The updated life of Mr. D

I have now closed comments on the one post that was getting a bunch of spam.  I’m not sure what I would do if one of those spambots latched onto a more recent post.  I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it I suppose.  Moving on now…

Musical:  Going well.  I went from using two canes as per script to just one.  A couple weeks ago I brought up the point of cane usage to the choreographer and almost got taken out of Facade for it as it would change how I move.  The only dance number I’m in.  As for the other big one at the start of act II, let’s just say there is a good reason I am not in it except for a short scene.  Tonight is a full run-through of act I, and given the rehearsal is four hours we will probably run through it more then once.  We’re supposed to be off book, but I think it will be reasonable to use my music for any off-stage singing, such as the background vocals in Alive.  I’ll soon find out if they feel the same.

Work:  The one I have been training is now out of training, so time to move on to other things.  What?  Another trainee?  Two trainees??  Sigh.   Just throw my quality control manager title out the window as it has been weeks since I have done any of that and seemingly weeks more before I can.  Well, as long as the company doesn’t mind then neither do I.  At least some pressure has been removed with the one former trainee taking over three stores I was training him at- no more trips to Naperville or St. Charles! Well, after tomorrow at any rate when I just have to watch over him at one of the stores in case of problems.  I still have the huge Elgin store for the time being and I can finally give it better attention, but then there are the new trainees.  Well, I’ll see how it goes.

Church:  Still working away serving two services for 4th and 5th grades.  A couple that started this year have sort of unofficially taken over one of the services with their ideas they are implementing.  While they don’t see themselves as the volunteer heads of the 4th/5th grade ministry, I am trying to take it in stride by thinking of them as such as the one we last had went and got himself married and so he has, shall we say, a new focus.  Interestingly enough, the one before him went and did the same thing, but it wasn’t his reason for moving on- he was graduating from Moody and got a (paid) position elsewhere if I recall correctly.

Books:  After reading a the Wheel of Time series for about five months straight, I am now on break from it for a short time.  I was all set to check out the next book which showed as one copy available last night only to be on the hold shelf this afternoon.  It’s just as well since rehearsal really picks up for the next few weeks so I won’t have enough time to read it anyway- I can hardly finish one of these 700-page tomes in a month as it is.  I am not even a third of the way through the series, and not yet where I left off way back when.  Mr. Jordan, you certainly wrote a good series.  I certainly hope you accepted Christ in your life so I can meet you one day on the other side.  Hopefully Brandon Sanderson completes the epic in a way that would please Robert Jordan.

Gaming: Nothing really to say at this time.  For a future post.

Getting behind

Ugh.  I ended up working late the last two days, no interest in blogging.  I guess I do need to write something though considering my last post was from before camp.  That turned out to be an enjoyable experience which I’ll write about shortly.  We left the morning of Sunday the 20th and returned last Friday.  I could have stayed another week had it been a two-week experience, but then again the possibility exists for a trip with my OH friends next winter so I wouldn’t have wanted to get in the way of it.  So this week we started work on two new stores.  There are actually four, but someone else is doing the other two.  In fact, I won’t be doing these stores for more than a couple months because I’m training someone to hopefully take them over if the two who have been training don’t snatch them up first.  In addition, I am now in charge of the equipment and so had to order some yesterday.  They attempted delivery today- that’s quite the service but too bad nobody was home.  I’ll have to call them tomorrow to find out how to proceed, whether they will try again or I’ll have to pick the packages up- I know nothing about this delivery company.  Today’s training went s-l-o-w by the way.  I started the morning with a technical glitch that cost me almost three hours to fix, and then was only able to do one store afterward.  Hopefully the other store won’t be too upset.  I wanted to call them but it seems that I have misplaced the business cards they gave me.  Sigh.

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Sorry- more positive ramblings next post I hope!

Looked Big to Me

Oh come on, don’t you like quizzes?  I know all of you loved quizzes in school [dodges tomato].  Seriously though, only one taker?  Come on lurkers, you don’t have to comment, just check out the videos two posts below and take the easy quiz.  No grades here, nothing to go on permanent records if you answer wrong.  Just step right up and give it a try!  Answers in one of the next couple posts. 🙂

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This week someone from Florida flew down to train with me on the use of the handheld computer, something that the office there was apparently never trained on for some reason.  He was placed in a hotel near me, right across from my church in fact, and is riding with me all week wherever I go.  I have to tell you, this guy is on fire for Jesus.  Like me, he serves in children’s ministry at his church which is apparently set up slightly different from mine (and many others) so he has kids from ages 6-11.  Perhaps he was sent not just to learn from me, but the other way around too.  I invited him to my small group last night and when there, he didn’t just sit back and listen, but was actively engaged in the discussion.  It was interesting to learn that like another in my group, he is an Annihilationist, one who believes that there is no active eternal torment for those who don’t accept God’s offer of  salvation through Jesus, but instead they are simply destroyed.  His children, of course, still have eternal life in Heaven.  Myself, I would love for this to be true but I know I must be careful to not try to read this into the scripture if and when I study this topic in detail.  One of the things I have thought is that *if* God has chosen ahead of time those He is going to save (part of the Calvinist doctrine, I’m not sure about this interpretation of Scripture), that is we can only come to Christ if God calls us, and if He calls us we cannot fail to come, if this is true then it would seem to be wholly unfair, and seemingly against the nature of God to not just deny us eternal life in heaven (more than fair for our rejection of Him) but to purposefully send us to be actively tortured by the one who was given the boot from Heaven for his rejection of God’s authority.  Of course, if we do have any say in the matter as Scripture *also* seems to say, then this argument falls flat- we deserve what we chose.

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Anyway, I have gotten far beyond the point of this post.  So today, we joined my coworker Rene again, and we practiced with the cars Rene and our other trainee were working on.  He is slowly learning, but is enthusiastic about it.  In fact, he is enthusiastic about everything- a very positive outlook.  Well, on our way home, when about to turn on route 14, we noticed a thick plume of black smoke rising.  I didn’t think to much about it, but as we drove, an ambulance and a fire truck headed in that direction.  About 15 minutes later we passed it just outside (I think) Barrington- I didn’t think it would be that far away and the area the smoke, now worse, was coming from looked really big.  However, we still couldn’t see what was actually happening.  We drove through the thin layer of smoke that reached the road, but that was it.  I figured it would be in the news, but so far I couldn’t find anything.  Well, it looked big enough for news to me.  I just pray for all involved.

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I also pray that my car does not need an expensive repair.  The “service engine soon” light just went on today and it is in the shop now to be looked at tomorrow.

No fishing

So, fishing for comments clearly doesn’t work on this blog. The answer about the two dog videos is for one of them the owner offers the treats two different ways, palm up and palm down. The dog turns her head when offered the wrong way. In the other video the hand is offering it the same way every time, so either this dog doesn’t like our current Prez or some other form of training is going on outside of the camera.

Real post coming soon- watch this spot. 😛

Time to close this blog?

Seeing that today is the one month anniversary of my last blog post about my life, that is a valid question.  The filler is interesting, but what about my two jobs, one of which was once the emphasis of this blog?  This week was actually a milestone for my new job.  For the first time my commission exceeds the $50/day they have been paying me since the start of training last June.  It’s still not much, but the job promises to pay more eventually.  And what about the camera training the owners have asked me to take charge of?  One of them has plugged me as the national camera trainer to one of the clients after they noticed my pictures are pretty good.  Great- a standard to live up to! 😛 .I still wonder how much I will be paid for this training whenever it happens.

At the moment I am subbing, or trying to, for two full days a week plus mornings five days every two weeks (every other week I go to two places on Friday so I can’t sub that day).  I am signed up in three districts this year but so far have only worked in two.  What?  Yes I did say two before, but then the third sent me a welcome note without my having signed up again so I stuck with it.  Since they were the source of some of my jobs so far, it looks like I made the right choice there.  I have subbed for one (half) day of middle school so far- the rest have been in elementary schools.  I actually took a bilingual first grade job- something I try to avoid during the main part of the year.  I also just took a job for a kindergarten morning Monday at the very school I went to for K through most of 2.  Oddly enough, while I can remember the names of all my other elementary teachers, I can’t for this school.  I wonder if I will be in the same classroom I was in for my own kindergarten?  I wonder if I will even recognize anything at the school.  I am pretty sure I took no assignments there last year.

Let’s see what I can say about the jobs I’ve taken so far.  The first-grade bilingual class was a little rough as the plans the teacher left were not very detailed, often requiring me or one of the assistants who were in and out of the room throughout the day to find the required materials.  The kids were also not very good listeners, but whether that was because of limited English skills or other reasons I couldn’t say.  Another couple of days I was in a position where there were no plans.  These were for special-ed teachers who didn’t even have set schedules yet being the beginning of the year so I ended up helping out in different classrooms throughout the day.  I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if I found out that they came in the next day and said, “I had a sub?”  I don’t think I was expected…  The junior high job was a teacher who had both 7th and 8th grade classes, and all I did was supervise as they used computers to work on projects.  I was worried when not just my classes, but others as well used the laptops throughout the morning with little time to charge them, but according to one teacher the batteries actually hold out for some six hours or so, something I have never heard of in laptops.  My own computer lasts for three or less, but with with its specs I am not surprised.

So why have I not been keeping up on my friend’s blogs even if I couldn’t be bothered to update my own?  I don’t know.  If you want refrain from posting commenting in return I will understand.

Getting close now…

Well, school is almost upon us once again.  Depending on where you live, it can be a week or three, or maybe your kids attend an all-year school that started up again in July after a much shorter break.  In the two districts I’m signed up with, it starts in 1½ and 2½ weeks.  What’s that you say?  Two districts?  That’s right.  I am only in hometown and supersized districts this year due to my continued job of shooting pictures of cars.  I have chosen to work three days a week on the cars for now leaving two days to teach.  Of course it will likely be another month before I am needed as a sub, but that’s the plan.  As you probably figured out already, these two districts are where I have gotten most of my work in the past and so I stuck with them, losing the less productive ones, even though near-urban paid me the most.

So how is the new job going?  Well, I got my first store finally- unfortunately it’s 45-minutes away!  The one who had this store didn’t do a very good job so he was replaced.  Not the best way to start, but I’ll take whatever I can get.  Today, in fact, Kim (one of the owners of the company I work for) and I spent much time fixing the stickers on the cars that were tilted, stuck over unremoved adhesive from previous buyer’s guide (warranty info which by law has to be in the window even if just handwritten) or otherwise placed with a lack of care.  I think we did no less than two dozen.  The rest of my time was spent in doing four cars that were ready for me.  Not a lot, but the idea is to have three dealers (four if they are small like this one) in one day to shoot a reasonable amount.  The most I had in one day training with Rene was 42.  At $7 a car that was nearly $300 for the day for her.  Of course that was three large dealers, and even then that number is rare.  My goal is eventually 20-30 cars per day.  Another trainee may be leaving as his school just gave him a reality check- no, it is not possible to graduate in a reasonable time if you only have classes two days a week.  If he leaves then I am hoping to get one of the stores promised to him, but not the other one.  There is a dealer that is way over toward Chicago (strike one for the bad traffic).  They require the cars to be shot in their warehouse a mile away, meaning the cars have to be driven from their lot to there, adding a tremendous amount of time (strike two).  Also, the warehouse has bad lighting with three of the five lights burnt out the last two times I was there making it difficult to take pictures inside the cars (strike three).  I am scheduled to do new cars every other week, but the one who has been doing the used cars while Pat was training to take it over can keep that part as a punishment for his bad performance at the dealer he lost (yes, same guy)!

In the meantime, all this work has meant that I haven’t gotten the DVD done yet for my kids from camp- I’d better start on it soon, or just do what I did the first year- give them a CD with all the pictures, but that’s no fun and can’t be viewed without a computer.

Okay then…

It seems as if the camp series was mostly a failure so I guess I will move on to other things rather than wrap it up.  I just have to think about something to write about.  Work maybe?  From what Rene was telling me, I might be coming out of training and getting the first of my own stores starting this Friday.  All I know right now is that Kim (one of the owners) wants me and another trainee from Elmhurst to do a store every Friday starting this week.  Since there are two of us doing it I didn’t make a connection to having my own store, but Rene seems to think this is it.  Hmm.  Well, a less exciting post than camp, at least to me, but who knows?

UPDATE: Well, the dealership I will be at Friday is not to be a store for me.  It will be another store for the trainee who started after me.  I guess it just works out like that because of the one who quit recently who lived in the same area.  These dealers were already being served.  I’m sure they will start picking up new stores for me soon, in my own area.

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