the forward thinker

The month of August passed without an update. I just noticed that today. I was busier than usual that month with work clocking in around 50 hours a week.

August is the month that marks the anniversary of when this website became a part of the world wide web. This site has been online for over six years now.

Work is returning to normal. I have been averaging about 45 hours a week. I hope to be back to the usual 40 by the beginning of next month. The Texas heat is slowly leaving the state, and that makes me real happy. I really enjoy the cooler weather.

Since this post went stale before it started, I’ll end it here. Peace out.

the sadwich

Before I go to bed for the night during the workweek, I prepare my lunch for the next day. Two pieces of bread go into the toaster. After they finish toasting, I let them sit and cool off to room temperature. Then I add a slice of cheese (currently jalapeño jack) and four slices of smoked turkey to construct my simple every workday sandwich.

Tonight, I was down to a single slice of turkey, the last slice of cheese, and the last pair of bread slices not including the ends. Instead of the standard four slices, tomorrow’s sandwich will only have a single slice of lunchmeat partnered up with the last slices of bread and cheese one last time before I have to make a small trip to the grocery store.

Maybe I should just go with a peanut butter sandwich but the texture isn’t pleasant after refrigeration. Maybe I should treat myself to Taco Bell but the current parking situation prevents me from leaving the office to visit a drive-thru. I am settling with my single slice of meat with a single slice of cheese cozied up between a couple slices of honey wheat toast. I will satisfy my hunger tomorrow with my hopefully first and last sadwich for lunch. Peace out.

the treble frequencies of whispering

I don’t post much about my workplace, but an annoyance has inspired me to jot this down.

I work in a quiet environment. One of my tasks require me to do a large amount of reading. I have the comfort of wearing stereo ear buds and listening to morning talk radio followed by podcasts until the end of my work day. I am left in solitude with my ears filled with enough jabber to keep me mostly away from my thoughts and other unnecessary distractions while I scan through texts and punch keys.

I work near others who have their own desks and do their fair share of reading to accomplish the tasks at hand. One of my co-workers nearby does the extremely annoying act of whispering to himself while he reads. Despite my ears being filled with other sounds at a respectable volume, the hiss created by his whispers penetrates my skull worse than television static. Even when I turn the volume up, the frequencies he emits still overpower the sound that cannot drown the high-pitched S’s that dart through the air like lasers into my consciousness.

I’ve never really liked whispering. I prefer speaking in a voice at the lowest possible volume when necessary. Whispering drills a hole through my brain that I do my best to avoid it. What is with people that need to whisper when they read? The place can be so quiet that the hum of desktop computer fans can be heard, so whispers easily break the near silence that disrupt my thought processes. All I can do is tolerate it to preserve my own peace or as much of it as I can maintain.

the mondays + wednesdays plan

As a follow-up to my new goal mentioned in the previous post for this collection of words and pictures, I will do my best to add a new post about what’s going on in my life on Mondays and Wednesdays if time permits. I believe it would be reasonable to use the pattern of attending a college course a couple times a week to add to this.

I attended classes on and off for over a decade and racked up plenty of college credits. Every now and then, I think of the days when I worked a full-time job and attended classes or when I worked two jobs and attended classes. I feel that I have reached a point in my life when I no longer want to find myself doing either. I see a possibility when I may go back to school for some reason, but that does not seem very likely at this point. I currently just work a full-time job, and I am content with that.

I’ve been quite a homebody for a while now. One of my primary reasons is that I am doing my best to save up as much of my earnings to achieve my bigger goals, and the expenses of being a social butterfly have become nuisances in my fundraising effort. Gas prices are so much more than they used to be last decade, so driving can be costly. Time is precious. Hobbies can be expensive. Paying the bills while trying to save makes it difficult to go out and spend.

The icing on the cake is sales tax. Texas state sales tax is 8.25%. That means for every $100 I spend on anything that accrues sales tax, $8.25 of my hard-earned cash is taken on top. Nowadays with e-commerce being the way to purchase and save on tangible items, I prefer to shop online for just about everything except gas, groceries, and smaller items that I’d be better off getting at a store. The prices are more desirable online, and I usually avoid having to pay the sales tax which is an additional savings in itself.

That should wrap up today’s update. I look forward to updating again on Wednesday. Peace out.

the five years of MoSo + breakfast for dinner

On this day in 2006, the first post to Modern Soapbox was published. I was in a similar state of mind then, but the years have gone by fast. I was younger and had more energy to be more prolific. I posted more often compared to nowadays where I’m averaging around an update or two per month.

I was at the end of my pseudo-career as a pizza boy. I played the balancing act of working two jobs for a little while. I kept a full-time job for over two years as an independent contractor turned employee/manager with full benefits for a company that shaped the way I see the corporate world and its tendency to create catastrophes almost intentionally. I also had another job part-time for about a year at a place where I met my other half. I was even bold enough to mix a part-time schedule of attending college into that mix.

These days are definitely different. I’m happier and more relaxed, but I’m quickly approaching 30. I work a job where I wake up early to be in an office working full-time earning a decent paycheck that makes ends meet. I’m reaching the threshold where I need to be earning more, but I can only roll with the punches with the way everything in this country and its economy is currently going. I’m fortunate to be employed, and I am very grateful for that.

Now five years have passed since “the debut” was published. I haven’t abandoned this archive, and I hope I can keep it going another five years. I may update not nearly as much as I did, but I have other projects that also demand my focus and I love working on each one of them almost more than this one. This isn’t going anywhere else but forward, and it will serve as a source where I have stored some of my thoughts, my observations, and what mattered to me when the posts were written.

I hope you will continue to visit every now and then to check if I’ve updated because I will continue to update. Even if you don’t stop by often or even stop visiting altogether, at least remember that I’m going to keep this going and I have no desire to bury it any time soon. Thanks for reading if you’re reading this, and now it’s time to talk about the tasty dinner that M&I had today since food plays a necessary part to my happiness.

Before we spent a couple hours at Thunderbird Coffee this evening, we made some scrambled eggs with sautéed red bell peppers, cheesy mashed potatoes with chives, and peppered bacon. Cutting up the bacon and mixing the pieces into the mashed potatoes made the plate that much better. The eggs provided additional flavors that kept our palates excited with every bite. Breakfast for dinner is something that we enjoy often, but we manage to 1-up ourselves this time around.

Happy 5th Anniversary, Modern Soapbox! Peace out.

the ice cream melts

In order to keep the promise to myself to update this collection of writing at least once a month, here is June 2011’s installment of what’s going on in my life.

June has flown by fast like the previous five months of this year so far, and I key this in during the last few hours of the last day of this month. With hope of not spending too much time updating you to be able to get the few items on today’s checklist complete before I call it a night, I will again attempt to keep this post short.

Almost effortlessly, I had three job interviews this month, none of which got me better employment with another company therefore amounting to a waste of my time. The first interview was almost successful, but something occurred on the company’s end that prevented me from getting the position. I’ll just say the person I was replacing didn’t want to be replaced after all. The company claimed to make a difference in people’s lives, and they definitely made a difference in mine.

The second interview was a subpar phone interview. I didn’t have what it took to nail the interview, and the person conducting the interview was a condescending jerk that clearly didn’t understand my email reply about not having all of the experience necessary but possessed the passion to earn it.

I nailed the third interview which was a phone interview as well but still ended up not getting the job. I’m under the impression that my status of being currently employed had a big influence on their decision, since I’m sure they needed to fill the position immediately. I am also happy to admit that I was overqualified for the position but was going for it to bring change to my day job existence.

So much for keeping this post short.

I saw a dentist for the first time in years. I bet it’s been over five years, closer to six or seven. I had a toothache for a whole week that rendered me almost useless for a few days. I would just work my eight hours then rush home to suffer the excruciating pain. The dentist referred me to an oral surgeon that extracted the tooth, my first adult tooth I’ve had to lose. I still have all of my wisdom teeth, but those will hopefully be pulled some time next year before they cause me any serious problems.

My eight-hour workdays have recently turned into ten-hour workdays. Purgatory has extended my shift, because they need my mad skills. Ha. I can’t really complain about getting a fatter check and the boost in income that I was seeking with those interviews that fell into my lap.

M&I went to San Antonio this past weekend to visit one of my best friends and his wife. We ate at Timbo’s for lunch then checked out the zoo. For dinner, we went to Big Lou’s Pizza to feast on their 42″ pie. Our party of seven was unfortunately unable to finish it, but I was able to consume my share. The pizza is delicious, and I would go back but maybe not get such a big pie unless we promise to dominate it.

I did have the dream of conquering the Four Horsemen burger at Chunky’s but decided against it after reading reviews on Yelp, hearing about the horror stories involving vomit, the questionable cleanliness of the restaurant itself, and the fact you get a barf bucket, the option of wearing gloves, have to sign a waiver, and have to pay 17 bucks if you don’t finish it. Maybe I’ll have the courage one day but maybe not.

I attempted my fifth victory of the Pluckers Fire In The Hole challenge earlier in the month. The wings were enormous on our visit, and the 50-piece we split actually had 56 pieces. The drummies were almost the size of regular drumsticks. Our defeat was a result of the amount of food and not the heat. This was my first failure for the challenge, but I will get on the South Lamar Wall of Flame one of these days.

We also tried a new wing bar called Wingzup that has a Ghost pepper wing sauce. Unfortunately, it’s made with Ghost chili powder, not fresh peppers. It was decently fiery, but no Fire In The Hole. The service was excellent. The food quality and presentation was stellar. They have a neat gimmick of serving beer in plastic towers with a tap at the bottom. We may return if we’re in the area. They gave us discount coupons, so that makes it even more desirable to return.

I am so relieved that my toothache has been eliminated as you can tell with all of the food talk you just read. The experience of suffering a toothache diminished my spirit, but that is behind me now.

Summer television programming is slowly making its way back into our lives. I’ll be hanging on to my current job that isn’t so bad for a while longer. Life is treating me well, and I will update this again some time next month. Peace out.

the obligatory end of the month update from yours truly that normally does not have ridiculously long titles for posts

Despite the ridiculously long title as mentioned in said title, I will attempt to keep this particular post as close to the bare minimum as to not only make it easier for you to finish reading but also for me to get all of this off the backburner in order to move forward to more of the new (and because I still have not adopted the use of Twitter, Bookface, and the cornucopia of other online social networking tools as a daily means of connecting with others wearing digital shrouds and expressing themselves in an ambiguous tone often misinterpreted.)

I have completed my program in education enhancement and will relieve myself from attending any classes for college credit in the near future.

I have reignited the enjoyment I receive from viewing the magnificent work of Alfred Hitchcock, mainly his television series but his full-length features are being watched as well.

I’m nearing some crossroads in my career. Yes, I wanna go for a ride. Peace out.