Saturday, October 29, 2011

Zombies and Occupational Hazards

Tonight Erika and I pulled it together and rolled down to Cesar Chavez park for a good old fashioned zombie walk. It was an Occupy Sacramento gathering with a Halloween flavor. We did not have make-up to wear but I thought my beautiful mug matched with my normal limp would be enough to pass me off as a zombie.
I had expected to see more people there considering the fair temperature and the growing enthusiasm of the movement. I came down to the park two days ago but it was quiet and I was in between gatherings. My mother had called me two weeks ago and told me that her and her friend had gone down twice to Occupy Los Angeles and that they were going to New York the following week for the real thing in Zucotti Park. She is doing considerably well financially and she is no spring-chicken as far as her age goes, so I knew I had no excuse for not getting down to the local park. I knew I couldn't support this movement just by writing and tweeting about it.

We, the zombies of Occupy Sac, gathered in the middle of the park and made our way toward the K Street mall and on to Old Sacramento. Along the way there were organizers and cheerleaders helping to keep everyone on the same page. We chanted limericks and hooted for honking traffic. Erika kept up the pace better than me so I was impressed by that. Overall the crowd was in good spirits and aside from some loud chanting, we weren't intimidating or disrespectful to anyone, or to our surroundings. We managed to stop at all crossings, not block intersections, leave trash, or damage any property. After reaching Old Sacramento we turned back. My bad leg was going numb and my zombie stagger was becoming a little too convincing. We made our way back over to I street and only two blocks from the car I tripped on uneven pavement and fell completely on my bad leg, into a tree. I know how comical it is to see someone fall, so I too am laughing, except for the actual pain. Erika helped me over to some nearby steps where I was able to sit. My leg was almost totally rubberized and I could barely feel my foot. Finally we got back to the car and I let Erika drive home. Four pills of Ibuprofin have taken some of the edge off, but how it feels tomorrow will be the true tale. Though I took a hard knock on harder concrete, it was worth the experience. Whether or not Occupy Name Your City creates lasting change or not, it has raised the social consciousness and awareness a notch, made a few all-too-cozy types a little uneasy, and brought international solidarity to the middle-class wherever it still exists.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Today was excellent for a man who thought he would have to spend hundreds on smog repairs. I took my Chevy Venture in to a test-only station just around the corner from my house. I didn't want to bring it to a smog and repair shop, because every time I do the vehicle fails and I get soaked for repairs. I found on the web a test-only station just across the road from Smythe Elementary. Not for a minute did I think my van would pass, but after a brief wait I was given the good news with a green check of approval. I was not prepared to spend a dime on smog repairs, and with only a week and a half left in October, I was feeling the pressure. Now my van will be much easier to sell when I am ready, and I can focus on more important issues, such as what to wear on Halloween.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Posting from the Galaxy

This is my first blog post from my new Galaxy tablet. It is Erika's gift to me from her 'Million Points' contest winnings. I absolutely love it. Something tells me that in no way do I deserve to have something this cool, but I am going to run with it. It is very strange typing on a virtual keyboard in a touch-screen, but I think I can get used to it. It is the way we will all type soon enough.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Videus Posivus

The last couple of days were no fun at all. Erika did not take kindly to being without the tele. I must give her credit for surviving the ordeal. Watching movies on the computer was cold comfort, and she was obviously agitated. Thankfully the new receiver arrived today and now it is up and running. The whole thing was just a minor bump in the road.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Videus Negivus

Tonight should be unique for a married couple that spends most evenings on the couch, absorbing television with our outer senses and cyberspace with our inner senses. What makes tonight different from most is that our satellite box is on  the fritz. For the first time in our entire married existence we are unable to watch the tube. We have YouTube and Hulu access if we get desperate, but I'm not too worried about it. In fact I'm really liking it so far.
I'm not so sure that Erika will handle it as well. She has a lot of shows that she likes to watch and quite a few recorded that I'm afraid will be lost when we trade in the old box. This is the first of probably a few nights without the babysitter so who knows what this may lead too. She is already trying to fix it again and she just got home. She hasn't even gone five minutes without it and I can tell she's tripping. I will be reporting events as they transpire.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Erika Dominates

Today Erika got the results from the contest her company, Cosmoprof held for all employees to participate in. She is not the manager, nor the assistant manager of her store. She's more of a third key position; but that did not stop her from outselling both of them for two months straight. Of course, being in the store full-time helped make it possible for her to achieve her full potential, to the point of outshining her own supervisors. This is fantastic in two ways because now they have to step up their efforts and she has gained notoriety in the company, past her district manager and on up to the VP. I couldn't be more proud of her.
It's all due to her company's insightful idea to offer an ongoing incentive program available to all employees. The more product an employee sells the more points they rack up on a special account. These points are then redeemed on the company's website for commodities. Since she started her job three years ago she has earned multiple dog beds, a stereo, a 40 gigabyte iPod Touch, a microwave, an HP net-book, and a Samsung tablet. Today Erika received the results for a super-selling contest that was two months long. She needed to be in the top five of all employees in the Western territory to win. She came in fourth in the entire west and made the top ten nationally. For this she is awarded one-million points which is equivalent to hitting the jackpot. The 32 inch flat screen LCD that she has her eye on is less than 200,000 points, which gives context to what a million points can by. The greatest perk for me is the Samsung Galaxy tablet she said I could have.
Erika's day has been filled with congratulations and accolades. Managers from other stores were calling her all day, as well as a personal phone call from Joe, the vice president in Texas. She is now a rock star in her district, and deserves to be. I was given permission to post a photo of the email her district manager sent to the VP. It reads: "Good morning Joe,
When I arrived at store #9930 this morning, there was a great celebration. Erika just kept saying how she won and received the call from you. She was so happy. Not only did she win, but the store sold the most in my district. Our calculations were 523. I told my district that the store that sold the most, I would give them $500. So they also won the cash.
Store #9330 Rocks.....
I am very proud of this store. They have had an awesome year.
Thanks again,
Sherry" DM
As a follow up, her district manager hand wrote, "Erika, You are a 'Star' performer. Congratulations, Sherry" on the end of the letter, before she faxed it as a memo to every store.

Cosmoprof, in my opinion, is a company that understands the value of employee participation and incentives. Happy employees are more productive and supportive of their organizations.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

NYPD Brutality - The Whole World is Watching

The amount of individual incidents of NYPD hard arrests has skyrocketed over the last several days. The ignorance of the "white shirts" instigating most of the violence is unbelievable. So many cameras everywhere. Do they not realize that this modern day movement has created its own media network overnight? Within minutes each incident is recorded to a phone and then uploaded to the web for the world to see. Make no mistake, NYPD, the whole country is watching you. The protesters are admittedly obnoxious and unruly, but what can you expect from a pissed off mob? They are there to show their anger and frustration. They are there to expose the schism that has been created in American society by the greed and lawlessness of a few, as Tom Wolfe called them in Bonfire of the Vanities, 'Masters of the Universe.' I have seen nothing in any clip so far that warrants a physical beating or pepper-spray.  What I have seen are concussions, neck stomping, and lots of pushing and shoving.

To take a verse from the song Hosannah in Jesus Christ Superstar:
"Why waste your breath moaning at the crowd? Nothing can be done to stop the shouting. If every tongue were still the noise would still continue. The rocks and stones themselves would start to sing."

Here are a few clips of some police spiritedly interacting with the mob.