Friday, August 29, 2008
The "old" NATA logo was pretty glorious as far as I could tell. You didn't have to read all about ATCs to figure out that we were medical professionals. Instead, you could just take a quick look at our logo and figure it out (or at least that's how it came off to me). That logo is classy and classic. It doesn't look like we're stuck in 1972 with a porn star moustache. It looks as though we're an established profession with a long, respectable history. Does the AMA have to revamp it's logo to show that they're "moving in to the new millennium"? Hell no! They're the effing AMA - they're old and established and respected. If people can't figure out that they're not stuck in 1972, well then they should get a clue. This is pretty much the way I view it on the NATA side as well.
Over the past several years we've made great strides as a profession to get the recognition we deserve. ATCs have been recognized as health care professionals on numerous fronts and in turn have started working as health care professionals on numerous fronts. No more will you only find your ATCs at a college or high school. Now you find them caring for factory workers, the military, physical rehabilitation clinics and every place in between.
So, this begs the question - "why do we need a new logo to bring us in to the new millennium?" I really don't know... The "old" logo was fine, and respectable. Why have we now been reduced to cartoonish drawings and big bold fonts that jump and down and scream "look at me, look at me, I'm an obnoxious idiot moving in to the new millennium"?
The saddest part of this entire issue is that we, as a membership, voted on this new logo. The massive downside to this "democratic process" is that all of the options we were given all screamed the same ridiculous line. None of them were classy, nor were they classic. In 20 years this logo is going to look as 1972 as a porn star moustache.
Friday, August 22, 2008
First: Josh will be starting back to school. Second grade this year, and I just can't believe it. What the hell happened? How did he get so big?
Second: The fall soccer season starts. Yet another season where I've had to go out and buy the kid new cleats. Again, what the hell happened? How did he get so big? Thankfully I've managed to skirt the task of also buying a new ball and new shin guards (the ball I bought for the spring season still looks new and the shin guards still fit). I did have to shell out $12 for some new Umbros as well - a former pair now sport a nice hip high slit up the side.
Third: Let the travel season begin. I discovered last year that the fall is a crazy busy time for my job with a bazillion conventions going on in October and November. My proposed trip count through the end of the year stands at 7 (which isn't too bad). I've got a few other things going on, but some are within close driving distance, and our big leadership meeting in December will be here in my office instead of Dallas. I've tried to broaden my scope, but I still am heavy on the eastern side of the continent. I'll be seeing both northern and southern Texas, Massachusetts, Indiana, New Jersey, Georgia and New York among other places not really worth mentioning.
Forth: The incessant wedding attending. How many weddings can one family attend and/or participate in over a 12 month period? I think we're putting this one to the test, but there does seem to be light at the end of the tunnel. Forgoing the recap of the past 12 months, we're looking forward to attending Nick & Amy's wedding (Brad's cousin and soon to be wife) in Wheeling, WV in just a couple of weeks. Thankfully we're not participating in any portion of this, so we'll be free to come and go as we please and I'm particularly looking forward to getting together with Jason (my good friend from college) and his fam who live just up in Pittsburgh. Fast forward from there to December when Katie and Bekir will be having their wedding up in Warren, NJ. Clearly I'm pretty involved in this one, as are Brad and Josh. This will be the first (and hopefully the last) wedding where we're ALL in it. I'm having a good time helping Katie with planning and such, and am looking forward to all of the festivities and cultural experiences that will come with the event.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Night 1 - Dinner with Mary and Lauree: We waited and waited and waited and waited, and finally they brought the check (20 minutes after we'd been long finished).
Day 2 - Lunch with Nikki and Rene: There was no check to pay. They'd mentioned to me that we needed to pay before 1:30 cause the cashier would close - still, no check. So finally I head up to the guy and tell him what we had so that I can pay him before he leaves. Mission accomplished.
Day 3 - Lunch with Workshop Attendees (all 6 of them): Again, they bring me no check. I even noted to the guy "I'm picking up the tab for these folks, so bring me the check." No check. We have our meeting - 1:30 comes and goes, and I ask again about the check. They tell me I can't pay it now cause the register is closed and won't open again until 6pm - and still they give me no check. I say, "ok, I'm coming back at 6pm to pay the bill."
I'm sorry, these people are entirely too nonchalant about the check. The ferry system should count it's lucky stars that I'm a good person cause most folks would just walk away with 9 free lunches at this point (including the 3 from the previous day that I made a point to pay).
Day 3 - Dinner time: We had an all convention dinner, but I got up and walked up to the register to pay the guy for the lunches from earlier. I explained the situation and how I needed to pay and he looks a bit perplexed, but then says "you know what, don't worry about it." I said, "no, I'm worried about it. That's 6 lunches. I'd like to pay for it so I don't feel like a crook." He sits down and says, "well you're a good person," adds up the bill and I pay... finally.
Hauling your own booze on board is allowed, but consumption of said booze is a bit more difficult. To start, you may only bring aboard your own booze if you have a stateroom, and you can only drink said booze in your stateroom. Without a room, you must leave any alcoholic beverages with the purser and they will hold it for you. Thankfully, in our group there plenty of folks with rooms, so those without simply passed their stash off to those of us with accommodations. My group boarded with a moderately sized cooler full of chilled wine - ready to go at a moments notice. Unfortunately this cooler didn't belong to us, but we certainly had our share.
Shortly after departing Bellingham I was wandering the halls, when I happened by a room with the door wide open and folks having a pretty good time inside. I walked right by and then thought I knew the folks, so I back tracked. Sure enough, there sat a room packed full of folks with my convention - including Stacy, who I'd met just a bit earlier. They'd popped the cork on a couple of different bottles and were sipping away. I joined them for a bit and then went off to find some dinner (see Grouch Tent Guy Saga posting). Later that night I happened by again and there was the group, sipping away. This was becoming a trend, and I'll say that I definitely couldn't complain.
The next night folks got bored in the bar and Nikki decided to invite everyone over to our room. Unfortunately this wasn't to be as Rene had conked right out, so company in our "suite" was out of the question.
Where should we go?
What should we do?
Oh right, there's Stacy's room!
We tracked Stacy down, got her key, grabbed our wine, and headed for our party.
This cycle continued until the evening of the last day when we ran out of wine, and inevitably out of time to party. We were bonded by the trip as a whole, but none more than those of us who attended the wine parties in Stacy's room.
Rewind back to June of 2007 where I made the decision to hold the workshop on the boat. The decision was two-fold - a) we'd have a nice captive audience, and b) who wouldn't want to come to this convention? I looked up the District Coordinator for NWD and it was a gal by the name of Rene Bibaud. I needed this person to be the primary planner of this workshop. Being relatively new to the job I didn't know Rene, nor had I ever heard of her. Turns out, she's a bit of a celebrity. My assistant, Sharon, noted, "you don't know RENE?!?!," to which I replied, "nope, should I know her?" Well, yes, clearly I should seeing as how she's the Jump Rope Goddess of the World. Upon checking out her website, and doing a little reading it became apparent to me that I should know, and would know, Rene.
Thankfully Rene was all about having the workshop on the boat, and even though there were numerous planning snafus along the way, she did a good job of putting it together. To kick off our workshop session, Rene put on a little show for our session attendees.... and anyone else who happened to be on the boat at the time. If these folks didn't know about her before, well, they knew about her now. She jumped and twirled and skipped and hopped and threw random strangers in to tandem jumps and had a little Japanese girl doing double dutch on a whim as well as one 61 year old fellow who was celebrating his birthday.I'd venture our session had an audience of about 50+ folks out on the aft deck of the ship, and all were quite entertained and amazed.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
So Nikki and I approach the counter and tell the lady we are interested in visiting the bridge. She immediately shakes her head no and starts in to this lengthy explanation of how they don't generally allow this and it would be difficult to do and there's this process and so on and so forth, all the while shaking her head no. I was a bit confused cause this was opposite of the information I received earlier from the security guy. I mention to her that the security guy said it shouldn't be problem and she all but snaps at me, "you've heard our policies and procedures, so that's what you need to do." "Okaaaaaaay...," was all we had to say and we walked away. She was clearly disgruntled, and even though she did outline a process in which we would have to gather our group, have each of them produce their boarding pass, picture ID and a written statement noting their reasons for wanting to visit the bridge before we would even be considered, she shook her head in a "no" manner the entire time. Nikki and I relayed this info to the other folks who were interested, and decided perhaps we'd try for it a bit later in the day.
Later in the day I was in the hall reading a bulletin board about the Alaska Gold Rush when the guy from the gift shop happened by. I say "hi," and he stopped to chat for a moment. I mentioned that we wanted to come up and see him, but that the lady downstairs was less than friendly about it. He said, "oh, that must be Mary," and noted that she's often unfriendly and less than helpful. We discussed possible times to visit, but it wasn't looking good as the afternoon and evening held some tricky maneuvers. We decided it probably wouldn't happen, but it was much better coming from him in a reasonable manner instead of the stupid lady who just didn't want to let us through. We probably would've been able to go up, had she not been so contrary in the morning.
Anyway, that was by far the most disgruntling experience of the entire trip, so I can't really complain. There's always next time :)
Monday, August 11, 2008
Friday, August 8, 2008
Thankfully the train station in Bellingham, where the bus dropped us off, is adjacent to the ferry depot where we needed to catch the boat. We had an absurd number of bags with us, but between the two of us we managed to make it through the parking lot and in to the ferry depot to meet up with our workshop folks and get our tickets squared away for boarding.