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Recent Reads – Civilian Warriors by Erik Prince

Jon Stewart, yes, the one from Comedy Central’s The Daily Show had Erik Prince as a guest. Mr. Prince was promoting his new book, Civilian Warriors. I was a bit surprised. Stewart is known to come from the liberal end of the spectrum, he simply interviewed Erik Prince about his book and some details of his career as the founder, CEO, President of the controversial organization known as Blackwater. I thought he’d be more probing and cynical of Mr. Prince due to the stories conveyed in the media about his past organization, but he wasn’t. Mr. Prince presented him well, no question leading to him being a successful business person, but you could tell that he felt slighted in his dealings with the US government and that he truly believed what he was doing was noble and that there was another side of the story that the media refused to convey to the public.

In the beginning of the book Mr. Prince talks about his father and how grew his business into a flourishing one. Erik learned some life lessons from his father, and while the younger Prince seemed to come from a family of privilege, it didn’t seem to be a factor in Prince’s life. If  I recall correctly, he even tried to separate himself from his family’s social standing as to not take advantage of it. However, Prince does use some of his family’s money to start Blackwater.

The book seemed to convey a human side to Prince as well as the staff that worked for him at Blackwater. Prince talks about his infidelity and loss of his first wife. It certainly doesn’t make you want to like him, but there is sense of honesty around that part of his life, honesty I felt to be more real than what you’d see from a politician like John Edwards. The people in the book seem distant. You don’t really get to know them. I’m talking about the teams that got killed doing missions for uncle sam. The tragic fall of four staff members in Fallujah is hard to imagine. The four were ambused, killed, set on fire, corpses dragged through the streets and then hung from a bridge. Say what you want about Prince or Blackwater, this was horrific. Continue reading

Showing off my wristband from my buddy, Si.

Cancer Sucks

I was a recruiter, in HR. I’ve since moved to the IT department. Someone I know informed me  that a former co-worker, in Recruiting, had passed away. She worked remotely, so I did not interact with her very often, mostly on conference calls or the occasional visit to corporate HQ. She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer just before Thanksgiving 2013. She passed away this past week, March 26 or 29th, not sure exactly. That’s fast folks. I sent a card to her widower and son. Tragic. Unfair.

Then there’s Si. He got cancer when he was 2 years old. Two! He’s now 5. I am connected to his father on Google+ and found out about Si from a post of his. Si now has his own website. You can find it here: http://supersiguy.com/

I’ve never met Si, but I consider him my little buddy. I guess he and his mom were keeping occupied one day making some crafts. His father was mentioning providing the crafts to those that may be gracious enough to donate money. I jumped on it, immediately. It wasn’t a lot of money. I got the first one of Si’s creations that went out to the public receiving it in the mail yesterday. I told his dad that Si could pick the colors. I now realize it has ‘SI’ on the wrist band, in green, and that it is just the right size for my wrist. Thanks again Si! I love it and proudly show it off to everyone.

Kids like Si should not be thinking about medicine, getting sick, feeling like crap, wondering what their T cell count is, and the dread that comes with a chronic illness/disease. Continue reading

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A Corporate Recruiter’s Happy Place

You close your eyes and imagine the following…

Your in-box notification pops up. It’s a “you’ve been identified as the Lead Recruiter on the following requisition” subject line of an email you just received. It includes a link to the talent management system. Right after receiving that email you get a second email notification. You check the new message in your in-box and realize it’s invite from the same hiring manager that initiated the aforementioned requisition. It’s for a 30 minute meeting with the subject line “discuss position” with a location. It’s not just a message, it’s a meting invite for the next day.

You meet the hiring manager and your head explodes by what transpires… Continue reading

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Departing Facebook

This has been in draft for quite some time. I didn’t publish it because it seemed rather trite to me. I recently reread it and figured that it does explain a bit about my departure from Facebook and worth putting out there in case one of my friends or family wanted more insight into my rationale.

The Beginning

I joined Facebook years ago. It’s been so long, I can’t even remember the year. I can’t even recall if I was an early adopter. I ramped up my friends list to a few hundred people. Most, of course, were old high school friends and family.

Over time Facebook had changed things. Their structure changed, and more importantly they changed their security/privacy settings whenever they tried to expose that which is the data of the user base. Sometimes those changes were public and overblown. Kudos to the smart ones that keep on top of these shenanigans, without their warnings, news articles and blogs, we’d really be screwed. I considered deleting my account altogether, but refrained. I did remove a lot of contacts, but I kept family and very close personal friends. Continue reading