The enclosed info was something I had seen back in early 2010 when I was doing a bit of FOB-Hopping around Afghanistan. I came across it in some notes I had rediscovered.
What I had witnessed at FOB FRONTENAC - The name comes from Fort Frontenac, a French fort and trading post located in what is now Kingston, Ontario
– I went there on a two day helicopter hop from hell. I was there to do a town hall meeting and see if any of their staff would work for the company I was working with at the time. I had wrenched the crap outta my arm getting off a helo about three weeks earlier and it was killing me. The Pain was an " 11 " on the scale of 1-10 as I managed to have two tendons pop off the bone in my right arm in the process of getting blown off my feet by prop wash from a helo.
Needless to say, I was not a happy camper. Then, I saw something that put it all in perspective. Here are my notes from back then. I am still in awe of what was on this FOB out in the middle of nowhere in Afghanistan. Here's what I had written in 2010:
FOB FRONTENAC - AFGHANISTAN
The picture directly below is from Micheal Yon's report on this Sacred Space -- the others enclosed are the ones I took while I was there.
Enclosed are pictures from Camp Frontenac - a small FOB about 20 miles north of Kandahar...I took a hop there over the last week to do a meet n' greet with some potential new employees from another company. Middleboro Jones riding our company helicopters to get there and then getting stuck there for a day as there were no flights back that day....The next day, I caught a hop back to Kandahar with the Special Forces guys in a helicopter with no lettering or markings on it....if you want to get to where you need to go here, sometimes you have to just go with the flow...no questions asked.
Next to the Chapel, the Chaplain has erected a teepee which holds the pictures of the 21 soldiers lost from the 1-17, the Buffalo Brigade - to see this beautiful sacred space in the midst of all the harshness of the environment here is something beyond words. I stepped into the teepee and viewed the pictures and said a prayer.
There are moments of ultimate beauty here in a harsh landscape, and moments of incredible clarity - seeing how precious life really is.....It is something that is lost on most us during our day-to-day existence. We lose sight of what is really important, and how quickly it can be taken from us if we are not careful.
A prayer for the Brave Buffalo Soldiers and one of thankfulness for all that the LORD has provided to me. I am truly blessed and I was grateful for the reminder.
I sent an email to a buddy who transplanted to Florida a number of years ago after seeing about the flooding due to Tropical Storm Debbie -
" We got 11 inches of rain from Debbie on Sunday. She is going to hang around and spin back around ( 2 time b-tch), and they are expecting it will rain on and off until Thursday-Friday. We are making do but she is causing sink holes galore which is a major problem down here as the soil is all sand and tends to cave in when their is too much water.
Some folks have already lost their homes due to these. It is weird to walk in my own yard as the sand moves when I walk on it."
And I thought hanging around Afghanistan was a major pain in the arse.....Hope all is Florida will get dry in the near future.
If the animals start lining up in twos, the citizens of Florida might want to start thinking about a "Plan B".
It's time to clear the air about the whole issue of swearing in my hometown of Middleboro, MA.
1. The anti-swearing rule has been on the books in Middleboro since 1968.
Yes, read that again 1968.
The statute was approved that year and was designed to make use of vulgar language similar to what they now call " hate speech" where police could summons someone to court for use of vulgar language in a manner that would be similar to verbal assault and battery.
2. The "new" aspect of this is the Chief of Police simply was trying to make a change so that his officers could issue a ticket for this type of issue instead of having to go through an arrest or summons. The local ordinance would be still in effect with that one minor change.
3. The MEDIA have ginned this up into something it is NOT. Like many issues, the MEDIA reported it wrong and the story has gone around the world and has attracted this low-rent activist to come to our fine village to put on a Media covered spectacle.
4. The citizens of Middleboro would like the reporters to work on producing stories about how our country is failing in education, falling behind on innovation, better ways to create good jobs for the citizens and leave stories like this where they belong, lining the bottom of a bird cage.
As a resident of Middleboro, I would like to tell the media types who will cover this huckster's demonstration that there are larger problems that need coverage and you should all focus your attention on our country's REAL problems ( The economy, unemployment, the Federal budget, failing politicians, lack of trust in ourleaders, etc. etc.) instead of the sideshow that will take place on Town Hall lawn today.
To the media idjits, I would ask how about you go back to being journalists for a change ?? It would be a much welcome change from the crappola I see passed off as news.
A tart-tongued activist hosting today’s “Free (Expletive) Speech Demonstration” at Middleboro Town Hall to protest the town’s $20 fine for cursing in public is inviting President Obama — in Boston today — to come on down, take up a bullhorn and join him in swearing up a blue streak ... for freedom!
“In fact, I invite all politicians who believe in freedom of speech to join us,” Adam Kokesh, a libertarian Internet talk show host, told the Herald in a phone interview from New Hampshire’s Porcupine 2012 Freedom Festival.
Town Moderator Wayne C. Perkins said TV trucks were parked outside town hall yesterday as interest in the swearing story persisted. He said Kokesh doesn’t need a permit so long as he and his supporters limit their outburst to dirty words and he has “no security concerns.”
“Let’s face it, people have a right to voice their opinion,” Perkins said. “If I see Secret Service here, then I’ll be concerned.”
Kokesh said the only exchange he plans to have with police is, “Have a nice (expletive) day.”
The “swear-in” is set for 12:30 to 1 p.m. — Kokesh said he wants to be foul-mouthed, but he doesn’t want to be disruptive — and he expects as many as 200 people to blaspheme about the 183-50 Middleboro Town Meeting vote earlier this month to establish a $20 fine for potty talk. The measure is under review for its constitutionality by the Attorney General’s Office.
“This is about standing up to a bully — maybe a bully in the form of 183 voters and a police department, but a bully nonetheless,” said Kokesh, 30, an Iraq war veteran and anti-war protester who stumped for Ron Paul’s campaign for president.
“I think it’s child abuse to tell your children that certain words have an emotional power that can cause sensitivity or hurt people’s feelings. Language is a tool. You can use it for good or bad. But a word should never be taboo,” said Kokesh, who was arrested in Washington, D.C., last year for taking part in a flash mob protesting the prohibition of dancing at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial.
Selectman Stephen McKinnon, who said he’s been approached about the ban by reporters from ABC News and the BBC, said he doesn’t have much time for the ban himself. “We have bigger problems in our town than worrying about cussing.”
The two articles were on the WSJ website and they are the symptoms of a larger problem that is being made worse by business leaders -
The first article was a well written piece on how difficult it has been for workers who are between 40 - 60 years old to find work after the recession. Having been in that situation, I understand the issue fully.
Here is a quote from that article - " More than 3.5 million Americans between the ages of 45 and 64 were unemployed as of May, 39% of them for a year or more—a rate of long-term unemployment that is unprecedented in modern U.S. history, and far higher than among younger workers.
The struggles of the middle-aged unemployed point to a larger economic problem: The labor market can't fully heal until people like Ms. Adams and Messrs. Daniel and Schoolfield can get back to work. The longer it takes, the deeper and more permanent the scars of the recession become—not just for the workers themselves, but for the broader economy. The net-net of this article - Highly qualified and decent workers are being passed over due to being unemployed. They have a lifetime worth of skills and knowledge but have been rendered unusable by companies who treat them as disposable."
Then we get this info, also from the Wall Street Journal -
This Embarrasses You and I*
Grammar Gaffes Invade the Office in an Age of Informal Email, Texting and Twitter by Sue Shellenbarger
" A majority of the younger workers hired by companies have a complete lack of grammar and understanding of how to properly handle business communications.
Managers are fighting an epidemic of grammar gaffes in the workplace. Many of them attribute slipping skills to the informality of email, texting and Twitter where slang and shortcuts are common. Such looseness with language can create bad impressions with clients, ruin marketing materials and cause communications errors, many managers say.
There's no easy fix. Some bosses and co-workers step in to correct mistakes, while others consult business-grammar guides for help. In a survey conducted earlier this year, about 45% of 430 employers said they were increasing employee-training programs to improve employees' grammar and other skills, according to the Society for Human Resource Management and AARP
Most participants in the Society for Human Resource Management-AARP survey blame younger workers for the skills gap. Tamara Erickson, an author and consultant on generational issues, says the problem isn't a lack of skill among 20- and 30-somethings. Accustomed to texting and social networking, "they've developed a new norm," Ms. Erickson says."
Colleges found this out when they had to start instituting courses to assist incoming freshmen with writing, English and math literacy. The colleges needed to do this to ensure that the students could maintain the required standards. This is a symptom of a failing education system that has been going downhill due to unions, ineffective teachers who are not rated on performance and a bloated system that demands more and more money while producing students unable to handle the basic skills needed to be a part of the workforce.
In Algebra, they taught us the basic equation " If A = B, and B = C then A must = C." SO if we look at these issues I can draw the following conclusions -
A - Companies have purposely decided to take older workers off their books in an effort to save money on wages and benefits - thereby depriving themselves of highly qualified workers. In their stead, they have and will hire cheaper, younger workers.
B - Based on the skill set of the younger workers hired, companies are getting less performance and having more difficulties with the cheaper, less experienced help they are bringing on to the job. They will see the cost of this short sighted decision in spending more on training, lost business due to ineffective workers and lower profits.
And then we come to C - Due to the actions of Educators, Business Leaders, Teacher's Unions and the ineffective Politicians, we have created a multi-layer problem of wasted tax dollars spent in an under performing education system, ruined career opportunities for older workers and under-educated younger workers. It's a mess that will effect our country for decades until we change how we educate our students and how older workers are treated by businesses ignoring the best qualified applicants simply because they are older than 45.
This issue is multifaceted and there's plenty of blame to go around - We have known for the past decade that teaching has mainly been about teacher's tenure and not about excellence. Unions thugs gamed the education system and POLS gave them the tax dollars to do so.....Businesses decided to take advantage of the recession to force out older workers and reduce overhead.
In the end, this tragedy means wasted tax dollars, lower wages, ruined careers for good workers and an education system that has failed for years while rewarding those who engineered the failure......Did I miss anything ???
He talks about a number of factors like all polling shows the GOP handily keeping control of the House, redistricting, hope that an improving economy will boost DEMS chances, blah, blah, blah....
What is CURIOUS to me as a reader is that he doesn't talk about the one factor that will compel all NOT to vote the DEMS into control of the HOUSE of REPS - NANCY PELOSI.
No one wants the Wicked Witch from SAN FRAN back in charge of the HOUSE.....no one. That is because she presided over the most screwed up sessions of Congress on record. The crap that went on under her "leadership" was pathetic.
So blather on DEM Dummies - Especially the NY TIMES idjits.
NO ONE is going to put that witch back in the roll of Speaker. No how, no way.
Now maybe we can get Dorthy to drop a house on her......
They're back.......It's summer on Cape Cod and they have returned.....NO, not the tourists.
The Great White Sharks....
They know there are seals in the waters off Chatham and seals are their favorite food. Of course, this makes others who want to be in the water nervous as you could be mistaken for a nice fat seal by Mr. Sharky......
The scene in Jaws where Hoope tries to explain this to Mayor Vaughn is a classic.....
Hooper:Mr. Vaughn, what we are dealing with here is a perfect engine, an eating machine. It's really a miracle of evolution. All this machine does is swim and eat and make little sharks, and that's all. Now, why don't you take a long, close look at this sign.
All great Teams start with great leadership. This is the type of leadership that makes the New England Patriots the "class" of the league.
Bravo Zulu Bob Kraft......well deserved and just awesome.
WEEI.com Blog Network It Is What It Is» Patriots owner Rober Kraft wins 2012 PFWA Halas Award
06.18.12 By Christopher Price Patriots owner Robert Kraft has been selected as the 2012 Halas Award winner by the Professional Football Writers of America, it was announced on Monday. Here’s a portion of the announcement from the PFWA:
New England Patriots Chairman & CEO Robert Kraft, who played an instrumental role in last summer’s collective bargaining negotiations between the NFL and the NFL Players Association during his late wife Myra’s battle with cancer, has been selected as the 2012 George Halas Award winner by the Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA).
Kraft, the 43rd Halas Award winner, is the first NFL owner and first member of the Patriots franchise to receive the honor from the PFWA.
The Halas Award is given to a NFL player, coach or staff member who overcomes the most adversity to succeed. The award is named for Halas, a charter member (1963) of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, who was associated with the Chicago Bears and NFL from their inception in 1920 until his death in 1983 as an owner, manager, player and promoter. Halas won 324 games and six NFL titles in 40 seasons as a coach.
While Kraft’s wife was battling cancer during the spring and summer of 2012, he shuttled back and forth between his wife’s hospital bed and the NFL’s labor negotiations with her encouragement. Myra Kraft passed away on July 20, 2011, and five days later, a grieving Robert Kraft stood outside the NFLPA’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., as the 10-year CBA agreement was announced.
During the announcement, Indianapolis Colts center Jeff Saturday embraced an emotional Kraft, and said, “A special thanks to Myra Kraft, who even in her weakest moment, allowed Mr. Kraft to come and fight this out, and without him this deal does not get done. I don’t want to be climactic in any way, but he is a man who helped us save football, and we are so gracious for that. We’re gracious for his family and for the opportunity he presented to get this deal done.”
The Atlantic Magazine wrote a piece titled " Who Killed American Unions??"
The article was not very compelling....it focused on all aspects other than the key issue.
The one part of the liberal whining that goes on in this article is they didn't mention the key reason why Unions have cratered...
Yes, GREED. The Unions and their members got GREEDY. That's what killed them.
Now, I understand and agree they are not the only ones who got greedy. CEOs and other getting obscene pay packages, stock insiders pillaging the economy and causing chaos, etc. etc. I see it and agree that they have caused as many issues for the American Economy as the Unions.
But, the question is " Who Killed American Unions??" - The main culprit is the Unions themselves.
The last three and half years have accelerated their demise but it started way before that..... GREEDY UNION Members and their fat arse bosses used their muscle to bully and batter companies like GM, Ford & Chrysler into ridiculous labor agreements.
Public Employee Unions gamed the political system and conceived ridiculous laws and agreements that allow public employees to retire on sky high pensions inflated by overtime and into which many have never paid a cent. They don't have any care that the agreements were faulty and unsustainable. it didn't matter that they got paid for standing down on the job or doing little. They got the agreements put in place and even if it bankrupts the town, they want the money.
Union Leaders lined their pockets with dues paid by the members and did little other than make themselves rich on the backs of the workers. They decided that they were entitled to the same type of compensation as those who ran the businesses.....GREED. More and more was their only goal.
This is what killed the Unions and why today, they only represent a minor fraction of all workers. Unions were needed when there were no laws to protect workers but in the last 40 years, the Unions became only about paying their workers and the Union Bosses as much as they could extort from the companies and government.
Now the companies have had enough. The cost of a new car produced in Detroit had almost $10K cost tacked on to it to provide incredible huge pay & benefits to assembly line workers. The added cost is borne by every person who bought a vehicle from the big three, while others like Toyota set up factories in Tennessee without Unions. The new factories were able to produced excellent vehicles and cheaper.
That helped put the Big Three teetering on the edge....The market was cornered by cheaper, leaner, better.
Now, Towns and States are seeing the light. They know that they have been had and the voters are pushing back. Taxpayers have had enough. Voters have started fixing what has been known for many years. It wasn't just enough to earn good money, these Union types needed to earn MORE. And it doesn't bother them at all that it is costing others services or extra costs tacked on to things they want.
It is all about them and their need to satisfy their Greed.
That's what killed the Unions and for the author of the article in the Atlantic Magazine to miss that completely shows there still are people who don't want to acknowledge reality.
Reality is the Unions caused their own demise. Their GREED and their need to be GREEDY to the detriment of all others.
And the Mass Media wonders why people aren't siding with the Unions....it is because they see the wanton GREED with their own eyes and recognize it for what it is - shameful.
Many will never understand it fully but this is why our USMC are the very best. They made a small boy part of their esteemed history by granting his wish to become a US Marine before he died.
SEMPER FI and Bravo Zulu to all those who helped this boy achieve his dream. All our prayers for Cody and his family.
Rest Easy Cody, your Marine Brothers and Sisters have the watch.
A United States Marine stands watch over the hospital door of 12-year-old Cody Green in Florida, Ind. After successfully battling leukemia since he was 22 months old, Green died after a fungus attacked his brain. (Courtesy WLFI/Riley Children's Hospital)
Boy made honorary Marine before he dies 6/13/2012
Meera Pal, WTOP.COM
WASHINGTON - Before he died, 12-year-old Cody Green achieved his dream of becoming a United States Marine.
Green had always admired the strength and courage of the Marines says his father, David Snowberger.
Snowberger tells an Indiana-based television station the Marines decided Green had showed "strength and honor and courage" through his health battles.
"My daddy worked hard, and so have I.....paid our taxes and gave our lives to serve this great country....so what are they complaining about?? We love our families and love our kids...it's love that makes all so rich....that's where we are at." Lynyrd Skynyrd - RED, WHITE AND BLUE
Today is Father's Day. It is the day when we honor our Dads and all they have done for us.
My Dad worked hard to make sure we had the things he did without as a child who grew up during the depression, the 1940's and World War 2. My Dad served in the Army during the Korean conflict in Alaska keeping the phone lines open between Korea and the US. No combat duty but two years in the cold and isolation of the frozen wilderness. Like the men of his era, he did what was required and did not complain about what he had to do, he just did what was needed. He earned the rewards of his hard work and was able to retire to a small town on Cape Cod, residing there today at the ripe age of 83 years young. His generation were likely the last ones who will get what all should expect after a life's work - security and the ability to enjoy retirement.
My Dad is the man I would some day hope to be - patient, understanding and above all, a good man who made sure he was always there for all of us. I have modeled my fatherhood skills after his and it is still something I strive to do each day - be more like my Dad. He is the "rock" that made all the rest of our lives possible.
Today, Dads face the same issues our Dads dealt with - trying to be the best Dad and providing what is needed. Moms face some of the same issues as our economy has made it necessary for both parents to become wage earners. Dads still bear the larger part of being the wage earners the same way as Moms still deal with the majority of the household chores. It is a bit of a stereotype, but this is the norm for most.
This will be the third Father's Day I have spent in Afghanistan. I have been working contract work over here since 2009 with a few short breaks. One way or the other, I have been here for the Spring and Summer months and that places me away from home on Father's Day. My wife sends along cards and small gifts via care packages and her gesture is deeply appreciated. She has also had to deal with me being away on Mother's Day, so she understands what we both recognize - life is truly different for Fathers and Mothers in this day and age. She works hard keeping the homefront going and I work hard here earning what is needed. It is a Faustian deal that we have been forced to take as the alternative ( failure or loss of our home) is untenable on all levels.
We are not working here to buy shiny new convertibles or to amass a big new home - our goals are much more simple as we look to take care of our humble house and make sure that we can live there for the remainder of our lives....a simple desire to do our best, take care of each other and do the work the good Lord has given us.
Our oldest child will turn 30 this year and we have 3 out of 4 kids out of the house living their own lives. The task of raising them into adults has been completed but as a Dad, my influence and mentoring continues throughout the rest of their lives. I hope that they each make good choices and that the life they choose will be a good one. I can only offer advice and make sure that I am there when they need me, even if it is sometimes via Skype and an email or two.
Today is a work day for me and like many other Dads, I will do what is needed to make sure the homefront gets what is needed. Dads all over the world will spend today enjoying time with their kids celebrating the day at home. Many others in uniform and those like me working here in Afghanistan will be away from home and the celebration of Father's Day. At the same time, what we do shows that we are focusing on what is truly important as Dads....we are forgoing the accolades and day off to ensure the homefront gets the much needed support our work provides. There will be Father's Days in the future where we will be able to spend the day relaxing on the back deck and/or BBQing some tasty food. The work we do today ensures that those future Dad's Days will be there and that we will be able to share that day with our family.
To Dad's everywhere - Happy Father's Day and many more to come !! I salute each of you for your efforts and the efforts of our Dads who gave us their best each and every day.
The Japanese have coined a word for what we are seeing in the American workplace -
''Karoshi"which means(Work to Death)''
American workers are now so afraid to take time off from work due to the recession, they are not taking time they are fully entitled to and need. No one can tell me that this isn't a sign of the continuing lack of real leadership in businesses and Washington.
People need time off - Studies prove that the best performing teams are those that get ample time off and have the ability to control their own schedules.....But we see that people are afraid that asking for time off will make them prime candidates for the next round of lay-offs.
This is NOT what we should be seeing in our country....it is time for a change as whatever has been going on for the last three and 1/2 years has only made this situation worse.
No time for vacation time?
Why the majority of workers can't -- or won't -- take time off, no matter how secure their jobs are. By Joseph P. Kahn Boston Globe Staff / June 16, 2012 To be gone, or not to be. That is the question.
With peak vacation season looming, it’s certainly a question Meagan O’Hara and millions more like her have been asking themselves. Do I take all the time off coming to me? Can I really afford to, financially or otherwise? Or will I be returning to so much backlogged work that it’s actually less stressful to stay in the office rather than head for the beach? This spring, O’Hara, 26, director of business development for a Boston office-relocation management firm, took the first full-week vacation of her working life — a Caribbean cruise — but not without some wariness. She’s held other jobs before — marketing assistant, executive assistant — that guaranteed her time off. Getting away for an entire week? That did not happen, she says, because her bosses might decide they could get along fine without her.
“I’d take a Monday or Friday off, but not full weeks or multiple days,” O’Hara says. “I kind of felt I wasn’t allowed to, even though the vacation days were well deserved.”
For younger workers like herself, adds O’Hara, leaving vacation on the table shows a willingness to do more than what’s expected. Fortunately, her current employer values taking time off. “If it’s not openly encouraged, though, you don’t take it,” she says.
According to a recent study by Harris Interactive, an Internet-based market research firm, 57 percent of Americans ended 2011 with unused vacation time, failing to take, on average, 11 of their allotted days off — or 70 percent of what they’d rightfully earned. Other national surveys have calculated that as many as 66 percent of us keep working when we could be kicking back somewhere, leaving unused a total of 459 million vacation days.
This mounting pile of bypassed perks has led to the United States being dubbed “no vacation nation” by Europeans and others who take long, leisurely vacations. Also creeping into the vernacular: “naycationers” (those who take little or no time off), “breakations” (lasting only three to four days), and, of course, “staycations” (time off taken close to home — or even at home).
“Anecdotally at least, you hear vacation deprivation is getting worse,” says John de Graaf, executive director of the Seattle-based organization Take Back Your Time. He co-wrote a 2009 bill mandating paid vacations for most American workers. (Submitted to Congress, it went nowhere.)
Given studies showing links between working too much — and too long without time away — and increased risk for health problems like heart disease and depression, says de Graaf, “It’s really very silly, particularly when vacations could be one way to reduce health-care costs.“ Yet job security, or lack thereof, skews our priorities, he maintains.
“Fear is the primary motivator,” de Graaf says. “When the economy’s weak, they think, ‘I’d better show I’m 110 percent committed to my job.’ And with companies downsizing and giving people more to do, the stress of coming back to hundreds of e-mails overwhelms the stress of staying at work.”
“Naycationers” also worry about being tethered to work via cellphone and e-mail while away, or paying for an expensive vacation — goodbye Vineyard summer rental! — during tight financial times, de Graaf says.
Sarah Nasnic and her boyfriend could go to Cape Cod for a week this summer, she says, “but what if the economy tanks tomorrow?” Nasnic, 25, who works in marketing for a Boston architectural firm, has two weeks vacation coming this year. She may not use them, though, partly to save money and partly to continue team-building with her new boss.
Previously, Nasnic worked for a smaller company where job responsibilities also kept her from taking sustained time off. The result was a happy surprise: $2,000 in unused-vacation pay when she left the firm. “At this point in my life and career, I’m not taking any long or lavish vacations,” Nasnic says.
Howard Goldman has tried to get away from the office more as his kids move through their teenage years. And yet he rarely stays away for long, although it has nothing to do with impressing the boss. Goldman is chief executive of Humboldt Storage and Moving in Canton, a company with nearly 100 employees.
“I’ve never taken my full vacation time,” he acknowledges. “One of the biggest issues for me is coming back to the enormous amount of e-mails that pile up, because the work doesn’t stop while you’re away.”
Only once in 20 years has Goldman taken 10 consecutive days off (his wife lobbied for two weeks) to travel overseas for his daughter’s dance competition. “It’s hard for me to take even a week off,” he says, “even though I have a great management team to handle things when I am gone.”
Paradoxically, notes Boston University sociologist Juliet Schor, the pressure to stay working is felt both in boom times and bad ones. When business is going well, employers tend to increase individual workloads, hoping to keep the enterprise running smoothly. During downturns, employees worry their jobs will grow more difficult, or even disappear. Decisions about taking time off often hinge on assessing individual risks and rewards.
“In the higher ranks (of companies), not taking vacation time is more about not getting the job done,” says Schor. “Whereas at the bottom of the market, employees can often cash out on unused vacation time when they leave. For them, it becomes a financial strategy.”
Is there a price to pay for squandering vacation, even if it means more money in one’s pocket? “Yes,” says Schor. “Common sense says the ability to step away from the work is very important.”
Harvard Business School professor Leslie Purlow’s new book is titled “Sleeping With Your Smartphone: How to Break the 24/7 Habit and Change the Way You Work,” based on her work with The Boston Consulting Group, the well-known professional service firm. Purlow focuses on what she calls “the great impossibility” of taking “pure, guilt-free time off” at a company like BCG, whose clients expect 24/7 access.
Since she began her study of BCG, the firm has organized itself into hundreds of smaller teams that systematically plan their time away from work, a process initially christened PTO, short for “predictable time off.” At first, that meant one night a week without checking e-mail, text, or phone messages. But it has grown to encompass planned vacation time, too.
“Even though it sounds counterintuitive, the very act of planning makes them rethink what they do, what their priorities are,” says Purlow. Among the benefits, she adds, are improved employee retention, better work-life balance, and increased productivity, adding value to what the firm does for clients.
BCG project manager Jon Swan agrees that “refreshed brains tend to be more productive ones,” as he puts it. But a company culture must encourage such thinking. One friend of his who works in banking was told not to take his family on a cruise, says Swan. Why? Because in a work emergency, he’d be stuck at sea and unable to fly home. Instead, his friend took his family to a destination located near a major airport.
Swan went a different route last fall. After months of planning, he took his family on a four-day, midweek trip to Disney World, an ongoing work project notwithstanding. “I’d built the right coverage model,” he says, and having that flexibility “became an important part of the project.”
Winthrop town manager James McKenna has no such flexibility, he says, which is why he won’t use three of his four weeks vacation time this year. Again. With hundreds of town employees working under him, that’s a luxury he cannot afford.
Municipal governments have seen a lot of budget cuts in the last decade,” says McKenna. “As a manager, you’re not as free with your time. There’s virtually no backstop, like there is in the private sector.
“Vacation seems more of a luxury now,” McKenna says. “I’d like to spend more time with my family, but I’m not holding my breath.”
Somehow, this should not be surprising to anyone....after all, he likes leaving everyone else to pick up the tab for his failures....He asks four men out for a Father's Day meal and then stiffs the restaurant.
What a piece of work
You just can't make this shite up.
From ABC NEWS
"Amid the bustle of President Obama’s surprise stop for barbecue Wednesday the White House apparently overlooked one key detail: the bill.
Celebrating Father’s Day early, the president had lunch with two service members and two local barbers at Kenny’s BBQ on Capitol Hill.
As the group chatted about fatherhood, the president enjoyed a steaming plate of pork ribs with hot sauce, collard greens, red beans and rice and cornbread.
The bill for the president and his four guests was $55.58, but was left unpaid at the point of sale, according to pool reports."
It is right and just that we have a day to honor our Flag. A symbol of Liberty around the world and one that has been defended by millions who wore the uniform of our military since the first flags in the 1770's. It has taken many shapes and has changed but OLD GLORY bows to no one.
The picture of our flag at right was taken at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan while I was there. The flag shown was being flown in honor of a highschool classmate who perished at the World Trade Center on 09/11/2001.
Celebrate Flag Day by remembering all she stands for today and all those who stood up for her in the history of our great land.
I am the Flag
by Ruth Apperson Rous
I am the flag of the United
States of America.
I was born on June 14, 1777, in Philadelphia.
There the Continental Congress adopted my stars and stripes
as the national flag.
My thirteen stripes alternating red and white, with a union
of thirteen white stars in a field of blue, represented a new constellation, a
new nation dedicated to the personal and religious liberty of mankind.
Today fifty stars signal from my union, one for each of the
fifty sovereign states in the greatest constitutional republic the world has
My colors symbolize the patriotic ideals and spiritual
qualities of the citizens of my country.
My red stripes proclaim the fearless courage and integrity
of American men and boys and the self-sacrifice and devotion of American mothers
My white stripes stand for liberty and equality for all.
My blue is the blue of heaven, loyalty, and faith.
I represent these eternal principles: liberty, justice, and
I embody American freedom: freedom of speech, religion,
assembly, the press, and the sanctity of the home.
I typify that indomitable spirit of determination brought to
my land by Christopher Columbus and by all my forefathers - the Pilgrims,
Puritans, settlers at James town and Plymouth.
I am as old as my nation.
I am a living symbol of my nation's law: the Constitution of
the United States and the Bill of Rights.
I voice Abraham Lincoln's philosophy: "A government of the
people, by the people,for the people."
I stand guard over my nation's schools, the seedbed of good
citizenship and true patriotism.
I am displayed in every schoolroom throughout my nation;
every schoolyard has a flag pole for my display.
Daily thousands upon thousands of boys and girls pledge
their allegiance to me and my country.
I have my own law—Public Law 829, "The Flag Code" - which
definitely states my correct use and display for all occasions and
I have my special day, Flag Day. June 14 is set aside to
honor my birth.
Americans, I am the sacred emblem of your country. I symbolize your
birthright, your heritage of liberty purchased with blood and sorrow.
I am your title deed of freedom, which is yours to enjoy and hold in trust
If you fail to keep this sacred trust inviolate, if I am nullified and
destroyed, you and your children will become slaves to dictators and
Eternal vigilance is your price of freedom.
As you see me silhouetted against the peaceful skies of my country, remind
yourself that I am the flag of your country, that I stand for what you are - no
more, no less.
Guard me well, lest your freedom perish from the earth.
Dedicate your lives to those principles for which I stand: "One nation under
God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
I was created in freedom. I made my first appearance in a battle for human
God grant that I may spend eternity in my "land of the free and the home of
the brave" and that I shall ever be known as "Old Glory," the flag of the United
States of America.
For those who enjoy Ice Cream, this small shop in Centerville, MA on old Cape Cod is without a doubt the BEST Ice Cream you will ever eat. I have made believers out of people when they came to Cape Cod and we stopped by for a cone or a sundae.....
There is none better anywhere.
The article from the Barnstable Patriot says it all and reviews a book that documents the history of this little piece of heaven on Cape Cod. Well worth the trip from anywhere.
Four Seas Ice Cream Sailing Through the Sweet History of Cape Cod's Favorite Ice Cream Parlor Written by John Watters - Barnstable Patriot
Book Review - Four Seas Ice Cream Sailing Through the Sweet History of Cape Cod's Favorite Ice Cream Parlor By Heather Wysocki The History Press, Charleston SC, 2012, Softcover, 142 pgs., $19.99
When one thinks of summer on Cape Cod, one thinks of sunny days at the beach, Cape League baseball games, fried clams and, of course, ice cream. In the town of Barnstable we are blessed to have one of the most treasured and quintessential scoop shops in America, the venerable Four Seas Ice Cream.
As a reviewer of Heather Wysocki’s new book Four Seas Ice Cream; Sailing Through the Sweet History of Cape Cod’s Favorite Ice Cream Parlor, I confess I might be a bit of a “homer.” For well over 50 years I have memories of cones, parfaits, sundaes, frappes, and banana splits frozen in time from the little white clapboard-sided shop on South Main Street in Centerville. In the late 1950s I remember having tuna salad sandwiches on white bread cut into diagonal triangles with a small side of potato chips, followed by a scoop of chocolate ice cream on a sugar cone after a day frolicking at Craigville Beach. I’ve stood in long lines at night bathed by the red and blue neon sign as I prepare to get hooked up with a scoop of black raspberry. I’ve seen fellow Cape Codders, wash-a-shores, neighbors and visitors, a few of them that could be called celebrities, queue up for a dish of the summertime manna being mined from the cardboard buckets deep inside stainless steel freezers. I’m a fan, always have been, always will be.
Wysocki’s book is written from a very intimate viewpoint. The talented journalist is a bit of a “homer” herself when it comes to Four Seas, as her mother and step-dad are the current owners of the long-time family business. Wysocki could have easily mailed it in with a story as frothy as a milk shake; instead, she combines a little history of Centerville with some inside family memories that add a bitter sweetness to the success story that is truly a Cape Cod institution.
The book opens with a short history of the south-side village first called Chequaquet that turned into Centerville, a picturesque village with homes of sea captains, farmers, businessmen and entrepreneurs. One of the first interesting facts is that the structure that houses Four Seas was originally the building of the village smithy. The smithy was originally farther back on the property, but the first man to put Four Seas on the map had the building moved closer to the road so as to attract customers and make room for freezers in the back.
The person that started it all was William Wells Wilberforth Watson, who at first was only interested in investing in the idea of an ice cream stand across the street from Irving Wolff’s family restaurant Ye Old Cape Codder. Wolff opened the Four Seas Dairy Bar in 1934, but by 1936 still owed Watson $600 after running the summertime stand. Watson decided to come to the Cape and manage the store successfully himself. He did so, and in 1938 bought the Four Seas business and property.
Watson ran the stand into the late 1950s and was looking for a full-time manager when in 1956 Boston University student Richard Warren answered a newspaper ad. Warren landed the job of managing Watson’s store. Watson. who wore an all-white dairy outfit, ran his business with an austere hand but the quality of his product brought people from far and wide. Warren readily took hold of the concept, it didn’t hurt that he also met his future wife Georgia Swift, who had worked on the counter for a few years.
Richard Warren bought Four Seas from Watson in 1960, when Georgia and he were well on their way to raising their family of three children. Warren chose not to alter too much what Watson had begun, realizing it was definitely going to be a huge success story one day. To augment the summertime money Warren took a teaching job at Barnstable High School, where he passed an endless string of potential workers in the halls every day. Working at Four Seas Ice Cream was considered a great job.
The author’s stepfather, Doug Warren, “Dick’s” youngest son, runs the stand today with his wife Peggy. Author Wysocki tells the tale of tragedies that hit the Warren family over the years. First, Warren’s marriage to Georgia failed; later his oldest son Randy was killed in a car accident when he was 22 years old; and then in 2008 Richard Warren himself died in a freak skiing accident in New Hampshire.
Wysocki’s book also touches upon the celebrities from all over the country that have stood in line for a scoop. Four Seas ice cream was a favorite desert for all the Kennedys. The book is filled with charming visits by Jackie Kennedy and former professional football player Rosie Grier, both forgetting their wallets and having to sign an IOU. So good was the ice cream that Bob Hope, who was performing at the Melody Tent, visited the stand with his wife several nights in a row. Steven Tyler, Eddie Murphy, Adam Sandler and many more have also stopped by.
There are many reasons to enjoy Wysocki’s book about the family business. It’s a telling story about the building of a family business, it’s also a story about an ice cream store that has gained national attention, and her book is filled with institutional knowledge passed down from family and former employees. It a quick summer read for anyone who has ever tasted Four Seas’ delicious deserts, and that for sure is a great many people.
The enclosed picture shows the El Elegante Crater, part of the Pinacate Biosphere Reserve in northwestern Sonora, Mexico, and is about 1 mile in diameter and 800 feet deep.
Or it could be an accurate dicpictation of the re-election efforts and political aptitude of the Obama White House.
The Obama Political Machine is cratering.....in the fashion expected after 3 1/2 years of ineptitude, self absorbed BS and all the other things that we have seen from the idiot-in-charge and his gang of self proclaimed " smartest people" in Washington.
The wheels have come off the wagon and it has pitched over the cliff....
To quote Will Smith (one of Obama's biggest fans) from the movie " I Robot " -
" You know, somehow " I told you so" doesn't quite cover it..."
The capper to the past month of crappola from the White House was the recent interview when a reporter asked the President why he didn't go to Wisconsin to support the Democrat running against Governor Paul Walker - His answer was " The truth of the matter is that as President of the United States, I've got a lot of responsibilities..."
Yeah, like flying all over the country on the taxpayers dime to the hundred or more fundraisers you went to so far this year...more than the previous 6 Presidents held combined.
Cratering.....His career, our economy and his hopes of being taken seriously by anyone -
To say his administration is a " trainwreck " would be complimentary. It is over.
Now we need to get to the business of electing his successor, and get the economy back on track - not with more public service jobs helping Obama's Union buddies, but with building up the American economy with decent jobs tied to helping all, not just those hacks who have connections to the DEMS.
Less government, more opportunity for all and less BS from Washington -
The American public has had enough from a White House full of delusional idjits that wasted Trillions of our taxdollars over the last three and 1/2 years. This administration has cratered.
Pileup at the White House By Dana Milbank, Tuesday, June 12, 3:53 AM Washington Post
It has been a Junius Horribilis for President Obama.
Job growth has stalled, the Democrats have been humiliated in Wisconsin, the attorney general is facing a contempt-of-Congress citation, talks with Pakistan have broken down, Bill Clinton is contradicting Obama, Mitt Romney is outraising him, Democrats and Republicans alike are complaining about a “cascade” of national-security leaks from his administration, and he is now on record as saying that the “private sector is doing fine.”
Could it get any worse?
Early Monday morning, Obama learned that it could. His aides delivered the news to him that his commerce secretary had been cited for a felony hit-and-run after allegedly crashing his car three times over the weekend. In one incident, the previously obscure Cabinet officer apparently rear-ended a Buick, spoke to the car’s occupants, then hit the vehicle again as he left.
Thus did Jay Carney, the oft-besieged White House press secretary, have another briefing carjacked by bad news. And Carney, who either didn’t know the details of the bizarre episode or wasn’t at liberty to divulge them, had to execute a full range of defensive maneuvers.
“I can simply tell you that he was engaged, as has been reported, in a couple of traffic incidents,” Carney began, as if the secretary, John Bryson, had been photographed by a speed camera or two. Bryson “suffered a seizure, was hospitalized. But beyond that I’ll refer you to Commerce for the details.”
“Is the secretary healthy and fit to serve?” inquired Ben Feller of the Associated Press. “I would refer you to the Commerce Department.”
Ann Compton of ABC News asked whether the White House chief of staff, who spoke to Bryson, considers the incident serious.
“I don’t have a specific response to give you,” Carney said.
CNN’s Brianna Keilar asked about “the timing of the seizure in relation to the accident.” “I would refer you, as I said in the past, to the Department of Commerce,” Carney answered.
“I’ve been asking them for hours,” Keilar protested. “I think I would refer you to the Commerce Department,” was Carney’s rote reply.
The former journalist informed the questioners that he “was not a presiding doctor on this case” and could confirm only that “the commerce secretary was alone, he had a seizure, he was involved in an accident.”
“He was involved in several accidents,” called out April Ryan of American Urban Radio. “Thank you for the correction,” Carney said. He did not sound grateful.
Carney’s non-defense doesn’t suggest much job security for Bryson, who, depending on what caused the episode Saturday, has either a medical problem or a legal problem. For the White House, it was just the latest entry in the when-it-rains-it-pours ledger. This has been one of the worst stretches of the Obama presidency. In Washington, there is a creeping sense that the bottom has fallen out and that there may be no second term. Privately, senior Obama advisers say they are no longer expecting much economic improvement before the election.
Carney had the unenviable task of confronting the full arsenal of gloom at Monday afternoon’s briefing.
The AP asked about the president’s unfortunate private-sector-is-fine remark. The Reuters correspondent asked about the economic “head winds” from Europe. Ed Henry of Fox News Channel asked about the looming contempt-of-Congress vote against Attorney General Eric Holder. Margaret Talev of Bloomberg News asked about the Supreme Court striking down Obamacare. Norah O’Donnell of CBS News asked about calls for a special prosecutor to probe leaks. Victoria Jones of Talk Radio News asked about the stalled talks with Pakistan.
Carney sought relief by calling on TV correspondents from swing states, but the one from Wisconsin asked about the failed attempt to recall Republican Gov. Scott Walker and the one from Nevada asked about her state’s unemployment rate, the nation’s highest. Mostly, though, questions veered back to the commerce secretary’s motoring. AP Radio’s Mark Smith asked whether Bryson “is now on medical leave.”
“I would refer you to the Commerce Department.” (Eight hours later, Carney issued a statement saying that Bryson was indeed taking such a leave.)
Ryan asked about “mandatory physicals” for Cabinet nominees. “I don’t have any details about that.”
A New York Daily News correspondent asked if Obama has confidence in Bryson staying on the job with a “felony rap.”
This one Carney answered — by not answering. “He is concerned about Secretary Bryson’s health and broadly about the incident,” the spokesman said — in marked contrast to the “absolute confidence” he said a moment later that Obama has in Holder.
Apparently Bryson will have to clean up his own wreckage. This White House has too many other pileups to deal with.