Showing posts from June, 2010

ECLIPSE IS HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You know, the latest saga in the Twilight series? Its here, and everyone is going crazy. Except me. I could care less. Until today, I thought people were planning to view an actual Eclipse (you know, solar or lunar) this weekend. Shows how little I care about Edward or Jacob.

I listen to the radio and talk to friends and I am absolutely amazed at the things people get caught up in today. Standing in line for hours to watch this movie. Or to buy iPhone 4. And I just wonder why? Is today the only day that movie is ever gonna play? If a person doesn't see it today will they never see it? (I won't be seeing it at all, no interest whatsoever). Can I not go to the Apple store next week and buy that phone?

I don't even go out on Black Friday. I know I know, if I don't get to Walmart by 5 am all the 32" plasma tv's on sale for $198 might be sold out. But for me, staying in and not fighting the crowds is worth the extra few dollars I might have to spend. And not being on…

Juan Cinco

Sometimes I speak about people who I work with, giving an idea about some of the great folks who make Belfor great. Today is one of those days. And this guy isn't even on my jobsite. Heck, he is not even on the same continent I am right now.

I first met John Regal Foster (AKA Johnny 5, Juan Cinco) last fall In Louisville, Kentucky. I had been told about him before his arrival, and he lived up to expectations. John is a 60 something year old guy who smokes like a freight train, looks like the grim reaper, and has led one of the most fascinating lives of anyone I have ever met. Given the chance he will regale you with tales of when he ran around with the Manson Family, was a roadie for the Grateful Dead, worked on a cruise ship in Hawaii, and did a thousand other things most people have on their bucket lists. On any job he will find a casino somewhere within driving distance an spend his off days there, normally coming back with more than he left with. At work he is meticulous at kee…

This and that

Back to work this morning, bright and early. I had to pull the trigger and make a couple of changes that I had been pondering for a week or more. We all have a tendency to get comfortable when we are out on these projects. I am as guilty as anyone of that. But there is a difference in being comfortable and and just plain being lax and unproductive. Some of that was starting to manifest here in Clarksville. Enter Mike Brown. Mike is a project manager who is always consistent. You can expect the same things from Mike on day 100 of a project as you did on day one. So he is onsite now to help us out, and some of the other folks have been sent home. We should be set for the stretch run.

A few more days remain until I go on vacation. I cannot wait to have a whole week off to spend with my boys. I am thinking the zoo, COSI, the park, whatever they want it is gonna be a great week. I am also going to be packing that week as well. The move to the apartment won't take place til the end of Au…

The Tooth Fairy

I had an unexpected trip home this week, thus my absence from the blogger world. The Columbus office needed me to go look at a couple of new claims, so it was a working break from the sewage plant. But I also was able to spend some time with the boys. Last night they asked me to stay and watch a movie with them - The Tooth Fairy with that "Rock" guy from the wrestling world. I agreed to stay with them, but knew I was about to see the most mind numbingly stupid movie I have seen since The Pacifier. 30 minutes in, though, I think I laughed more than I have since The Hangover. Seriously, it was very funny and I would watch it again.

I started prepping the house to move today. I am very sad to move away from the boys neighborhood and into an apartment. I will miss my home and my dog, Oliver, who I need to re home before the move. But I will still only be 5 minutes away from the guys so we will make the best of it. And the new place has a pool and gym on site, so maybe I can start…

Overwhelming Heat

I am sure there have been times in my life where I have experienced weather like this. But I cannot remember them. Since my return Monday, the temperatures here have topped 100 degrees each day. Combine that with incredibly high humidity and working, even walking or being outdoors, is an incredible chore. Keeping my team well hydrated and cool has been a full time job in and of itself. But we have yet to have an illness or issues from the heat. We still have a total of four health and safety officers onsite between all the contractors. They are doing an amazing job of keeping us all working well.

I find myself everyday thinking about where I have been and where I want to go. Both at work (thought they were going to send me to Puerto Rico today) and at home (where my life is in a great state of transition). Right now everything seems so clouded and I am desperately seeking answers. I do not want to go into details about any of this - I have learned through experience and failure to keep…

You've got a friend in me

Went home for the weekend. Last evening I took the boys to see Toy Story 3. First, let me say I think it may be the best movie of the three. Definitely a must see for kids and adults. I watched the movie with my boys, and with Bethany sitting right beside me. It started a 24 hour period in which the theme song, You've got a friend in me, hit home to me. I have stated before and will again how lucky I am to have friends who are always there. They have literally been my solid ground as life has taken some very shaky turns. Can I even begin to name them without leaving anyone out? No. But Bethany and Bobbi, Dave and Sara, Brad, Ralph- I would do anything for these people because they have proven over time they would do anything for me. Sometimes we disagree, I make choices that frustrate them, they do things that irritate me. Just like Family. Now I wouldn't trade my family for anything. But these people are part of my family. And I am grateful for them.

In a way of not feeling li…

Missing in action

Yesterday morning I woke up with a terrible headcold. It was the kind that makes your head feel like it weighs 500 pounds. I decided to fight it, part of my "I don't get sick" attitude. The last time I was really sick Abbi had to convince me to stop and take a break. But after a couple hours at the job in 95 degree heat with 95% humidity, I was done and decided the hotel bed was the best place for me to be. As I was packing my gear, one of my team members asked where another one of them was. Dontel had not been seen since 10 am. I called his phone but there was no answer. I went to the guard shack to see if he had signed out, thinking the heat was too much and he had quit (it's not uncommon for temporary local labor to walk away). But he hadn't signed out. So we had to take action. All work stopped on the jobsite. We formed search teams and began to cover the grounds. For all I knew he could be laying somewhere passed out from the heat. We searched the manholes.…

Back after a little time away

Been a few days since I have posted. A trip home, a trip to the ER, and a trip down memory lane are the highlights. Bet you all are going to want details.

On Thursday night of last week, as I sat down to blog, I got a call from one of my team members. He had busted his leg open and was bleeding badly. It was as if he had opened a geyser on his leg. Blood was everywhere in his room, as if someone had been stabbed. He went to the ER, along with another team member to keep us updated. The rest of the team and myself stayed up very late cleaning the room. Yes, that is one of the services my company offers. By morning, all was back to normal. His leg was patched up and the room was ready to go, but a very heavy eyed crew reported to work Friday.

Saturday morning I drove home to see the boys and an old friend. Even though I had just seen them a few days earlier I missed my guys more than I thought. I locked my house key in the house though, and my room mate was MIA for the evening. So I got…

Bury my head and keep plowing

As I mentioned, the early part of this week came with some tremendous moments. Watching my boys as they grow and get recognized is probably the greatest joy I have had in a long time. Continuing the pattern, today I got a call from a major insurance company. I have worked with them for several years, but when I started at Belfor I discovered they did not work well with my new employer. I made some calls and worked to get us back into their loop, though on a very limited basis. I, along with others in my office, have worked for well over a year now to make this relationship a successful one. The call today informed me that they are expanding our role and that we will be a large player in their claims going forward. Very exciting and the payoff of a lot of effort by everyone on my office.

Just as I learned the good news today, I was hot with some bad as well. Joanne Dyer, one of the stronger people I have onsite, was requested back at her home office in Reno. Her flight leaves tomorrow, …

Holy Crap I am someone's Daddy!

I remember just a little less than 12 years ago when John-Michael was born. We brought him home and I bet you I was up at least 10 times checking his bassinet right, which was right by the bed. I remember thinking Holy Crap I am someones Daddy! I thought about the next 18 years and what it would be like to watch him grow and become a man. I knew it was my job to teach him life lessons, just as my dad did (and continues to do) for me.

This mornings ceremony and assembly was really a cool experience. John-Michael received his award. His mother, brothers, and myself were all in the crowd. We let him know how very proud we are of him and how this will stay with him the rest of his time in school. At the end of the day, we went back as the students, parents, and staff of Chapelfield clapped the 5th graders out of the building. JM is no a sixth grader, a middle schooler, and Tanner is no longer in kindergarten. Mr. Ben takes on 5th grade next year. All three of my guys are hitting milestones…

True Love

24 years ago today I had the honor of standing as the best man at my Mom and Dad's wedding. I watched them and learned from them for almost 23 years until we lost Mom last January. They were best friends, soul mates, and put on this Earth to find each other. The example they set and lessons they taught to Angelia, Josh and myself are engrained in us for life. We should all be so lucky to find a love so strong. Happy Anniversary, I miss you Mom. And I love you Dad. Thank you for making my mother so happy.

I have to get me one of those

Working in steel toe boots day in and day out can really kill your feet. Combine that with a very stressful week thus far, and I needed a little relaxation the last couple days. So I pulled my trunks out of the suitcase and headed for the hot tub. Now I am addicted lol. I cannot remember feeling so relaxed. So I have made a decision that having a hot tub is officially on the bucket list.

Nothing can be more boring than sitting in a small office at a sewage treatment facility with absolutely nothing to do. Don't get me wrong, the client is very happy. We have completed all assigned tasks and exceeded their expectations. But wow, I am gonna have to mix in a deck of cards or run a satellite to the office if I am going to get through the next two months.

I decided tonight that I needed some data off my blackberry, so I hooked up to the device manager on my laptop. I thought I went through the proper steps, but when it was finished the file could not be opened on the computer. I went bac…

Only a skeleton remains

Today we whittled down to the skeleton crew onsite that will be in place for the next two months. Hopefully, with the majority of the work done i will be able to get out and see some of the area that has eluded me thus far. the corvette museum, mammoth cave, and some parts of music city are all on my bucket list while I live in Tennessee.

I learned today that anyone, including those who have dashed our hopes over and over again, are capable of finding a way to move forward and take responsiblity. Someone I am very close to and who I personally have lost faith in several times manned up today and did what they felt is the right thing. I am proud of that person. And i will support them in any way possible.

Been a long day, gonna go settle into the rack and catch some zzz's.


It is what it is

Truer words have never been spoken, am I right? No matter the situation, it can always be said that it is what it is.

Today the rain and storms once again struck us around 4 pm, prompting me to dismiss the entire team for the second day in a row. Can't have people cleaning outdoors during a lightning storm. It feels like we have been working the same tasks for a year, as we keep getting delayed by mother nature.. Hopefully tomorrow we can wrap them up. But again, it is what it is.

On a better note, I set my schedule for the next two months. We will be keeping a small team on site for hotshot items that may pop up for the client. I will lead that team, however, I will be able to come home every weekend during that time. So starting next Friday, i will have free time if my Columbus friends want to get together.

Last note, I will be looking for an apartment to move into around August first. If anyone knows of a nice, affordable 2 or 3 bedroom, Please let me know. I am open to location a…

Intimidation, evacuation, and an award

I need to start tonight's blog with some incredibly good news, the kind that makes Daddy a very happy person. My son, John-Michael, will be receiving the Presidential Award for Academic Excellence on June 8, 2010. He has no idea, as the school wants to make it a complete surprise. John-Michael, from what I understand, is the only student in his school to receive this prestigious honor. I am so proud of him and the man he is becoming.

As I went through my day today I had the opportunity to speak to a friend. She is a new friend, just having met her in the last few weeks, but we get along famously. One thing she said that kind of shocked me, though. She said I am a little intimidating when someone first meets me. Me? Intimidating? I have never thought of myself that way. My Dad, now he is intimidating. I don't know that I have ever had a girlfriend or buddy not tell me they were intimidated by my Father. And he doesn't mean to be. He just is. Maybe that's me? I do not see…

I'm free on the seventh at seven

Been a couple days since I have blogged, as yesterday was a long day of travel. Starting early in the morning, I had to drive to Akron to pick up someone else who had spent the weekend at home, then to Nashville to pick her car up at the airport, then back to Clarksville. All in all it was about 700 miles and 11 hours of windshield time. Combine that, another personal issue I didn't want to have to deal with yesterday but was forced to do so none the less, and the arthritis in my foot flaring up, and I was ready for bed almost as soon as I got to the room last night.

As I look back on today's first day back, my visit home, and the last year and a half, I am reminded of the movie Bruce Almighty. Specifically, when Morgan Freeman looks at Jim Carey and says "No matter how dirty something gets, you can always clean it up." I suppose I have been doing that for awhile, though not always in the most graceful or dignified way. Many times I have come across self inflicted mes…