Saturday, February 28, 2009

Moving in the Right Direction

President Obama is moving in the right direction with these two moves. First, he is going to rescind a Bush policy that protects pharmacists and medical people who refuse to perform abortions based upon their personal feelings. If these medical professionals feel that strongly about the issue then maybe they need to be in a different profession or another area in the medical field. No matter what you think privately once you enter in to a job where you must service society you had better check your attitude at the door.

The second is the DEA is going to halt the raids for medical marijuana and leave it up to the individual states what to do about it. Currently there are 13 states that allow for medical marijuana. In my opinion in should be in all 50. There is nothing sadder than watching someone who is severely ill, or dying, and smoking pot is the only way that person is able to even eat any food or feel any relief from their disease.

“My attitude is if the science and the doctors suggest that the best palliative care and the way to relieve pain and suffering is medical marijuana, then that’s something I’m open to,” Obama said in November 2007 at a campaign stop in Audubon, Iowa. “There’s no difference between that and morphine when it comes to just giving people relief from pain.”

I could not agree with the President more!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Just when I thought that my job was hard enough...... another coffee shop has come out with a gimmick that may give us a run for our money. I sure hope our CO doesn't decide to give it a try!

What am I talking about? Why the topless baristas of course! Yes, I said topless. Seems that a coffee shop in Maine has gone topless and over 18 only. The town council put the issue through because they say there is a recession and it is a way for the town to make money. Good luck to them, but I know how hot that steaming milk can get....I hope they have aprons on! Tough times bring on creativity.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I'll Be Watching

The President will be speaking on prime time tonight and I will be watching. Like I said before, I had taken a sabbatical from all news of the economy etc., but not tonight. I am anxious to hear what he has to say.

I want to hear how he is going to present the state of the economy, the wars and everything else that I am sure that he is going to touch upon. Time magazine has a list of five things that we should look for in tonight's speech.

I hope that I am not disappointed.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Weekend Potpourri

Much like my pal, Mixter, it has been a few days since I last posted. I have been trying to avoid the news. I have felt a bit of a depression coming on and most of it is due to the economic news and current political climate. It is just not good.

So, this morning I decided to read about most anything that is totally unrelated to the economy. I have been reading every bit of fluff. Also working on Facebook. Something that I really never wanted, nor intended to do, but find that it is a nice mindless diversion. If you believe what CNN had to say about meeting people/friends on Facebook it seems to be a good/popular way to connect. Although they do say that those who are married or in a relationship can mess things up.

I only ever got on Facebook so I could hit up Mixter on her page. Then someone at work stumbled upon my page and from there I now have about a dozen friends hitting me up daily! I then felt that I had to add photos and other stuff just so it would not look so stupid or like I am not that savvy. It seems sometimes juvenile, but like I stated earlier, I am looking for mindless diversion. I can get on and see what people are doing, a friend from work just got a baby hedgehog, cute. I can see someone else's wedding pictures. I was able to post the pictures of John and I in our Snuggies.

Those of us that have ever had to deal with men who get laid off from their jobs are all too aware of the items that Newsweek has pointed out. It is nothing new to read that men basically define themselves by their ability to provide and when they can't EVERYONE"S stress level gets elevated. Not to mention that they are not exactly to be counted on to do much house work!

Spent the morning drinking coffee and watching a great show on Discovery channel. C alled Sunrise Earth. If you love the sounds of the ocean and a beautiful sunrise to begin your day you should check out this site/show. They are an hour long and you can wake up slowly in a non alarming way. They go to some fantastic sites to film. All around the world.

The rest of the day plans seem to include a few items at the store, like milk on sale for 1.99 and dog food, and then maybe some wine and basketball tonight. The Cavaliers are just an amazing team this year and too much fun to watch!! Another great diversion.

I just finished reading Denis Leary's great book
and highly recommends it. "Why We Suck". Not for anyone who is too into political correctness. A great, and humorous, diversion.

I have also been looking to a very wide variety of Internet articles, blogs and web sites. Mixter has a huge assortment of links on her blog that are well worth a stop and read. Anything that is of either intellectual value or personal improvement is where I am looking. Just another good way to take your mind away from that which can take you down or depress you.

So, I hope that you enjoy your weekend, coffee and browsing!! Take the time and divert yourself!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Top 25

An awesome article compliments of Time Magazine! The top 25 blogs of 20o9. There is something there to love for everyone. You have your political blogs, sports, mommy stuff and everything geek that will make you giddy with geeky delight!!

Thus far I have only been through the list once, there is just so much to read. I plan to bookmark this site and spend some time reading and checking out the good stuff.

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Nice Diversion

As I typr this I have my earphones in and this is what I am listening to...."Sweetheart". An eclectic collection of love type songs re-done by current artists. Katy Perry, Death Cab for Cutie and Rouge Wave to name a few. One the rare cd's that we had at the coffee mega giant that I actually liked. My girlfriend bought it and several of us, at work, copied it. I have now burned it to my mp3 and plan to give John the cd.

I have never been a fan of Bruce Springsteen, but there is a version of his song,"I'm on Fire", which is the most I have ever liked this song. The girl that sings it is Kate Tucker. She is part of an indie rock band called Kate Tucker and the Sons of Sweden. It was the song that first drew me to the cd. I loved the girls voice and then I realized what words she was singing.

All the songs are great re-makes. Nicely done. If you have a chance to pick it up, or as in my case, download/burn a copy I highly recommend it.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Another One Bites the Dust

The other shoe is still falling. So is the ax. In the district that I work in all, but one, of the assistant managers were told that they could either be fired/let go or take a demotion and keep their job. This affects me in several ways.

1. The girl that is our asst. mgr. is also a friend. Someone that I really like and enjoy working with. We spend time together outside of work.

2. If she decides to leave then I will pick up most of her hours since I have the most seniority in my position. That would give me good hours, near 40 a week, and I would not have to get a part time job. I would also not have to worry about having enough hours every quarter to keep my health benefits.

3. If she stays, and takes the demotion, we will be on the same level and this is where it gets sticky. She will need hours and then the rest will trickle down to the rest of us. She will, obviously top my seniority, and I will have just enough. Then I will have to get that part time job. Our GM is trying to set up a meeting so she and I and the other supervisor in line after me can discuss what we would be willing to give up, in hours, and what we would need.

I am conflicted. I do not relish the idea of working another job, at night, after working all day, especially after serving the public all day!! I will do what I have to do, but I was, and am, kind of hoping that she might take the severance package. Is that bad of me? Especially since I like her so much, or is this what this economic situation has brought us to? Dog eat dog.

More and more of us have become so disillusioned with this company. I know that many of them are letting people go and it is quite common right now, so I am no different than others. Of course it is always different when it is happening to you.

I guess I am going to get my mind set straight and plan to look and see what I can find that might be part time. Obama said that this year was going to be a bad year. It's only February and I am not liking it very much.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Someone Saved My Life Tonight

Everyone knows that the coffee mega giant has been taking the hit for some time now. Stock prices falling, other places coming up with similar products at a lower price etc. All of this after the owner/CEO announced that he was taking the company "back to basics" meaning he wanted the focus to be on coffee and the coffee experience.

Well, let me tell you..... we all began to doubt his veracity and then along came the corporate jet. Then with the closing of the stores and the layoffs things began to get scary for many of us. Recently I told you about the cuts in our vacation benefits and hours earned.

Two days ago a guy shows up and he says that he is there to measure our store for the new warming ovens. Warming ovens!! That means food stuff with eggs and cheese and the like. We are all perplexed. In the financial times that we find ourselves in how can the chaps at the top find a reasonable excuse to purchase new equipment and have extra product sitting on shelves and in freezers?

Needless to say the company seems to be in a bit of a PR jam.
So they trot out an old "feel good" story and try to get public sympathy back on their side. This story was first aired in 2007!! The book came out well over a year ago and when it did we didn't even sell it!! Now, when we need some feel good news about the company they bring it out again.

Now, it is a good book and a great story, but nothing that is current news! I bought and read the book, and even blogged about it way back,but we all know that there is no reason to bring it back out. It seems very cheesy and tacky and for most people I doubt that it is going to make much difference in public perception.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Changing Filters

February 5

Today's quotation:

I wish to say what I think and feel today, with the proviso that tomorrow perhaps I shall contradict it all.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Today's Meditation:

Perhaps the greatest constant in our lives is change. We change every day as we learn new things and are exposed to new thoughts and ideas. Some people, though, insist upon holding on to beliefs that were developed in their pasts, no matter how much new learning they've done that contradicts what they thought they knew in the past.

It's understandable why people hold on--there seems to be safety in consistency, and we're taught from a very young age that consistency is one of the most valued qualities that human beings can possess. Unfortunately, though, the desire to be consistent can keep us from examining our lives, our thoughts, our beliefs, and our actions in an effort to determine if they're really, truly, reflective of us and who we are as human beings.

Never changing our minds means simply this: we aren't learning. Our thoughts and beliefs should constantly be developing and growing into new thoughts and beliefs.

When I was young, I used to think that life was about competition, about striving to do your best against other people. While I still see the value of competition in some areas such as athletics, I tend now to believe that life is about cooperation--and that even within the realm of competition, cooperation can make our efforts much more rewarding (the ending of the movie Cars shows a great example of this!).

I've left behind many beliefs in my life, and as I do so I find that I'm replacing them with fewer beliefs--and tomorrow, I may find that I have no beliefs left--just acceptance of the way things are without the filter of my beliefs turning them into what I think they should be.
Questions to consider:

Is it easy for you to change your mind about things that are important to you?

Which beliefs would you most like to leave behind?

Does change come easily to you? How might you make it happen a bit easier in your life?
For further thought:

It seems necessary to completely shed the
old skin before the new, brighter, stronger,
more beautiful one can emerge. . . . I never thought
I'd be getting a life lesson from a snake.

Julie Ridge

Living Life Fully home - Our most recent e-zine

I really enjoyed this meditation today. I have let go of many beliefs in my lifetime and anticipate the letting go of many more as the years go by. I really, really like the idea of accepting things just as they are. I am also learning to do this more and more with people. That is the harder one.

If we are able to turn off the filter and just let things come and go through our lives I think that we can find much more peace. I am experiencing this right now as I try to adjust my mind and life through our changing financial and employment situation. Not such an easy task. One that I am trying to approach with renewed vigor.

At fir5st it was like being blindsided by a Mack truck. Now I am taking the advice that I have often passed out to others. I am reading and reading and READING as much as I can find and I am not only writing, but blogging. It is quite cathartic.

Check out our new bookstore, which is chock full
of inspirational and motivational material, and help to
support Living Life Fully with each order. We'd also appreciate any
suggestions you might have of what to stock it with--please visit
our feedback page to make any suggestions you might have!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The Other Shoe

It is amazing what can happen in a day!

I came home yesterday, around 6:30PM, from work to find that John's job is on the chopping block. Yesterday they took them in and took away part of their pay, 10% to be exact, and 15% from the office staff. If the job in Qatar falls through he will probably be laid off very soon. The sultan, or whoever, has not yet paid for the machine and if he does not there will be no trip.

If there is a trip and we hope to milk it and stretch it out as much as we can. Then he will be finished. In the next 2-3 weeks we will know. This sucks. Now it is hitting very hard and with a really big punch in the face of reality! I am meeting with my boss today to talk about getting as much time as I can, but as of last night two people were let go at my place and another is getting let go today. I don't know how much chance I have of getting more clock time. Not looking too good.

John can obviously collect unemployment, but you all know how that goes! C ouple of weeks to process etc. etc., and it is never anywhere near the money that you actually used to make.

There are people here telling me that the machine industry and all that serve them etc. are really feeling the squeeze right now. A guy that frequents my coffee shop said that they are not selling to anyone unless they pay first. There are several companies that are not even paying their bills. Imagine that! In this economy...someone that can't pay a bill!!?? Unheard of!!

We are really glad that Max is leaving. Mostly because we will not have to worry about making ends meet when there is one less to care for and he will be making good money and have everything that he needs from the Navy.

I have to laugh though, the coffee mega giant claims to be in not such good circumstances and yet there was a guy there this week measuring for new warming ovens!! Warming ovens!! What a laugh. They plan to have us compete with the other places by selling breakfast food, but we are making less money, the employees are taking cuts left and right, but they can buy new equipment along with their new jet.

I hope you all plan to run out and get that new value meal when we put it on the market!! Keep me employed.

Monday, February 02, 2009

They Take Away More

The memo came down that we are going to be accruing less vacation time for every hour that we work. Half as much to be exact. We will have to hit four and five years of employment to earn back the amount that we have been earning thus far. We are no longer able to have a personal day each six months. Only the salaried employees can have those. Also, new employees can only begin to earn vacation hours after a year. Any time requested must be done a minimum of 30 days in advance and NO time may be turned in for pay. You MUST actually take the time off. Some people have had a financial need and have turned it in to make ends meet and now that is not an option.

They told us that they figured we would rather give up vacation perks rather than health insurance. They are right about that, but here it is coming down to them holding the health benefits over our heads. They know how important the health care issue is to many of their employees and they are going to make the most of it. We know it is only a matter of time before they ask us to pay more for our benefits. There is a limit to how high I will go. At some point it will not make sense to stay there if it becomes more feasible to take John's insurance.

Many of us that rely on the insurance plan are worried. Each week it seems as if there is a new cut and a new memo. All the management is nervous about getting the axe. It is hard to maintain a good attitude and still smile and serve the public when you do not hold your own company with much regard.