Saturday, September 29, 2012

Bullying in the workplace

Hold All My Calls
Office pranks are common; especially, between close friends. I do it. Others to it do me too. It's fun and all until someone gets hurt.

Bullying occurs in the workplace too. A recent NSIDE ATX article by Sharon Schweitzer provided some surprising statistics of bullying in the workplace such as: there are more female bullies than males; Europeans report being bullied more than the U.S. and Asia; current laws do not ban bullying; and bullying can be one-on-one or by a group.

As stated in the article, bullying has a negative effect on an organization. It decreases morale and trust, and increases stress and/or depression.

You can read the complete article, which offers tips on how to identify bullying problems, HERE.



Friday, September 28, 2012

Star Trek The Next Generation

A few days ago, I watched "Encounter at Farpoint," the first episode of the Star Trek franchise since 1969. The episode aired on September 28, 1987. Yes, 25 years ago.

Watching the episode was somewhat new to me. Don't get me wrong, I have watched it, but it was a long time ago. So, although the scenes were familiar, it was like watching it for the first time.

(spoiler alert)

To give a synopsis: Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise D are given an objective by the antagonist super-being, Q, to prove that humans aren't barbaric and worth not being destroyed.

During their trial, the crew encounters a space vessel attacking the old Bandi City on Deneb IV, near where the Bandi people had "built" the Farpoint space station.

Q first impels Picard to destroy the space vessel when it turned itself into a jellyfish-like space creature. After it was discovered that the Bandi people was holding captive the space creature's companion, Q challenges Picard to let the Bandi people be distroyed. Picard objects and saves the captive space creature by using an energy beam from the Enterprise.

Source: Wikipedia;;


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Around a home bar

My parents have been hosting parties since I very young--perhaps even before that. It's always been their philosophy that the best cure for depression or illness is to be social.

I remember the evening would start with the men gathering around my dad's corner bar. The party would then disperse throughout the house, but return around the bar when the party was wrapping up.

Appearance was also important. The display of the bottles and glasses needed to balance. If a bottle didn't compliment a glass, then the bottle would sit behind the bar. Wine were hidden or placed in the separate wine rank in another part of the house, because the bottles didn't glisten like the liquor bottles.

A recent article in the Tribeza magazine's nightlife issue, provides a peek into three Austinite's home bars and offers suggestions on how to make your own "perfect home bar."

As mentioned as an essential, glassware is important. Snifters are used for brandy and whiskey. Cocktail glasses are for martinis. Rocks glasses can be for mixed drinks. And wine glasses and flutes are for wine and champagne. My mom likes for the glassware to match. If one cracks, she usually will purchase a new set of glassware.

And similar to the Austinites highlighted in the article, my dad has a signature mango daiquiri, which is actually really good. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to get my dad to give me the recipe.

Source: "The Essentials," Lisa Siva, Tribeza, August Nightlife Issue, 2012

Drink Responsibly


Monday, September 24, 2012

The Politics of Little League

As many know from previous entries, my son enjoys playing baseball. Last year, we enrolled him in the local little league and found that he definitely fit the sport. He enjoyed it. He knew it. It was his sport. So, we continued throughout the spring season, which earned his team, the Yankees, a trophy.

My son was the oldest in the team, and the next step--we felt--was for him to move up to machine pitch. The local little league provides a "fall season," which is considered training for the following spring season. Taking this into consideration, we thought it would be a great opportunity for our eight year old to practice using the machine.

However, the little league decided to change the various leagues. Machine pitch was phased out and replaced with a different league with coach pitch. In other words, sometime during the summer, the board of directors decided to change the leagues.

Whereas, we though our son was registered to be in a machine pitch league, we were informed that he was actually in a newly formed coach pitch minor league.

Before all this was unraveled, we received an email from a coach welcoming our son to the Rays. We were excited; my son was picked up by a team without the need of tryouts--then again, tryouts are usually done during the spring season. Regardless, we told our son the amazing and cool things he would experience with a new team and how he would learn the machine pitch device. 

The following day, we recieved an email from the Rays Team Mom, who also happens to the on the little league board to inform us that our son was being traded to the Braves for a kid who was left off the team roster.

Confused, I asked the person who informed us of the trade to explain what had occurred and confirm whether my son was doing machine pitch. Supposedly, a dad requested the trade and since my son wore a small jersey (similar to the dad's son who was on the Braves team) he was singled out. The trade was made.

His new coach emailed us soon after the trade. He even called me directly to help explain what had happened and informed me that the league had done away with machine pitch and instead created a new league for coach pitch. This should have given me a clue as to what we eventually learned.

Before his first game, we decided to check out who his team were playing against. The Yankees. At first I thought perhaps this wasn't the same Yankees my son was with during the Spring season. Again, it was our plan to advance our eight year old in the machine pitch league--the Yankees were expected to continue with coach pitch . I clicked on the coach's name and indeed it was my son's old team.

I emailed the same lady who informed me of the trade (since she was on the board and I thought had a deciding role in trading kids) to ask whether it would be possible to add my son to the Yankees--not trade or swap. She informed me that the request had to go through the player agent.

So, why wasn't this the case when my son was originally traded from the Rays to the Braves? I didn't argue or push the issue because--although I did not agree with the process--I want my son to play.

Instead, I have decided that I must take a more active role in the league if my son is serious about the sport. Perhaps become a board member or committe member of the little league and get involved.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Watching the shuttle riding over the Texas Capitol

Endeavour riding piggyback on a jumbo jet
This photo was taken on August 17, 2012 using an HTC PH44100.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Joss Whedon's Firefly was first aired on September 20, 2002 on Fox.  The series, which starred One Life to Live alumni Nathan Fillion, and Texas natives Alan Tudyk and Summer Glau, was unfortunately short-lived; although, a cult following continues to exist. 

The story takes place 500 years into the future where humans have settled in a different system where planets and moons have been terraformed.  Many of the crew of the Firefly-class spaceship, Serenity, are renegades who have either fought against or have become outlaws of the government in power.

Source: Wikipedia