All Things Bob

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Son of Dad on hiatus – possibly permanently.

I’ve been focusing too much on the layout and design of this blog, and not enough on what’s really important, which is the writing.  I really feel like I’ve kind of painted myself into a corner with Son of Dad, not only in terms of the format, but just by the fact that I feel so obligated (self-inflicted, of course) to write post-game reviews that I never seem to write much of anything else.

By definition, a “blog” is a weblog, which means it should be more like a personal online diary than some sort of pseudo magazine.  I think the time is right for me to take a step back and return to the basics.  I may eventually find that all of the added features with which Son of Dad is equipped actually serve me better than a more stripped-down basic blog, but for now, I really need to try the more simple approach.

So, until further notice, I’ll be doing my blogging at a site I have dubbed Otisburg.  It’s a little bitty place.  Come check me out over there.

Evel, We Hardly Knew Ye

When I was a kid back in the mid-’70s, I idolized four heroes. Two of the faces on my own personal childhood Mount Rushmore were fictitious (Billy Jack and The Six Million Dollar Man), one was very real (Roger Staubach), and the other was the ultimate combination of fantasy and reality: Evel Knievel.  Of these four larger-than-life figures, Evel was without question the one I was most fixated on in those days.  I can still remember both Christmas 1975 and my 10th birthday the following September consisting of nothing but Evel-related toys and accessories.  My extremely overprotective Mom would never let me even touch a real motorcycle, much less ride one, so I guess she figured the best way to pacify me was to ply me with as many Knievel products as possible.

Of course, the crown jewel of my collection was the hand-cranked stunt cycle, but I also had the stunt stadium and transport van.  These toys were all consuming during those cold and rainy late Fall and Winter months, but once the warm thaw of Spring arrived, me and the neighborhood kids hopped on our bicycles (mine was a Sears Free Spirit with a bicentennial red, white and blue banana seat and motorcycle sound effect crank box mounted on the right handlebar) and crafted makeshift ramps out of lumber scraps and anything else long and flat enough to do the trick.

Looking back on it now, those were the most fun and freewheeling days of my life.  I was old enough to leave the house without adult supervision, yet still young enough not to be burdened by the impending pressures of the teenage years.  I never made it more than two feet off the ground on one of those ersatz “jumps,” if that, but I might as well have been flying above the neighborhood eight miles high.  I doubt I’ll ever experience the wide-eyed innocent euphoria of those days, but thanks to the legacy of Evel Knievel – which will without question continue long after his death yesterday – I will always been able to fondly reminisce about those endless days spent riding my Free Spirit.

Godspeed, Evel.

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A Bum No More!

For the first time since before this blog was even created, I have an honest-to-goodness permanent full-time job!  I actually was made (and accepted) the offer back on Thursday, but it’s taken me two days to come back down to Earth enough to finally post this to the blog.  It certainly couldn’t have come at a better time, with Thanksgiving mere days away.

Well, actually it COULD have come at a better time…any point in the previous five months would have been great.  It’s going to take a really long time to right the ship financially, and there may even be certain aspects which are too far gone to keep from sinking, but at least I’m gainfully employed once more.  And that alone is enough to give thanks for this year!

Providing Romotivation

Tony Romo continued his brilliance by passing for four TDs in engineering a 31-20 win that, for all intents and purposes, cliched the NFC East title and relegated the rival New York Giants to competing for a Wild Card berth. Romo’s stellar play is great news for all Cowboy fans, but has proven even more meaningful for me on a personal level.

As I’ve mentioned before in this blog, I was laid off from my job back in June, and remain unemployed five months later. To say it’s been tough would be a massive understatement. With each passing week, I find it harder and harder to pick myself up and dust myself off. Other than the ongoing support of family and friends, and my faith in the Lord, the only thing that has kept me going have been the fantastic performances week in and week out by Tony Romo. He never quits. He never takes his foot off the gas, no matter how dire the situation (remember Buffalo?). He’s truly been an inspiration to me, and has provided me with that extra motivation needed to absorb five months worth of repeated rejection. My ego has been sacked dozens of times, but Romo keeps inspiring me to come back to play another day.

Thanks for giving me a reason to smile and helping me focus on the ultimate goal, Tony!

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15 Weeks in the Unemployment Line…and Counting

It’s now been 15 weeks since I was laid off by my previous employer (along with an additional 20% of all staff at corporate headquarters), but even after 112 job applications and 20-some-odd interviews, I remain without a job or very much hope.  With each passing week my frustration grows and morphs into despair.  Dozens upon dozens of jobs for which I applied, but was never interviewed, keep being re-posted to Monster and HotJobs, leaving me to wonder why those employers think so little of me they’d rather re-open the cattle call than even bring me in for just one interview.

I’ve been through a lot in my 41 years, but absolutely nothing has been so spirit-crushing as the repeated kicks to my ego I’ve experienced during the past four months.  Time and time again I’ve had what seems like a great interview — often multiple interviews — and am led to believe a job offer is imminent, only to have the rug yanked out from under me.  The hardest part about being rejected like this is never actually being told why.  It’s always just really generic HR-speak, like “We’ve decided to go in another direction.”  I have no clue as to what I’m doing to cause things to go awry, which leaves me unable to fix the problem, because I don’t know specifically what needs to be addressed.

At this point, I’m seriously considering obtaining the state’s teaching certification, in order to possibly get a job as either a Jr. High or High School teacher.  And while that is certainly a noble profession, it most definitely is not a lucrative one.  I’m by no means expecting any sort of high-paying position, but it’s next to impossible to support a family of four on a teacher’s salary.  So while this avenue might get me out of the unemployment line, it’s not going to solve all my problems.

I wish there was some way I could put a positive spin on this, but things just look really bleak for the foreseeable future.  Brother, can you spare a dime?

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It’s Africa Hot!

After more than two months of what has been one of the mildest (and wettest) Texas summers on record, we here in the greater Dallas area are finally withering under intense triple-digit temperatures.  When I went to open the front door to go outside this morning, it was literally like opening an oven that had been pre-heated to 400.  It looks like the majority of this weekend will be spent indoors.

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