Monday, March 16, 2009

Latest Lessons Learned

Today, I begin my second week of furlough from work. Another week of not working. No emails from coworkers. No reading. No writing. No early mornings. No late nights. And, no pay.

The good news is that this week is Spring Break for schools in Alabama. So, Tonya is off work. She is home. Evan is home with us. At least I won't be left to my own devices this week. Or in charge of building anything.

Over the last couple of weeks, I've been learning many new lessons. I shared some of those with you during my last furlough. I thought I'd pass along a couple of more new lessons I've discovered in recent days.

1. Even though our country, and maybe world, is in a major recession right now, have you noticed the number of fast food commericals playing on TV? Every other commerical is for Arby's, McDonalds, Hardees, etc. I guess people are still eating out and these companies are going after their business.

2. When you purchase a new computer, be prepared for NO company to be willing to help you with setup problems! Unless you pay a fee. A huge fee. As in $130 fee. We finally purchased a new laptop. Trying to move programs, data, and files from one computer to the other is next to impossible. And, getting customer service support is impossible! Maybe I should send them a definition of what customer service used to be! From companies that actually care!

3. In reference to number two, be prepared for Dell to say that it's Microsoft's problem. Be prepared for Microsoft to say that it is their software distributor's fault. Be prepared for the distributor to say that Microsoft has no idea what they are talking about. And, be prepared to be on the phone for hours trying to get answers that should be given in five minutes. And, for free.

4. Oh, one more lesson about buying a computer. Don't expect Vista and XP to talk to each other. They don't! Everybody knows it. Well, not everybody. I didn't know that before I finally figured out that Vista and XP (made by the same company) do not communicate well. Or, should I say don't communicate at all! That may be a slight stretch, but not much!

5. While I know I probably shouldn't be watching 24, on Fox on Monday nights, I'm once again hooked on the show! Jack Bauer may just need to save us from the economic situation we are in! I'd trust words of wisdom from him right now.

6. When your child is sick, you'd give almost anything for it to be you who was sick and not him.

7. Dallas, Texas, is a far bigger place than I remember. I had to take a two-day trip there last Thursday and Friday. Bigger. Colder. Think I'll stick with Alabama.

8. So many bloggers seem to be moving on from blogging. Have you noticed? Or, am I the only one to notice? Not as many posts. Not as many conversations going on. Not as much networking. Maybe everyone is dealing with lessons learned. Struggling with the economy. Maybe the blogsphere isn't as needed as we thought. Maybe we are too busy for it. Maybe hours in the day are shorter than ever before.

9. Work is vital. Work pays the bills. But, work isn't all that defines a person. If work is all there is, then what do you do when work is taken from you? What do you do when your thoughts about drawing a paycheck changes? What happens when you retire? Become disabled? Quit? Have thoughts of quitting?

10. Truthfully, I haven't learned a 1oth lesson yet. But, don't most lists have 10 items, or at least an even number of things? Well, no 10th truth today, maybe another day. Or, maybe you'd like to share a word of wisdom as we begin this new week. I'd love to hear it.


  1. With regards to #5, Keiffer Sutherland (sp?) is actually a self-proclaimed Canadian Socialist. I don't think we want him fixing the banking system.

    And real Texans stay away from Dallas. It's too Yankee-ish. We prefer Fort Worth.

  2. 6. No kidding! Or husband. Right now at the Shuford house, the youngest is (hopefully) recovering from the creeping crud, the oldest is coming down with it, bernard has a broken arm, and i'm sneezing my fool head off. :( Fun Monday.

    7. When I was in Dallas, it was hot. As in, do not be outside unless you absolutely have to, hot. Of course it was July/August, so maybe that had something to do with it.

    8. The upside about this topsy-turvy economy and its aftereffects is that I am learning (or re-learning) to fully trust on HIM.

    10. Never pick your nose on a bumpy road.

  3. Ouch, Michael. I guess you didn't learn to drive here. I did back when Central Exwy was just 2 lanes, with on-ramps only as long as your arm - we're talking real 0-60 in 50ft!! Ft. Worth is definitely more laid back than the autobahn, er Dallas freeways. ;-)

    And, yes, we had a freak cold-front pass through last week, so I'm sorry that THOSE were the days you hapened to visit us, Steve. It's not normally 38 this late in the season. Plus the 3 days of cold rain made it feel colder, still. It's beautiful today - cloudless and supposed to get up to the mid-70's.

    10. Need and want are two entirely different four-letter words, even though the marketing folks don't want us to realize it.

  4. I don't know about programs, but with data and files, 4,8 or 16GB USB sticks are yer friend. And getting cheaper every day. They are the new floppy disk. I used a 4gb to transfer data off of my pastor's Windows ME PC onto their new Vista PC. I did have to cheat the Word files thru AbiWord conversion. As for the blogosphere, I think Anne Jackson of FlowerDust nailed it before she went into maintenance mode. Online is great for communication. Not so great for community. And of course, the exception to that "rule" is probably LifeChurch's online campus.
    But what do I know. (grin)


Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I can't wait to read what you have written.