Category Archives: Employment

I Passed!!!!


Oh my goodness – I passed the insurance exam, and now can apply for my license to be a producer for Life Health & Accident Insurance!! And I made a pretty respectable score, better than I was expecting. (Yeah, I was stressing just a bit!)

I haven’t had to take a test like this in a long time and though I have always been an above average student and an excellent test-taker, I was a bit worried. I am a lot older and my memory, in my opinion, doesn’t seem to be as good, and in all honesty this isn’t something I ever saw myself attempting to obtain.

Life can lead you down some strange and unexpected paths throughout your lifetime. At least mine has, that’s for sure. I’ve always been a good writer, and love the craft. I have spent the last 20 years working as a writer, which in all honesty I never anticipated, or even dreamed of, in my twenties. I can be a natural-born storyteller, and can have a roomful of people cracking the fuck up and fully engaged. I tend to make people think in different perspectives. I’m not always what one might expect 😉 I like that about me, and I think others do, too.

2-wd-note2younger-self
Be open-minded . . .

Having said all that, I am not a salesperson, and have NEVER aspired to be. BUT, from my own experiences, I know how important and advantageous safe annuities and Long Term Care insurance can be to one’s future. Right now I am setting appointments, and will now be making commissions 🙂 Never worked on commission before, that’ll be different. And here’s to having mentors – people who may see things in you that you might not see.

Well, here’s to a new path, new adventure, new experiences, and hopefully some income that’s not from our 401K. Stopping the bleeding there would be awesome . . .

Anyway – I want to thank all of you for your support

I have a wonderful family, and it continues to grow larger (just had a new great-niece born three weeks ago), and more great friends than I can count, but my blogging family is important to me, too. I miss y’all when I am absent, just like with my other friends and family. I miss reading your posts, and will be blog-bingging/stalking you soon! And I know I have been so neglectful of my blogs, but I am hoping to start posting more regularly. Thanks for sticking with me 🙂

Oh, and I just have to say . . . I will miss Doobster . . . Mindful Digressions can be such a pleasure . . .

Just something I was thinking about . . .

Advertisements

I know – I’ve been AWOL lately . . .


3Cs-in-life

Hey Blog Buds!! I had intended to be a little more prolific this year . . . and still hope to get on a more regular writing schedule. I am even farther behind on reading my favorite blogs, so if I haven’t visited in a while, I will first chance I get . . . missing reading what you are thinking about these days!

But I have been distracted in ways I wasn’t expecting. First I had Nanowrimo in November. Then we had the holidays, and I was still working the novel. Then, I must admit, I was a bit in a mindfuck . . . I could go into that deep, but not going to. Not prudent and over it. Now, we are knee-deep into March . . . where in the world has the time slipped away to??

I have been busy. I started a new job, though it is so far out of the box, that I am shocked, and a little uneasy regarding if I am making the right decisions. We met with this financial advisor (YES a free dinner was involved at a VERY nice place). Funny thing, we really liked his product. BUT, because of our circumstances, he advised that this was not a good time to do this, because we might need the money we were considering investing. (I had already decided that, but was happy that he was on the same page.)

For whatever reason, this guy – who does QUITE well for himself – took an interest in us and I guess a shining to me, and has offered me a job as his office manager as he builds his business on this side of town, and has also paid for my study materials and is paying for the testing for my license certification to help him sell insurance products. Or more to the point, to get commissions and residuals from any policies I have a hand in selling, even if I just set the appointment.

This guy is really down to earth, though I know from what I can see that he makes a lot of money AND for whatever reason thinks I can assist him in growing his business and provide me an opportunity to make commissions that could be quite lucrative in the long run. Right now, I am making very little, but it is more than I was making last week. The drive is less than 10 minutes away, and smack dab in the middle of one the most prestigious marinas in our area. I rarely have to dress up, and the atmosphere is totally laid back.

My husband and I think this might be a great opportunity, and it’s not like anyone else is beating down my door.  I have never done anything like this before, so not even sure I am going to like it or be as good at it as my new mentor thinks I will be. Like I said, I’m not sure about it, but for now am giving it my all and studying to get my license.

Changing the subject, I watched Bill Maher Friday night, listening to his panel’s back and forth about Hillary Clinton’s email – come on, they can read every email I write if they want and if you think they weren’t already honed in on the server Clinton.com – you are a fool, because their server would definitely elicit more interest than many others. What do you think about this “hot button?”

My goodness, the people in Washington D.C. spend more time building little fires that they can squirt lighter fluid on to incite what they consider the “commoners” – I always wonder what else is going on when this crap happens . . . I always feel it’s a distraction from what we should all really be focusing on.

Just some things I was thinking about . . .

Happy New Year


new-year-2015-flower-cards

Happy New Year and Welcome 2015!!!

I am finding it hard to believe that 2014 is now behind us – it flew by so quickly, or so it seems in my world. Having said that, I’m glad it’s over!

I am looking forward to a new year, a new beginning, new adventures and opportunities. I’m excited, and a little apprehensive, regarding the challenge of learning to make a living outside the box, as we don’t seem to fit in the box anymore and the box is what we know and are accustomed to.

Though I seem to find myself in unfamiliar territory, I do try to find the blessings in this “uncharted path” I am on, and there are many!!

I want to take this moment to send lots of good cheer to you and yours in the coming year! Here’s to a wonderful 2015, especially on roads less traveled . . . may they make all the difference!!!

Just something I was thinking about . . . ☮

word cloud for year 2015

Tupperware® Got Me Thinking


vintagetupperwaread

So my last post got me to thinking about Tupperware®. I love Tupperware® and have many pieces I bought years ago from a party I had. I even have a couple of very old pieces from my grandmas, back from the late 1940s and 1950s. After World War II, Earl Tupper modified his factory machines to mold raw polyethylene (developed for weapons use) into food containers – using a paint can as inspiration for the tight-fitting lids. Originally, Tupperware®  was made in the Massachusetts’ plastics industrial complex.

I emailed them last week, using the “Contact Us” link on their website, inquiring about where their products are manufactured. Several emails went back and forth, and I must admit they were very prompt with their responses. I was told that Tupperware® products are made all over the world – Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela, Portugal, France, Belgium, Greece, India, China, Korea, Japan and United States.

I was assured of their continued history of high quality and design and “all Tupperware® products meet all applicable laws and regulations for product safety in each country they are made.” I’m not sure what that means exactly. Do they mean that all countries manufacture products that meet all U.S. laws and regulations regarding health safety, or are they different in different countries? Pretty sure it was stated that way on their website, too.

Though their home office is in Orlando, Florida, their Customer Care Center is located in Mexico City. You know I asked, and I asked because I could tell from the way the email was composed. Again – that shit just pisses me off, though they were – again – prompt and most informative and polite. But their English writing skills weren’t great. Kind of scares me when big corporations don’t find good clear concise written communication important.

A Google search turned up a WP blog that stated “the Tupperware®  factory in the United States is located in Hemmingway, South Carolina.” Debra Todd Jordan, a Tupperware®  consultant, went on to say, “Each plant makes the items that are indigenous to their region.” So, if that’s correct, I can get on board with that – if nothing else saves on shipping and props up the economies using the products. Unfortunately, how those corporate taxes are handled I probably would not agree with.

Anyway, since I didn’t have my fingers in enough pies this week, I had to research this 😉 I am a glutton for punishment lately. Just thought I’d share what I found out. I haven’t bought any lately, but read in my research that now they are not marked with where they are made, just the Tupperware® mark. Where our medicines come from is next on my agenda – after . . .

Still working NaNoWriMo . . . still behind, but continuing to work it. I may not meet my goal, but damn it, I will be further along in this story than I have been. I posted a couple of snippets from the novel on my other blog, in the event you are interested in this type of reading. It is very different from this blog – that’s why I have more than one, my interests are varied, random, eclectic for sure.  My novel is fiction, with a little romance thrown in, more a story of life and how it plays out sometimes. There’s a lot of dialog. If you check it out, please leave me some feedback. I value and respect all of your opinions as writers in general. Having said that – don’t make me cry now 😉

All of a sudden I have a bunch of people wanting apple butter and this week blackberries are on sale for 88-cents a six-ounce container, so I have a few orders I have to fill this week. Doesn’t make much money, but brings in a little cash and I enjoy doing it. (Though my hands aren’t as good as they used to be and when you make this shit – if you’re doing it right, you’re gonna get burned LOL – seriously! Looking forward to that blackberry jam, though!!)

Listening to this right now – I find this to be good writing music sometimes, depending on my mood . . . plus it’s raining and the wind’s kicking, and the windchimes are singing – n~i~c~e.

Also, trying to keep up with y’all, slowly but surely 😉 I’m definitely becoming a binge reader, seemly stalking sites 🙂

Just some things I was thinking about ☮☮☮

[POSTSCRIPT – OH NO, the video I linked to has been removed . . . that’s never happened to me before. I hope I didnt just get added to some LIST somewhere, ya know what I mean 😉 I’m going to look for another link, but in case I don’t find one, the music was the soundtrack to the movie “Rush” from 1992, mostly instrumentals by Eric Clapton. Soulful, contemplative music for sure!]

nanoPoblano                                                                           NaBloPoMo_1114_465x287_NOV

Fine & Boycott the Bastards


stop-outsourcing

Okay – so in the last three days I have had to call Comcast, Chase and my local credit union. Do you know where their customer service call centers are located – The Philippines (yeah, I asked!), every last one of them, even my credit union (which I must say surprised the shit out of me).

It’s no wonder people here can’t find jobs . . .

And don’t get me wrong, I want people in the Philippines to be able to work and eat and raise their families, but not at the expense of American’s doing without these jobs that President Bush-43 called the jobs of the 21st century.

Now, mind you, I have been out of work for over a year, though I am not a customer service person, but this kind of business practice affects us all!

I think everyone who does business this way should be heavily fined, and if possible boycotted!

Okay my rant for the day is done . . . (yes, this pisses me off!)

Just something I was thinking about . . . something I think about often, as a matter of fact! ☮

 

 

Autumn Leaves – The Politics at Hand


VoterApathy-610x495

Sept 21 WordPress Daily Prompt: Autumn Leaves

Changing colors, dropping temperatures, pumpkin spice lattes: do these mainstays of Fall fill your heart with warmth — or with dread?

I have mentioned that politics do not dominate my landscape per say. But I have to admit, when I read this prompt, I couldn’t help but think of politics and how the mid-term elections are coming up. I have also heard that mid-term elections typically have poor turnouts, which I understand, as I myself have skipped a few over the years.

I have to tell you, I am now making it my business to know who is running and who I am voting for. We have got to start instilling some change in this country, in the way problems/issues/legislative actions are approached and then dispositioned, in the way those who WE elect into office represent us once they are elected, and in the way we are actually represented overall as a whole – a constituency.

This takes a lot of research and a lot of time, but I am dedicated to it. I can’t afford not to – none of us can! Complacency leads to neglect, which leads to contempt – I can promise you, not because I want it to, but because it does.

Regardless of how you vote, and what your ideologies are – you have to ensure you educate yourself and make your voice heard. The “Old Guard” just doesn’t have their hand on the pulse of America, and they certainly aren’t hearing us.

Just something I was thinking about . . . ☮

biggestloser-didntvotenon-voter

What Was He Thinking??


Watching the news today – I know, it’s always an experience and often entertaining, and it has been a few days since I’ve watched any because I had to check out for awhile – and as I’m listening, the reporter starts talking about the color of President Obama’s suit at a news conference yesterday. It was tan, or what some would call taupe. Seriously, I’m not shitting you. I saw it, of course you know they had to show it, and it was a nice suit; I saw nothing wrong with it. (I haven’t seen the news conference yet, wasn’t engaged yesterday and have been busy today – but I will find it and watch it.)

Those that know me know I am not a fashion icon by any means, BUT come on people – with all the problems in the world, in our country and in our own lives – does the color of his suit really matter? Am I just an idiot for thinking it doesn’t??

Then one of my Facebook friends commented that some news reporter/commentator went on to chastise saying – after mentioning the suit debacle, of course – that President Obama stated that first he wanted to say something about some revised numbers on the economy, like real Americans cared about that after the beheading of James Foley and ISIS concerns. Then the president went on to say that we don’t have a strategy for ISIS.

Now I am a real American, and for the first time in decades, I have been unemployed for 15 months. I’m living off my retirement money and I have at least 15 years until I can retire. So I do care about the economy. That is most important to me at this moment. Having said that, what we ALL better be concerned about is that we don’t have a strategy to deal with ISIS, and if that’s not bad enough, now the whole world knows. The whole world also knows that those crazy ass Americans are in an uproar about the president’s suit color, not that their military has no plan.

Oh my goodness – as I am writing this, just heard the news reporting the color of Obama’s suit was the top trend on Twitter. That, my friends, is exactly why this country and maybe some other parts of the world are in the shape they are in. Look at the shit the “important people” – the communicators, the decision makers, the money makers/spenders, the policy makers – are focusing on. What the fuck is wrong with you people?!?

Okay – I am so not related to these people, I can tell you  . . .

I’m curious what y’all think about this, too.

Anyway just something I was thinking about it . . . and felt the need to rant about 😉

You Best Be Paying Attention ‘Cause Shift Happens


Many years ago I watched a video called “Shift Happens” – a real eye-opener on the world we now live in. Since then it has been updated a few times and has changed a bit. I found several out there, but this revision is by one of the the original creators and I found the info presented here, as far as numbers go, is the same used in the 2013 and 2014 versions. (Plus, I am not entirely sure who actually updated those with additional info.)

I can’t say I hope you enjoy the video, as it is not for pleasure, more as it is for pause, consideration, education, and maybe even enlightenment. The world is so different from the one I grew up in, and is even different from the one my kids grew up in. People born in the last decade have had just about every move they have made digitally tracked in some form or fashion. (That’s another topic for another day!)

We are not the greatest country in the world anymore (yes, we Americans often think that!) – if nothing else because our “natural” resources are lacking . . . our human resource is not only out-numbered, but out-educated, and possibly even out-motivated, it seems. Taking these things into consideration, maybe we need to start thinking about “re-inventing the wheel” as it pertains to our future or the United States may find it quite difficult to keep up or even compete.

I don’t know  – just something I was thinking about . . .

What do you think?

Is the Giant Panda Sleeping?


Let me start by saying that I have nothing against China or the Chinese people. What I am fixing to talk about is bigger and far more encompassing and quite frankly it’s not about the Chinese people either. It’s about governments and their desire for control and expansion. It’s about the second-largest economy in the world.  It’s about people in general not paying attention to what’s really going on around them – which is hard to do, as there is a lot of noise coming our way these days. Sometimes it’s hard to get a clear channel on anything.

Mainstream media is good at distracting people from what’s really important and needs our attention or consideration, by providing us lots of other crap to focus on. Right now one of those focuses is North Korea, Iran and Syria, as well it should be. But, we better not lose sight of the sleeping giant panda or fire-breathing dragon – however you choose to look at it. I’d be willing to bet there is a legend somewhere that tells the story of how one became the other . . .

Most of us are aware that we , the United States, owe China an immense amount of money — in the ballpark of $1.3 trillion, if my sources are correct. The U.S. government continues to borrow from them.

The Chinese have also been buying a considerable amount of U.S. assets over the past decade, with projections in U.S. investments of $15-20 billion a year over the next decade. They appear to be focusing on acquisitions in energy, financial services, food production, real estate, and manufacturing, as well as entertainment and technology. The Chinese own One Chase Manhattan Plaza and the General Motors building, in New York – both nice commercial real estate coups for sure. They own all the AMC Theaters.

Most of these assets are owned by the Chinese government, under various state-owned entities. China needs energy to fuel their rapidly growing industrial development, and have purchased power assets in Portugal, Brazil and the Philippines. They had an unsuccessful attempt to buy the U.S. oil company Unocal in 2005.

The Chinese government also purchased private equity assets that fund GM pensions, if I understood correctly. I want to do some more research on that, & a few other things. I have so many questions. Though these are my opinions, I do try to thoroughly research topics I am interested in, verifying my info with several sources. Most of this information came from sources like Reuters, Market Watch, LA Times, USA Today, Business Week, and Forbes – encompassing a variety of agendas.

There is concern about China’s foothold in technology and possible breaches in our national security. Some analysts think that it’s in China’s best interest to stay friendly with us, as our markets thrive, so do Chinese investments. But what if their overall strategic goal is to control or even own the U.S. in some unknown manifest destiny design. They have quite an established growing assertive military presence, as well. Regardless of what might happen, I would not want to be at the mercy of a Communist country.

A month or so back I happened across CNN doing a piece on The Guardian’s Predictions for the World in 2014. Predictions shared involving China were:

  • China will eventually be the world’s largest economy.
  • Though Western brands will continue to dominate, China will own them.
  • U.S. will soon celebrate Chinese holidays.
  • Western politicians will clamor for Chinese investors.

I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but I find all of this a little disconcerting. I am not a political person, nor do I know much about economics. I realize the world is now a global economy, but maybe the U.S. is a little too open for business? And why do we do so much business with China, in particular? The government does not allow any partnering with them involving NASA, spaceflight, or manned exploration – but then again there is considerable technology involved in those endeavors and International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) come into play.

I will be writing about this again, as I have so many questions that are not answered and concerns I wish to address. I also did not want to make this post to awfully long, as I have lots more data to share. I would love to hear what you think about this, too. Is the giant panda a good business partner or a wolf in sheep’s clothing?

Anyway, just something I’ve been thinking about . . .

locator map of China

** I watched a most interesting program quite a few years back about China – I have been keeping an eye on this development for quite a few years now – their growth, increase in consumption, and interdependency with the United States. In all honesty, it was a bit disconcerting. This link no longer shows the ABC News/Bob Woodruff video, but you can read the accompanying story.

 

Russia and Your Space Station


I read an interesting article in the paper a few days back regarding all the upheaval in Ukraine with Russia, and how this is affecting the relationship between Russia and the U.S. when it comes to the International Space Station (ISS). I know a little about NASA and the ISS and its operations, and I can tell you this issue is troubling to me. We have an ISS mission operations control center in Russia, as well as here in the U.S. at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Our astronauts train in Russia for the Soyuz flights that ferry them back and forth to the ISS. The following is an excerpt from an internal NASA memo:

“Given Russia’s ongoing violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, until further notice, the U.S. Government has determined that all NASA contacts with Russian Government representatives are suspended, unless the activity has been specifically excepted. This suspension includes NASA travel to Russia and visits by Russian Government representatives to NASA facilities, bilateral meetings, email, and teleconferences or videoconferences. At the present time, only operational International Space Station activities have been excepted. In addition, multilateral meetings held outside of Russia that may include Russian participation are not precluded under the present guidance.” SOURCE: NASA Watch

From what I know, there are teleconferences at least weekly and emails probably daily. Before each flight of a vehicle to the ISS, Flight Readiness Reviews and Stage Operations Readiness Reviews are typically held and ALL international parties attend in person or via teleconference. Most configuration changes of any kind often require all international partners to agree and sign-off on. I have no idea what exactly has been deemed essential and how this is impacted by the sanctions the U.S. currently has in place with our partner in space.

We are dependent on Russia to get our astronauts to the ISS. We have much invested in the way of funding and are gaining enormous benefits in areas that will not even be realized for years – the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer could possibly change the basic concepts of physics; medical studies regarding cancer, aging, medications, etc.; as well as many other important scientific and technological advances.  When NASA’s Space Shuttle Program ended, with no crew vehicle to take its place, the price of the seats on the Russian Soyuz went up, now costing approximately $70 million. Sometimes two of those seats belong to us, meaning that cost doubles.

I’ve read that Charles Bolden, NASA’s administrator has said Russia’s space agency Roscosmos will continue to cooperate with NASA as far as providing our astronauts a ride to and from the space station. He has assured that Russia depends on us and can’t run the station as we supply many essential power and operating systems. He mentioned in 2008, when there were diplomatic issues involving Georgia, there were no problems. Well at that point the ISS was not completely assembled. I doubt both of the robotic arms were onboard and I’m pretty sure the satellite deployers had not been delivered. The robotic arms are used for so many tasks and operations and the small satellite deployers are a definite advantage in this newer area of technology. In my opinion, the only guarantee we have is that Russia wants our money.

My understanding is that the Russian cosmonauts spend the majority of their time living and working in the Russian modules and predominantly only work on their own science investigations – which if you ever look at a NASA Expedition Press Kit, these science experiments/investigations are written in Russian, so if you do not know the language or have an interpreter, most people have no idea what the Russians are really working on. (Though I am sure someone at NASA does.) They may even use their own communication systems separate of NASA’s, as well.

Also, if I understand correctly, the Russian Zvezda Service Module is the main piece of the station when it comes to powering all other systems and if it goes down – the whole thing can die. Having said all that, the Russians could just shut the parts of the U.S. side of the station down that they didn’t want to use and that would be that. I’d be willing to bet, there’s probably ways to disconnect the U.S. modules and let them deorbit, if so desired.

The space station was conceived as an engineering feat, to result in not only great advances in science and human space exploration, but also as a model for international cooperation – peace, compromise and teamwork. Under the circumstances though, I can’t help but wonder if Russia would try and use their advantage and take over the station.

I don’t know, and I am not an expert on any of these things. I am just thinking about the possibilities of what can happen with operations of the space station and the ramifications of the state of the world and our own affairs in this country presently. WE have a lot at stake here and I don’t think most of us really even know it. It’s not just about who owns, runs, funds the ISS and the science we get from that – it’s about who ultimately owns the skies with satellite technology and just as an aside, human space exploration.

I just realized North Korea has a space agency. North Korea has a space agency and China has landed a rover on and is exploring the moon and Russia is the only way our astronauts can travel back and forth to the space station that we as a nation and as taxpayers own a big part of. Regardless of your opinions of NASA, space exploration, and its funding . . . Is it just me or is this picture disturbing?

Just something I was thinking about . . .