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Deficit of Attention is a blog about nothing which is a fancy way of saying it's about everything; politics, corporate life, religion, personal rants, you name it, I blog it.

Wow! Has it really been that long?

Friday, December 23, 2005
No posts here since October. Life moves pretty fast...oops I almost lapsed into a "Ferris Buehler's Day Off" quote. You see, what I lack in talent I can make up for with cliches.

A whole new job has brought about a certain disequilibrium that has made it difficult for me to post to this blog (or any other). It's not that I've run out of things to say. In fact, I'm writing little blog entries in my mind on a regular basis but by the time I get an opportunity to post them, poof! they're gone.

Just a little sampling from my "things I never found time to post" file,

Intelligent Design vs. Evolution:
The fact that evolutionists are so militantly over-zealous makes me distrust their theory. Whenever a group seems intent on shaping not only the facts but the very things people are allowed to think, red flags go up.

And for you creationists and/or intelligent design folks out there, stop using the method whereby you make all sorts of complex calculations and end up saying that according to probabilities there is no way that man evolved. What is the probability that I would be at this very moment doing what I'm doing? Very, very slim. Yet, here I am happily doing it.

The Patriot Act: For or Against?
I'm not sure the patriot act is such a good idea. For one thing, Judge Napolitano thinks the Patriot Act is bad and I respect his opinion. I don't trust government and the powers claimed by the Patriot Act make me a little queasy. At the end of the day, I'll grant that government needs some extra power to fight the GWOT. I just hope it ends up being worth it.

Liberal Bias:
It will continue until conservatives buy their own big time news networks and newspapers or take over the existing ones. In the meantime, the propaganda put out by the mainstream press is so virulent that it threatens the very core of our existence and the freedoms we enjoy.

The War On Christmas:
It's been going on for some time. It's usually referred to as a culture war. It goes on 365 days of the year. Really, it's more like the Battle Involving Christmas. Just one more example of a culture war that has been going on for some time now. The so-called War On Christmas seems more like something a guy on fox news keeps blathering about so he can sell his book by the same name.

I can't imagine anyone reads this blog on a regular basis since it would be such a spectacularly unrewarding experience. If you do, then imagine that I'm sticking my mug in the camera, grinning like an idiot and waving "Hi!".

Who knows? Maybe I'll start posting again on a regular basis...

A Cross To Bear

Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Every person I've ever met, no matter how indestructable they seem on the outside, has a cross to bear; their own private pain and burden. Every one. I just found out that a guy I know was involved in a horrible car accident as a teenager. His best friend was killed and there's rarely a day that goes by that he doesn't think of him. I've known this guy for quite a while and it's only now that this pain surfaces.

It could be a horrible tragedy or some kind of heartbreak. It could be that he or she is unable to have children or has some type of debilitating illness. Understanding how someone deals with a particular burden helps to learn the nature of their character and what they truly believe. For some people, their burden has caused a sense of deep and abiding bitterness. For others, a gentleness that they never would've possessed otherwise.

Like everyone else, I have my own cross to bear. But I consider it light and inconsequential compared to the burdens of others. Thank God.

Apocalypse Now

Thursday, September 01, 2005
I'm not into hunting and my shooting skills are horrible so target shooting isn't exactly a thrill. Yet I got a FOID (Firearms Owners ID Card)a few years ago on the off chance that I'd want to get a gun someday. I haven't yet because there just didn't seem to be much use for one. Recent events have changed that perception.

In the aftermath of Katrina, I'm imagining a scenario that suddenly makes gun ownership more attractive. Here in Mayberry there isn't much risk of violence and it doesn't seem likely that any of my neighbors would want to cause me or my family any harm. But 80 or 90 miles away in Metropolis I'm quite sure there are people who meet that description.

Let's take a hypothetical scenario, say a terrorist explodes a dirty bomb in Central Metropolis. Maybe the bomb or even any radiation isn't enough to kill very many people but the event causes mass panic. When those people flee the city where are they going to go?

That's right. They're going to come to Mayberry or someplace like it. Since the people of Mayberry and surrounding areas are all pretty decent you can expect that there would be plenty of hospitality. However, if the influx of people became too great you might find conditions not unlike those that exist right now in The Big Easy. (For looters, the nickname of the LA city seems a little ironic.)

It's safe to say that those who are able to protect their homes are going to be much safer than those who aren't. I'm not a good aim but with a shotgun I don't necessarily need to be a good aim. In fact, prominent display of said gun would most likely mean I would never have to use it.

I bought a generator for the possibility of power outages during Y2K. I don't know how likely it is that I'll have to face down hordes of looters but I suspect that I'll start gun shopping soon. It never hurts to be prepared.

Little Brother

Tuesday, August 23, 2005
In Which GN Attempts to Marshall the Forces of The Universe to Benefit a Family Member:

My "little" brother graduated from law school a little over a year ago. (Baylor University) Since then he's passed both the Illinois and Texas Bar exams. One thing has been missing though - a job.

Although he's very bright he isn't exactly a people person. He's painfully shy and isn't someone that people gravitate toward.

He has a job interview today at 2pm CST. If you're the praying type, I'd appreciate you keeping him in mind.

The Barter Economy

Tuesday, August 16, 2005
In Which GN Describes Adventures in Car Buying:

As I drove up I could see him sitting there in the shade of the building. He was sitting in a lawn chair wearing black sunglasses. When young and/or vigorous people wear sunglasses they look cool, but when older folks wear them they just look like blind people. This guy looked like he had some miles on him and without any preventative maintenance. He looked like a white ray charles.

His handshake wasn't exactly firm and it was kind of clammy. I wanted to wipe my hand on my pants but I didn't. I didn't want to be rude.

He was really laid back as he showed us around the used car lot. I hate buying cars. I hate all the little games that go along with it. I hate the playacting, the mock outrage at the price offered, the whole "I'll have to run this by the manager" routine. So far, he had tried none of that and I appreciated it.

A few weeks earlier I had met a much younger salesperson at this dealership and he was a little annoying. He asked all kinds of personal questions and overused my first name. "So, Grouchy, why are you getting a new car? etc." I hate that.

I picked out a car I liked and we went for a test drive. He rode along and white knuckled it. Somehow, miraculously it would seem, I have a good driving record. But I also have a reputation for driving a little fast. When I was 16 and in drivers ed the instructor showed me the proper way to accelerate, like there was an egg between your foot and the pedal and you didn't want to break it. I think that was the first and last time I accelerated that way. So he did his best to not look nervous while I put the car through its paces.

Later, I came back with my wife and we drove another car. He sat in the back wheezing. After that first car, he decided to stay back at the dealership while we test drove. We drove a few more and I was on the horns of a dilemma. Either get a car with good gas mileage that costs a few thousand more or get a car with not so good gas mileage that I really like.

For the first fifteen years of my driving career I had several economy cars. My favorite was a 1977 Honda Accord. I would go out in the country and literally double the posted speed limit while going around curves. I went through a few tie rods with that car and I'm surprised my dad never gave me a hard time for that. It eventually rusted out pretty bad and one arctic cold January night I put it in a ditch pretty hard, spinning around a few times and barrelling in backwards. That was the end of my favorite car.

I haven't had to drive a small economy car now for quite a while. I've been spoiled and now when I drive one I feel a little bit like a schmuck.

It came down to a choice between a 2003 Honda Civic, a 2005 Pontiac Sunbird, or a 2003 Grand Am GT. I made an offer on the GT. It's red and has a sunroof. It's also cheaper than the honda.

When negotiating a deal you have to be willing to walk away. If you aren't then you shouldn't be negotiating. I'm willing to walk away, but I would really love to wrap this up and buy the car. I made a low offer and the salesman played his part of acting shocked. He made a counteroffer and now it's my turn to act like I'm not really all that interested in buying the car. I won't go any more than 12k on it so we'll see how this plays out. Let the games begin.

By the way, if you're looking for a great guide to buying a car check out Froggy's post, Buying The Frogmobile.

Job Woes

Sunday, August 14, 2005
In Which GN Summarizes A Summer Full of Job Woe:

If you've visited this blog before you've probably read all about my job woes. Well, I'm happy to report that I have none at the moment.

A week or two ago, I was offered a job someplace else. Before I could fully make the decision to leave, my boss, aka The Dark Lord wanted to meet with me. Instead of addressing the concerns I had, he proceeded to lie to me about some things. The meeting ended amicably but my mind was made up, I was out of there.

A week ago Friday I dropped in to see my boss and give him my resignation. He had unexpectantly taken the day off to go fishing. I'm sure one of his minions called to tell him, but I didn't hear back from him until the next Tuesday when he wanted to meet. By that time he had processed my affront to his pride and had gone into Face Saving Mode. Face Saving Mode is when an employer (or employee) knows the die has already been cast and the best thing to do is to be really nice so nothing comes back on you later.

The Dark Lord and I discussed a transition plan so no one would be left up in the air by my impending departure. He was gracious and had good reason to be. At that point it would be nearly impossible to fire me without some serious legal implications and then if I was an unprinicipled person I could wreak havoc on several aspects of the company's operations. Ironically, only a day before I resigned he publicly praised me and the work I had been doing in front of literally half the company. For him, it was flattery designed to influence me to overlook his crappy treatment of me in the not too distant past. For me, it was a way to go out on a good note within the company and it made it that much harder for him to seek any public retribution.

Monday I'll be in the final week of working for The Dark Lord and his servants. I'm tired of working for a hollow man and I'm thrilled to be finally moving on.

I'm sure there will be plenty of challenges in the new job. I'm used to challenges and I'm used to overcoming them. Contrary to what you might think by reading my posts this summer, I'm not thin skinned. In the past, at this job and the few others I've held in my life, I'm used to being successful and not used to being the scapegoat. If I would've had the desire or energy I'm sure I could've stayed and ultimately been able to experience some triumph.

But I didn't have the desire or energy. I have long since failed to believe in my boss as the leader I'd hoped he would be and I have no desire to become a hollow man myself. It's possible that I could end up working for yet another hollow man. In that case I'll do the best I can and trust God for the results.

I start my new job in two weeks.

Grouchy Male

I used to think men and women were more or less the same. Then I had daughters. The longer I live in this house with three women, my wife and our two teenage daughters, the more I am convinced that women are an alien species. They are an attractive alien species but aliens nonetheless.

With all these women around me there's always constant jabbering. Every issue requires a seemingly endless amount of gabbing. I've never done so before and I hope I never will but sometimes I want to shout, "STFU!" at the top of my voice. Not everything requires dialog.

Then there's the "injuries". When I was growing up, my dad would say "shake it off". He'd look at it for a second to make sure there weren't any broken bones, then everyone would go about their business. With girls, anytime one of them gets the slightest bit injured you'd think it was a major medical issue.

When my brother and I disagreed about something a fist fight ensued. Being the oldest that meant that I usually beat the crap out of my brother. If I overdid it he would go crying to my parents and I would be in trouble. Otherwise, we got up dusted each other off and resumed our activity.

With the girls, it's constant bickering. It's impossible to break it up and it can go on for hours. No amount of threatening seems to work. Someone always has to sneak in just one last word or dirty look.

Perhaps I'm a little grouchy today. Nah, it couldn't be me.