Thursday, October 15, 2009

One Nation Under God

I received the following in an email. It moved me, so I wanted to share it. Feel free to share it with your email buddies. In fact, please do!

Some folks passing through Texarkana last week noted signs in people's yards that said, "America, prayer is our only hope" with II Chronicles 7:14 underneath. We certainly need God's help!

I have no idea who started this, but I certainly agree with this e-mail. I heard a preacher on TV who said if we pray for our nation that things will turn around.

After a day of contemplation and soul searching, I have decided to reach out to my friends and relatives and ask you to do something that has been troubling me for a long time.

Our nation is/has been on the slippery slope for a long time. If you look around you will find corruption, greed, moral decay, and a steady move away from the things that made us great. The principles upon which this nation was founded are no longer our backbone. However, we can reverse this trend.

II Chronicles 7:14
"If my people
who are called by my name
will humble themselves
and pray
and seek my face
and turn from their wicked ways,
then I will hear from heaven
and will
forgive their sin
and heal their land."

I am convinced that we must pray for our nation and its leaders and ask for forgiveness. So, I ask you to join me in this plea to our Lord. Would you please send this to people in your address book (send it to all of them); ask them to pray EVERY DAY.

If you and they comply, we will lift up millions and millions of prayers a day to our Creator. He will hear us and in faith, will answer.

Let me just add a quote from Ronald Reagan "If we ever forget that we are one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under." I truly believe this is why the United States of America is in the shape we are in today. Most people have forgotten that we are one nation under God! Let us as Christians stand up and remind people of this.

Today, I met SAIC's new CEO. He's only been on the job for 24 days and is making the circuit across the country to visit his many employees... THOUSANDS of us. After shaking hands for the meet and greet portion, he asked us all to join him in saying the Pledge of Allegiance. He told us that we'd learn more about him in those 30 seconds than we would reading all the information on our company's website. I found that to be very moving as well.

One nation under God. I heard it twice today. Must be true. Thank God!

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Have you ever considered being a Mary Kay consultant?

Have you ever wanted to run your own business, earn some extra money, maybe even earn a free car? Or perhaps you just want to be able to purchase your favorite MK products at cost.

Well, there has NEVER been a better opportunity to do just that!

This month only, the cost for starting your Mary Kay business is only $50 plus shipping and taxes. That's a total of $62.86. (I had two orders last week that were at least that much. Had I known this deal was coming, I would have at least let my customers know that for that same money, they could have registered to be a consultant and gotten their products at cost for the rest of their lives! They may or may not have been interested, but at least they would have had the choice.)

So, I'm telling everyone I know -- all my Facebook friends, all my faithful blog followers, all of my Mary Kay customers, and pretty much every woman in my email address list. So, if you're reading this, that includes you!

A few things you might want to know...

What do I get for $62.86?

1. the Opportunity Kit (as opposed to the full Starter Kit) which includes:
  • the On-the-Go Tote, a roomy black bag-style purse with pink trim
  • samples of the TimeWise Ultimate Set (cleanser, moisturizer, day/night solutions, and the microdermabrasion set)
  • 7 different color cards (5 ea)
  • foundation shade selector tool
  • MK Sheer Mineral Pressed Powder samples
  • MK Ultimate Mascara and demo wands
  • Satin Hands Pampering Set samples
  • educational materials
  • sales tickets, customer profiles, and catalogs
2. a free MK Personal Website for six months (check mine out!)
But this limited-time offer gets much sweeter when you make the commitment to start your business with a product order of $1,334 suggested retail ($600.30 wholesale) or higher by November 30. This initial order makes you eligible to receive:
  • a 55% discount (as opposed to the normal 50%) for that initial order. (For example, if you choose to purchase $3000 suggested retail, it'll only cost you $1350 plus tax and shipping.)
  • additional product bonuses and special offers, including the rest of the full Starter Kit.
Am I obligated to purchase anything else?
- In short, no. But if you want to get your favorite products at cost, you have to place a minimum $200 order once a year. To be considered 'active', you'd have to place a minimum $200 order once a quarter. Do you think that you'd use $400 worth of MK in a year? I'll bet you could. And if you don't think you'd use that much, you can always get items for your close friends and relatives. Then they'll be helping you get to the $200.
- Also, if you want to get the rest of your Starter Kit (including retail-sized products to use as demonstrators for your classes) and qualify for the 55% discount, you'll want to place a $600.30 order before the end of November.
Do I have to hold parties/classes/shows?
- In short, no. Personally, I think it's a great way to meet new people, earn some extra money, and build a dream. But you are under no obligation to share these products or this opportunity with anyone.

What if I don't know anything about skin care and cosmetics?
- No problem. The company, your director, your sister consultants, and me -- we will ALL help you reach whatever goals you want to reach with Mary Kay. Not to mention, our Mary Kay website has information on each product we sell and every service we provide. You'll never be at a loss for information or inspiration.

Seriously...think about it. It's really a good deal!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

How do you plead?

I have never been asked that question before.

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to sit in on a court session. It was a first for me. I've always wanted from the Juror's box, NOT from the defendant's table, not even from the plaintiff's table, and definitely NOT from the judge's bench. Yesterday, I was mostly just a spectator.

Yesterday's docket included 13 different cases, all initial hearings. Those charged came in all shapes and sizes, were diverse in age, and were all male except one. Four of them were wearing orange as they were currently residing in the local jail/prison. Most of the charges were misdemeanors, but there were a couple of felony counts in there as well.

I was expecting to hear the judge ask each individual how he or she wanted to plead. But that didn't happen. I also thought that each individual would receive his or her sentence. That didn't happen either. The judge explained that the whole intent of this hearing was to ensure that each person understood what they were being charged with and the ramifications of pleading guilty to that charge. He described the difference between a bench hearing and a trial hearing. (Everyone was getting a bench hearing unless they specifically requested a jury hearing in writing.) He described all circumstances which would revoke each person's bail. He informed us when the actual 'how do you plead' hearings were to be scheduled. He also explained that a "Not Guilty" plea would be entered for everyone, unless they chose to change that.

Finally, he said that if anyone was interested in a plea bargain, they were to speak with the prosecutor prior to the next hearing...which was scheduled for five weeks later. Apparently Indiana has a 'diversion program', which falls into the plea bargain option. To qualify, you have to be in good standing with the courts, including no additional outstanding charges against you. You have to pay the associated fee, which is $300 or so. Then you have to agree to stay completely out of trouble for a specified amount of time. I believe it's six months. If you happen to get into trouble during that time frame, you'll be back in court, this time facing penalties for BOTH charges...the old one and the new one.

I'm sure you're wondering why I am telling you all this. On July 29th, a teenager that I happen to know really well was busted for Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor on School Property. I didn't hear about it until early September. Yesterday was the initial hearing. And that teenager I mentioned before has opted to complete the paperwork for the diversion program

Now let's see if he can stay out of trouble for the next six months.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Happy New [fiscal] Year!

Well, here it is... 1 October. I survived my first fiscal year-end with the Comptroller Department. And it was kind of exciting.

I have to admit, I wasn't nearly as rushed or stressed as the people I work with because I'm not part of the 'funding document process'. My time was spent addressing any IT issues (computer, network, server, database, etc.). I can't always fix the problems, but I can speak the techie language of the people who can. It relieves that burden from the folks who need to focus on the actual financial work.

I also had several people ask me to query various databases so that they could see 'where we were'. How many receipts were run by such-and-such-a-program that haven't been cleared yet? How many type 'F' transactions don't have an associated type 'R' transaction? What was our total revenue for FY09? Now divide it up between THIS kind of funding and THAT kind of funding. Create a list of orphan records based on whether or not they have a particular code. Etc, etc, etc.

This is my favorite part of my job. I love running SQL statements against databases...AKA 'talking to' the databases. Sometimes it takes me some time to figure out how to tie multiple tables together or even multiple databases together. But when I finally figure it out, victory! It's like working a crossword puzzle or a brain-teaser. I enjoy the challenge and the subsequent feeling of success. And I find that the people asking for the data are THRILLED when I give them the results. Without the ability to speak 'SQL', it could/would take them hours to get the same list.

I left the office at about 8:45pm, after working 12 hours. And it wasn't bad at all. We were busy much of the day, so it seemed to fly by! But I have to say, sometimes it was entertaining to field phone calls where our customers were calling during the 11th hour to request near-miracles. I know it was stressful for some of my co-workers who had to process those requests. To me, it was just unreal. It's amazing how much work is done on the last day of the fiscal year. Of course, some of it HAS to wait until that late date. But I'm sure some of it did NOT. But every call that came in was super-crazy-urgent...and was usually followed by an email and two more phone calls to check the status of their request. Sometimes it felt like we were spending as much time updating the status to the customers as we were doing the work. If we could have gotten the phones to stop ringing, we probably could have gotten things done faster.

At any rate, the work is mostly done. Halleluiah! And Happy New Year!