Back to Work & Killer Bees

Howdy Y’All!!! (I am imagining all my readers saying “Howdy” back to me in unison).

I received my formal offer and I am slated to return to work this Monday.  It is a wonderful feeling to have a job.  It’s especially wonderful feeling because I think I was destined for this job.  I know it sounds kind of hokey, but I think it was time for me to stop driving 100 miles every day, it was time for me to move back to Pennsylvania, and this job presents a ton of opportunity for me and for this company. 

There have been so many of you that have offered assistance and help, I cannot thank you enough.  One thing about the job process is that it takes a fairly long time.  I had my first interview with this company immediately after being laid off.  I had several rounds of interviews and client approvals, it took about a month from start to finish. 

So tonight I will probably celebrate with some wine, watch the Phillies in High Definition, and I’ll try to make a move on Jaclyn.  Speaking of Jaclyn, she’s just the best wife ever.  She never second guessed me during this, she never doubted me, she knew I was doing my best and that things were going to work out.  She is the best.  I will say, one of her previous lives must have been through the depression, she’s been very frugal and conservative to help us avoid using too much from our savings.  I won’t say this is the worst thing I’ve ever been through, but it was humbling, slightly embarrassing, and a little scary, she never doubted me once. 

That’s that.  The RKDeem Report has documented the experience of being laid off.  Onto new challenges and adventures.

Killer Bees.  You hear about Killer Bees, but it’s hard to get the full story.  Are they really killing people?  Do they attack all the time?  Are they in our backyards?  Is their honey tainted with blood?

Well, I did a little research and I can tell you this:

Killer Bees are actually called Africanized Bees.  The reason they are called Africanized Bees is because they are a hybrid of European Bees and African Bees.  Get this, they were accidentally released into the public by a replacement bee keeper (I bet the original bee keeper was thinking, I told them they should have just given me a raise!).  Apparently, African bees are more productive and create a lot more honey, but on the downside, they live in a real harsh environment with plenty of predators so they have evolved into a bad ass group that attacks intruders with greater force and it takes less to piss them off.  Their sting is actually no worse than a regular sting, but their mentality is to attack in greater numbers, which makes them more dangerous. 

Killer bees have come up through South America and are slowly entering the United States, but it is extremely doubtful that they’ll ever get too far north because they cannot live through long winters (unless global warming really heats things up, Killer Bees are my number 1 reason why I am concerned about Global Warming!).  The good news is that the Killer Bees are breeding with our less lethal bees in the States and it kind of dilutes their appetite for death. 

Africanized Bees are actually the preferred honey bee for beekeepers in a lot of countries because they do produce a lot more honey then your regular bee.

I was thinking about Killer Bees because of a great headline I read earlier today, “Bees storm Mexican police in reverse sting operation”.  100 police officers were at a firing range and one of them hit a hive of Killer Bees.  70 of them ended up getting stung and several of them required serious medical treatment. 

I’ve really enjoyed my time away from work.  I’ve loved my time with my son.  It will be very sad to leave him on Monday.

Hopes, Dreams, and Jelly Beans

For those of you that are most familiar with my job hunt, you know that there’s been an unexpected twist since my letter of intent.  After coming to terms with the company, they said they had to temporarily hold off on the official offer until they received final signoff from the client.  It was like bouncing off the finish line, it was incredibly disappointing and anti-climatic.  Well, the good news is the company has received approval to give me a final offer today.  I don’t have it in my hand yet, but its only 6AM and they said they would get it to me sometime today (18 hours left, tick, tick, tick).

This is a tremendous relief.  Its funny how I used to drive all the way up to Northern New Jersey, manage twice the workload of what I was originally hired to do, and there were so many days were I just wanted to quit.  I would tell Jaclyn all the time, this job is killing me.  The commute, late hours, and minimal time with my family really made me feel like I was rapidly depreciating.  Then, I get laid off and the stress of not having a job was killing me!  Either way, I was feeling a lot of stress.  Once I have this official offer in my hand today, I think there’s a possibility that destiny / fate may be giving a chance to find a better balance and the tough times will have made me appreciate it more. 

My Xbox had been sent in for repairs about two weeks ago.  Yesterday, I was watching “The Last King of Scotland” and I saw the UPS guy come strolling up to my door with a big white box that looked like the exact same box my Xbox was shipped in.  I paused the movie, waited anxiously by the door…THIS WAS GOING TO BE THE DAY MY XBOX CAME BACK HOME TO HIS PAPA!  The UPS guy knocks on my door and I swing the door open with outstretched arms and he says, “Package from Microsoft, it looks like an Xbox Box”.  I am shaking with anticipation and he says, “It’s an Xbox box, but it’s empty.”  It was so sad, so deflating, so irritating.  I have no idea what they sent me another box, maybe it was just a cruel practical joke (I wouldn’t put it past my friends). 

I checked the tracking info for the real box containing my xbox and it’s scheduled to arrive on April 14th, the day I am tentatively scheduled to return to work.  Oy Vey! 

For Easter, the Easter Bunny brought me a very cool gum ball machine that dispenses Jelly Beans.  You turn the little knob and 5 or 6 Jelly Beans come rolling out.  Winston has developed quite an affinity for Jelly Beans, if he hears that knob turn, he comes running from any location of the apartment down the hallway and into our bedroom to receive a Jelly Bean (I always give him the one I like least, typically the buttered popcorn flavor). 

The weather is warming up and Winston and I have been taking some long walks along the river, today we’re going to go farther than ever with the temperatures getting close to 70 degrees. 

I’ll keep you posted on when I receive the actual offer.  Thanks again for all your support, it means a lot!

Here’s a picture of the Jelly Bean machine on top of the Xbox 360 Shipping Instructions that I received yesterday.

2001: A Space Odyssey

One of my projects that I’ve been working on over the last couple of years is to watch the American Film Institute’s top 100 films of all time.  There’s a great mix of old and new movies and in general, the movies have been fantastic.  One of the movies that I had not seen until last night was 2001: A Space Odyssey by Stanley Kubrick. 

Here’s how I would describe the experience.  The whole time I wanted to fast forward but I was afraid I would miss something.  After finishing the movie, I realized I could have watched the whole thing in fast forward and not really missed anything.  The movie is broken into 4 parts, here’s how I summarize them:

Part 1 – 30 minutes watching monkies run around, this part climaxes when monkey figures out how to use a bone as a tool

Part 2 – 30 minutes of watching men in space and spaceships floating around in space

Part 3 – We find out that the spaceship the main character is in is run by a super computer named HAL 9000.  HAL 9000 is the best part of the movie, he’s a diabolic villain who tries to kill the entire crew on board.  I might recommend watching the movie just so you can meet HAL 9000.

Part 4 – This was freaking weird, it was about 15 minutes of traveling through a weird space, it reminds me of the Windows visualizer of music, it’s a psychedelic trip through space with horribly irritating noise that sounds like Radiohead played backwards.  Then the journey ends and you’re in a room.  I don’t want to ruin the ending, but I will anyways.  First you see the main character astronaut in the room, then you see an old version of him, then you see an older version of him on a bed, then you see a floating fetus in space.  The end. 

I know there’s some deep stuff going on in this movie and I love deep stuff, but this movie just didn’t move fast enough for me, I would have been better off reading the book. 

In other news:  THE BULLDOGS WON BOTH GAMES OF THEIR DOUBLE HEADER TODAY!!!!  We’re heading into the bar-b-que weekend with some momentum.  We’d love to see you at our game on Sunday, come one, come all!  

Loose Ends

I was so excited about the prospects of a new job, I forgot to mention the origins of April Fools Day. 

Every explanation seems pretty complex, so I will try to sum it up.  From 45 BC to 1582 AD, people utilized the Julian calendar.  The Julian calendar slated April 1st as the New Year.  In 1582, people started to adapt the Gregorian calendar which slated January 1st as the New Year.  During the transition from Julian to Gregorian calendars, people would commemorate the old New Years of April 1st with gag gifts and invitations to fake parties. 

You almost feel bad for April 1st, it used to be the beginning of a new year and now it’s just a day full of pranks. 

What’s new with the mighty Deem you ask? 

Well, not a whole lot.  I’m doing a little bit of negotiating with that company to hammer out some minor details about health insurance.  For those of you who don’t know, health insurance really adds up when you are married and with a child.  It seems obvious, but your health insurance more than triples when you cover your wife and child.  The good news is that the health insurance plateaus at one child, you can have as many kids as you like and it won’t go up incrementally. 

This Sunday, my softball team The Bulldogs has a double header real early in the morning.  But next Sunday, we have a game at 12:45PM at Schaefer field in Southampton, PA.  I encourage many people to show up and root us on.  We’re playing a team from Philadelphia who is very good.  Afterwards, we’ll have a cook out right next to the field. 

Blue Skies

I just received a “Letter of Intent” from one of my preferred companies.  At this point, all they have to do is check my references and then I’ll receive the formal offer.  The salary is just about what I was making before, but the job is in Pennsylvania where the cost of living is a lot less than Northern Jersey. 

Tomorrow morning, I will fax the letter of intent with my signature to let them know that I agree to the terms that they put forth.  The company is based in Atlanta, but I will be working at their main client’s headquarters in Horsham, PA.  I’ll work 3 or 4 days at the headquarters and a couple days from home.  I will also have to travel to Atlanta on a fairly regular basis.  It’s a great opportunity for me to work directly with the clients in their place of business, this will allow me to establish great relationships with the client and for me to get their ear whenever I need it.

Big news, we are looking to move in the very near future so we can live close to where I work and be closer to our families.  We’re tentatively looking at a May move in date. 

Nothing is finalized yet, there’s still a chance that something could go wrong, but for the moment, I am seeing blue skies.