Posted in A to Z Blogging

Sherman Brothers Part I

Tomorrow, I begin A to Z Challenge.

My theme is the music of the Sherman Brothers. The challenge takes a break each Sunday, so I will each Sunday write a brief post about the Sherman Brothers. Today will be just basic biographical information. The Sherman Brothers are composed of Robert B, Sherman and Richard M. Sherman. They are the sons of songwriter Al Sherman, not to be confused with parodist Alan Sherman, who wrote such iconic songs as “you’ve got to be a football hero”.

The Sherman brothers were encouraged into the song writing profession in the 1950’s by their father. They wrote separately for other musicians for the first decade or so. In the late 50’s they teamed up together and had a long partnership with Disney studios. Robert passed away in 2012. Richard still writes and performed a song he wrote in Last years’s Christopher Robin that appears on the closing credits. The Sherman brothers have produced more movie soundtracks than any other writing group.

Posted in Dave Handles the Tough Issues, Open Letters, prolife, Writers

An Open Letter to Alyssa Milano

Dear Ms. Milano,

I am writing to you and to an extent all the signatories of your recent open Letter regarding HB 481 to Georgia Governor Kemp and Speaker Ralston and to anyone else who reads it, but ostensibly, I am writing to you.

First of all. let me begin by saying by saying how I appreciate how passionate and articulate you are. I really do commend you that you took a stand on an issue that you are passionate about and related it to your current work situation. I appreciate how you gathered like minded people in the same situation to express your opinions. Expressing social and political concern is everyone’s responsibility and I for one am glad to see you doing it, regardless of whether I share your concerns or not.

In this world we live in our opinions can often be expressed in hashtags. #HBIsBadforBusiness seems to express yours. I take a differing view. If I had to express myself hashtagedly, I might say #HBisGood4Babies. The bill ,which I hope Governor Kemp signs into law, protects unborn babies at the point that their heartbeat can be recognized. In my mind this shows them to be something different than a part of the mother, to be disposed anyway she sees fit. We may well fundamentally disagree on this point, However a distinct heartbeat is more than adequate medical evidence to make me think that my view is the correct one.

My Dad used to say to me my right to wave my fists in the air ended squarely at his nose. This is how I feel about abortion and reproductive rights. A woman’s reproductive right ends squarly at that cute little babies nose. A fetus with a heartbeat is a far cry from a mass of cells invading a woman’s body. 2 years ago my wife had a mass of cells invading her body. Since it was my wife, my opinion was get those nasty cells out of her body anyway you can. Now, my wife wasn’t pregnant, she had breast cancer and her cancerous cells certainly did not have any chance of ever becoming viable on their own or having their own functioning beating heart.

Ms. Milano, I would not be surprised at all if some of those disagreeing with your and your fellow signatories opinion might propose boycotting your artistic endeavors. I think that’s a bad idea. As strongly as I feel about these issues this does not mean that anyone who disagrees with me needs to be punished economically. I certainly wish you the best in all your endeavors. I hope you in time can come along to my way of thinking that it is babies that need your protection and eloquent defense much more than reproductive freedom ever did,

Dave Roller

Posted in A to Z Blogging

A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal: The Music of the Sherman Brothers

I have always been somewhat of an unrealistically ambitious person. This is certainly true of my blogging. Due mostly to working 2 jobs and volunteering for 3 other organizations, I had not posted anything here until about an hour ago. This is not stopping me for signing up for the A to Z challenge at http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

I have participated in this many years, sometimes more than one blog at a time (hence the ambitious). I haven’t always finished, (hence the unrealistic). This year I will try it on only one blog. My idea is to share each day lyrics from the songs of the Sherman Brothers. You may know these brother’s from their depiction in the movie Saving Mr. Banks. You may know them from such songs as Let’s go Fly a Kite and The Wonderful Thing about Tiggers. If I finish, and I hope I do, you may be as surprised as I was when I discovered their amazing proclivity in writing songs for movies.

I hope to be back on April 1st with the first song.

Posted in Networking, Work Related, Writers Write, Readers Read, Rollers Roll

A Tale of 2 M’s

I was cleaning out my car earlier this week when I came across a business card. It was a business card I acquired during a seasonal job I had been working at Amazon. My job title at Amazon was a sortation specialist. It was a perfect 21st century job in that respect, where the job title and the job duties are mutually exclusive. What I mostly did at that job was the job of a puller, The title puller, in this case, is partially descriptive of the task I was performing, Packages ready to be delivered to customers would be unloaded from a truck and then either immediately or after further sorting placed on a conveyor built. My job was to “pull” these packages off the belt and place them on racks where other sortations specialist in this case “stowers” would place them in conveyances where they would then be ultimately delivered to the consumer. On some nights, I would work other roles, but the majority of my 3+ months with Amazon, I was a puller.

Just in case, you don’t think I’m aware of it, I haven’t really got to the point of my story that talks about the business card in my car. There was somewheres between 20 – 50 people on my shift doing or overseeing similar tasks as mine. As a team we were a very efficient bunch, often scoring in the top 10 of all the similar units in Amazon. My direct boss told me that I worked with a sense of urgency. I wore that compliment like a badge.

During our breaks and lunches most of us sat in the break room, playing games provided by management, interfacing on our smart phone, eating, talking with or co workers or some nights taking a power nap. I often sat with an man whose name begins with M, so I’ll refer to him as M1 for the rest of my tale ( you can tell by my title, this is a tale of 2 M’s). M1 was an older man who often worked as a puller alongside or across with me. In fact whatever our role was for the evening we were quite often working together. It was natural then, that we would also take our breaks and lunches together. M1 owned his own tax business and we would often speak of this as this was his busy season. Like many of those on our shift, sortation specializing was his 2nd job

Oh, I see where you’re going with this, I can hear you saying. It’s M1’s card that you found in your car. No my dear reader, it was not. It was actually M2’s card that I found. I wasn’t quite there yet, but since you are in such a rush for me to move on, I guess I shall.

One day on lunch, I stopped off to talk with my boss about my performance. It may have been that very evening that he made the works with a sense of urgency comment. When I got to M1 and my table a young man was sitting across from M1 talking his ear off. This man who we will call M2, because the name on his business card also starts with M, also frequently worked alongside me. There were also times that M2 worked with a sense of urgency, but these times were limited to his breaks and lunches. On these occasions he would talk with his co-workers about his job as a financial planner. On the occasion I am referring to he was trying to network with M1 regarding partnering with him with his tax prep clients. On another occasion he found out that I had 3 teenagers and he made sure that he gave me his card entitled “college consultant” later that shift.

I certainly don’t begrudge M2 from utilizing his breaks and lunches to propel his business. If I had witnessed M2 working with that degree of urgency while we were “on the clock” his card may have made it’s way into my wallet rather than falling in between the seats of my car. But alas this is where the two M’s were most different. Like me M1 wasn’t the most suited for the kind of work Amazon was employing us for. However, also like me M1 and I attempted to give our best effort every minute of every evening we worked there. M2 was more like some of the other employees who only worked hard when the job required it. This was actually most of the time. But there were minutes each night that could add up to hours each week, where it was possible to blend in and let others do the work. The last 10 to 15 minutes or more of a shift where folks like M2 would congregate together while folks like M1 and myself found work to do. I never saw M2 take any extra initiative to assist his co-workers beyond the parameters of his duties. M1 like myself would often step into assist before management asked us to do so.

M1 never tried to solicit me to get his business as a tax preparer. But if I ever needed a tax preparer, I would seek him out with confidence. If I ever met up with someone who needs tax assistance and lives or works near one of his 2 offices, I would recommend him gladly. I also do not need assistance at present with a college consultant. However if I did, M2 would not be who I reached out to. He may be an excellent financial planner, but in my mind, I would just expect him to work to a certain level and no more. You see in determining who I will partner with, I hold people to a certain standard, the same standard I hold myself to.

This is a great challenge to us everytime we put ourselves in public we must ask ourselves what kind of M do people see?