Employment--sweet, sweet employment

I first learned about this possibility about three weeks ago; and then I received a call this morning from the Human Resources department at a laboratory in Louisville. I shall have orientation there on November 29th during the daytime. Then I shall begin a regular Monday-Friday schedule, but on Tuesday night from 2:00 AM to 10:30 AM for this first week. I’ll be expected to work approximately one out of four weekends; but I doubt if that will start before I am completely trained with their particular processes. If it does, I’ll just get some mid-week time off those weeks.

I shall be working in the hematology/coagulation/urinalysis section where we will be performing about 4,000 tests each day. The tests are run by a team of ten persons, so we’ll be averaging 400 tests each! The woman who interviewed me will be my boss. She is an African American woman my wife Gay’s age who studied here in Frankfort and who is an ordained Baptist preacher. (Isn’t that a coincidence?) The Human Resources person there who worked with me is married to a student at Presbyterian Seminary in Louisville. By that determination, it seems obvious that I was predestined to have this particular job.

The job pays well; and, with the decrease in health insurance premiums coupled with the good salary I probably will have significantly more income than in the ministry. I am including the cost of housing when I say that as well, though we really must find a less expensive place to rent or somehow find a way to purchase a house. The insurance pays 100% after different co-payment amounts; and that is a comforting thing to know. Even hospitalizations are paid 100% after just a $100 co-payment.

I can only think of three things that aren’t really positive about this particular situation.
1. It is a one hour drive to the lab from our house; and it will likely take longer than that to get home.
2. The hours are rather horrendous. I am a night owl, though, so I shall survive them – quite easily I expect.
3. Gay will sleep even less well with me on night shift.

There are many positive things, though:

1. I really liked the boss’s personality and attitude about the laboratory.
2. The salary is sufficient for us to maintain a decent standard of living.
3. The Insurance sounds like it will be very helpful for us monetarily as well.
4. Getting experience there will increase my chances of eventually having a Medical Technology job here in Frankfort or possibly getting a
supervisor’s position there since the boss is planning to retire in 3 years. That would also be true about applying for a hematology
supervisor’s position in Frankfort or elsewhere after I have been there for a couple of years.
5. I shall be getting some excellent refreshment in my laboratory training as I work each night with those who are “fresher”
in their work experience than I am.
6. The night shift means that I can be available to take Gay to daytime doctor’s appointments unless other arrangements can be made.
7. The night shift means I can be available for family time in the evening if I want plus most weekends.
8. Hematology was always my favorite part of laboratory work. I feel as if I am returning “home” rather than leaving the ministry.
9. Night shift means I can be available for preaching most Sundays should I be asked to do so. Ministry as a lay person sounds exciting to me.
10. I have a reliable vehicle even though it has nearly 150,000 miles on it. Also, it gets relatively good mileage – about 27-30 MPG, so I
shouldn’t go broke getting to work and back even at our current high gasoline prices. The car is paid for; and I have new tires. The only
needed repairs of which I am aware are replacement of struts and shocks to make for a better ride and a little more quiet in the drive.

revjmike's blog


Social Security: It's Not Broken, So Don't Fix It

I am now six years, one month, and twenty-eight days away from receiving Social Security, less time if I decide to take it early. Since one of the things the Bush Administration is planning to do in its second term is to privatize Social Security, at least in part, I thought folk would want to read the following article. It is important to you young folk as well, perhaps even more important to you than us old people.

You'll find an article about this subject at the following URL:



revjmike's blog


Just When I Thought It Was Safe for a Progressive to Go Outdoors

I was starting to get over the election results when I heard from about the feelings of several folk regarding the presidential election.

One of them wanted me to make sure I notified my congressional representatives that I didn't want Arlen Specter to head up the committee that first approves judges. I let him know that Specter had already toned down his statements about not supporting a pro-life candidate for a judge's position. Personally, I was rather happy to hear that Specter might keep the most overzealous judges off the bench. Roe versus Wade being overturned isn't the first thing on my hopeful agenda for the future. What I desire is a country where no woman desires to have an abortion and where old people are treasured for what they have already given and may still give to society for just being, if nothing else.

One of them sent a forward of an e-mail from a woman in Cleveland lamenting the stupidity of the slight majority of Americans whom she believes fail to understand the situation in the world and act more like cowboys than people who understand that the world is too complex to put into simple black and white terms. I tend to agree with her in spite of the fact that some of my well educated friends and family also voted for Bush. She isn't alone in her thoughts about our stupidity as Americans, though. The headline for London's Daily Mirror newspaper was "How Can 59,054,087 Americans Be So Dumb?"

MSNBC reported this: "The more serious-minded Independent was even harsher. Under the banner headline, "Four More Years," it ran photos representing its left-of-center view: a humiliated Iraqi prisoner at Abu Ghraib, shackled and masked detainees at Guantanamo, an oil pipeline, a Christian pro-Bush slogan and a grinning President Bush."

On the other hand the Monday, November 8, 2004, Independent has this headline: "If enough goes right in his next term, George Bush will have achieved greatness." You can read it today at this URL:

Another e-mail reminded me that things weren't perfect in Canada, either; but what I would least like about Canada isn't the political situation and especially not the free healthcare. (If I had that, I'd be much better off financially.) It's the cold weather that would bother me coupled with the distance from my family and friends that I see seldom enough as it is.

So the election has been placed back into my mind; and my feelings of discouragement return, unless the writer in Great Britain is a prophet about the future of the Bush presidency and Lincoln is revisited in his presidency. You see the war has been my biggest disappointment with this president. I believe we acted to quickly and without proper preparation or reason. I still tend to believe that; but I might change my tune if I see real, positive changes happening not just in Iraq and Afghanistan, but also in Israel and Palestine and Iran. I don't believe that "the ends justify the means." I do believe a positive outcome, even in the midst of error, is better than a negative outcome in the same situation.

I have also been disappointed about our current president's attitudes toward social programs and his placement of a so-called "Marriage Amendment" as a major part of what our nation needs to be working toward. It seems to me there are many more things about which we could be concerned than whether a few homosexuals, even if we believe them to be sinful, want to have a more committed relationship with one another. One fellow even suggested that if we gave them the same rights and roles as heterosexual couples perhaps their relationships would fall apart as quickly as those of heterosexuals! (This is said by someone who has been married to the same woman for nearly 40 years, though.)

It's past midnight. My love awaits a diabetic snack which I shall share with her shortly. I hope George W. Bush is right and most of the world is wrong. I have serious doubts, though.


revjmike's blog


A Long Day's Night and General Complaints

I slept nearly 15 hours last night. I knew I was tired; but I didn't realize how sleep deprived I had become. Gay and I accomplished very little today; but I feel rested. I managed to respond to several e-mails; and I read a lot of online news stories.

The most interesting story was on the MSNBC site; but I believe it came from Newsweek. It talked about Kerry's failure to respond to the "Swiftboat Veterans for Truth" because his political "handlers" didn't want him to do so. Here he was mad as a hornet; but he wasn't saying anything. John Edwards was just as angry; but he said nothing. Then, by the time they finally DID say something, the story had been around so long it actually seemed to have some truth to it to a lot of people.

I am very concerned about the state of affairs in politics in our country. I am even more concerned about how concentrated the media have become: owned by only a few media empires; and reporting what sells rather than what needs to be told. Add to that the fact that you need megamillions to even consider running for any national office; and you can see that we are being controlled, at least to some degree, by large corporations. One of my cousins claims I am anti-business; but she is wrong. I like the local Wal-Mart store. I enjoy the folk who work at Applebees here in Frankfort. I am appreciative that my Cingular phone will work almost anywhere; and that the rates are lower for "from anywhere to anywhere 450 minutes for $39.99, which is less than I used to pay per minute for a long distance call from my phone at home.

Interestingly, I had written several other paragraphs related to my concerns about the election, John Kerry, President Bush, and several other things; but I managed to lose them while trying to temporarily save the original. That is very intersting in itself.

revjmike's blog


Lost two blogs already

Somehow I managed to delete two blogs. One was about personal things happening in our lives right now. The other one was a message of hope about how Bush will do in his second term. I also called for some changes related to Biblical truth in that message.

With the exception of the two lost blog posts I made, this has been a very good day. I've heard from old friends, been sent some very funny e-mails, had a good dinner with my love of 40 years, and got to see my granddaughter and her mother.

Speaking of that granddaughter, all of a sudden she's just talking up a storm. She is trying to imitate almost any word you say. She has learned to identify yellow, blue, red, and maybe green and say the word, though not clearly. She clearly said "rice" more than once during dinner while we were watching her eat a rice casserole Jimmy (her daddy) had made. Gay and I, of course, think she got her smarts from us; but then her Grandmother Ayres is a retired teacher and grandfather ayres is a retired forensics scientist, so there is at least a chance some of the genese came from the Ayrs family.

One thing that cannot be denied, though, is that she's related to me and to Jimmy. She has a dimple in her chin just like we do. Fortunately she's still thin enough for the dimple to clearly show. What a cutey


The Election

revjmike's blog

It's three days since the election; and I'm starting to feel a little better about the election because I know we're stuck for four years anyway; and it isn't a good thing to live in a state of despair.

I actually admire the President's openness in what I believe is his real life of faith. It certainly wouldn't hurt him to receive some theological education since he is so adamant about that faith, though. I am very concerned about his "end times" theological tendencies and the possibility he may see Iraq as a way to end all the problems by ending the world. I am hoping I'm just overreacting with that kind of thought; but it does bear some thinking.

Perhaps we liberals are wrong. "The poor will be with you always," Jesus said. Are we too concerned about the plight of the poor as progressive Christians? I don't think so. It seems to me that Jesus, and in fact the whole of scripture, shows our attitudes toward the poor as being one of the most important decisions in life. "Where were you when I was thirsty and hungry....?" "Lord, when did we see you thirsty or hungry....?" Then there's the parable of Lazarus and the rich man. It appears this story has Lazarus in heaven (bosom of Abraham) and the rich man in Hell. But the only observed sin on the part of the rich man was ignoring the poor man Lazarus at his gate.

Some of my family members believe the Christian faith is just to be a personal faith, not a faith that tries to solve problems like hunger and poverty through legislation, but a faith where we MUST solve such problems directly through the actions of the church. There are some appealing things about such thought, until we remember how the poor lived before the government got involved.

Also, I am convinced Jesus's teaching is all about a faith made known in community, not just something between me and God, but something beyond that as well as that. We are not saved alone. We do not face trials alone. We work together to "make the works of him who sent (Jesus, that is God.) known." We do that through our help of the poor and actions trying to change society so that is more nearly resembles the heavenly kingdom.


Learning to post to a blog

I actually created this blog about a week ago; but I only did that so I could respond to the blog of a friend. Now that I have it created, though, I thought it would be good to actually have some form of weblog going. My first trial failed because I actually posted a response to myself before I had written anything.

It is no secret the first-time election of incumbent President George W. Bush is on my mind and causing me much distress. I fear not only that his current "anti-terrorist" agenda will cause immeasurable bloodshed of the people of Iraq and the allied military, but also create a response from moderate Arabs toward our government that will be severe.

One of my major problems with President Bush is that he is always so sure he's right; and that CAN be a good quality; but when you are wrong, as he often is, it is a very bad quality. In fact it can become an evil quality, even when it comes from someone whose actual intention is to do good, or to follow what one believes to be God's will.

God's will has traditionally been known through the community of believers, not through the thoughts of a single person, no matter how sincere. Also it puzzles me that so much of what the president believes to be God's will seems very much out of character with that of Jesus, the Christ, whom the president claims to worship and whom he apparently really DOES try to worship.

So I'm here letting off steam and learning the proper procedures for continuing to blog and get the anger and frustration about the election out while also hoping that, somehow, Bush will be better in his second four years.

Until I get back.


Mike in alb Easter Day
Mike at Work