Tuesday, June 30, 2009

To blog or not to blog

Is blogging for you? It is if you have a passion for the craft. Do you like to write? Do you have something to say? Who is your target audience? These are all questions only you can answer. I love blogging for several reasons. I love to write. I can write at anytime. I can write anywhere. I love writing about my family. Of course my family gives me alot of inspiration. Business also gives me alot if inspiration.

There are several advantages to blogging. According to the FutureBuzz.com. Some of the advantages of blogging are:

  • Blogging demonstrates true commitment and passion to your industry that you really can't fake long term.

  • Old articles are valuable and still read years later, given infinite life by engines.

  • You own your own work in a self hosted blog and are in total control of how it is presented.

  • Cumulative results over time from blogging. Each posting adds incremental value to your site as a whole.

  • Flexibility with layout.

So what's the problem? Don't you want total creative control of your own blog? Then start writing. You have seen some of the benefits above. Pick any topic you like. The sky is the limit on how long or short you want to write. Do you have something to say? Then start blogging. No helmet required (see picture.)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Work relocation. Not all that bad?

My company recently relocated to a different part of town a few months ago. We are on a campus that is state of the art. I've determined that the work day revolves around food. Let me first say that this place is like a country club. It is very employee oriented. Everything is catered to the employee here. This is not a bad thing. This is good.

Let me see. There is a gym with all the latest equipment. There is a doctor's office. There is a mail area. There is a cafeteria, more like a "mini food court". There is a shuttle service. There is a day care. What else do we need ? Management has even brought in distinguished speakers and comedians. There are different divisions here at work. I work for one of 19 0r 20 divisions. You guessed it there are tons of employees. We are catered to so much when does everyone find the time to work?

At my other work location there was no gym, daycare,doctor, or food court. There was a little deli-style cafe on the bottom floor of this building but nothing to write home about. The little deli did do their best to please all the workers at my old building. Back to what I'm thinking. I truly believe that my present work location revolves around food here is why:
  • Mini food court has a station for Mexican food, pizza, grilling, salad, subs, Starbucks,ice cream and Chinese food.
  • There is a beverage station with every type of beverage available.
  • You can take a food tray up to a different floor and eat at your desk.
  • People walking around with food and sodas everywhere you look.
This is just for lunch. You should see breakfast time!!! There is a breakfast taco station, Cream of Wheat, Oatmeal, bagels, and the list goes on. If you are on a diet this is not the place to work at.
Is office relocation bad? I don't think so. I guess as long as you get some work done and don't look at your debit card statement. With my debit card statement I might as well be a stockholder in the company running our cafeteria. I wonder what is on the breakfast menu tomorrow???

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Letter to my mother in law

Hi Mom,

Just wanted to let you know that we are doing fine. Your daughter Veronica and your grandchildren Monica, Mia, Sofie and Brianna are doing great. Veronica (Ronnie) is a wonderful wife. She takes care of our children, she takes care of the house, she takes care of her husband. I know mom that we can drive your daughter crazy sometimes but she is strong. You raised a very good daughter. I know that she is molding our daughters into her likeness which is all I can ask.

Monica is doing great in school. She graduated elementary school with honors. She is heading into 6th grade in the fall. I got her a cell phone for doing so well this past school year. She loves spending the night at her best friend's house. Monica is also in volleyball camp this summer and will soon be in band camp.

Mia is going into 2nd grade. She is still little and cute as a button. She has cute little glasses. She is very smart. She asks alot of questions which is good. She is reading on a higher level than most kids her age. She said that she is looking forward to getting into orchestra later on in fifth grade. She is looking forward to getting into drama and choir in 6th grade.

Sofie is in daycare. She was going to a school across the highway from me but I withdrew her as soon as my company relocated. She is in the daycare right next to my office. She has many friends there. They are learning how to write their name and read. They have a little pool there. They get to go into the wading pool in the early afternoon before it gets to hot. She still has her crooked smile which makes me smile every time I see it. You would too.

Brianna is doing great. She is also going into 6th grade. She is still involved in all kinds of activities at her school. She is tall like her dad. She is maturing very fast. Even though Veronica is just her step mother you still treated her just like one of your own which I am grateful.

I am hanging in there. It is not easy mom supporting a family in this type of economic environment. My company downsized. I had to relocate to a different part of town. We have been very fortunate with our jobs. I believe things are slowly starting to look up. I believe the economy is coming around. I am not perfect by any means. I don't claim to be. I am trying to be the best dad I can be and the best husband.

We miss you very much. Your daughter Veronica misses you very much. I try to be strong for her and console her the best that I can. It is tough. Your grandchildren ask about you everyday. I tell them that you are up in heaven watching over them . When I am driving Sofie to school every day she sees the clouds up above .Sofie wants to know which cloud you are living on . I tell her you are living on the biggest, whitest cloud up there. We are keeping you spirit alive down here. Look in on us from time to time. I am supporting and protecting your daughter and grandchildren the best that I can.

Love your Son in law,


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Celebration Time!

Just a little tidbit about the upcoming 50th Wedding Anniversary of my parents. We have been planning their Anniversary celebration for a few years now. Guess what? That day will be here on July 4th 2009. My sisters have been busy bees planning everything from the mass,the music and food. The invitations are out. We are expecting tons of people.

I am happy that we are all here to witness this event. It is certainly a milestone for them and the family. It was not an easy milestone for them to reach. There were alot of bumps on the way. No marriage is perfect. My dad was really the only one that worked and supported all of us. My mom and dad worked for a bit together at the family business. Once the family business closed it was just my dad working. He supported all nine of us. My parents gave us everything we needed to grow. All my brothers and sisters played sports and other extracurricular activities.

I can't help but wonder how hard it must have been to support all nine of us. That would be a very difficult thing to do now. I have four daughters and I find it a challenge sometimes to support them (and my wife works too!) Mom and Dad you did a great job with all of us. We are all working professionals and contributing to society. Most of us have graduated from St.Mary's University (Not a cheap school to attend!) We are teaching our kids the values that we were taught. So at this point I am going to thank you for some of the things I remember from my childhood. Here it goes:

Thanks for the love.

Thanks for the bikes, the big wheel.

Thanks for getting me into sports as a kid.

Thanks for finding me after discovering I was lost at Hemisfair 68'.

Thanks for wiping the tears.

Thanks for listening .

Thanks for giving me alot of brothers and sisters to fight with and grow with.

Thanks for the hair growing up. (I am not sure if I should thank you now in my present state!)

Thanks for the cars.

Thanks for the support in high school.

Thanks for my college ring.

Thanks for loving my kids.

And the list goes on. Anyway, it is not about me it is about you guys. I hope you all have a great night on July 4th. I hope it is a night to remember.

P.S I am the baby in this picture!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Bring back the the 1970's Saturday morning cartoon lineup.

Why can't we bring back the old 1970's cartoons. As a kid I looked forward to the preview show for the upcoming Saturday morning cartoon lineup. Since it is late and I don't feel like thinking too hard, I figured we could all use some childhood memories.

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Here is a list of my favorite 1970's cartoons or shows year by year:

1970- H.R Puffenstuff, Motor Mouse
1971- Harlem Globetrotters, Help! Its the Hair Bear Bunch.
1972- Sealab 2020, The Hound Cats
1973- Superfriends, Speed Buggy
1974- Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch, Hong Kong Phooey
1975- Sigmund and the Sea Monster,The Shazaam Isis hour
1976- Jabberjaw, Scooby Doo Dynamutt hour, Land of the Lost
1977- Captain Caveman, Laff a Limpics
1978- Challenge of the Superfriends, Kroft Superstar Hour
1979- Fangface, Fantastic four
1980- Scooby and Scrappy Doo, Mighty Mouse Heckle and Jeckle

I miss these cartoons. I'm sure you all have your favorites. These cartoons can take on any of the cartoons of today. I believe some of these are out on DVD now. There is always You Tube. Don't forget the Wonder Twins!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

How adaptable are you at work?

"If you won't change for the team the team may change you." John Maxwell

With different companies coming and going now is the time to prove your worth. What kind of employee are you? Are you the team player? Are you adaptable? Now is the time to shine. If a company is thinking about downsizing, you want to avoid that chopping block!

In John Maxwell's book 17 Essential Qualities Of A Team Player (Nelson Publishers 2002), one of the first qualities that is mentioned is about how teachable an employee is. Is there a new program or new policy that needs learning? If there is something that breaks new ground for you then learn it. If an employee works hard and becomes skilled in one area then they can probably transfer that ability to a new area. An employee who is not teachable will have trouble with change and will never adapt.

I know in my office we all had to learn a few new things. We are all close employees . Almost like a little second family. We all have the same goals in mind so we have no problems. We have had the occasional spat just like brothers and sisters but nothing we can't fix. The other point that Maxwell makes in his book is about how emotionally secure a employee is. Emotionally secure employees seem to take change as a challenge. The insecure employee usually sees change as a threat.

Creativity is another trait that adaptable employees have. When difficult times come they find a way to achieve.

Service minded employees think of team first. Employees who are focused on themselves will find it harder to make changes for the team.

According to Maxwell to become an adaptable employee you need to get into the habit of learning. You also need to reevaluate your role. An finally think outside the lines. No sweat right? Don't worry about it. Just go with the flow and you will be alright. If you need to move your desk to the back wall of the basement along with your swingline stapler, watch out!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Ginobili in or out?

I read all over the internet today about a trade rumor surrounding Manu Ginoboli. I am the biggest Ginobili fan out there. I still remember his press conference when he first arrived in San Antonio. Let me first say that I have been a Spurs fan and former season ticket holder since the 1970's. I have seen all kinds of players go through the Spurs organization. Everyone from George Gervin to Larry Kennon. From James Silas to Artis Gilmore.

Does Ginobil have a couple of good years left in him? I would have to say yes. Have his ankles derailed any hopes of a Spurs championship the past two years? Yes. Does next season rely on the health of his ankles. You know the answer. I know this topic is uncomfortable for Spurs fans but it is all rumors.

The trade would involve sending Manu and Oberto to the Washington Wizards for shooting guard Nick Young, Mike James, and center Etan Thomas. The Spurs would also get the 5th pick in the NBA draft.

Do I want to see Ginobili leave San Antonio? No. The Spurs do need to start building for the future. They can build around Duncan and Parker. Even as a life long Spurs fan this proposed trade would make business sense. Look at the other teams in the Western Conference. The Lakers, the Rockets and even the Jazz, they are getting younger. The Washington Wizards would become one of the elite teams in the East with Arenas and Ginobili.

Spurs coach Greg Popovich said recently in an interview,"People get in trouble when they say never. But Manu Ginobili is someone I cannot envision trading." They Spurs are also interested in other prospects as well.

Relax fellow Spurs Fans. It is just rumors. Don't turn that channel just yet.

The NBA draft is scheduled for Thursday June 25th.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

In memorium

I wanted to share a couple of stories about an ex coworker of mine. I first met Jeff Hanke while working at a bank. We both started together there. We were both Account Representatives. That position basically meant you were a Customer Service Rep or a Collector. We became fast friends. He introduced me to his high school sweetheart Melissa. Jeff was rowdy. He cursed. He liked to fight. He drank. He was a big Dallas Cowboy fan. He used to tell me that you could find a news article about the Cowboys 365 days a year. He was professional either on the phone or in front of customers. He was a good team player. He really did his job.

I would meet up with him almost every morning at a Taco Cabana near work. We usually ordered the same thing, "The Eggs Mexicana" plate (that is probably why I no longer have a gall bladder!) On occasion he liked to get away with things. I remember one day we were "horsing" around at the office. We were in the break room and he decided to kick me in the rear for no reason. No one saw that. Another time we were at a restaurant for lunch and I saw him kick a bathroom stall door off of it's hinges. This was all in the name of fun according to him. I was of course in shock.

Our employer was going through some changes. I ended up leaving the company and Jeff ended up leaving for a bigger opportunity. From what I understand, he went on to get his Masters degree in business. He also ended up being an executive for a big company here in San Antonio . He was always a golfer. Everyone said that he should have entered the PGA Tour somewhere. I never crossed paths with him after that.

Jeff died in a one car rollover accident on Loop 1604 about four years ago. I bring it up now because he knew how to live. I have never had a forum to talk about it till now. He was larger than life. He taught me about having a good work ethic but yet have fun at the same time. I believe his spirit is with me sometimes while I am at work. I will catch myself or someone doing something that brings back some of those memories. I have to crack a smile. Jeff I know you are watching the Dallas Cowboys from up above.

Rest in peace buddy.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Bring em back for one day!!!!

Growing up in the seventies and the eighties in San Antonio, it was a honor to frequent some of the local department stores and restaurants. If I had the power to bring some of these places back I would in a heartbeat. I am not sure if these places would survive in today's economic environment, but it would still be fun to see them back. This is "Puro San Antonio."

My favorite department stores as a kid:

  • Gibson's on Bandera road (Mom bought my school supplies there.)
  • Winn's on Bandera road (Candy galore. My mom bought my cross country shoes there.)
  • Rhode's in Wonderland Mall
  • Tom Mcann shoes in Wonderland Mall
  • Shopper's World
  • Globe
  • Kress
  • Joske's (Especially during the holidays.)
  • Toy Box in Wonderland Mall
  • Kiddie City Toy Store (My parents spent alot of money there.)
My favorite fast food restaurants as a kid:
  • First Mate Fish
  • GW Jr's
  • Shakey's
  • Pizza Inn
  • Whopper Burger
  • Fargo's
  • Lucas Pizza Ingram Mall
  • Jeepers

My favorite grocery stores as a kid:

  • Deluxe
  • Food City
  • Piggly Wiggly
  • Buds Foodliner
  • Heb Bodega

Things were so simple back then. There are more things that I need to mention. And I will in future blogs you can count on it. Kids enjoy your childhoods. Don't be in a hurry to grow up.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Heroes among us

Just a quick note about my dad. Eddie Arguello Sr grew up on the west side of San Antonio. He served in the U.S Navy in the 1950's . He served on a few salvage ships including the USS Tutuila, USS Salvager, and the USS Opportune. While serving on the USS Opportune he had the privilege of meeting Carl Brashears. A movie was made several years later about Brashears called 'Men of Honor" the first African American Navy Salvage diver. My dad also played fast pitch softball for the US Navy earning several batting titles and also playing against Johnny Podres. Later on Podres left the Navy to pitch for the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1950's.
He came back home to San Antonio where he married my mom, Mary Lou Medrano. My dad went on to work for the Sherwin Williams company where he retired. He also went on to own his own paint company. He also worked for CPS Energy where he retired as building operations director. What is amazing is that there was nine of us in the family. He supported all of us over the years on one salary. My mother never worked. We were all crammed in a small house over the years but we were happy. I guess that is why we are all so close even today.
My dad led by example. He showed me what it takes to support a family. He showed me that it has not been easy. There were allot of bumps along the way. We made it. These are different times. I hope I can raise and support my family the same way that he did. It is not easy in today's economic environment. He raised a fine group of men and women. My brothers and sisters are all working in everything from banking, insurance, education , media to law enforcement.
Thanks dad.
Happy father's day.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Raising daughters

It has been fun raising my daughters. I remember each one of them as chubby babies. I loved staying home with them on my days off while my wife worked. I remember their first smile, the first word, the first poop, the first diaper change, the first barf, the first fart (yes parent's remember this!) of each one. It's been my greatest pleasure to be their dad. To be honest I don't even think about the responsibility and the fears. I just think about the "now" with them. I love seeing them grow into their own person.
It has been so fun watching and waiting for their personalities to appear. Their personalities have certainly arrived. One is mischievous. One is very observant and asks alot of questions. Another is academic and is very social. While another one loves sports. They all have a couple of things in common. Their love for their parents. They are all wonderful girls. They are all daddy's girls of course. I have been very fortunate to have survived several rounds of layoffs. The job is looking good. I have been able to provide for them.
I feel very lucky to have had all daughters. I don't know what it would be like having a son. My daughters pretty much wrestle with each other just like boys probably would do. They probably fart as much as boys. When people see me in public with my daughters sometimes I will get a chuckle, sometimes a comment like,"who did you piss off" or "you poor bastard." I have heard every comment out there. I don't care. I can't picture myself or my wife without our kids.
I look forward to the terrible teens. I will embrace the teenage years. I am prepared for the I hate you. I am prepared for the tears. I am prepared for the boys, their first date. I look forward to buying their first car. I look forward to seeing them drive off to their first job. Even after the I hate you's I know it is a phase and I know that they will come back around. I've seen it in myself growing up. I have seen it in my sisters growing up. I am ever so close to my parents. I know my daughters will be close to me when they approach adulthood.I look forward to walking each one of them down the aisle one day. I look forward to giving each one away. I look forward to becoming a grandfather.
Take care of me and momma when we are old. Pass on the values that we have taught you. I know you all will become fine women.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The low down

I have been wanting to work on a blog for a while now. I started one two years ago but stopped. I have a lot of comments, observations, mostly lighthearted. I loved taking creative writing in college and I feel that writing is one of my strong points. For some reason I am able to translate my thoughts onto paper with ease. I work full time and have some pretty long hours. When I get home I am usually helping my wife with our four wonderful daughters getting them fed and ready for school the following day.

The only time I really have to write is after the kids go to bed or on my day off. One of my immediate personal goals came true about a year ago getting published by "This I believe" on NPR. That article was titled "Take five minutes," which I felt was something that we all need to do. We need to appreciate the things around us. I also became published again with SA PULSE magazine contributing a couple of articles. One article was about the SA Food Bank. Another was a commentary about downsizing in Corporate America. I also contributed to the cover story "Fashionista" story with Vanessa Fernandez, Tom Arguello and Johnny Compton. For the July/Aug issue of SA PULSE magazine I have a nice article about hiking Government Canyon Natural Area in Helotes.

I feel that each one of us is capable of excellence in life, whether it be at work or school, we should strive for this excellence. Why live an ordinary life? I overheard ABC football analyst John Madden comment a while back, "Never let good enough be good enough." I think when I analyze this and translate it into everyday life we should never let what we do be good enough. We should always strive to be better. I take this motto to work with me daily. I always strive to be the best at achieving whatever I am doing.