Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Best Job Ever!!!

I get the opportunity to speak with a lot of different people everyday.  One of the things I do as a banker is ask a lot of questions.  Questions like how much, for how long, what collateral, who is going to pay and what is your current line of work.  I always enjoy hearing about how people make their living.  Some people are your average Joe and work in a local industry.  Other people are professionals that work in the medical field or insurance business.  Others are teachers, while others are self employed.  I always wonder how people end up in their line of work and I also wonder if they are truly happy in what they do.  I can honestly say that I love my job and love helping people with their financial needs.  It is a good career that hopefully I can continue for many years.  But if you asked me if my banking career was my all time favorite job, then I would have to tell you no.  You see, every summer and Christmas during the years of 1991- 1995 (my wonderful college years) I was a Bud Man!

I grew up in a great household where hard work was expected.  My parents provided me with everything that I needed but I did not have a silver spoon.  When I was old enough to hold a summer job, that's exactly what I did.  I cut grass for many a summer and then I worked for the local Recreation Department.  I wasn't getting rich by any stretch, but I had gas money and money to spend for dates and such.  After high school graduation, my Dad decided that I may need a job in which I could earn a little more money as I prepared to go off to college.  He arranged for me to get a job with Fitzgerald Ice Company helping with the distribution of their product as well as general warehouse work involved with their products.  Now some of you are thinking that I actually worked at an ice company, and that is where you would be wrong.  Fitzgerald Ice Company has been in business for over 100 years and is the proud distributor of Budweiser Beer!  My Mama was so proud!!

I think my Mama prayed every morning as I left for work in my Budweiser work shirts that I would not run into the preacher somewhere.  Truth be told, if I ran into the preacher in the places that I had to visit, he wouldn't have said a word.  I have been in every juke joint, beer store, bar, convenient store, liquor store, and grocery store in this part of South Georgia delivering products proudly displaying the Anheuser Busch name.  I had a blast!!  A typical day started at 6:00am as we checked off the trucks for the day's deliveries.  An average day consisted of 800 to 1000 cases with anywhere between 15 and 30 stops.  After your truck was emptied, you headed back to the warehouse to load trucks for the next day.  We usually got to knock off at 5 or 6.  It was long days and hard work, but at the same time it was kind of fun and taught me a great deal about the business world.  I got to do some neat things like learn to drive a semi truck and a fork lift.  I got to see how sales people handled their customers.  I got to see how a marketing giant like Budweiser got their product name recognized and what they did to always stay fresh on the consumer's mind.  I learned how supervisors treated their workers and  what they did to motivate or not motivate their employees.  I also learned that I better study while I was in school because these 12 hour days was not what I was cut out for!!

Because I was a hard worker, I got to keep that job for 4 years during my college career.  Every summer and Christmas vacation, I would come home to find my job waiting for me.  I was so thankful for that!  That job paid for all of my fraternity dues as well as any extra spending money that I might have needed.  That job also helped me in my studies.  As a marketing major at Georgia Southern, I wrote a lot of papers about Anheuser Busch and the marketing juggernaut that they were as they were selling the most popular beer in the country. 

I often think about the great people that I met while I was employed at Fitzgerald Ice Company.  I bank a good deal of them today and several of them are still good friends, but I always think of them around Christmas time.  When I started working there in 1991, part of our Christmas present was a Budweiser Christmas Stein.  I really like these steins and have them displayed in a case at home.  The reason that I always think of Fitzgerald Ice at Christmas time is that for the past 19 years I have continued to receive a Budweiser Christmas stein from the great folks that still work there.  I guess I did a good enough job while I was there that they continue to remember me at Christmas, or it could be that some of them now owe me money :).

Thank you Fitzgerald Ice Company for the stein and for the life lessons that I learned while I was working there!  You mean more to me than you will ever know!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Dear Santa,

Aside from my usual yearly request of new ties, hunting gear, and neat gadgets, I have decided to go all out and make some pretty bold request of you for the coming 12 months.  This is what I REALLY want for Christmas......

-A National Championship for Georgia Southern in 2011
-A World Series Championship for The Braves
-My limit for the second year in a row on Wild Turkeys
-The winning ticket on a new gun from some raffle that I enter
-A Boone and Crockett Buck
-A pheasant "super flush" while hunting in Kansas
-A State Championship for the Canes
-A Jason Heyward Super-fractor baseball card out of a random pack (it's worth a lot of money!!)
-A home run for Reid this coming up baseball season
-Raises for all bank employees (better yet just keep the doors open)
-A Recruiting class full of studs for Georgia Southern
-A beautiful yard with no mole crickets
-I would like the body back that I had at the age of 25 without actually having to do the work to get it
-A third Club Championship trophy at good ole FCC
-A 12lb large mouth on the day of a fishing tourney
-Several little antique tables in need of some attention that can be bought cheap
-Lower property taxes
-50 new blog followers
-I would actually like to win one of those little "give aways" on the Outdoor Blogging Network
-Ideas for interesting topics in which to entertain the few readers that I have
-For Josey the Wonder Dog to actually understand everything that I am telling her (kind of like Lassie)
-No need for antibiotics in my household for a period of 12 months (I think the kids are getting hooked on the pink stuff)
-More episodes of "The Duck Commander" on the Outdoor Network
-Win the Wild Chicken Cup
-For the kids to always do what I say (you can include the wife too if miracles are within your capabilities)
-A Browning shopping spree given to me by the company because they read my blog and decided that I was truly their biggest fan
-At least 10 comments on every blog post
-To smoke the competition at Reid's first Pinewood derby race
-No past due customers
-A guest spot on Real Tree Outdoors
-An invitation to sing the National Anthem at the Braves game

World Peace!

Thank you for making my first blogging year a good one!  I hope that each of you have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New year, and that Santa brings you everything that you ask for!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Josey the Wonder Dog!

I have written about my Boykin Spaniel Josey before.  I told you what a wonderful dog that she is for my kids and our family.  She is a Daddy's girl and loyal follower.  She is two years old, and although she is bred to be a hunting dog, I have never really taken her hunting.  I do not claim to be a bird dog trainer and quite frankly I have never had much luck in teaching a dog to be a good hunting partner.  I'm sure that is my fault and not the dog's.

Here lately I have been taking Josey squirrel hunting with me in a local pecan orchard.  She knows what a gun is and knows that when I shoot, a critter comes falling from out of the trees.  She will chase squirrels up trees from out of the bushes and find them when I shoot them down.  Sometimes she will bring them to me, sometimes not.  You can tell that she really enjoys the hunt because her little tail is wagging 100 miles per hour the whole time.  I began to wonder if maybe, just maybe, Josey could be a good hunting partner despite her owners lack of training skills???

Josey has always been very smart and catches on to things fairly quickly.  I have had no trouble training her to have good manners around other people and she will always stay pretty close to wherever I am.  It was for this reason that I decided to let her tag along on a small Saturday morning dove hunt.  I knew there would not be many people there, and worse case she would just sit with me and watch.  As daylight approached and a few birds starting to make there way into the field, someone fired a shot.  It was like you turned a light on in Josey's head.  Her tail started wagging and she got excited as if to say "So this is what we are doing today?"  I was very nervous as I pulled on my first bird.  I wanted to make sure that I connected on my first shot so that Josey could see how the game was supposed to be played.  I fired and down it went in a puff of wintery feathers.  Josey didn't move.  I tried to send her out to fetch, but she just looked at me like I was crazy.  I could almost hear her say, "Dude, there was no squirrel!" 

So I walked my dog out to help her retrieve my bird.  As we got close I told Josey to fetch it up and she caught scent of the dove.  She quickly pounced and started to chew the bird.  By the time I got it from her, she was covered with feathers, but I praised her when I took it from her and made a big deal of the whole thing as we went back to the stand.  At least now she knew what Daddy was after.

The next bird was shot down and we sort of went through the same thing.  She did not go after the bird right away.  I had to start towards the direction in which the bird landed and then she went out from there.  She found the bird, but I had to go and get it from her.  Again, I made a big deal about the half retrieve.  The third bird is where we turned the corner.  I shot the bird down, but I could tell it was just a wing shot.  As the dove sort of fluttered on the ground, Josey took off.  As she approached, the bird also took off and struggled to fly down the field with Josey on its tail.  She chased it for about 75 yards before she quit and ran back to me.  The bird fell and died in front of my friend on the next stand.  He picked up the bird and sort of tossed it towards my stand in the row that I was sitting on so that I would be able to easily find it.  Josey saw him make his little toss and bolted in that direction.  She picked up the bird and to my surprise ran it all the way back to me.  I was so proud I could have cried!

I killed six more birds that morning and Josey the Wonder dog picked up and retrieved all 6 of them.  Not too bad for a spoiled little house dog with no proper training.  It just goes to show what good instincts these little brown dogs have.  She really is a good dog and I am glad to say that I finally have a bird dog just like I have always wanted!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Wish List!

  For the ladies that read my blog that have no idea what to give their man for Christmas, I would like to offer you the following idea.  Fellows, you can run with this too if you like.  The picture that you see here to the left is an actual ad for Browning.  You can tell that it is a Christmas time ad because of the "gift" references and Christmas tree pine needles shown in the picture.  Now who wouldn't want a new Browning for Christmas????  I know I sure would, but what I have in mind is a whole lot cheaper than running out and buying a new gun!  The ad that you see here is actually from 1959.  You can go to e-bay and find vintage Browning ads from the 50's and 60's, most of which are in excellent shape.  An ad can range in price from $7 to $15 depending on the ad color and content.  These are paper advertisements from old magazines and are usually 8x10 or larger.  When these ads are framed and matted, they make great looking pieces to display in an office or "Man Cave".  I currently have two of these and I can say that they are some of my favorite items hanging in my shop and office.  This little project will cost you less than $75 depending on how nice you plan on framing your new piece of history.  Not a bad deal for something that a Browning lover will appreciate.

So what if you are not a Browning lover?  You may now exit my blog!!!  Just kidding.

E-bay is full of sellers that deal in this type of paper sales.  You can find most anything if you look hard enough.  Old John Deere ads, Winchester ads, Remington ads, Coca-Cola ads, etc., etc.  Just a cool little idea for those that can sometimes be hard to buy for.  Especially if they are passionate for a particular brand, such as with me and my Brownings!

Happy shopping!