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KONK REACTOR column
[Published in the KONK Life newspaper on October 25, 2012.]
She closes the National Park Camping Reservations app on her cell after finding her favorite campground has been shut down to make way for exploratory oil drilling. She’d been looking forward to sharing with her kids the experience of the glorious parkland that she and her parents and her grandparents had held so dear. The kids have been heartbroken over their father’s recent tragic passing, and a visit to the pristine woodland would have done them good. Oh well…
She thinks about how their father passed away not long after his union job with health benefits had been off-shored and he’d had to accept one of Romney’s promised new jobs – barely above minimum wage with too few hours to qualify for any kind of benefits. (more…)
KONK REACTOR column
[Published in the KONK Life newspaper on May 10, 2012.]
I Need A Job
Two years ago I got the wake-up call:
“Dude, it doesn’t matter that your work garners awards from the CEO, that you have an impressive project resume, that you consistently do high quality work 40% more than you’re being paid for, or that you’ve shown 30 years of loyalty in the face of other opportunities. Our bean counters think we’ll show 0.00001% more profit if we send your project overseas and force you to `retire’ now instead of letting you move over to another needy project.”
Well, the call didn’t use exactly those words, but that was effectively the message.
I documented this (more…)
KONK REACTOR column
[Published in the KONK Life newspaper on February 2, 2012.]
Cruisin’ for a Bruisin’
Back in the ‘80s my family would visit Key West regularly, and came downtown for the sunset celebration two or three times during each visit. One night we got there and found a massive wall on the western side of Mallory Square. It was an amazing site – a huge cruise ship parked there, mostly empty because it had disgorged its passengers among the ample crowds of tourists and locals who had come to see the famous, but now blocked, view.
We were flabbergasted by the thought that anyone would find it logical to allow such an intrusion on this venerable celebration. WTF??? But of course the next night it was gone — and so we assumed it was an aberration. Little did we know that it was just a portent of Key West’s rapid slide into the maw of the cruise ship industry.
By the turn of the century, Key West was pulling in 400 ships a year with over 600,000 passengers. (more…)
Key West Reactor column
[Published in Key West The Newspaper on December 2, 2011.]
More Key West Reactionaries
A couple of columns ago I wrote about how – if you go by local blogs, forums, Facebook walls or “the Voice” — Key West appears to be FULL of “reactionaries”. They’re experts at blurting sage advice or ridicule at the masses, without a hint of a notion that their reactions just might not bear muster. Many of them could stand to buy a vowel, Pat. So today I’ll examine a few more common overused blurtations….
[Like before, please note that, to avoid plagiarism, the quotes following are NOT direct copies of comments posted elsewhere. But they’re very close to what someone we know has spouted off in public media.]
I saw this rant posted recently… (more…)
front page article by David Lybrand
[Published in Key West Citizen's Solares Hill on April 11, 2010.]
From I’ve-Been-Moved to I’ve-Been-Moved-out
For years I’ve had a rehearsed quip ready for when a chat takes a suitable twist. “I can list all of my life’s full-time jobs with 9 letters: DAD, SAM (as in Uncle Sam) and IBM.” I’d explain how I had worked full time when not in school at my dad’s bike shop until I went into the Army at 18. Afterward, IBM hired me a year before I graduated from college, where I worked ever since.
I fully expected to continue using that quip into retirement and for the rest of my life. But this last week it all became obsolete. The company once nicknamed “I’ve Been Moved” due to frequent job-related transfers for its loyal employees, has branded me with their new slogan: “I’ve Been Moved-out”. So before long I’ll have to add more letters to “DAD SAM IBM” to reflect whatever else I end up doing until I actually can retire. (more…)