Hard Work Paying Off

What would you do if you got a raise at work? Celebrate no doubt. I was so excited that I didn’t do anything at first. I just reveled in my good luck. Wait! Luck didn’t have anything to do with it. It was hard work that had paid off. I was appreciative of the fact that my boss had noticed. Sometimes you do your job well just for yourself, and sometimes you have an angle in mind—a promotion or raise. It just happened at the right time as I was poised for some much-needed career advancement.

I waited a couple of days to let the raise sink in, and then I bought a Stuhrling Legacy watch as a gift to myself. It is an attractive and simple watch ideal for dress rather than sports. It has a round white faced trimmed in gold and an old-school brown leather strap. It is retro to be sure but has a lot of style. It is automatic and the mechanism shows through the front of the watch. Black Roman numerous decorate the face as well as gold hands. Many Sturhrling watches are sportier, but this one was really different. It is subtle and not flashy in spite of the silver textured dial, something I like. I didn’t want a typical bracelet design so the Legacy seemed the right choice. No blatant diver’s watch for me. I am happy to wear it on a daily basis, never flashing it for attention. I don’t need recognition of my good taste. I keep that to myself.

I am so jazzed that I have to give you some more of the specifications. It has a 42mm stainless-steel gold-tone round case with a shatter-resistant crystal dial window. That is the basic description. Did I mention that it is water resistant to 165 feet and has automatic movement with analog display. Automatic simply means that the watch does not operate with batteries and it doesn’t need to be wound. It is powered by the motion of the wearer’s wrist. You have to set it up the first time by turning the crown clockwise for about 20-30 full turns. Then you are ready to go thereafter. It is ideal to wear the watch at least eight hours a day to keep it functioning optimally. This is true of most automatic watches.

I felt like strutting when I put on this elegant watch. While it is a bit of a throwback, it is classic and timeless. Wearing it says that I am an individual not given to mimicking trends. I don’t have to be a slave to fashion and I call my own shots. It is a great memento to my hard work on the job and the respect I have earned that resulted in a welcome raise. At my company, these are not given out freely, so I consider myself privileged and lucky. I felt like showing the watch off to colleagues, but thought better of it after a while. I just sit at my desk and privately glance at my wrist. At such times, people will see me smile.

Protesters with a Sense of Humor

As a citizen, it is your right to protest and to make your views known. Lord knows, there is plenty to gripe about these days. The hallmark of a democratic society is the existence of grass roots organizations. There are as many of them as there are issues. We certainly don’t agree with them all. Some have grown in stature and importance like the Republican offshoot of the tea party. It is now a fundamental part of politics with a lot of clout. Meanwhile other groups keep plugging away at their cause. It is hard to keep up with them all, but they have ways of calling attention to themselves.

For example, there is one sector of an independent party that wants to make public what they feel is the government flip-flopping their position on an issue. It has to do with corporate controls of waste dumping. Laws were proposed but never passed. It was a great disappointment. So the group started an online campaign to have people mail some cheap flip flops to their representatives in congress. While it is inherently quite funny, they were serious about their cause. They did get a pretty good response and over fifty pairs are said to have been received. The media was ecstatic. They had amusing photos of the congressmen holding the beach shoes exhibiting smirky grins. The press shad a field day with this one. Other groups will have to think long and hard to top this antic. These protestors certainly had a sense of humor. It just goes to show you what a little ingenuity will do. You can write manifestos, you can give speeches, and you can mount conventional protests with posters and signs.

One of the great things about this country is the ability to freely protest whenever you want. No matter who agrees or doesn’t agree with your cause. Of course, protest is a way to garner supporters who are first learning about the issues. Protesters can also write petitions and gain followers on the Internet. There are many ways to exercise your rights. There are several sites underway now to circulate petitions and ask for donations. What better way for grassroots organizations to open a dialogue with the public. Anyone can start a petition and its success will reflect the value and timeliness of the cause. Some issues are national and some are local. Those that affect a multitude of people will find support. I have yet to see a petition as clever as the flip flop campaign. It is amazing how many people jumped right on that bandwagon. The congressmen were good sports and accepted the gesture with some humility. No one is reported to have made overly snide remarks to the press. I think it would not have served them well from a public relations perspective.

So if you have a cause you are itching to promote, keep this story in mind and get creative.

Kids, Practice those Speeches!

Debates are a fundamental part of American politics, a tradition if you will. Sometimes they are under the glaring light of public scrutiny, as they should be. They should help us make better decisions about our candidate of choice. We are in the midst of them right now during the presidential primaries. We have had our fill to date. We hope that kids are taking note of the process and are internalizing what is inherent in the system that is positive to help prepare them as future citizens of the republic. The debates get a lot of media attention and analysis and this helps kids focus on what is valuable in all the verbiage and why should they care. It is all about exposing views and values to the clear light of day.

There are many lessons to learn, not the least of which is how a debate is conducted with views aired on all sides of a given question. A great school exercise if for them to create their own versions, not necessarily on the candidates, but on any topic. Why not make it practical. In my home, I need to buy a new air purifier for a large family room. I assigned the task of selecting the best ones to the whole family so they could look at pros and cons. It would show them that a debate is much more than a political strategy but that the concepts can be applied to any matter at hand. We decided to debate the Austin model since it is on our list of top brands.

The kids started with learning the basics. The Austin Air HealthMate Jr provides 4 stages of intense filtration to rid air of the allergens, bacteria, viruses, odors, smoke, and chemical vapors that assail us every day. Built with over 30 square feet of True HEPA filter media, and 6.5 lbs. of granular, activated carbon/zeolite, the HealthMate Jr. significantly improves air quality in small to medium-size rooms, providing relief for allergy and asthma sufferers. Long-life HEPA saves on filter replacements.  Casters are optionally available.

Having absorbed the basic specifications, the k ids decided to debate the HEPA filter. While on the pro side it is efficient and effective and has a long life, on the con, it does need replacement from time to time adding to the total air purifier cost. Also on the con side, some HEPA air-purifier models use an electrostatic precipitator remove pollutant particles by charging them as they pass through and collecting them on an oppositely charged metal plate or filter. In the process, they produce some ozone as a byproduct. This is considered undesirable and unhealthy. And they might soil the walls by depositing some pollutant particles on them.

The debate praised the Austin, but also revealed some flaws. It showed that nothing is perfect and that you have to make choices based on the lesser of a few evils. At least, after a debate, you have more clarity about the topic, as with the presidential candidates where we perhaps knew more than we cared to or thought possible.