Mark Richards


Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Keep Me Happy...Or Else!

If my hard-working attitude and pleasant demeanor are not enough, here are a couple more reasons that my employers should try to make me happy and keep me around.

On Monday, there was a robbery at The Bank of New York in Rutherford, NJ...the branch I worked at for two summers. Thankfully nobody was hurt. Apparently the guy walked into the branch with a fake gun, sat down at one of the platform desks, and asked for money. Nothing too out of the ordinary. The interesting part is that he worked a block away on the same street at a pizzeria. I remember going there to pick up lunch occasionally and from what I am told, he was working there at the same time as well. What was this guy thinking? Why would you rob a bank that is fifty yards away from where you work? Very intelligent.

My first job out of school was at a pool chemical company called BioLab here in Georgia. Yesterday, one of BioLab's warehouses in Conyers, GA had a massive chemical fire. I did not frequent the facility often, but I had been there once or twice. Once again, thankfully nobody was hurt. At this time, they do not know the cause of the fire. What they do know is that the chemical filled smoke traveled dozens of miles and made it all the way into South Carolina, which is not a short distance. The pictures of the smoke bellowing out of the building are pretty amazing.

Apparently my prior employers need to watch out for bad events happening in the near future. Lockheed Martin in Greenville, SC beware!

Hmmm...I hope this poor track record does not keep me from getting jobs in the future?!

Friday, May 21, 2004

Kudos To Google

Anybody who is relatively familiar with me knows that while I consider myself Jewish, I am not the most devout Jew in the world. What does that mean? Well, it pretty much means that I celebrate the holidays and will have a Jewish wedding, but I did not have a Bar Mitzvah and do not attend services often. That being said, I do find anti-Semitism to be extremely offensive and very is all bigotry.

I was out last night with a bunch of people, and one of the guys I was with mentioned an issue that Google was having with some of its search results. Currently, if you go to Google and type in the word "Jew", mostly anti-Semitic site are returned. According to this Google sponsored link that appears at the top of the search in question, Google does not support the views of the sites that are returned but must still return the results because that is the manner in which their ranking algorithm works. The Google explanation goes on to state that people looking for actual information would normally not use the word "Jew" to find what they are looking for. Most people would use words like "Jewish" or "Judaism" because the word "Jew" has more of a negative connotation. Google then provides users with links to anti-defamation sites, as well.

I must commend Google for sticking by the rules that govern their business, while at the same time making people aware of the fact that they do not approve of the situation, as well as providing links to informational sites. The existence of these anti-Semitic sites does not surprise me, but the lack of positive results returned for the word "Jew" does. I could go on to ramble about what this says about our country, our world, our society, etc., but that is not the point of this post. Google could have publicized this issue and the actions they took, and in turn received a lot of positive PR...but they did not. I appreciate the professional and sincere manner in which Google has handled this situation. We "Jews" thank you.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Another Season Comes To An End

Another disappointing season for Team Bad Guy has mercifully come to an end. Last night we completed our fourth season with an 11-9 loss and sending our record to a bountiful 3 wins and 7 losses. That record is even worse than it looks since we won our first two games. The worst part about last night's game was that we didn't beat ourselves with errors or by not hitting. We just got flat out beat by a team that is not better than us, in my humble opinion.

We learned last night that there would be no doubleheader summer league due to heavy field maintenance. That was rather disappointing. We may join a different league, but the other league is rather expensive, so I am going to have to consider this strongly. On a positive note, we have been notified here at work that Turner Sports Interactive will be putting together a couple of softball teams. This is excellent news for a few reasons: it is free of charge to me, it will keep my skills sharp, and best of is co-ed! ;-)

Monday, May 17, 2004

Marriage Advice

I do not know why this relates to gay and lesbian couples only, but this guy's marriage advice sounded good to me.

Monday, May 10, 2004

I Got Engaged!

Yes it is true. After 8 long years of dating on and off, Sarah and I are getting married. I proposed to Sarah this weekend, and as you might have guessed by now, she accepted. She is the best thing have ever happened to me and I feel lucky to be with her. Allow me to share our engagement story with you.

Over the past few weeks Sarah and I have been overly busy with work, working out, playing golf, and a host of other activities and events. We agreed that this past weekend would be a weekend with no plans whatsoever...a vacation at home if you will. Little did Sarah know that we were not going to stay home.

Saturday morning came and we wanted to get an early start out at the pool. So at 11AM we went outside to get some sun and fresh air...nothing too exciting yet (except for the excruciating sunburn I now have on my chest). After about an hour, I surprised Sarah by saying that we would be going away for the evening and that she had to go upstairs and pack her belongings to leave at 2PM.

We hit the road on time and she had no idea where we were headed. About 5 miles from our destination, I revealed that we would be spending the night at Chateau Elan, a hotel and winery resort. She was very excited because she always mentioned that she wanted to go there to check it out. Sarah inquired about Chateau Elan often that it happened as recently as out at the pool earlier in the day prior to my telling her about the surprise.

Once we arrived in our room, I told her that there would be another surprise: a massage at the Chateau Elan Spa. I was looking to relax her prior to the proposal and give her some special pampering on this big day. She returned from the massage 45 minutes later exactly as planned: nice and relaxed. Now for the difficult part...the proposal.

While Sarah was at the spa, I spoke to some employees about good places to propose and received an excellent suggestion from one of the supervisors. It started by taking her on a walk along one of the many nature trails throughout the property. The trail went along a small pond and led up to a gazebo on the water. And that is when it happened. I got down on one knee and proposed. I was so freaking nervous that I tripped over my words, but eventually got it out. She began to cry and accepted! We were engaged! We sat at the gazebo and spoke for a while and then went back to the room so she could call her family and friends. She was very excited needless to say. I could have prolonged the anticipation of a possible proposal longer and waited until later in the trip to pop the question, but I thought that doing it early would allow us to celebrate and enjoy the occasion, which we did by having a nice dinner, walking around the property, visiting the winery, and playing nine hole on the par 3 golf course.

This weekend was a very surreal experience for me. Some of it I remember well, some of it went by so quickly that the memory is just a flash in my mind. What I do know is that I will be spending the rest of my life with the most amazing person I have ever met. It is all pretty cool. I'm engaged!

Here are some of the pictures we took.

My New Blog Design

This is my new blog design. Future changes will be made, but this is a good start. Robert is using the same template except his is of the green variety. He must have been feeling froggy when he chose it.

If you have not yet noticed, you will be able to leave comments on all future posts. It is a slight pain, but I am going to ask that you register in order to post though. Please feel free to leave questions or comments on any related posts, but be respectful of others and their opinions...I sound like my mother.

If you have any suggestions, drop me a line. Enjoy the newly revised site!

Friday, May 07, 2004

Work Production

I will tell you, it is the small things such as this video that allow me to sit in front of a computer for eight hours a day without losing my mind.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Are Teachers Overpaid?

Interesting article comparing teachers to other professions asking the question: Are Teachers Overpaid? Good read for all the morons that think teachers work minimal hours, get tons of vacation, and make too much money.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Happy Cinco de Mayo

Happy Cinco de Mayo to everyone! And to keep with the party theme, here are some pictures from Sarah's birthday night out.

Monday, May 03, 2004

Long Weekend

What a long week I had. There were a few highlights such as going out for dinner and dancing for Sarah's birthday and making some major strides with my golf swing, but work put a real damper on my mood and sleep schedule. It is going to be a long week since I did not catch up on my sleep this past weekend, but I think I am actually glad to be back in the office.