Friday, April 23, 2010

My Reasons...

I only open my mouth to change feet as the saying goes. As far as my viewpoints go, I'm what you would call a Christian fundamentalist and fiscal conservative when it comes to government. The former being by the grace of God and the latter coming from the University of Hard Knocks. As anyone who's ever read my Facebook posts, or suffered through this blog knows, my key points is the national debt, as well as funding for baby killing, national health insurance and any other action that's causing us to collectively stumble. I frequently post links to news articles and while I have a conservative slant, it is out of common sense. Don't spend more than you take in, if at all possible.

Admittedly, this leaves out a lot of other factors, including, but not limited to, human beings and all of the problems they (read we or us) face as individuals and their families. My breaking point came with a young lady who's name I will not mention on this blog. It happened while I was pointing out the absurdity of the government buying cell phones for poor people (a viewpoint I will not back down from, by the way). However, there is still more than dollars and sense to this issue. There is a human side to all of this that I am poorly equipped to explain further. So without further adieu, I give you this young lady's argument, verbatim, give my take on it, and leave it at that.

"Walter, my mother is going to be using this service, as she can no longer afford her own phone. She is a disabled person with cancer and mental illness who receives SSI benefits from the government. The total amount of her benefit is about $800/month. She lives in a group home. After she pays for her food and lodging, the remainder of her discretionary cash is $44/month. Out of this she needs to make all of her prescription copayments, purchase all of her clothing and personal hygeine items, buy her non-prescription medications, and pay for any minor purchases she might want. Her medicines use up all of her $44 and more, leaving nothing left. She does have access to the house phone at the group home, but it is not the same as having a cell phone for her own personal use. With a cell phone, she is able to go out and take walks or go shopping at nearby stores without worrying everyone having to worry about her being lost or falling down. She is simply too ill and too fragile to be on her own without some method of communication. It is also a lifeline to her out of town family who don't see her very often.

Walter, before you criticize this program, I would like to see how you stretch $44/month to cover all of your non-housing, non-food needs for a month. The truth is that the assistance provided to the poor by the government is just not enough. If not for government entitlements plus numerous charity programs PLUS steady support (financial and emotional) from a large family, my mother would be dead. The numerous people you see sleeping on the street in the winter is proof that we are not doing enough.

One last comment is that you may not be aware that pay phones are no longer widely available. If you've ever stopped to try to use one, you'll find that most of them don't work. The phone companies are not replacing them as they break, so a cell phone truly is becoming a necessity, especially for people who are living or on the road alone, especially for the elderly and disabled."

I'll address these concerns she posed in this blog because I'm assuming she has a Blogger account. First of all, I'm sorry for blocking her. I cannot take responsibility for her actions, but I should take responsibility for mine. First up, no one has ever stepped in your shoes, I don't care how empathetic you say you are. This is just a fact of life and not an affront to anyone. One thing that's getting more and more common in the United States and abroad is suffering of every kind, despite the governments' best efforts to stem the tide. The fact is that I know all about payphones over the past ten years. They are an endangered species. I also know what it's like to need help from the government as I'm drawing unemployment.

The danger in this is that government was never meant to take care of us per se. We are given the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit (cultivation) of happiness. It is the contemporary interpretation that adds the safety net that so many of us use. Right now, my greatest concern is going to be when my unemployment benefits run out. Then what, move back with my parents? I have a wife and two young children. There is no way we can meet our obligations long term without a good-paying full time job. We have cut back and cut back some more. I had to sell my house in 2000 and have not been able to get another one since. Lansing's job market is the most horrible I've seen. We all have our problems, this is also a fact of life. I don't want any body's pity. Prayers yes, pity no.

The root of the problem is that we've spent our way well past the point of no return. We all voted our pocketbooks to feather our own nests. We bought houses, cars, boats, plasma TVs and went on an insane spending spree for the last 20 years, and we got the banks to finance our dreams. Even though we lost jobs and industry, as long as the credit flowed, it didn't matter. The government, elected by us, continued to spend with no thought to tomorrow and has for the past 40 plus years. What you used to buy for a quarter now costs three bucks. This is why costs keep going up, but your salary hasn't in nearly a decade. Soon, all of us will have to work all day just to keep ONE PERSON fed. (See Revelation 6:5-8)

This isn't one person suffering, or a few, or even hundreds of thousands, but BILLIONS. Try worrying about health care or a phone when you're struggling to find enough to eat. You won't last long enough to worry about it if this happens. This IS reality right now in Africa, Haiti, North Korea and many other parts of the world. This is coming to America and Europe very soon. My suggestion is to fall on your face and stop worrying about ideology, or pride, or health care and get right with Jesus and turn your life over to him. He is your only hope, not government. Pray for healing and revival in this land and that He allows for more of us to escape what's coming. Lord I pray that you just guard us all and that we learn that Your ways are not our ways. You and You alone are the Prince of Peace, Amen!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Evaporative Emissions Fix 2003 Dodge Intrepid (or similar Chrysler product).

One problem that can vex even an experienced mechanic is the evaporative emission control systems on post 1996 cars and trucks. When we had our 1996 Ford Escort in for one of these issues, the dealer couldn't even differentiate between a "soft" and a "hard" code. It took me nearly three years to find out it was a $15 sensor for a purge sensor. All I needed for that fix was a hair dryer and ohmmeter to find that out, but I digress. Amateurs!

The specific problem is a code P0440 and/or a P0441. Both have to do with a evaporative emissions control flow fault. In plain English, this means the system isn't working to some degree. As anyone should know, gasoline is a highly volatile fuel, in that it vaporizes fairly easily. This stray vapor can leak out of the fuel system into air, causing smog and degrading air quality. At first it would seem sensible to just seal the fuel system and eliminate all the vents. The problem is (like those asinine child resistant gas cans with no vent that take a small eternity to pour. Note to self, keep the kids out of the gas), is that the gas tank would collapse and the engine would stall once half the fuel is used up. It would also burn up the fuel pump. The evaporative system allows air to rush in to equalize the pressure, but also keeps the fuel vapors where they belong, inside the system and the tank. This uses a charcoal canister, hoses, some kind of sensor and a valve to manage these and allow them to be burned when the engine is on.

The valve (or solenoid) in question on the Intrepid lives next to the brake master cylinder and has two hoses sticking out, along with an electrical connector. It also looks like a little black plastic trash can. Follow both hoses; one should go underneath the car to the charcoal canister, the other to the intake manifold on the engine. That that hose off, with the engine off, and try to blow through it. This should be impossible to do if the valve is closed, which it should be. Next, put the hose back on loosely and start the engine. Pull the hose and put your finger over the hole. Now blow into the hose; it should be very easy. If not, the solenoid is probably not working. Pull the wire connector, or back probe same and measure the voltage to the red wire. There should be 12 volts to one, If not, the computer or related wiring is messed up. Take to a service technician, or not.

If there is power, the valve is probably stuck and even if it does come on, the valve is sticking intermittently. You could replace the part for about $50, but I'm about saving money. You'll need two leads with alligator clips on both ends (preferably one with an inline fuse) a tube of die-electric tune up grease, and a screwdriver to pry the cover off the valve. Take out the valve and carefully pry the clips holding the cover to the valve. Then remove the spring and cups living inside and set them aside. DON'T LOSE THEM. Hook a wire to each terminal on the valve and ground one end. Tap the other end to the battery. The solenoid valve should pop up and promptly go down again while the power is cut off. More often than not, this valve will stick in the open position and this seems pretty likely if the engine has any blow by (what 2.7 liter doesn't, unless it's already trashed), not to mention the terrible heat this part is exposed to. As long as this works, even if it sticks, you can probably fix it. Take your grease and lubricate the solenoid shaft, pulling this in and out with your fingers (do not use pliers). Once you're satisfied this isn't going to stick, put the valve back together and hook it back up to the car. Use your code reader (you have a code reader, don't you?) to reset the code and turn off the "check engine" light. The results should be be nearly immediately realized if your code reader can tell you the evaporative emissions system is ready. If you don't you'll have to disconnect the battery and wait nearly a month for the light to come on, or not. If this checks out, your job is done. Maranatha!

Update, the light came on again. So back to square one.

Updated update, the canister purge soleniod is toast. I confirmed this by testing the voltage going to this part with the engine on. Then I blew through the hose that attaches to the soleniod from the engine. With the connector on and the engine on, I could not blow through it. Again, the solenoid is bad. I'm going to the boneyard in a few days and let you know how this shakes out in a future post.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Γιατί μου Believe…

Όταν ι ήταν ορίζονται εκτός από δουλειά μου τον Ιανουάριο του 2009, ήταν το αποκορύφωμα των γεγονότων που είχε πάει πίσω δύο χρόνια. Για μια μικρή αιωνιότητα, φάνηκε ότι ύφεσης ήταν εδώ να παραμείνουν στην Michigan όπου κατοικώ. Το Global δημοσιονομικής διαχείρισης κρίσεων, ή ΕΚΚ χτυπήσει στα μέσα του 2008, καταστρέφοντας πρόσβασης σε πιστώσεις και ξεκινώντας μια χιονοδρομική σπείρα που συνεχίζεται μέχρι σήμερα. Μέχρι σήμερα, οι Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες είναι σύντομη περίπου 16 εκατομμύρια αξιοπρεπής εργασία των πληρωμών, ενώ το 1% εξακολουθεί να συσσωρεύονται πλούτου με dizzying ταχύτητα. Εν τω μεταξύ, έχω των ανέργων με καμία προοπτική λήψη μισθωμένων έτσι κι αλλιώς ποτέ ξανά. Αν δεν κάνω εκκίνηση τη δική μου επιχείρηση, μου προοπτικές, όσον αφορά αυτό τον κόσμο, είναι αρκετά ζοφερή. Ακόμη και αν εγώ διαχείριση για να ξεκινήσετε μια επιχείρηση, λήψη πιστώσεων για τη χρηματοδότηση τις πιο βασικές πράξεις μέχρι στρέφομαι κέρδος είναι επίσης λεπτός None. Αυτό σαν το εξουσίες που θα (επιχειρήσεων και κυβέρνηση) γνωρίζετε τα μέσα για τη δημιουργία θέσεων εργασίας και θα έκαναν το ακριβώς το αντίθετο.

Αρκετούς μήνες σε ανεργία μου, μου διάθεση επιδεινωθεί σε κατάθλιψη. Παρόλο που μου excelling στο σχολείο, όπως μου εργαζόταν σε φινίρισμα μου βαθμό διαχείρισης, το φάντασμα της ανεργίας ήταν μια σταθερή συνοδείας. Για μερικούς μήνες, ήταν φάρμακα να ανακουφίσουν συμπτώματα κατάθλιψης.

Μου πνευματική κατάσταση επίσης ήταν ολέθριες και εγώ καταπολέμηση καταπίεση, την οργή, μίσος και αυτορ καταστροφής. Έχοντας μια οικογένεια, ένα μεγάλο δώρο από τον Θεό, έγινε μια μεγάλη επιβάρυνση σε μια νύχτα. Αγαπητέ αναγνώστη, εκτός εάν αντιμετωπίσατε το συντριπτικό βάρος της ανεργίας και της καταπίεσης από τον εχθρό, πιθανώς δεν είναι δυνατό να καταλαβαίνετε τι σημαίνει. Αυτό δεν είναι κάτι που θα ήθελα σχετικά μου χειρότερος εχθρός εάν θα έπρεπε. Αισθάνθηκα προδομένοι, χρησιμοποιούνται, βιάζονται και εγκαταλείπονται από τον Ιησού. Ήξερα, επίσης, αυτά τα αισθήματα δεν ήταν εκείνου που μου και να μεταδίδονται καθώς και το πολύτιμο αίμα του στον Σταυρό για μένα. Όπως βλέπετε, δεν πρόκειται για κάτι τόσο μικρής κλίμακας ως errant πλυντήριο, αλλά τη ζωή και την επιβίωσή της πατέρας δύο παιδιών, ο σύζυγος και γιος. Αισθάνθηκα πραγματικά και πραγματικά μου τη ζωή ήταν κατά τη διάρκεια. Εγώ θα χρησιμοποιηθούν και γίνεται κατάχρηση και εκτίναξης από την κοινωνία. Δεν σε αντίθεση με τα εργαλεία μου έχετε διαπραγμάτευση να Sears για δημιουργία νέων. Αυτό επιβεβαιώθηκε για μένα όταν έμαθα ότι μου πρώην εργοδότης μισθωμένων κάποιος νεότερος από εμένα έξι μήνες μετά την ι ήταν ορίζονται απενεργοποίηση.

Προσπαθώ να φροντίσουμε για μια οικογένεια και να κάνετε τις υποχρεώσεις μου. Σύμφωνα με την ευημερία ή "να πω, λάβουν" ευαγγέλιο, είναι απλώς ότι δεν έχω αρκετή πίστη. Ωστόσο, ξέρω ότι ο Ιησούς να προσέξουμε μας σύμφωνα με το θέλημά του, φυσικά. Θα να αναρωτιέμαι πόσο πίστη μία υποτίθεται πρέπει να μόνο να έχουν μια θέση εργασίας. Το συμπέρασμα πρέπει να είναι ότι, αν ήταν θέλημά του να έχουμε μία δουλειά, θα είχα μια εργασία. Έτσι θα πρέπει να δεν αποτελεί έκπληξη για οποιονδήποτε ότι αυτό συγγραφέα ήταν δίπλα από τον εαυτό, επειδή σε τελική ανάλυση, δεν θα έπρεπε όλοι όσοι ήταν Χριστιανός που χρειάζονται μια εργασία έχουν μια θέση εργασίας; Ήμουν απελπιστική για απαντήσεις και προσευχήθηκε για το θέμα αυτό, αναρωτιέμαι τι θα μπορούσε να είναι η απάντηση.

Θα ρίχνουν μακριά ορισμένες σκουπίδια και βρέθηκε ένα αντίγραφο του Left Behind από Tim LaHaye και Jerry Jenkins. Για να είμαστε απολύτως ειλικρινείς θα είχε συμφέρον στο να προβλέψουμε στο παρελθόν, αλλά είχε εγκρίνει μια προβολή preterist προς αυτό, όπως τα χρόνια που πέρασε.

Μου είχε περιθωριοποιηθεί ο Θεός σε τέτοιο βαθμό που αυτό εργάστηκε στο κεφάλι μου. Σας scoffed σε pre-tribulation προβολής που αυτή μυθιστόρημα αγκάλιασε και δίδαξε. Ό, τι ο κύριος υποχρεώνουν να κάνω ήταν να Σηκώστε το βιβλίο αυτό και να λάβει αυτό το διαμέρισμα. Παρόλο που ήμουν πολύ livid σε αυτόν για τις Παρατηρούμενος αδικίες μου, είχα ακόμη την κρατά να υπακούσουμε σ ' αυτόν. Το βιβλίο Σάβ σε μας ράφι για περίπου μια εβδομάδα και κατά τη διάρκεια μιας σχετικά ήσυχη το Σαββατοκύριακο, βαριεστημένος και ίσως λίγο ενδιαφέροντα, άρχισα ανάγνωση. Χρειάστηκαν μου λιγότερο από μια μέρα να διαβάζουν και να κατανοήσουμε αυτό που ήταν σχετικά με αυτό το βιβλίο. Μεμονωμένα, αυτό δεν μου παρέχει απαντήσεις, αλλά ήταν μια πύλη για να ξεκινήσει έρευνα την όλη ιδέα της ορισμένες "rapture".

Εκείνο που θεωρώ ήταν μια τοποθεσία που εξηγείται γιατί αυτά που συνέβαιναν ήταν τόσο. Υπήρχαν γραφήματα, συζητήσεις και τα άρθρα που εξηγούν ότι αυτός ο κόσμος κλάσης προς απόφαση. Για να γίνει αυτό, αυτό σήμαινε ότι η οικονομία των ΗΠΑ, ένας κινητήρας της ευημερίας για τόσο μεγάλο χρονικό διάστημα (σε μου περιορισμένο χρονικό διάστημα) ήταν να εξαλειφθούν για να ελευθερώσουν για μια νέα παγκόσμια δύναμη να βγει. Οι συντάκτες αντίγραφα αυτό με το Βίβλος. Το σημαντικότερο, βρήκα ότι ο Ιησούς ήταν απόλυτα μόλις, αθώα και ακόμη αφήνει εμάς να κάνουμε επιλογές στο να προσκυνήσω σ ' αυτόν ή όχι. Επειδή ο άνθρωπος είχε δώσει τον κανόνα του πλανήτη μας με το κακό, που έγινε τον Θεό αυτού του κόσμου και έχει συστηματική καταστροφή έκτοτε. Μέσα από τα τρία πόδια σκαμνάκι στη σάρκα, εξέγερση και ο ενάγοντα, τη ζωή μας είναι μια σκιά από ό, τι είχαν μία φορά. Το ΕΚΚ ήταν το άμεσο αποτέλεσμα της περιφρόνηση του ανθρώπου του κυρίου τρόπο για χάρη του τρόπο του ανθρώπου.

Πολλοί άνθρωποι που αυτοαποκαλούνται χριστιανών είναι προσβεβλημένος, όταν είπε ότι υπάρχει κάτι τέτοιο ως καλού και του κακού. Δεν τους αρέσει να ακούμε για τον Σατανά, ή να προβλέψουμε, ή ότι ο Ιησούς πρόκειται να καταργήσετε εκκλησία του για ένα χρονικό διάστημα από αυτή την γη. Πολλοί είναι τόσο να engrossed στο δικό τους συνήθειες ότι μόνο θέλετε να διαβάσετε τα ανθηρές τμήματα και δεν θα αναγνωρίσει την τιμή της αμαρτίας, ή η τιμή που καταβλήθηκε ο Ιησούς για μας. Στις περισσότερες, πρόκειται να εκκλησία είναι περίπου δρέπουμε ευλογίες, παρά το γεγονός ότι το αντίθετο αληθεύει απόλυτα ως Χριστιανός. Σας θα είναι ειρωνεύτηκε από φίλους και συγγενείς για ολοκληρωμένη τι είναι η αλήθεια. Θα είναι χαρακτηρισμένη μισαλλόδοξων, closed-minded, exclusivist, φονταμενταλιστικές και shunned για κήρυγμα την αλήθεια. Έχετε ήδη είπα για να σταματήσετε κήρυγμα και απλώς να προσευχηθώ, παρόλο που η Βίβλος λέει σαφώς ότι εμείς πρέπει να κηρύττω το ευαγγέλιο σε κάθε πλάσμα (Mark 16: 15). Έχετε το έκανα στο blog μου (βέβαια, είναι σχετικά με τον καθορισμό πράγματα) και στο λογαριασμό μου Facebook (οι Ιησού και το δόγμα του ήχου είναι πολύ πιο σημαντικό από αυτό που έκανε με τους φίλους σας).

Θα ήθελα να υπενθυμίσω σε όλους ότι είμαι πολύ απλών Χριστιανός. Υπάρχει χωρίς τίτλο μπροστά από το όνομά μου εκτός από Mister και δεν επίθημα εκτός από την τρίτη. Με κανένα τρόπο ή μορφή θα μπορούσε να μου ονομάζεται ένας υπουργός. Προσπαθείτε να βρείτε τη λέξη δεν ήταν ευχάριστο, οποιαδήποτε μορφή ή μορφή είτε. Έχασα φίλους, είχε οικογένεια επιπλήξει μου, έχουν ακόμη πάλεψε με καταβολή μου αξιόγραφα και μέχρι σήμερα δεν έχουν βρει μια θέση εργασίας. Εγώ είμαι παρενοχλούνται από τους άθεους, αλλά πιο συχνά από χριστιανούς οι ίδιοι επειδή είστε πολύ εξοικειωμένοι με το status quo ή έχουν αγκαλιάσει περίεργα δόγματα.

Ενώ τα touting tribulation post μπορούν να χρεώνουν pre tribulation με "προσπαθεί να είναι δημοφιλείς" η αλήθεια είναι δεν είναι. Προς το παρόν, δεν έχω δει την ποιότητα της ζωής μου βελτίωση ή την αύξηση της δημοτικότητας μου. Αντίθετα, αυτό έχει μειωθεί αισθητά.

Το σημείο που θέλω να κάνω είναι ότι το δόγμα pre-tribulation rapture είναι η μόνη απάντηση που έχει νόημα, περίοδο. Ενώ άλλοι μπορεί να δοκιμάσει να πω ότι ο άνθρωπος θα φέρει σε ορισμένες ουτοπίας, θα πρέπει να ισχυρίζονται ότι αυτό δεν έχει συμβεί ακόμη. Αν αυτό είναι συσκευασμένα ως preterism, post-tribulation, pre οργή, Βασίλειο τώρα είναι ακόμα ανθρωπισμού διότι αυτό εξαρτάται από τον άνθρωπο και όχι ο Θεός για να κάνετε την αλλαγή. Θυμόμαστε όλοι την ελπίδα και την hyperbole των τελευταίων προεδρικών εκλογών; Το κάνω και δεν ήταν αρκετά. Υπήρξα μάρτυρας του θανάτου πλήγμα για αυτό το έθνος παλαιότερα γνωστό ως τις ΗΠΑ. Αυτό δεν είναι η απάντηση που ήλπιζα για κατά προσευχήθηκε τον κύριο πέρυσι και ζήτησε από τον για να αποσπάσετε μου από το χείλος του γκρεμού. Εάν αυτό έχει ήδη εγκαταλείψει μέχρι να μου, θα ήθελα πολύ να προλάβει την Tribulation και το rapture για μια ακόμη φορά στο απώτερο μέλλον. Ωστόσο, είναι ο Ιησούς, δεν τον άνθρωπο και σίγουρα δεν που βρίσκεται στο στοιχείο ελέγχου της κατάστασης αυτής. Ενώ η σαρκώδη γάντια, γνωστό ως παγκόσμιων ηγετών προετοιμασία για παγκόσμια κυβέρνηση, πρέπει να πω ότι περισσότεροι χριστιανοί δεν χρειάζεται μια ένδειξη που να τι συμβαίνει. Το χειρότερο είναι ότι οι περισσότερες μάλλον θα προσδεθούμε σε την άγνοια είναι ευδαιμονίας αντί να βγαίνουν τη λέξη. Είναι όλα τόσο λυπηρό.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Customer Service is Priceless

As a handyperson, repairs are not an option, they are a given. Lately this has been on my parents' cars and ours too. Over the course of 22 years since I got my set of Craftsman tools, they get much use and abuse. The nice thing about Craftsman hand tools is that the majority of these are good quality at a more than reasonable price. The no questions asked warranty is also a huge plus as I can't afford to just buy stuff all the time (who can?).  Last weekend, I went through my collection and weeded out any broken, rusted or otherwise worn sockets and also found a broken end wrench. There were also two "pocket sockets" (made for Sears in the mid 1990's that were meant to be a better alternative to the adjustable wrench) to add to the collection. Apparently, they never lived up to the hyperbole as I was informed they were no longer made. It didn't stop me from using them when a socket wrench was out of reach. The problem was these were worn out from nearly two decades of use and no longer safe.

Prior to leaving for Sears, I packed up a small tote with all my old sockets, end wrench, pocket sockets and socket spinner. I left the end wrench in my car, as this was going to a competitor (I'm not mentioning names, as I will explain later). After hauling up all the aformentioned tools to the counter, I was informed that I could proceed with my tote to hunt up the replacements. Meanwhile they wrangled about what to do with the pocket sockets. Note to self, all of the worn out, damaged, or otherwise messed up sockets were 12 point, which are great for some engine work, but are not the best in removing stubborn nuts and bolts. One of them was split right down the middle trying to tighten a fastener on my car. It's a wonder they even work at all, but Craftsman still has great hand tools for the money. Nevertheless, a six point socket is better unless you're working in tight quarters, such as a water pump or starter wire.

After the wrangling, Sears elected to let me choose a tool comparable to the value of the pocket sockets and I got a 90 degree socket wrench with this credit. The service I got was top notch all the way. My hat is off to these people. It took a little time, but we went in the right direction.

This was the same level of competent service that I expected at the next place. Incidently,  the reason I'm not mentioning names is because this would be counterproductive to my cause, which is to try and be as positive as possible in making a point. Inherently, potential customers would look at the negative and not do business there. Punishing this or any company providing jobs for one mistake is destructive. We need commerce and all the jobs we can create right now.

Well, I walked into the establishment with end wrench in hand, the open end part deformed a bit. Because this is a safety issue, the choice is to either exchange the tool or throw it away. Worn out stuff is dangerous because it can slip and you can end up with stitches (been there, done that). I've had this wrench for nearly 12 years and other than the deformation, it looked brand-new. Upon walking in to where I thought the wrenches were, I found an employee and asked him about exchanging a wrench. He told me to grab what I needed and take to the cashier. However, I didn't find the tool and walked up to the front. This is where it gets hairy...

Admittedly, I have a low tolerance for poor customer service. Hey, I know what it's like to work retail. I did it for nearly 6 years. This was during a time when the job market wasn't really great, but a lot better than it is now. Because of being unemployed and having to provide "service with a smile" through nearly a quarter century of work, I expect that out of people making several times what I made back then. I also did the majority of this with only a bike and bus pass to get to work. The individual involved was older than me by a decade and a half, so no excuses. I can cut a 20 year old some slack, but an older worker should know better. The woman worked in "Contractor Services" and the terse reply did not sit well with me. "You have to go to the service desk." This was all the way across the store. My feet were killing me at this point and I was livid, but restrained. The lady at the customer service desk got an earful (and an apology) from me about the way I was treated. 

Coming to our aid was, a slender, clean-cut gentleman in his thirties who happened to be the store manager. He was apologetic and explained to me that every employee was empowered to resolve these kinds of issues. It would have taken the person at the "CS" desk less than five minutes to take care of me, so I didn't have to try and navigate the store with my feet. I was also informed that the wrench was no longer being made and at this point, I considered discarding it.

The outcome was good in that the manager made good, really good, by honoring the warranty on the tool. It was a pity that it took the manager to resolve it. Even though companies have been getting a lot of bad press as of late, there has been a push toward employee empowerment. This means giving the employee more leeway to solve problems instead of having them "rubber stamped" by a manager. This is important in maintaing the good health of a firm; if and when employees use it. I know from experience this method works. I used it at one of the property management firms I was employed at. It saved the company a lot of money hiring outside help and several neighbor feuds. This is one really good thing going for businesses today. I would strongly suggest if you have this opportunity, to use it. Good customer service is the best job security. God Bless!

Monday, April 5, 2010

He Who is Without Sin...

Today, after waking up too late, sampling current events, some which I post to my Facebook profile, I proceeded to take a shower. In this time, the Lord compelled me to write something to clarify another misused passage in the Bible. This is one commonly misused by the "Judge not" crowd, misleading Christians into "tolerating" any deviant, disgusting lifestyle that comes to mind, or not. Let the Word speak for Himself...

Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. And early in the morning he came down into the temple, and all the people came unto him: and he sat down and taught them. And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they has set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act (emphasis mine). Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?

This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. but Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though they had heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said onto them, He that is without sin among you, let him cast a stone at her.

And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even onto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said onto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. (St. John 8:1-11 KJV)

The phrase taken out of context is "He who is without sin cast the first stone" (paraphrased by me) which is misused by those who seek to bullyrag Christians into believing that we should not judge nor have negative consequences for sin. Superficially, it looks like Jesus was a rebel trying to thwart Mosaic Law left and right. Such is the danger of taking words or passages of the Bible out of context. As a side note, this is much easier to do with "versions" which will have key words or even entire verses deleted out, distorting the meaning or even turning it around altogether.

First of all, Jesus is not soft on sin, because He's the One who made the law in the first place. Those who struggle with the former also struggle with the fact that Jesus IS God. This fact is also convoluted or made into outright lies in other, more "contemporary" and "updated" versions, but I digress and rightfully so. This woman would have rightfully stoned to death under Mosaic Law. However, Jesus smelled a rat. The key verse is number six "This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him..." You see, as Jesus taught at the temple, the scribes and Pharisees, the religious politicians, knew that their monopoly on religion (and their meal tickets) was in jeopardy if their people defected en masse to Jesus. They were also a crafty bunch, motivated by none other than Satan himself.

First of all, Israel, or Judea as the region was called, was then a province of the Roman Empire. They had no laws concerning adultery and probably even encouraged the practice. Anyone trying to incite stoning someone to death under Jewish law would have been tried under Roman law as an insurrectionist and subsequently executed. However, if Jesus had said that the woman was not guilty under Roman law, the crowd would have stoned Him to death on the spot. It was a catch 22 for Jesus that was fully orchestrated by the authorities. The fact that only the woman and not the man was presented (contrary to Jewish law, see Deuteronomy 22:22). When Jesus drew into the sand, there would be little doubt that he was bringing up some other sins no one thought anyone else knew. All of us have skeletons in the closet, but we need to confess them to God and realize that it is by God's law that we MUST judge, not by our own paltry standards, Hence the saying, "the blind leading the blind". Maranatha!

One loose end I need to tie up is one concerning the original 1611 King James Version Bible. This is the only acceptable English version because the translators of that time used the Antioch and not the corrupted Alexandrian text. The latter is used in EVERY other English version out there to this day. It isn't a question of "thee" or "thou" or "sitteth," but of the entire message being "lost in translation." It's also a proven fact that one only needs a fifth-grade reading level to read the 1611 version, but a higher reading level to absorb the "contemporary" versions. Until there is an acceptable translation in "modern" English, they can deal me out.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Motivational Truisms for 2010.

Failure is always an option if you try, but success is impossible if you are a layabout.
"God helps those who help themselves" is not in the Bible; The fact that God helps those who help others is in there many times over.
Success is the result of many failures, learned from.
Education is expensive, ignorance is costly.
It's true, only receiving information makes you insipid.
It's true, the games on the playground were the most relevant.
Motivation is key, but you can be the hand or the lock.

There's no sense trying a job you cannot do, or do not enjoy doing, but we must take our chances...
When life gives you lemons, make salsa.
Giving does not make you rich, it makes you happy.
Opportunity is not a once in a lifetime happening, but a day after day ritual.
Opportunity does not knock, nor do we wait for it. Think of it as a harvest.
Applying yourself is is the truest demonstation of belief.
Even winning the lottery takes effort.