Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Oh Captain! My Captain!

O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up--for you the flag is flung--for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbon'd wreaths--for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head!
It is some dream that on the deck,
You've fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,
The ship is anchor'd safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
But I with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

Walt Whitman (1819-1892)

Mickey Crumpton
June 14, 1940 - April 25, 2004

Nearly every person alive works for another person at some point in their lives. I imagine most people think their boss is an okay guy or gal. I know there are a percentage of folks who think their boss is a grade-A jackass. I wonder how many people have a boss they think of as their hero, a father figure, as the guy who turned their life around.

That's who Mickey was to me.

I started work for him in May of 1999. On one of my first days he sat me down and said, "My goal is to make Pacific AgPak a place where people want to get up in the morning to come to work."

No joke.

Mickey had a way of instilling his trust in you to the point that you learned to believe in yourself and your ability to accomplish whatever task or goal he set before you. He was loyal to a fault, and he was generous. While there was often a pat on the back, Mickey was better known for putting his money where his mouth was. When he rewarded his employees, he wanted to be sure it was to an extent that would have an impact on their lives, that they could feel the difference when they had to pay the bills or were heading out on vacation.

Please endure one anecdote. I had been there for a year and was preparing for a vacation to take my family to Nevada to see some of my boyhood haunts and to visit some old friends. My front tires needed balancing, so I took my car around the corner to the tire place that everyone here uses. When I got my car back the tires were balanced. It also had two new tires and new brakes all around. He just said he needed to make sure we had a safe drive over the mountains.

Whenever you thanked him for any reward, any extra, any perk, he always had the same answer, "You work hard, you deserve it."

He challenged me to be better, he had high expectations, and when I came through, he never acted surprised. He never asked anyone to do anything he didn't think they could do. His belief was infectious. I may not be the best of men, but I'm a better man today because of him. I live a better life and provide a better life for my family because of him.

They say success is measured not by the magnitude of the achievement, but by the manner in which it is achieved. If that is the case, then Mickey was a success beyond admiration.

He turned my life around, and I will never forget him.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

The Oracle Knows Nothing, Tells All!

Hey, what the 'eck are you doing here?

Time to go over to the Oracle of the Loon and see what you've been missing.

You may just learn all you need to know about your future.

But probably not.

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Magic 8 Ball


What do you think? Prophet? Charlatan? Tabloid Editor? Politician? Comedian?

Regardless of your point of view, it's impossible to ignore his fingerprint on modern society. With every major event, people flock to his quatrains to find some hint that Nosty had pegged one.

Me? I think he was full of crap. I think his proponents are deluded and insecure.

Lately I've had opportunity to watch several programs on him on some of my exploration-type satellite channels. Well, that and the much ballyhooed "Bible Code." While there are aspects of the Bible Code that come off more compelling than Nosty, due to their alleged specificity and accuracy, I find it disconcerting to view the Old Testament I so revere personally as little more than a cosmic Rubik's Cube with puzzles just waiting to be parsed out by the curious. Therefore I approach the Bible Code with much the same skepticism.

It may seem that a guy like me, Bible believer that I am, shouldn't be able to muster up any skepticism, but hey, live with it.

In response to this hooey and to these recent programs I have viewed, I have decided that I too can be an oracle. I have set up a separate blog to record my predictions and their fulfillments...

Okay, lack thereof, but I digress.

Please, join in on the fun. Or point fingers and laugh. Like I care.

Oracle of the Loon

Friday, April 09, 2004

Friday Five

What the heck...

1.) What do you do for a living? I'm an office manager for an agricultural packaging company.

2.) What do you like most about your job? The POWER! Okay, just kidding. Working for the company is great, because my bosses are very generous and try to make it a place people want to come to every day to work. For the job, it's challenging juggling production and shipping schedules, especially in the heat of the busy season (i.e.: RIGHT NOW!)

3.) What do you like least about your job? Paperwork. I like to figure stuff out and hit the home run, but I hate doing the paperwork to finish it up.

4.) When you have a bad day at work, it's usually because... I've slacked off in some way or wasn't thorough in my follow through and something I screwed up or didn't follow up on came back to bite me in the arse.

5.) What other career(s) are you interested in? It'd have to be something very special to pull me away from this place. Something lucrative and in the music biz, probably.

Do yer own: Friday Five

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Steamed Rice

Well, Condi's on the hot seat today. That's good. I'm just waiting for the spin. The victims' families want apologies. I understand that. We dropped the ball.

The bleeding hearts of the country are doing their damnedest to blame the Bush Administration for the problem, while touting the now legendary pharmaceutical factory bombing as evidence that Clinton was taking serious action.

Which, of course, is horse doody. But I digress.

It might be okay to blame the Bush administration in a sense. But you can't blame them for not preventing the attacks so much as for taking only publicly palatable pathways in investigating and trying to prevent any attacks.

The truth of the matter is that the very people who are wailing about how "Bush did nothing" are most to blame for our inability to prevent the attacks. Wait, hear me out.

Think about what sort of measures we would had to have taken to prevent the attacks and detain the planners if the FBI info the dear whistleblower (bless her soul for trying) had run across and was trying to escalate had been acted upon with full force. We would have search warrants, raids, detentions, questioning, confiscation of material evidence, etc.

On 20 Middle Eastern students.

God, the outcry there would have been. The ACLU would have been up in flames trying to get to court. There would have been protests, cries of racism and xenophobia, and this very administration that is being lambasted for taking too soft a touch would be vilified for Gestapo-like tactics in profiling these students who are just over here to modernize and enlighten themselves.

There's something enlightening about being able to pilot a plane that one can never land.

So let the inquiry continue, but know that whatever the commission tells the victims should have been done would have been impossible in a pre 9/11 society. And when the next bleeding heart tries to tell you otherwise, you can say with all confidence, "Horse doody."

Monday, April 05, 2004

Monkey Jaws

There's one thing I never understand about people who say that they base what they believe on logic and hard science, then make spectacular leaps of logic without actually examining the question they pose.

My friend Zen has a nice little article on how the identification of a particular gene for jaw muscle-building in primates, found "switched-off" in humans, has sounded the death-knell for creationists. He references an article by the "Living Code Guy" Carl Zimmer. Carl does a nice job of democratizing a rather arcane subject, then takes a parting shot:

"I don't want to turn every post about evolution in(to) an attack on
creationism, but here's a parting question. MYH16 is clearly essential to
the well-being of other primates. We have a copy of MYH16, but it doesn't
work. Where is the intelligence of this design? If we don't need the
gene, why did the designer insert it into our genome?"

While this is logical on the surface, it shows that Mr. Zimmer knows his genetic subject matter, but not that which he criticizes. Now, let me make it clear that I'm not a Young Earthist. I personally believe that the Earth is old, that life's been around longer than we think, that the preparation for man's entrance on the scene was a long process, but I do believe that the separate species were specially and purposely created. Most importantly, I don't think you throw out science because of what the religious scriptures say. That said, let's take a quick look at Genesis:

First Genesis 1:24-26
"24 And God said, "Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind." And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."

Then Genesis 2:7
"7...the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being."

You see, when God created the animals and man, He had already created all matter, all of the elements, all of the building blocks from which animal and human life would be made. All of the materials were in existence. The matter here was a creative combining of elements to create the individual life forms. God created man by applying His "image" to the materials already at hand. Similar life forms would have similar genemaps, with certain things turned on and turned off as needed to complete the purpose. You could envision it as a cosmic dipswitch, turning different switches on and off depending on the purpose of the machine. The very idea that a particular gene that is turned off, or seemingly useless, should somehow put the "nail in the coffin" of creation science is a silly one if one wishes to truly examine the subject matter. That's tantamount to saying, "If I, simple finite creature that I am, were God, I would do it this way," with the assumption that God has only our mental capacity with which to work.

Not that I don't appreciate the work of science. However, perhaps the scientists should stick to science rather than Biblical interpretation if they aren't going to give it the care and effort they put into their own very valuable work.


It's about me, dummy!!!


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