Thursday, April 27, 2017

Horrible bosses?

My boss is awesome, which is not only true, but a good way to garner bonus points for my annual evaluation.  (Unfortunately for me, was just completed. Someone remind me to repost this next year.)

I'm giving the flexibility to do my job the best way I see fit and as long as I get my work done and do it well, she's cool giving me the freedom to spend too much time on Twitter or write blog posts when things are slower than usual. She's even ok with me watching baseball at work, which isn't the actual reason I asked for dual monitors for my office but it doesn't hurt.

So now that I've said all that, it's nice to know this is an option should things ever get really bad.

Court says it's OK to call boss 'nasty mother******' during union battle

Just remember, you actually have to be trying to form a union before you try this.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017


In college, ESPN seemed ubiquitous. I would watch SportsCenter for hours, even though it was the same episdoe rerun all morning. It didn't matter. That was the only way to get highlights and if I wanted to see a play again, I had to wait until that highlight came up in the next hour. ESPN was essentially the only way to see highlights, so I watched it all the time.

But times change. I get highlights on my phone mere minutes after they happen now. If Kris Bryant hits a home run or Addison Russel makes a great defensive play, I can be at my son's baseball game and still see the play and even show it to him on the way home. And it's not just official league sites. I can spend the evening watching a baseball game and see highlights of the hockey and basketball playoffs show up on twitter timeline. The idea of waiting for highlights is something my son will never understand.

ESPN has tried to change with the times. It still shows SportsCenter, but it's become more focused on personalities and analysis and less on highlights, which makes sense. But apparently it's not enough.

Today anywhere between 70 and 100 people are losing their job at the Worldwide Leader in Sports. From early indications, it looks like a lot of reporters are being let go. This is disheartening, not only for the people losing their jobs, but for people who appreciate sports news. While it's fun to mock a company that gave itself such a title, but the truth is ESPN does a lot of great reporting on a number of issues. Cutting those reporters means there's fewer people digging in to the issues affecting sports (and make no mistake, sports issues affect you even if you don't like sports.)

It really sucks for the people who lost their jobs. Hopefully they're able to find something else. I can't take joy in people, even people I don't like, losing their livelihoods. It also sucks for those who want to know what's going on.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

It's only a game

My son had a baseball game last night. He and his teammates are all seven and eight years old and from what I can tell, just want to be out there having fun and playing the game. Sure, they want to win the game, but they all seem to realize it's not the end of the world if they don't.

Some of the parents, on the other hand, seem to think this one game on a Monday night is the key to future success and need everything to be perfect. So when, late in the game, the umpire missed a call, these sports parents went a little crazy.

Here's the scene. The umpire (incorrectly) called a ball foul that should have been a fair ball. The call resulted in the kid having to try to hit again and the runners moving back to where they started. This blown call apparently merited scorn and loud, extended complaining from a few fans.

One dad (maybe a granddad, I wasn't paying close attention) took this affront to the rules of the game especially hard. After yelling at the umpire for blowing the call, he told the kid batting to "hit it hard back up the middle" where the umpire was standing since he had to put the balls in to the pitching machine. This adult wanted a kid to injure an umpire because he missed a call in an eight and under baseball game.

I didn't say anything to him or even talk to my son after the game about it. Maybe I should have. It's just interesting to me that adults not playing the game take it far more seriously than the kids actually playing it.

Monday, April 24, 2017

On Death and Friendship

My wife had a good friend pass away recently.

I realize that's a terrible way to start a story,but in this case, this is where the story begins.

Her friend had cancer for years and in February, things took a turn for the worse. My wife became one of her primary caretakers, spending days and nights in the hospital. When weather forced our camping trip to end a day early, it turned out to be a blessing as it enabled my wife to be by her friend's side as she passed away.

But that's the beginning of our story.

About a week later I was getting the mail as I usually do and there was what looked like a card addressed to my wife from a friend of ours from church. It wasn't addressed to me and I didn't really think much of it.

When my wife got home I mentioned she'd gotten something in the mail and went back to doing whatever it was I was doing. A few seconds later, I hear "Awww, Kathy is so sweet."

Intrigued, I got up to see what it was.

It turned out that my wife had received a sympathy card for the loss of her friend.

I spoke with Kathy a few days later after church, telling her how much it meant to my wife and to me that she took the time to send a sympathy card. And that's when she told me something that I'm ashamed to admit I'd never thought of before.

Whenever someone dies, the family gets all the concern and the cards and everything, she said, but it can be really difficult for friends too and they don't get the same kind of love and support. She went on to say she didn't know my wife's friend, but understood how hard it was for her and wanted to let her know she was thinking about her.

Of course the family needs love and care when one of their family members dies. And I've always tried to be supportive and sympathetic whenever anyone I know loses a family member. But I've overlooked the friends that are grieving in their own, often intense way.