Apr 292019

According to a recent report that surveyed 1,200 full-time employees, 48% have cried at work.

I cry rather easily. I can get teary when I am moved at church. I have to be careful when I present on human trafficking, because I am so passionate about that cause. I cry at movies. I cry talking about my wife and children.

And, I cry when I am very upset, which could be mad, sad, or a combination.

I’ve cried at work, but I think it has been a very long time. I actually cried one fall Saturday in 1993 when I was a car salesman. A customer had been viciously nasty to me—far beyond the bounds of the usual rough-and-tumble on a car lot—and I had to excuse myself. The business manager let me have a minute, then came and got me, because we were slammed. The very next thing I did was sold a beautiful new white Acura Vigor GS to a delightful couple.

(That jackass customer is probably dead by now—he wasn’t young then—but I’ve never forgotten his name or what he looks like.)

I cried more than once driving home from Athens in 1998 and 1999. My immediate supervisor was a miserable misandrist, and the ongoing situation was just too much for me to handle effectively. I tried to get it out on the way home so I wouldn’t be taking any of it to Lea. That didn’t always work.

Crying still carries stigmas, though perhaps we’ve made some progress. My mother and father never taught me to hold it in because only wimps cry, or any other such nonsense. Tears are “raindrops from your eyes, washing all the mad out of you.”

I can’t swear that it hasn’t happened, but I can’t remember crying at work any more recently than that. I can remember my periods of greatest stress both in my current position and at my previous one, and though I can remember a lot of their respective mechanics, I don’t recall any associated tears.

I think that in general, it’s probably still a bigger deal professionally than it ought to be. Whether a person excuses himself/herself with tears or without shouldn’t make any difference. It’s a natural, emotional response for which we are hard-wired. We should treat it as such.

 Posted by at 3:28 pm
Apr 262019

Gee, that sounds like a book and movie title!

I caught up with my grade-school classmate Michelle on the way back from the beach last month. She lives in Daphne, Alabama, where she owns and runs the Sugar Kettle Café. (Daphne is straight across Mobile Bay from Mobile, and not too far out of the way coming back from Gulf Shores.)

We had a fantastic breakfast, and then she kindly gave us a jar of these house-made “sweet heat” pickles. I don’t think they lasted two whole days. They’re as sweet as any sweet pickles, but there’s a complex spice cocktail too that ends with a little kick. They’re delicious. I asked her if I could buy six more quart jars so that we’d have some for a while, and she promptly shipped them to me. We’re halfway through them already.

As you might imagine, shipping is rather dear for six quart jars of pickles, so I’d recommend you get some in person next time you go to the beach. In person, they’re $5.99 for a pint jar and $10.99 for a quart.

We loved the Sugar Kettle Café, and we love these pickles! See you next time, Michelle!

 Posted by at 3:28 pm
Apr 252019
  • “Cache” has one syllable. “Cachet” has two syllables. Learn it. Know it. Live it.
  • Ken Kercheval, who played J.R. Ewing’s bumbling rival Cliff Barnes on Dallas, has died at 83. I can actually remember my dad laughing that he had “Mr. Barnes” on his office door, and considering what kind of a small man would do that. Heh. RIP.
  • Clyde’s BBQ opens Monday! Sounds like some fantastic tastes afoot there.
  • Senna returned to Netflix, and Aaron and I finally caught it last night. All of the old footage is fantastic, and the story of Ayrton Senna‘s racing career is mostly complete. But I didn’t think they spent nearly enough time on his personal faith, and how deeply it motivated his actions on and off track. Oddly, they also omitted mention of the Austrian flag he was carrying in his car—a flag he intended to raise in tribute of fellow driver Roland Ratzenberger, who had been killed qualifying for the same race in which Senna died.
  • Clearly viewing his hip replacement surgery as a tremendous annoyance, Nick Saban was back in the office less than two days later.
  • Bill Cosby doesn’t like prison. Good.
  • This week’s 36-hour fast is today. It’s going to be either Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday every week. That gives me a good balance of consistency and flexibility.
 Posted by at 10:06 am
Apr 232019

Of the several rechargeable battery technologies we have, lithium-ion batteries run a whole bunch of stuff. Your phone almost certainly has one in it. Electric and hybrid cars largely rely on them.

This makes sense. Lithium-ion batteries are reasonably durable and perform well, with good capacity, charge times, and so forth.

There’s just one thing about them, though. It, uh…well…it seems sometimes they blow up. Probably you’ll never have one that does, but the chance isn’t zero.

And we’re not talking about an “extremely small but non-zero” sort of chance, like whether something will spontaneously disintegrate and reintegrate at some other location in the universe. It’s a small chance, but maybe not one you’d hang “negligible” on. Got me? I mean, after all, there have been a number of high-profile recalls to deal with this issue. Should we ask Samsung about their Note 7?

Now, a spontaneously igniting smartphone could cause you a significant problem. But you can also imagine a number of scenarios in which it would happen but be self-limiting. If you’re using it, you’d probably feel it heating up. You can throw a smartphone to the ground or floor.

Demonstrably, we consider the smartphone risk an acceptable one.

Now check out this Tesla captured on video in a garage in Shanghai:

Dramatic, yes? Would you be OK if that happened with you in it? If it happened at speed, would you detect it before hurting yourself or someone else? Want to chance it?

Are there other Tesla fires? Yeah, quite a few. Is it a small percentage of all of the Tesla vehicles out there? It is.

But I bet it’s still much larger than spontaneous fire percentage numbers for any other modern car with a conventional powertrain.

 Posted by at 8:59 am
Apr 212019

The angel said to the women, Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, Who was crucified. He is not here; He has risen, just as He said. Come and see the place where He lay. – Matthew 28:5-6

God be with you and your family on this most glorious Easter Sunday!

 Posted by at 6:27 am
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!