Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Stop Laughing at Me!

Those in the Wexford compound were afforded another nice night of cool air. And now Winston's flea problem seems to be on the mend. When it became an issue the house was obviously nuked (cleaned and sprayed) along with the dog himself. His scar under his eye also continues to heal nicely.

When I woke up this morning my left arch was in quite in tizzy. It was quite tender and swollen. However, the show did have to go on and I made plans, despite being totally exhausted after yesterday, to run into work. I prepared my usual egg breakfast - three eggs cooked sunny side up. I toast some English muffins and melt cheese, along with preparing two strips of crispy bacon for my little McScott sandwiches. And depending how I feel each alternating day it is prepared, Winston gets some of the scraps some of the time. (It's a Fact: I love consuming large numbers of eggs and my cholesterol is abnormally low!) Winston and I did get some playtime out front with his version of the Frisbee - a tough red Kong flyer that he likes to shake and kill almost every day!

It was very painful to start the run, especially with the little incline up to Seneca. And to worsen the situation, I was mocked in short order. Before turning on to South Boulevard, I was embarrassed to be spotted by fellow Madison Park resident Scott Woodbury, who mocked the fact that I was running about as fast as a Frenchman runs from a brothel (this is an obscure Blackadder reference). As if Trevor laughing at my fashion sense last night was injury enough, this was hard! I was thankful though that Scott apparently passed the Home Depot down the street safely and did not fall prey to the horrible scam that our resident Officer Friendly (Chris Page) alerted us all to the other day.

Thankfully I was able to fall into remotely respectful 8:30ish pace for the remainder of the journey. It wasn't my worse jaunt north to work, but I guess good given the circumstances.

In the Charlotte Observer this morning I read a report that made my stomach sick. The article detailed the excessive compensation of United Way of Central Carolinas President Gloria Pace King, which now tops 1.2 MILLION dollars due to a bump of $800,000 in benefits (versus ~$100,000 the previous year). The newspaper cited similar cities comparing salaries and money raised, clearing demonstrating the absurdity of her compensation package. As someone who has worked for several years in the non-profit work and gets a meager salary, this boils my blood, even more than reading about corporate pigs like Ken Lewis (who is on United Way's board of directors) who earned more than $100 million last year. I don't care how many dollars she raises, that's disgusting and she should be ashamed of herself. It's also clear she is grabbing as much money as possible to set her up for her retirement.

This is not the first time the paper has questioned her salary. And recently we at work became aware of United Way bullying another non-profit to which we're affiliated about their event because it interrupts their fundraising schedule. It's hard for me to say this as someone from a Scouting background who has benefited from the United Way, especially with all the other valid smaller meaningful charities out there, but I now refuse to give them a dime, ever again.

Before you give to any charity, I highly recommend you start at a service like Charity Navigator or Guidestar. Why not give directly to the charity in need instead of the behemoth company? All these organizations are required to put together certain documents for public consumption, the most important being the Form 990. The 990 requires charities to list a certain number of the highest paid employees (who make over $50,000). If you pull up some for the bigger charities, you will start to wonder why the $50 you give makes any difference, except for a one-way limo charge for the executive director to the airport.

Sometimes things just snowball on you - right? At a meeting this morning I could not help but be somewhat incensed that work I had done two weeks ago had gone completely unnoticed. And I did it within three hours; doing further analysis, producing 18 maps, and updating some spreadsheets. No doubt Wally is shaking his head at me.

I also was faced with the prospect of grading exams from the class I'm teaching (along with dealing with everyone's personal situations!) and just a HUGE slew of map requests. Ridiculously busy. When I left at 17:30 to run home, I was really burnt out. The 93 degree heat didn't help much with that! As I started down Morehead, I actually passed the same Officer Friendly I mentioned earlier in this post. I was burnt both physically and mentally, and I just started giving up on this run. The lack of running water at the Freedom Park parking lot fountain didn't help either... Where is Jim Garges when you need him? It was rather amazing how slow I ran along the flat section of Westfield. Naturally the climb up Montford just about wrung the life out of me. As I passed Angry Ale's I saw Ironman finisher Lat Purser out with some friends or co-workers obviously celebrating! Good for him!

Once home I immediately opened my last installment of the John Adams series. Before leaving to teach, I watched the penultimate episode. What could be more eye-opening than the scenes of the new "President's House" in 1800 - filth and muck everywhere, slaves working, utter disorganization inside. Wow. Tonight the bunnies must have been organized, because Winston didn't have much of a chase. Thankfully I had a quick commute back home and started the last episode shortly after 11PM. It was obviously sad, but got to the heart of what I knew best, delving on the multitude of letters sent between Jefferson and Adams before their eerily coincidental deaths. How bizarre is that that two of the last signers died fifty years later on the day, within hours of each other?!?

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