What will 2018 bring?
I first met him in 2000. He was the Oracle DBA at the company which would later be bought by the one that employed my for 15 years. He is the reason I got my Oracle DBA certification.
He has been out of work for several years now and was finally forced to sell his house. He will be moving back to Oklahoma to live with relatives. He’s my age or a little younger.
I went over to see him tonight. He is giving away his stuff as his subdivision doesn’t allow garage sales.
Lay offs, reductions in force, terminations continue unabated in the “oil patch”.
Ever since he called me over the weekend to tell me he was moving, the Garth Brooks song “Wolves” has been playing in my mind.
Oh Lord, keep me from bein’ the one the wolves pull down
January’s always bitter
But Lord, this one beats all
The wind ain’t quit for weeks now
And the drifts are ten feet tall
I been all night drivin’ heifers
Closer in to lower ground
Then I spent the mornin’ thinkin’
‘Bout the ones the wolves pulled down
Charlie Barton and his family
Stopped today to say goodbye
He said the bank was takin’ over
The last few years were just too dry
And I promised that I’d visit
When they found a place in town
Then I spent a long time thinkin’
‘Bout the ones the wolves pull down
Lord, please shine a light of hope
On those of us who fall behind
And when we stumble in the snow
Could you help us up while there’s still time
I don’t mean to be complainin’ Lord
You’ve always seen me through
And I know you got your reasons
For each and every thing you do
But tonight outside my window
There’s a lonesome, mournful sound
And I just can’t keep from thinkin’
‘Bout the ones the wolves pull down
Oh Lord, keep me from bein’
The one the wolves pull down
Songwriters: STEPHANIE DAVIS
© Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Like a scene from the sci-fi movies Arrival or Close Encounters of the Third Kind, National Guard Black Hawk and heavy twin-blade Chinook helicopters fly over my house inbound to and outbound from the Academy corporate headquarters that is adjacent to my subdivision. The top floor of the parking garage serves as a makeshift heliport. Other floors of the parking garage serve a sleeping areas for a variety of first responders, including Texas State Troopers, who have come in from all over the state. Elsewhere in the parking lots, the National Guard has established bivouac with tents, trucks, and communications equipment. Several fuel tankers are also deployed.
Academy Sports and Outdoors (http://www.academy.com/shop/en/store/company-info) is a sporting goods and outdoor equipment company headquartered in Katy Texas next to my subdivision. The first Academy store opened as a tire shop in San Antonio in 1938. It turned into a military surplus store, then began offering sports and outdoors equipment as it evolved into the present day Academy Sports + Outdoors. They have more than 230 stores in 16 states, supported by more than 23,000 team members throughout the South, Southeast, and Midwest. My next door neighbor is the director (manager) of one of the nearby stores. Several of their IT folks also live in my subdivision.
I recently spoke to one of their corporate accountants who estimated that Academy had already donated over a million dollars worth of supplies, equipment, and services to the ongoing Hurricane Harvey relief effort. The photos below attest to part of this contribution. In addition to providing lodging and logistics for first responders, the Academy corporate headquarters and distribution center has also opened their cafeteria to their guests providing both room and board.
I am very proud to have Academy as my neighbor. If you live near an Academy store, stop by and thank them for the support they are giving the greater Houston area in this time of need.
View of the Academy headquarters from the south
View from the west (street view)
I have been dealing with a variety of issues over the past year and a half that have been stressful, to say the least. My life has been plagued with, let us say … uncertainty. I used to say it was like being on a roller coaster, but now I think it is becoming more like a ride on the Vomit Comet.
To quote Arlo Guthrie (totally out of context) … “you may know somebody in a similar situation or you may be in a similar situation, and if you’re in a situation like that, there’s only one thing you can do … sing it the next time it comes around on the guitar …”
Via a tweet from Elon Musk
Did I say “papers?” I meant “permits.”
I generally try to keep this blog as apolitical as possible … but “I’m angry as hell an not going to take it any more.” Below is but one example of a nationwide epidemic.
Excerpts below …
Government agents have again let their true colors shine, in a latest attempt to fight one of the most pernicious and brutal crimes embattling far too many communities across the nation — a lack of permit.
These fearless agents of the State, peace officers, not only seized the food supposedly so in need of a permit, they dumped punch into storm drains and confiscated coolers, tables, chairs, canned soda, and literally everything in the vendors’ possession — the entire raid, captured on Facebook Live video.
Ironically-monikered peace officers claimed without elaborating or providing specific details on the video they’d received complaints — but the outpouring of support from the public and church communities, as well as outrage over the raid, did not evince any complainants relieved to see the picnicking quashed.
From diligent street vendors offering tasty bites to kids’ offering family-recipe lemonade to parched passersby, one thing has been made abundantly clear — permitting is out of control.
Permits are the government’s way of bilking people of money under the petulant guise of public safety — but the truth about permitting is much simpler and infinitely less benign.
‘You aren’t allowed to profit unless I get my cut,’ is what the State really says when Mexican food vendors, flood victims, little girls, and countless others receive fines and tickets — or have their possessions confiscated — due only to lack of permit.
That the Sacramento food vendors didn’t shirk legal responsibilities and had applied for the necessary permits when cops seized their wares again proves the issue has little to do with the permit, itself, and everything to do with an unreasonable government running roughshod on all of us.
As it always has been …
It’s all about the Benjamins
Read the entire article at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/food-raid-armed-agents/
If you have been following this blog for some time you know that I have made numerous posts and have been an avid supporter of a company called Goldmoney Inc. (formerly BitGold). The following search links should provide some background:
Goldmoney is a game changing FinTech (Financial Technology) company with the goal of making gold useful as money again. Unlike all of the world’s paper (aka fiat) currencies, gold has held its value as money for over 5000 years. Goldmoney gives the average person the ability to save in gold with extremely low and reasonable fees. All gold held in Goldmoney is 100% allocated to users which means that every gram owned by every account user is physically stored in one of several vaults around the globe (you select which ones) and associated with each user. This is not “paper gold”, gold contracts, or gold ETFs. This is real gold. You can take delivery of your gold in a variety of forms (cubes, bars, coins, etc.) if desired. Buying and selling gold and transferring funds to and from your bank is quick and painless. The features and functionality provided by Goldmoney have expanded significantly in the two years or so since the company IPOed, as has its user base and assets under management. As a publicly traded company it is open to the highest levels of oversight and transparency.
The reason I am writing this today is that the co-founder and major share holder, Roy Sebag, has posted a request to the Goldmoney forum asking the forum members to combat the misinformation about Goldmoney Inc. that exists on the web. Much of this mis-information is merely ignorance of Goldmoney Inc. The rest is put forward by people with their own agendas.
All I ask of you, my good readers, is to keep an open mind and read Roy’s post below.
Many money, currency, and precious metals expects are predicting that gold could go to $10,000 an ounce in the near future as global currency wars, real wars (Syria, North Korea), and Trump policies (or failure thereof) come into play.
Ignorance is most certainly NOT bliss.
Information is power.
As John Pierpont Morgan said before congress in 1912 … Money is gold, and nothing else.
cb (aka @79Au197 on the Goldmoney forum and @d4t4wr4ngl3r on Twitter)