September 7, 2020

Now that Labor Day – and with it, the “unofficial” end of summer, I thought I’d toss up a post after giving myself a much-needed couple of weeks off, blogging-wise. After all, everyone is supposed to get a summer vacation, right?

It’s been a busy past couple of weeks. I hadn’t planned on it, but one of the guys at the pool supply store had a family emergency, so I ended up playing pool guy much more than originally planned. Not that I truly minded: I got my last severance check from the meat-grinder and was shocked at how little it was. But, I went back through the calendar and found that it was indeed correct so I didn’t really feel all that bad. The thing is, September for us is traditionally the biggest, baddest month as far as bills go, so when the store manager asked if I wanted to cover for the assistant needing time off (I would have done it anyways – after all, I am a pool guy!) the chance to make a little more dough-re-mi was a good thing, indeed.

…so now it looks like I’ll do another 14 hours covering Tuesday and Wednesday, and that will likely be that. It’s been quite a learning experience. I thought I knew a lot about pools, but I’ve found out that between having to learn how to fix cleaners (industry slang for pool vacuums) and the sheer amount of equipment that’s out there, both old and new, I didn’t know jack sh*t. So the need to get up to speed quickly hasn’t been as “chill” as the store manager told me it would be. And the fact that the assistant manager and I don’t exactly see eye to eye hasn’t made it 100% chill, either, but compared to the stress I was under the past 2 1/2 years in the meat-grinder it’s been OK. Me and the assist? we’re just different people (not the least because he’s a native New Yorker and I’m Massachusetts), but we’ve figured out a way to work together – I think primarily because he knows I’m a short-timer.

…still, it was a good opportunity to take advantage of at the time. The money hasn’t been bad, and on top of the severance I’ve made the necessary hay while the sun shines. Sure, it was kid of a lost summer, but what was I going to do, anyways? You can’t go from 80 MPH to sitting around and doing nothing. In that regard I think it’s helped keep me a little sane.

So now it’s Labor Day, the pool guy is in decline, and the question is back to what do I do now? These past two weeks has given me a chance to work with the outplacement folks that came along with my severance package, so I’ve been taking advantage of their tools to polish up my resume. While I’m not actively looking at jumping back into the IT world and wars, I have started to feel that itch for one more challenge, career wise. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a full-time gig, but as long as I can stay working from home (or a minimum of four days a week) I’ve decided to be open to the possibility of playing IT manager guy again.

…the outplacement folks say I’d be surprised at the number of companies looking for someone in my position and situation, so I just said, “surprise me.” They wanted me to use their services to get my resume up to speed, so now that it is we’ll give the top a whirl and we;’ll see where it takes me.

So I’ve been looking around for a fairly inexpensive red wine to replace the Greg Norman Cabernet Merlot I used to get from Total Wine & More that they now no longer carry (shame on them!) and I found a Dellatori Tuscan Red at the local Fry’s that I really like. Not heavy, not bold, just a pleasant red that you can sit and enjoy now that the cool nights are just around the corner. All the Kroger franchise stores carry it, so if you’re interested give it a try.

Labor Day is also the unofficial beginning of the this year’s presidential election campaign. It’s supposedly around this time that folks who normally don’t pay attention to politics start paying attentions and start making up their minds. I doubt very much that’s going to be the case this year. After all, I think most folks have made their minds up about President Trump one way or the other, and this election is all going to be about Trump.

…historically speaking – and regardless of what the polls say – “Slo’ Joe” Biden is going to have an uphill climb if he wants to win the White House. For one thing, incumbents way more often than not win re-election. Secondly, regardless of what folks think personally about Trump, he’s drawing sharp distinctions between what Republicans believe and what the Democrats believe, both in terms of economics and – especially with the ongoing violence in places like Portland, Chicago, Minneapolis, and Kenosha – law and order. Sure, folks may not like Donald John Trump (and may even detest him), but they do like their 401Ks and investments, and they most surely like their neighborhoods and property values.

…why the Democrats did nothing to condemn Black Lives Matter’s thuggish behavior or Antifa’s role in the ongoing violence is beyond me. Not only did it make no sense from a practical point of view (one can certainly distinguish between truly peaceful protesting and rioting and looting), but why cede that political ground to Trump and the Republicans if you didn’t have to? Now, no matter what Kamala Harris and Slo’ Joe say, it’s way too late, and suburban white middle-class voters who might have been leaning to the Democrats purely on Trump’s personality and his administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic (rightly or wrongly) now have plenty of reason to either not vote at all or vote for the President based on his economic track record and a return to law and order.

…so forget about the polls. As I stated repeatedly in the past (and, hard to believe, this year will be this blog’s fourth presidential cycle), forget the polls, watch what the candidates are doing and where their money is being spent. Recognizing that the media will continue to pound President Trump and everything he does (or, now, what he supposedly has done via “anonymous sources”), watch the Biden/Harris ticket, where they are going, where they are spending money, and what the burn rate is. What does my GOP “deep insider” (who, like back in 2016 had the pulse of what was truly was going on) say? He sees Biden’s campaign on defense, and spending far more of its time and money shoring up states and support than being on offense.

…an example. All you needed to know about where and how the Biden campaign sees itself was on full display last week. Where was Biden giving a speech on Monday? Not in Kenosha, Wisconsin ahead of the President’s scheduled visit there on Tuesday. Instead, he was in southeastern Pennsylvania – southeastern Pennsylvania! Not only was both the setting and its visuals poor, he compounded the look of weakness by following the President’s visit to Kenosha with his own. That shows voters a sign of weakness and a lack of confidence. I’m told his campaign is also making large buys in places like Virginia and TV markets with large numbers of African-American voters. Does that sound like a campaign that’s leading in the polls? These are the kinds of things you need to watch for. You won’t have to, tho because I’ll be doing it for you. 🙂

Speaking of the President, I think this is pretty funny. It’s important to have a sense of humor these days!

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 17:02 | Comments Off on Labor Day Catch-up
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