Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

It's Halloween! We are going over to a friends house who live in a more suburban neighborhood, then our hill. The kids will have more of a chance to Trick or Treat. It should be fun as it will be my daughters first time Trick or Treating. Her first Halloween she was only 6 months old. She will be dressed up either as a cat or a ninja.

Which means candy for big old dad! Since my daughter isn't into eating candies yet and she isn't old enough to jack up the prices on me like my my step son. Sure for Mom it is five cents, me its 50 cents. My daughter will get to climb up many doorsteps, which at her age is a big deal and something she enjoys. Plus she will be able to knock on lots of doors and say "Hi!"and "Bye!" Trick or Treat may be a new phrase to teach her. Then we get to have dinner with friends and socialize with adults which is a good way to kick off the weekend.

Well I hope everyone has a great Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

West Virginia May Be The Place...

West Virginia may be the place to go to find lower unemployment. It is nice when positive things are reported about the state I live in. According to Rachel Zupek , on her article on MSN entitled 25 Best Markets To Find A Job, two West Virginia cities make the list. At number Six is Morgantown, The home of the Mountaineers is also home to a 2.7% unemployment rate, an improvement over last years 3.4%. Morgantown enjoyed a job growth of 2.7%. Down at #17 was "Charlestown", West Virginia. I'm going to assume she was writing about Charleston, but then she could have ment Charles Town. Any way this city comes in with 3.4% unemployment rate an improvement from last years 4.1%. This place had a half percent of job growth. Maybe there is some of the Governors "Open for Business" going on in Wild and Wonderful West Virginia.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Old Blog Volume 1

October is almost over and the year is winding down. The last couple of years I have put "blogs" about what I have read during the year. Here is an excerpt from the first one back in 2006 on My Space.."Books 2006, 2006 for me

I know some of you who know me are shocked Mike can read! But If you really knew me you would say Mike actually finished a book. I think that is the hardest thing about reading a book. You read a third, a half of a book then you put it down and then life takes over. Then since I don't make a list, dementia may be creeping in, in my 30's so sometimes years bleed into others. ..:
So what books did I actually read? .I read a book on Six Sigma by Chowdrey (sp), It's the "in" quality now days. I was able to work on a Six Sigma project at work in 2005, so it was good to follow up with some more background info. I also read this marriage guide book since I got married. And I thought required reading ended when you were out of school.
OK, we have business, marriage. Boring! Mike isn't dead he's dull. I read the Nick Adams Stories by Hemingway. Though my favorite works by Hemingway are "Islands in the Stream" and "The Old Man and the Sea." I think I read more now than when I was in college. I read more classics, more business books, and more just for the fun of it books. If audio books, I listened to Blind Man's Bluff, it was interesting tales of the submarine during the Cold War.
A Robert Plant bio from 1974, I think the author wrote for Circus magazine. It really had that fanzine feel going, not in a trashy way, or an exaggerated way like Stephen Davis I guess this one had more of a juvenile style.
I also read Jimmy Buffett's Tales from Margaritaville, A Pirate Looks at 50, and Where is Joe Merchant?, I was going to read a Salty Piece of Land but I was told that was enough Buffett. Being married/living with a woman is kind of like being a kid with parents. But my parents never told me; don't you have a bar to go too? a beer to drink? or don't you have to go skiing? So it's not like it's that bad. Oh well a half dozen books isn't that bad I guess.

Back to 2008-
Actually a half dozen books is a small amount compared to the number of books I'm reading this year. Some where in the last half of this year I made a goal to read 24 books. I don't know if I will reach it, I have kind of slowed down this month due to my writing.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Busy as a B

This month has been a little crazy for me. Kind of like the way the economy has been this month...

Anyway my parents were up for a week. I had a meeting Friday to go to and a dinner to attend Saturday. I also made time to do some volunteer hours in the wee hours of Saturday morning.
Then my spurt of writings have continued.

Since my last posting in this blog:
I did my weekly football rankings. The current week here and the previous week here.
I also did a preview of the Philadelphia Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays for the World Series.
I know I get sucked into writing about sports..

I also wrote a bunch more on the election.
Latest Presidential Polls in Virginia as of October 24, 2008. A look at how the Presidential election is shaping up in Virginia according to the latest polls.
Updated Presidential Polls in West Virgina as of October 24. A look at how the Presidential election is going in West Virginia. It was pretty neat since it showed a lot of change since my last article on West Virginia polls.
Last Minute Strategies and Influences in the 2008 Presidential Election in West Virginia is a look at what the Presidential candidates are doing to try to win West Virginia.

I expect to be pretty busy writing article right through the end of this week. I plan to do one more on the Polls in West Virginia, one on Colorado, on on Missouri, and another on the West Virginia Presidential election. Plus I might pick up a couple of more. That depends how busy life gets. I have another meeting to go to Thursday and I have plans on Friday with the family. Plus I have the day job thing to keep me busy.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Return of the Writer

Well, I just wrapped up some writing examples and am actually working on another. I hadn't written a non-sports article since August. Really I hadn't written a lot since May. The first five months of the year I was writing quite a bit. A lot of that was the call-for-contents appeared to be down (or at least on things that caught my interest) and of course that little thing called life.

Anyway, with the election winding down I have published two new articles on the Presidential Race in West Virginia. The first one, "Latest Presidential Polls in West Virginia as of October 15" is a pretty straight forward look at the latest West Virginia Polls. The second one is "Presidential Candidates to Increase Media Spots to Capture West Virginia" which discusses mostly Obama's late advertising blitz in West Virginia and I suggested the candidates would have a better chance of winning the state if they visited it more. About as Gonzo as I get..which is sad, since I enjoy the work of the late Hunter S. Thompson.

Then I went out of my comfort zone and wrote on "Understanding the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program." Why was it out of my comfort zone? Well it was something I knew nothing about. I thought it was some new HR program, boy was I wrong. However, I did learn something new. The chances are slim that the vaccines would cause injury or death but once in a while they do and as a parent that is scary stuff.

Now it is back to writing another sports article...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Just checking in...

Just checking in..the blog has been pretty quiet this month. Congrats to the Philadelphia Phillies on making it to the World Series. It looks like they will be playing the Tampa Bay Rays next, unless the Boston Red Sox can win three straight.

Lately my blog has become one of bad news of people's illness, death and aging. Hopefully, some good news will come around to blog about. It is one day closer to Friday and that is always good!

I finally wrote a non-sports article last night, which hopefully will be published soon. I have two other non-sport articles on the way. After I stop procrastinating and I get to work on them.

Well writing kind of leads to more blogs around here so some fresh material will be posted soon.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

My Dad Turned 70

Yesterday my dad turned 70. Long ago when I was young 70 was thought to be so old, now not so much. It is though. Time does that to people. His hair has turned white and his beard too. Funny, mine has turned gray so I must not be too far behind.

Diabetes and a slight heart condition has worked to speed up aging on my dad. Probably some of the same demons I'll have to face someday. Best advice my dad has told me, is to never get old. But like most good advice, I'm slow to take it.

My Dad and I aren't the only things to change during the years. Being born in 1938 my Dad has lived through a lot of history. The world has changed. A World War, the coming of television, personal computers, the evelotion of the telephone and so much more. Through the decades the 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's , 80's, 90's and beyond. The world is so different from one decade to another. My Dad has weathered the changes.

His life two has gone through the challenges of growing up, getting married, having children, watching them grow up, being retired, and becoming a grandffather. Every stage we all try to reach my Dad has accomplished. Stuck in the day by day struggle, how is accomplishment looks greater and greater. As I see more of my Dad in me, maybe one day I'll accomplish more of those.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

A New Face To HIV

I grew up in the age of HIV and AIDS. Everyone knows it is out there. I'm fortunate that I don't have it. I was fortunate not to know anyone who has it or had it. However, I am not that fortunate now. I just found out earlier this week, an old friend of mine has HIV.

He was a friend I went to college with, a friend I haven't seen in 14 years. We live far apart. However, we live in a technological world. You can keep up with friends with e-mails, or group e-mails, and all kinds of web communities. Well I read my friends blog the other day. I guess it wouldn't be such a shock if I would have kept up with his blog.

Here he is a friend, my age, who has had HIV for nearly 10 years. HIV, to me had always been something other people get. Celebrities who made the headlines were the only face of HIV to me, or the faded news of some poor sap who ended up with it. Now HIV has a face to me. It is a face of class mate, a friend, a fraternity brother, a man who lived in a dorm a few doors down from me.

I reached out to him with a letter, offering friendship, and positive thoughts when I found out the news. To be honest I was shocked. To be honest, I didn't know what to do, I had never known anyone with HIV. To be honest, I don't know a lot about HIV. I know it some how turns into AIDs and people die from it. I don't believe their is a cure for it. It's a distant friend, and I guess I could let him fade away, but that doesn't sound like the best idea.