Wednesday, June 18, 2008

What I want

There have been a lot of things going on with multiple friendships and with organizations, jobs, and churches that all seem to fall back to a similar theme. They are things that desperately need to be taken control of.

The anxiety issues that I have been having are continuing on but I think it's kind of narrowing down as to what the cause of the majority of the issues are. Its a hard thing to try to understand your purpose but when it seems that your purpose is the opposite of what you are prepared and equipped to be it just makes it a lot harder. Once of the biggest things that I have realized is that I try too hard to be the person that someone wants me to be. This is true for pretty much every human on earth but I think it goes a little over the edge with me because it seems that my compassion for helping people motivates me to be there for someone and to help them with things they need beyond my abilities. In doing this I lose sight of the things that I want and need and I completely lose focus of myself until these anxiety spells start hitting. Sometimes it is very hard for me to remember what it is that *I* need and the things that *I* desire.

Unfortunately with the life that I generally end up living I constantly feel that the things I need and want are asking way too much and I silence myself when I should speak up. It's very hard caring for people in the state they are when they don't have the capacity to care for you back but that is part of compassion. The problem is that when you end up in a situation where its not just that they aren't able to care but its that they don't even desire to respect you. This situation occurs in my life over and over and over again. Why? Simply because I don't stand up for who *I* am and what *I* need.

What do I need?

I need to be loved for who I am and respected for who I am. I am not the perfect person and I'm, quite possibly, one of the worst... but I am me and I try my best. I fail... I fail a lot.

I can't always drop my entire life to help someone but it is going to kill me when I can't. I need to be able to feel appreciated even when I can't do what it is that is asked of me.

I need encouragement.... Lots of it. I try my best to encourage everyone else and I'm often left feeling that I really am not making an impact and that I shouldn't even bother anymore. Most of the time I think I end up talking into the wind... There is no confirmation that I was at least heard.

I need to be told when I am doing something right and/or helpful and not only told when I'm screwing something up. I will certainly screw things up and I do want to be told when I do but if all I'm ever told is when I'm doing something wrong then all I know is that I'm fighting a losing battle and should move on to somewhere that I can actually be making a difference.

I need to be a part of what I am working on. If I really can't be a part of the people or the project then I don't believe that there is anything that I can do that is going to be effective.

I need to be trusted. If I am not trusted then I am not going to feel a part of whats going on and I know for a fact that I am not going to be able to help.

I need cooperation. I can't do anything on my own and even if I could it wouldn't be worth it. If I am fighting for something or working towards something but no one else wants to be part of it then it's a futile effort.

Most of all -- I need people to remember that I am human and that there is a good chance that the things I am dealing with elsewhere are probably much larger than what you know -- in fact, I can pretty much assure you of that because I try, often too hard, to hide what is going on with me for the sake of the person I'm trying to be there for or the project I am working on. Even if I do manage to help in some minor way it does not mean that I am superhuman.

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(C)2003-2008, Bob K Mertz - Some Rights Reserved

Sunday, May 25, 2008

What's up with Bob?

It's been a while since I made a post that was really about me and what's going on with me. I think that the biggest reason for this is because I have Twitter now so people get the play by play and I can vent all through my day and, as a result, my blog has kind of focused more on the in-depth thoughts that go through my mind. I think that maybe I should just do a general update so the 1 or 2 people that actually read my blog have an idea of what is going on.

First of all, I am now 28 since yesterday was my birthday. It was, again, a heavy reminder of how much my family means to me. At midnight my mom, dad, and sisters raced to make sure they were the first ones to get a happy birthday wish to me via SMS. Well, my dad and Kari were disqualified because of a false start (I got their text at 11:59 on Friday night), Lori was the first and then my mom was second. I also got a birthday card from my grandparents. I'm honestly really glad that I had those because that was the only birthday wishes that I received with the exception of one that kind of shocked me but made me smile. There were a few messages that I got on Facebook and I totally do appreciate them but its tough that none of my "real life" friends thought to wish me a happy birthday. The one other real life wish I got? It was Tiff.... I hadn't talked to her for months and since we broke up years ago I think there were only a handful of times that we actually talked on IM. It was nice to know that I still exist to her and it really did mean a lot. Anyway, it's not the end of the world that no one wished me a happy birthday because it really is just another day (I worked anyway -- nothing special). People forget -- and I'm just as guilty of forgetting things like that.... There are a few people that I thought would have that didn't and then the last person I expected did..... Oh well.

So yea, I'm 28.... it's still something that is hard for me to comprehend. I still don't think it's fully registered in my mind that I own a house and that I run my own business. Actually, aside from the fact that my body is falling apart, I still don't feel like I'm an adult. My body definately knows it tho..... I grew up yelling at my mom for always taking Ibuprofen and now I carry a bottle in my pocket. Mentally I'm doing ok, I guess. There have been a lot of really trying things recently and sometimes I don't fully understand what my place is and why I am where I am but then I usually remember shortly after that God is in control of all of this. I've been having a few "down spells" but they typically only last a few hours and they really aren't anything drastic at all..... My emotions have been going through weird changes tho. I think it's weird how I've recently started feeling about certain things and certain people. I have noticed that I am developing a deeper care for people in general. That leads to the next new thing in my life.....

On Monday I was accepted as a member of the Linden Volunteer Fire Department. I received my gear and did some training on the trucks and breathing equipment on Friday night. Soon I will start about 6 months of classes to become a certified firefighter. This coming Saturday will be my CPR training and then I will be officially able to ride the truck and go on calls. I will not be able to enter burning buildings until I get my certification but I will be able to go to motor vehicle accidents, brush fires, and I'll actually be able to go to structure fires but can only help outside of the building. It's something that I am actually really excited about but I'm also extremely apprehensive of the things that I know I will be encountering such as dead bodies and mangled bodies. I've already heard a lot of what people have seen and it's going to be really tough for me but it's something that I know I need to deal with because there are people that need my help. Maybe I'll encountered people that I can't help and that will be tough on me but I can't just not become a firefighter and not be there for the people that has lives that I might be able to save. I guess that's the biggest reason why I joined.... because there are people that I might be able to help and, to me, helping others is the most important thing in my life and I think it's something that should be important to everyone else too. We're all in this world together and we can all get through it easier the more that we work together.

Another interesting thing that I never thought I would ever be saying is that I am looking at the possibility of getting a motorcycle or scooter. I honestly didn't think it was something that I would be able to do because of the fact that my dad was in a serious motorcycle accident in 1985 and was given only a 10% chance of living. He is very apprehensive about anything motorcycle related (understandably so) and he has had some panic issues and it's not something that I would want to put him through but he said that he thinks he can handle it and yesterday we were actually talking about different bikes and stuff and I think that may have helped because I could hear some excitement in his voice. I know it was always a passion of his so maybe he is somewhere excited that I'll be riding undeneath all of the fear that has come as a result of his accident. To be quite honest, it's not something that I really want to be doing but this is really coming out of necessity. Gas is up to about $3.85 around my house and it's hit well over $4 in most places that I go and I simply just can't afford this. I drive about 600 miles a week on average so the gas prices are a HUGE impact on my life. I was looking at a Kawasaki Ninja 250R which, from some reviews I read, can get up to 75mpg and it's also one of the few 250cc bikes that can actually keep up with any traffic. My dad also said that my uncle has a Suzuki 350 from the 80's that he might be able to sell cheap but that's going to depend on what the gas mileage of it is.... From what I had looked at related to current bikes the Suzuki's really didn't get good gas mileage at all. Sure, they got GREAT reviews on reliability and performance but those are the least of my concerns. We'll see where it goes, I guess. I still need to get to the DMV and take the motorcycle test and get the endorsements and such. Not sure where all of this will end up but the fact that its a very strong consideration of mine is, well, totally unexpected by me or anyone else. I guess it's true that mother necessity produces the best results.

The birds are still doing well. Last week I started leaving them out of their cage around the clock. They still stay in their room, of course, but I'm not putting them in their cages at night anymore. I'm hoping that in the next couple of months I might be able to get some money and time to start converting the small bedroom into an aviary type room. Basically I just want to have non-carpted floors and I want to put a lot of ropes and stuff for them to climb and I also would like to seal the floor and walls and allow for a shower head type thing so that they can play in the water when they want.... it would probably be something I'd put on a timer somehow.... I also want to put some decent air filters in the room and ventilation, etc.... You think that dogs and cats are bad with pet dander? Try 3 birds. I really want to get started on that but money is really tight. We'll see what happens.

Business is doing pretty well, I guess. I picked up a couple new customers which may not have a lot of work for me but at least it's something and, of course, they can always grow into needing more work. I'm really not sure where Ransom Tech Services is going to end up but all I really want from it is to pay the bills. It would be nice if it would grow a little bit and I might consider taking on another employee or two if it would grow but those aren't things that I'm really looking at right now... I just want to be there as much as I can be for my customers. My feelings on business are that having good relationships and almost friendships with your customers is the best thing you can do and that's exactly how I want to keep Ransom Tech.

I guess that's really about all. I am still trying to figure out where God wants me as far as churches are concerned but I already blogged about that a little bit ago and there isn't really much to report.

I hope everyone has a really great Memorial Day!

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(C)2003-2008, Bob K Mertz - Some Rights Reserved

Sunday, January 06, 2008

When will innovation stop meaning "copy"

I just got done watching the last part of Microsoft's keynote from CES and I have to say that I was not impressed. While to many people it may seem that they are doing things that are "new" I did not see a single thing that was new. Well, I will give them the Ford Sync thing except the only thing new there is putting a few technologies together in a single package -- everything that it does could have been accomplished for at least the last couple years.

They went over a lot of stuff about Media Center and it irritated me just like any other DVR company. Even Echostar (a company that I really like) annoys me with their advertising of their "new" features they keep adding to their DVR systems. Open source technology has been doing all of the stuff these companies are doing and more for many years. And it's not really that I want to be critical about them adopting new ideas into their product but what I think is unfair is the statements that are made that they are the only one doing this and that the entire idea was from their company. MythTV can do just about everything Media Center or TiVo can do and it can do a hell of a lot more as well. MythBuntu has made the set up of MythTV just as easy as Media Center (and from some of the horror stories I've heard about Media Center, probably easier).

Then there's the Zune social. This especially irritates me. The entire concept and design is completely a rip off of Last.FM. Last.FM currently runs on many different platforms and is open source so that you can integrate it into virtually anything. I get exceptionally upset when companies try to make something proprietary that is something you want to be centralized. If you want to keep a log of all of the music you listen to and have a system make recommendations for you then you want that system to know what you listen to on every device. If you have a Zune, sure it will work for you..... but what about other devices? What about other software? Other computers? Unless Microsoft sees a profit in making a client for device x, we'll never be able to see it. If you really want to welcome me to the social, then please welcome me with the devices that I have

This post really isn't meant to be a "bash Microsoft" post but I'm really tired of any company that says they are innovators but all they do is copy the ideas of someone else and publish them as their own. It's really more of an example of where our society has gone. We no longer respect people for what they do out of the goodness of their heart or because they really enjoy it. For you to be honored you usually have to accept honor in making money. If you're not in it for the money then you are an outcast of society -- well, at least corporate america right now. People in the open source community create because they want to fill a void or because they enjoy doing it and that passion shows through in the finalized product. Same is true with those that volunteer. It seems that if you're doing it because you want to and not because you're in it for some selfish gain then your motives are questioned and people start looking for what you're trying to gain -- they can't just trust you that you really want to help.

I really do wish people would start looking at everything in life as being part of a team. The long term solution is to help one another and not be in it just for yourself. We all need to give credit where credit is due. Our society can go so much further if we just follow this simple policies.

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(C)2003-2008, Bob K Mertz - Some Rights Reserved

(C)2008, Bob K Mertz - Some Rights Reserved
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