose.

He’s been arrested and charged with aggravated assault. The game was suspended for about a half-hour and the fans were cleared from the area. The teams and umpires decided to resume the game rather than declare a forfeit (for which side is unclear).
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This guy is an idiot. He’s playing in the majors – he’s gotta be making a few hundred thousand dollars in salary. Anybody making that much can afford to hear a little trash talk without overreacting.

Even stupider is the Texas coach, Buck Showalter. He claimed that it was the fans’ fault that one of his overpaid players just had to throw a heavy object at fans.

I hope the league comes to its senses and suspends Francisco and fines Showalter.

My Sister – the Writer

April 13, 2004 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Sports, Web/Tech 

My sister, Laura Smith (scroll down – that’s her with the Phanatic), has started writing for a Philadelphia sports fan site. Here is her first article on the Lakewood (NJ) Blue Claws single-A baseball team.

I haven’t seen anything she’s written since she was using the special paper with the solid and dotted lines (the stuff that elementary school kids use), but it looks like she’s learned quite a bit over the years.

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Click the link and give her some more hits!