Mental Access to MTKuszek

Mental Access to MTKuszek
A Window of Opportunity

Sunday, July 31, 2011

07-31-2011 Pulse/ Recipe

day 432

There is a pulse going through me right now. not necessarily my heartbeat, but a palpation of anticipation. an undeniable tremor that i can feet throughout my entire being. that feeling that i get when something great is going to happen.

it is a bright spot in an otherwise dim moment.


in a few days, i will be on the road to Indianapolis with good friends to partake in my first Gencon experience. before that happens i have a lot to do, but it's going to be worth it. already i feel the excitement building in me even as i type this. i hope that this experience is going to be a meaningful memory for years to come.

in other news...the job hunt is slow and fruitless at the moment. i have resumes ready to go, have posted on, and have submitted to a few jobs already. it's all i can do at the moment, but usually the weekends are better than the weekdays to job hunt anyway. slowly but surely, right?

finally, one of my readers wanted me to post my shish-tawook recipe on here. this is one of my favorite recipies, and since it is from my aunt who works as a teacher in the U.A.E., i can pretty much assume this is about as authentic as it can get.

so here it is. best on the grill, BTW.

Shish Tawook (spicy chicken)

2 lbs boneless chicken
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 1/2 oz olive oil
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp cumin powder
1 tbsp lemon juice

mix all ingredients except chicken together. cut chicken into 3/4 to 1 inch cubes and place in marinade turning until all pieces are well coated. leave at least for 2 hours chilled. put chicken onto skewers and grill for 10 minutes, turning frequently serves 4.

don't need to tell you to be very careful about stabbing your hands with the skewers or touching eyes or open sores with this marinade. it'll burn for hours if it gets into open skin. also, i prefer to let it sit for 24 hours, turning it with a spoon occasionally, to really get that marinade into the chicken.

hope you enjoy. see you all soon.


Friday, July 22, 2011

07-22-2011 The Skies Fall Silent

day 423...

shortly after Sept 1st, the night skies will fall silent in Toledo...and the silence will be deafening...

last night, we had a meeting with our regular supervisor, followed by the Area Managers of the facility, and the word was grim indeed.

effective Sept. 1st, Bax Global will close its doors.

now, earlier in the week, i had posted on my social network page the following status update, and i quote:

"i have this impending sense of dread that i just can't shake. interesting..."
Tuesday at 1:30pm

was this the feeling that i had? was this the exact moment that my termination papers were printed, placed in an envelope, and sent to my facility so that i could have them thursday?

the fact is: DB did nothing to save this company. no improvements were made, no new exciting programs were created and utilized. they bought us, knowing they'd get the money back, then picked the flesh from our bones and are leaving us for dead.

Toledo is in bad shape, even more so with a lack of a major business presence at Toledo Express. above that, the unemployment just added 700 new bodies to the pool of job hunters.

today, my status update read the following:

"The axe has fallen, the other shoe dropped, and the ship has sailed. Bax Global to close Sept. 1st.

essen mein schei├če, Deutsche Bahn..." (the last line for our non-german speaking friends is "eat my shit, etc.")

i refer back to my post "06/25/2011 My State of Mind" a few days after i heard about the original press release in europe. so basically they had a month to decide nothing, and now some things slip from my grasp and enter that black void i wrote about.

they will not have me though. i will bounce back from this.

i think that the worst part of this whole situation is that i'm going to have the inevitable discussions with family and friends and they will ask the questions of "how do you feel about this?" and "what comes next?".

this is day one for me, all over again, and i don't have those answers yet. over the next few weeks as i get closer to the close of the hub, i'm sure i'll feel some things, and i 'll be sure to share them here.

as for right now, i'm going to sit on my couch, and chill. i hope you can do the same today.

to all my coworkers, past and present, i thank you for being such an integral part of my life for the past 14 years, and i truly wish our friendships continue long after the skies fall silent.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

07-19-2011 Rumors and Heresay

day 420

so it's officially unofficial: Bax Global could be, might be, will be, and won't be closing in the near future.

let's start from the beginning...

last week of june, a german paper released an unofficial statement that DB (Deutsche Bahn), BAX's parent company, was comsidering removing itself from the US shipping market, and considering closing it's Schenker branches in the US.

a few days later, Heiner Murmann, CEO and President of Schenker, Inc. in Freeport, New York, was quick to deny the allegations. saying they were looking for other ways to adapt to the current market conditions and world economy.

officially, i know that there is a meeting that is supposed to occur in the next couple of months, with a decision possibly at the end of the year.

unofficially, i see things and hear things that really point to the inevitable. now, i'm generally an optimist about things, but i see a lot that hasn't been done. that points to the inevitable.

let's recap...

1) the initial buy: when DB purchased us about 3 or 4 years ago, we were told in so many words, was going to keep us the way that we were running, with minimal changes and interference. they kept that promise. also during this time, field station became Schenkers, while the hub remained as Bax Global. interesting, right?

2) The Port Authority grant: we were given a few million dollars to renovate the hub facility, possibly adding to the truck dock and the customs area. that never happened, because the company had to front an additional 1 to 2 million dollars to go ahead with the project. needless to say. that hasn't happened.

3) the lease is up: the lease for Bax Global's Hub is up for renewal, (supposedly sometime in the next year or so) and although this is a minor thing, why wouldn't this be the most opportune time to close shop?

4) The new Freight Suite: we were supposed to roll out this new customer Freight Suite which simplified our shipping options, i've seen a little of this, but not to the estent that we were supposed to see it, it was supposed to be across the board by now, but i see one or two pieces like this a night.

5) the Fleet: when DB bought us, they failed to take into consideration the Bax dedicated fleet. our planes are old, and with age, they guzzle fuel like no one's business. this is one of the main sticking points of DB's financial strategy. they don't like it.

6)The Rumor Mill: i cant confirm nor deny the existence of these rumors, but this is what i've heard:

in no specific order:

we will be bought by another company that bid on us the first time we were sold.
we will be bought by UPS/FEdEX
we will be bought by Amazon
there will be no vending machines in the facility by late july because the lease is up with the vendors.
the company is cutting the chicago trucks altogether.
the company will be bailed out by the president.
the company is F**ked

that's what i know. so far i've tried to remain positive, taking a strict "whatever happens...happens" approach, but everyday i see less and less good things that tell me that were staying open. life goes on, ops goes on, that's all we can do...


Monday, July 11, 2011

07/11/2011 The Great Absorbtion

day 412

Gencon, the big convention elephant in the room and the bucket list goal, is now about three weeks away, and i'm taking this time to get myself ready for this monster of a convention. i have a lot to do, both physically and mentally, so i find myself doing various tasks this week to get ready.

physically, i have to work out, but my ankle is worse than ever. i'm forced to wrap the darned thing to get some more support and that seems to be helping a bit. it doesn't hurt that much once the wrap is on, so i need to get really good rigid ankle brace before the convention.

i need to do a lot of clerical work these next few days (get ink for the printer, download an app for characters, print character sheets and organize them in a binder, etc) which is always expected this time prior to a convention. the small inconvenience is worth it though.

part two of this is reading...lots of reading. i have a collection of PDFs that i should at least look over in some detail so i can be ready for pick-up games at the convention. add in that aspect with my volunteering to be a reader for several other friends' projects and you end up wishing you had a kindle or a nook. either way, it'll help me work on my writing and reading skills, which have been lacking lately, but i'm reading every day again, which is good, and writing several things at the moment, which has me excited again.

so off i go to ice my ankle, read, write, and workout.



Wednesday, July 6, 2011

07/06/2011 Diabolical to the End

day 408

it's been well documented that often my brain and i do not all the time get along, especially at night.

well, let me rephrase that, we tend not to get along at those moments when i sleep and dream. I work nights, at least for now, so maybe my mind is a little resentful that i've taken it out of its normal sleep schedule for the last 14 years.

anyway, today it showed me something totally villainous. we're talking "my brain went out and got a waxy mustache and tweaked the tips of it while laughing fiendishly" kind of sinister.

i think the worst part of it is that my mind really knows what disturbs me, and can hit me there before i have any chance to react. i hate it when it shows me man's capacity to do harm to his fellow man.

the dream today was this:

apparently, i was watching the tour-de-france on the telecast. (now i know this is a dream because i never watch this, even when Armstrong was competing) anyway, the riders, who were all French, (of course they were...thanks brain!) were coming to a section of the course where there are wheat fields on these steep hills, and that the track runs down these hills at a ridiculous rate of speed. also, the twists and turns of this course were extremely technical and that any slight miscalculation could mean ruin.

so i continue to watch.

the leader of the entire race is followed closely behind by another racer, and the leader sends that racer into the field by banging into his bike. unfortunately, the leader doesn't see the racer behind his now-field-bound opponent and that racer runs into his backside, flipping him over his handlebars and injuring the leaders knee and ankle. i know this because the leader lays on the ground and nurses his knee.

now the real horror begins.

there is a huge pileup of riders everywhere, and you can literally see legs being broken at different angles because of the immense pressure that builds up from the added weight of both biker and bike.

fistfights break out everywhere, as each racer tries to get back into the race, the scene gets worse as each racer does everything they can to get away from each other and back into the race.

the vision that i saw, just moments before i woke up was straight out of a horror film.

one racer, during one of the pileups, had somehow twisted his leg through the spokes of the back wheel of another racers bike, and that racer was trying to take off back into the race. the man's leg was slammed repeatedly by the wheel into the frame of the bike as the bike's rider tried to get moving again. the bike-rider gets the back wheel spinning again, as the man's leg breaks through spoke after spoke, until finally the man's leg becomes amputated from the knee down as the rider rides off.

i remember hearing the announcers screaming "it's a decapitation! a decapitation!" (a word that i know is wrong in this sense) and that's when i woke up.

it's been about an hour and a half since i had this dream, and its starting to fade, but it's still a bit freaky.

i still won't trade in my brain for anything. i guess i have to take the good with the bad. i'm sure this isn't anything a good bowl of soup won't fix :P

anyway, thanks for reading my rambles.


Sunday, July 3, 2011

07/03/2011 Bold Moves and Brazen Pests

day 405

i made a bold decision the other day, and solidified my spot at Gencon this year. regardless of outcome of the future inevitable events this month and next, i feel that this trip is now important to my personal growth and that i shouldn't deprive myself of this experience. i have friends who i don't see all too often, and i would like to see them. plus, my one event this at this convention is sold out. this proves to me that all the hard work i've been doing for the past four years is paying off. i'm in the right place, the center of all things good, and it feels great.

on the home-front. things are not terrible, but there is this pest around that i really don't how to cope with the person. she is a granddaughter of a nearby neighbor, and frankly, she irritates me. she plays with annabelle, but is very pushy about things, like wanting to come inside, or getting annabelle out of the house after i've told her that she is in for the evening. she even came over after 930 last night to give annabelle a walkie-talkie so that they could continue talking.

i think this kid is lonely, but she also seems to be very brazen about things. she means well, but she gets on my nerves quite a bit. he antics are almost that of a stalker.

now i know how it feels when my dad told me that some of my friends were pests too. it's odd to be on the other side of the conversation now. at least i'm trying to be a bit more respectful about the whole situation with my daughter.

anyway, today is a good cookout day, and i'm going to enjoy it.

have a safe one!