Monthly Archives: December 2012

2012 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 3,300 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 6 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Webster NY Christmas Eve 2012 Tragedy

It was the day before Christmas,
And all day on the news,
A gunmen had ambushed,
A fireman’s crew.

In the dark of the night,
The gunman did light,
The house where he lived
And a vehicle in sight.

A neighbor did call,
they called 9-1-1,
Never dreaming that first responders
would be met by a gun.

The firemen answered,
As a firemen should
To fight the fire
And save what they could.

Four fireman were hit,
Two of them dead.
What was wrong with this gunman?
What was wrong with his head?

The crews were pulled back
to wait in a safe haven.
As the fire spread from one house to the next
until the number of homes with fire was seven.

Neighbors were evacuated, the area secured.
A gun battle with police, then the gunman was dead.
He ended his own life,
with a shot to his head.

A terrible tragedy, some terrible news,
Where was God in all this, and where was He not.
The day before Christmas, turns white into blue.
Questions, more questions as to why and why not.

On December 24, 2012, a 62 year old man set up an ambush on firemen who responded to a fire that was set by the gunman around 5:30AM. This tragedy comes soon after the Sandy Hook incident. While arguments and discussion of gun control still are fresh, this is another heart breaking tragedy. This event took place in Webster, NY, less than 40 miles from my home.

The two fireman killed were: Michael Chiapperini and Tomasz Kaczowka.

The two fireman injured are: Theodore Scardino and Joseph Hofstetter.

These are brave men who showed their heroism again and again to fight fires and save lives. Our prayers go out for them and their families and to the community as they deal with the loss and injuries created by this tragedy.

The End of the World

Yet another End of the World date has come and gone. But a week ago, the world did end for the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy. The world of the victim’s families, neighbors, and friends were shattered.

The question is how do we stop this from ever happening again. I am not convinced we can, but I am convinced we certainly can try. The shooter gained access to guns, not through any commercial means, but because they belonged to his mother. How do you stop the use of guns that might be illegally obtained?  I am glad that it has brought attention to the need to provide more services for the mentally ill.

Our culture is becoming more violent overall. Our media presents us with violence all throughout the day with shows, movies and commercials. Violence is not new to media. Even ancient texts recount violent circumstances. What I think is different now is that violence is more prevalent and sometimes celebrated. The overall effect is the devaluing of life, a desensitizing. There is a disconnect between ourselves and the lives of others.

The tragedy at Sandy Hook is disheartening and heart breaking. It does, however, give us the opportunity to explore the effects of mental illness and cultural influence on our citizens. Not only is mental health important, but strong family ties of love and support are equally important.

Please appreciate those around you. Show the ones you love that they are not alone or isolated. The loss of these precious lives should remind out how special life is, and life is special. Life is an incredible gift.

Does God Exist?

Almost every workday, there are two gentlemen where I work who discuss the existence of God. Some days are more passionate than others. They are constantly bringing up evidence or proof of their opposing beliefs. One believes that science proves God does exist by discovering: the delicate balance of nature; our unique circumstances that allows life on this planet; the incredible complexity of life itself and the programming of DNA. One believes that all these things are incredible but in no way proves the existence of God. I do believe in God. I have faith in God. But I am intrigued by the argument for and against.

I asked privately if they learn anything from their arguments. The believer said that he was learning a great deal about science. I agree. There is so much that we do not know. As soon as we think we figure something out, there is always something else beyond our reason.

I believe that God does exist. He is not only all around me but in me as well. But I can understand that some need hard evidence, and maybe even then would not be convinced. I appreciate both these people. They are thoughtful and passionate. They are friends, even though they disagree. So, even if you do not believe that God exists, I wish you well and hope that you will be well blessed.

Another Round of Layoffs

Yesterday, I hugged some co-workers  as they were processed out. It was their last day. They were victims of the latest cost saving measures and right-sizing of my employer. A year ago my position was deemed no longer necessary, but fortunately, I was able to move from a management to a non-management position. Although I was not overjoyed at first, it actually has been a blessing. I now have more time to dedicate to projects and get overtime pay for over 40 hours.

I certainly hope that those let go yesterday will find something that they can be passionate about. The transition of our economy to whatever lies ahead is going to be tough. Our parents, grandparents and maybe even great grandparents went through a transition out of the Great Depression. Even though I do not think we will experience the Great Depression as our ancestors did, I still think it will be tough. We have been accustomed to much more than our ancestors had. This will probably lead us to be impacted more as we have to do with less.

These are uncertain times. Everyone knows that there will have to be cuts, now or eventually, but at the same time, no one wants to feel the pain. That is understandable, that is human nature.  I believe that industry and jobs will come back. Will they look like they did before?  I don’t think so. We are a resilient people. We have, and always will have, talented entrepreneurs whose passions will shine. It can be hard to keep positive in our current environment, but keeping alert for opportunities, even from the most unlikely sources, is vitally important. Necessity is the mother of invention, and we definitely need the creativity. My very best wishes go out to those who must start a new chapter.