The Tools in the Toolbox

The Tools in the Toolbox.


The Tools in the Toolbox

 During my formative years, as a Boy Scout, and later in life as a mechanic, I have learned about tools. As I grew into the person that I am today I have learned about and used a great deal of tools. How to take care of tools and put them to the proper use. What the tools were designed for and how to use the tool properly and not irresponsibly. I know for example that a screwdriver should be never used as a pry bar or a chisel because it can bend or break, causing damage to what you are working on or even hurt you or someone else.

 During my time in the Navy as a cook I learned about the tools of the trade, the utensils and the appliances. As good fortune would have it I was well educated in the culinary art and was told by my educators that with the skills that I had acquired I was likely a better cook than 99% of the people on the planet. Having lived a full life and traveled a great deal I have used that skill and experience as a benchmark for how I evaluate cooks, chefs and restaurants. If I could have prepared the meal better at home I rarely go back to that restaurant. Being that the food is only as good as the experience of the preparer.

 In 1973 I had the opportunity to participate in a newly introduced class in Automated Business Machines. The tools were the newest technology of the day to date and I was awed and fascinated by IBM computers, Xerox copiers and Motorola phones as well as a calculator, that we had one of to share and learn about. Those tools and their offspring are part of our everyday lives today, but in 1973 it was magic and wizardry. I find it funny that even today I am able to educate people in the use and care of these machines based upon what I learned 40 years ago.

 There are other tools in the toolbox that some people forget are tools. Professions are merely the application of skills and manipulation of those tools that give us a paycheck, another tool. By definition the cars, homes and money that people cherish as symbols of status have become, to often, “Ends instead of means to Ends.” The car in the driveway is not who you are it is a transportation tool. The home you live in does not make you a better person, it is a shelter. The money in your wallet or the credit score you have established are not what makes a person more or less worthy of consideration or accreditation. These are tools that when used properly for some benefit and in the hands of someone as a means to an end are very helpful. But the tools can be misused as well and can be damaging and hurtful just like any tool that is used improperly.

 Peoples lives are like toolboxes, filled with tools. Even the chair I sit upon and the cup I drink my coffee from are tools. They are not what make me the person that I am, they are tools to make life easier and better spent. As I come to the twilight of my life I believe that I have used the tools in my toolbox thoughtfully. How you use the tools in your toolbox is entirely  up to you. I can only hope that you use your tools responsibly and keep in mind that tools used irresponsibly can do damage and be hurtful to others and yourself. I do need to clarify a point based upon what I know about tools and toolboxes, “People are not tools to be used or abused, corporations are tools to be used responsibly and are not people, and money is a tool not speech; just a tool to be used for the betterment of man.”


Climate Change; Getting Better Defined Every Day… Unfortunately…

Planet Likely to Warm by 4C by 2100


Fri Jan. 3, 2014 1:04 PM GMT

 A new Climate Model Shows a Warming Planet. Meaning Less Cloud Formation and Which in Turn Contributes to Increased Temperatures. That means that the TEMPERATURE rise will very likely be in the neighborhood of (7.2 degrees f.) or higher. Also the EQUIVALENT temperature change can be INFERRED that if warmer temps are warmer, then colder temps are colder; Right ???  

clouds and sun
The role clouds play in “Climate Change” has been something of a mystery,until now. Hampus Wennberg /Wikimedia Commons

This story originally appeared in the Guardian and is reproduced here via the Climate Desk initiative.

Temperature rises resulting from unchecked climate change will be at the severe end of those projected, according to a new scientific study. The scientist leading the research said that unless emissions of greenhouse gases were cut, the planet would heat up by a minimum of 4°C by 2100, twice the level the world’s governments deem dangerous. The research indicates that fewer clouds form as the planet warms, meaning less sunlight is reflected back into space, driving temperatures up further still. The way clouds affect global warming has been the biggest mystery surrounding future climate change.

Professor Steven Sherwood, at the University of New South Wales, in Australia, who led the new work, said: “This study breaks new ground twice: first by identifying what is controlling the cloud changes and second by strongly discounting the lowest estimates of future global warming in favor of the higher and more damaging estimates.”

“4°C would likely be catastrophic rather than simply dangerous,” Sherwood told the Guardian. “For example, it would make life difficult, if not impossible, in much of the tropics, and would guarantee the eventual melting of the Greenland ice sheet and some of the Antarctic ice sheet“, with sea levels rising by many meters as a result.

The research is a “big advance” that halves the uncertainty about how much warming is caused by rises in carbon emissions, according to scientists commenting on the study,published in the journal Nature. Hideo Shiogama and Tomoo Ogura, at Japan’s National Institute for Environmental Studies, said the explanation of how fewer clouds form as the world warms was “convincing”, and agreed this indicated future climate would be greater than expected. But they said more challenges lay ahead to narrow down further the projections of future temperatures.

Scientists measure the sensitivity of the Earth’s climate to greenhouse gases by estimating the temperature rise that would be caused by a doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere compared with pre-industrial levels—as is likely to happen within 50 years, on current trends. For two decades, those estimates have run from 1.5°C to 5°C, a wide range; the new research narrowed that range to between 3°C and 5°C, by closely examining the biggest cause of uncertainty: clouds. Remember this useful tool, “Every Degree C=1.8 Degree F, approx.”

The key was to ensure that the way clouds form in the real world was accurately represented in computer climate models, which are the only tool researchers have to predict future temperatures. When water evaporates from the oceans, the vapor can rise over nine miles to form rain clouds that reflect sunlight; or it may rise just a few miles and drift back down without forming clouds. In reality, both processes occur, and climate models encompassing this complexity predicted significantly higher future temperatures than those only including the nine-mile-high clouds.

“Climate skeptics like to criticize climate models for getting things wrong, and we are the first to admit they are not perfect,” said Sherwood. “But what we are finding is that the mistakes are being made by the models which predict less warming, not those that predict more, and as skeptics may also point to the ‘hiatus’ of temperatures since the end of the 20th century, but there is increasing evidence that this inaptly named hiatus is not seen in other measures of the climate system, and is almost certainly temporary.”

 Global average air temperatures have increased relatively slowly since a high point in 1998 caused by the ocean phenomenon El Niño, but observations show that heat is continuing to be trapped in increasing amounts by greenhouse gases, with over 90 percent disappearing into the oceans. Furthermore, a study in November suggested the “pause” may be largely an illusion resulting from the lack of temperature readings from polar regions, where warming is greatest.

 Sherwood accepts his team’s work on the role of clouds cannot definitively rule out that future temperature rises will lie at the lower end of projections. “But,” he said, for that to be the case, “one would need to invoke some new dimension to the problem involving a major missing ingredient for which we currently have no evidence. Such a thing is not out of the question but requires a lot of faith.” He added: “Rises in global average temperatures of [at least 4°C by 2100] will have profound impacts on the world and the economies of many countries if we don’t urgently start to curb our emissions.”

Our thanks to:

Hampus Wennberg /Wikimedia Commons,  The Guardian, The Climate Desk initiative.



A Life Worth Living and Why I Believe that the time is Right for Social Security Reform



Friday, December 13, 2013

A Life Worth Living and Why I Believe that  the time is Right for Social Security Reform

  One more day. ONE MORE DAY. I tell myself that I can do this, one more day!
 I know that life is hard, difficult at times. I know your life is hard and difficult as well. That isn’t the worst of it. The way that I see life is as a challenge. Mostly because it is, and partly because if I didn’t, I might give up or give in to the, ” Life is not worth living; if this is living,” mind set. There is an, ” As good as it gets,” tone to my life and you may also be living in that dimension. The reasons have come through living in the last half century and dealing with the trials and tribulations of never taking the next step-up the proverbial financial ladder. Try and try again, as I have, and failed. Failed to become part of the haves and destined and resolved, admittedly, that I will never be anything more that what I am. The hopes and dreams have been put to rest and even the want of acceptance. I have fermented and matured in anticipation of becoming a fine vintage wine, only to become vinegar.
 Now you may say,” This person doesn’t sound very optimistic. ” In that you would be incorrect. All I have is optimism. I have no time or place in my life for pessimism. If I choose to be negative over positive, I am the one who looses out on the joy of life. If I choose to give up or give in, I bring no joy to my fellowman, only sorrow. So I have learned to enjoy the sunrises and sunsets of my life for what they are, not for what they might have been.
I have not always driven a straight line or followed directions from point a to b. I have wandered, zigged and zagged and gotten lost a few times. If I was asked to predict where I would end up, this location, time and space would not have been my first thought. As I have driven along through life I have sustained a few dents and dings. Character builders. You may have some as well. Mine are not all external, many are, but most of the wear and tear is under the hood and on the interior.
There is a stupid old saying that goes something like, “The world may be coming to an end all around you , but as long as you’ve got your health, things aren’t so bad.” Just thinking about it makes me grit my teeth and lock my jaw and crinkle up my forehead. I didn’t have much, never more than a pay check to pay check life. I have never had more than enough of anything and eh… I was OK with the status quo.  Maybe not OK, but at least not fed up enough to go postal. Then I lost my health and all the teeny tiny things that used to bother me now became great big drive me to the brink, things. The loss of something that I had taken for granted has broken me. Because I had no concept of not being  able to do the things people do. That hurt, that injury, if brought on by reckless or careless living may not have bothered me in the same way as having it just happen. That bothers me, that there is a grief stricken person inside me that still remembers when he could do everything also bothers me.
 Twenty years, I cannot get my head around the thought that it has been twenty years since I was able to play ball or bowl or participate in any sport. Twenty years of one more day. Twenty years of living day to day, in near poverty. Twenty years of pain and everyday feeling less and less useful and more and more useless. Twenty years of looking for and loosing jobs. Twenty years of continually diminished return on investment. That is not good for the soul.
Twenty years ago I was working a job I loved. Had a good income, a wonderful family and I also still had dreams. Then I got sick. My intestines had tied themselves in a knot and I nearly died. The recovery took months and the thoughts that kept me going were all about getting back to where I had been. My families needs had to be met. My job had to be salvaged. My home needed to be maintained and I was never fully able to satisfy any of those needs ever again.
I didn’t loose it all overnight. I lost it a little bit at a time. The medical bills and the constant pain, plus the wear and tear on my emotions. These were complications and catalysts that made one more day more difficult to complete. I didn’t know it then but I was becoming less friendly and more callous. I was becoming less responsive and more apathetic. I didn’t know it then but a little bit of me was dying everyday. I couldn’t stop it because I didn’t know it was happening. After loosing my dream job and unable to recover my self-esteem I worked a manual labor job in an effort to keep my family together and keep my head above water. It ended with the sale of the house I had worked for over a decade to make just right and a geographic move south looking either to escape my past or find a new future. The loss of a persons health changes more than the person with the poor health. It changes, it touches, all the people around the individual. We in society don’t live in a vacuum. My life affects yours and your life affects every person that you come in contact with. The contagious nature of life builds and destroys daily. I know that now; I wish I knew it then. It took four more years for my family to come apart. Four years of my not being able to satisfy the needs of my loved ones and four years of trying to make it one more day.
 At 34 years old when I had my first major surgery I was fortunate enough to have insurance. Although having insurance doesn’t save you from the loss of your health nor does it protect you from the loss of your job. When I lost my job not only was I heartbroken,but I had lost the protection of insurance. I was only able to maintain Cobra insurance for two months because of the high cost. After that I was at the mercy of the insurance industry and their preexisting condition rules. At 44 when I took ill again, this time due to an abcess in my pelvis that was the size of a Florida grapefruit I didn’t have insurance. I also didn’t have the benefit of highly skilled physicians capable of performing the surgery and I suffered a great deal due to the inadequacies of the rural southern medical care system. Without the compassion of one nurse who told me in confidence and off the record that the doctors had no clue as to what to do and how to save me. My death was imminent unless I transferred to another hospital, at my own expense…Yes, Cash… I had to pay cash in advance in order to be transferred to a big city hospital. I barely made it out of there alive and had hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical debts that until I was totally broke and without assets of any kind  was held over my head. Every time the phone would ring I died a little bit more because I knew that there was someone on the line demanding money. For two years I had bags and tubes hanging off of me until I was without assets and able to have another surgery courtesy of the VA, where I was assured success. Seven days after my surgery my abdomen exploded. The outcome you can see in the photographs. I, being naive, applied for disability benefits and have been denied repeatedly. So I have bounced  from bad jobs to worse jobs. Been unemployed, took buses to stand in food lines and suffer daily. One more day, one more day.
There are people in this country who suffer from even greater and more heart wrenching illnesses than I do. There are those individuals who suffer from OZ Syndrome, they have no hearts, no brains, no courage. They are often seen to be pretending to care about you and the welfare of your kind, but they have compassion only for themselves.
  Every man. woman and child in this country and on this planet deserve a life worth living. Every man, woman and child should be granted Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness. But there isn’t any part of this that speaks to those in need or in the need for tithe to help those in need.
  I used to be someone. At the very least I thought that I was making a contribution and that if even in the smallest way, I was helping to make life better for some.

John J. Craig
Ellenton, Florida 34222

 Management Administration Customer Service Human Resources
 Maintenance Operations Mechanical Quality Control

Highly skilled in all office machines and computer software/ hardware.
Mechanically inclined, able to use all tools and measuring devices.

April 2011- August 2013 Transworld Diversified Engineering, Tampa, Fl.

September 2010- February 2011 Goodwill Industries of SW Florida
Retail Cashier & Keyholder
Goodwill Industries/Manasota/Bradenton,Fl
Desoto Junction, Cashier
Goodwill Cortez Clearance Center Keyholder

March 2008 – May 2009 Property Manager T. Mannausa & Co. Bradenton, Fl
Apartment Property Office Manager & Maintenance Supervisor
Family complex, tax credit property
Office management and maintenance
Park Place Apartments II Rrh, Lehigh Acres, Fl
April 2003 – February 2007. Property Manager. T. Mannausa & Co., Bradenton, Fl
Rosewood Manor, Ellenton, Fl / 43 units, USDA 515 property
Wood Park Pointe, I & II Arcadia, Fl / 73 units, USDA 515 property, HUD, SEC-8.
Served as on site Leasing Office Manager and Maintenance person. Consisting of daily Office Administration,
 Bookkeeping, and Maintenance of units. 24/7 On-Call. Office Administration and Bookkeeping consisted of all
 Communication and Computer work as a Level II, USDA Rural Development Tax Credited and 515 Site Manager.
 Tenant Files, Rent and Deposits, Vendor Supervision, News Letter, Tenant Applications and Leasing. Maintenance
 Management consisted of HVAC, Plumbing and Electrical, and Physical Facilities Maintenance and Capital

November 1999 – November 2003. Department head. The Home Depot, Bradenton, Fl
Department Head, Supervisor of Building Materials, Delivery Will-Call Coordinator, Special Services Desk Associate
 Delivery Driver, Puller & Loader
 Working in a big box hardware retailer as a Supervisor, Coordinator and Associate for The Home Depot I was required
 to deal with Stock, Supply, Inventory and Customer Service. I was a Head Cashier and Trainer and fully qualified to
 Operate all Machinery and Lifting Equipment. I pulled packaged and loaded on average of 1.1 Million in product
 monthly and Opened and Closed the Store and Registers. I dealt with all my employee Scheduling issues as well as
their Benefits and backaches. I controlled Shrink and Damage and completed all Store Transfers of Merchandise.

July 1999 – November 1999. Technician. Etco Electric, Bradenton, Fl
Quality control in the manufacturing of electrical components.

April 1999 – November 1999. Broker/Sales Agent. Advantage Freight, Bradenton, Fl
Independent Online Broker and Sales Agent.

May 1999 – July 1999. Technician. Frogger Electric, Sarasota, Fl
Construction, Electrical
Trim work

March 1998 – April 1999. Driver/Mechanic/Laborer. Diekelman Asphalt, Thornton, Il
Dump Truck Driver
CDL-A Truck Driver, Paving Machine Operator, and Maintenance Mechanic.

March 1998 – April 1999. Craig’s Consulting & Training Self Employed, South Holland, Il
Safety Consultant and Trainer
Training , Certification and Re-certification classes in CPR/Stroke and Basic Life support as an independent agent of the
 American Heart Association.

April 1993 – March 1998.  J.B.Hunt Transport, Chicago, Il
Safety Manager/Orientation Instructor
 Responsibilities included Safety, Training & Instruction, Accident Review & Employee Files.
International Driver Training, and Co-Driver Training for OTR, Regional, Local and Intermodal Transportation and
 QualComm On-Board-Computer Training as well as FMCSA, DOT, and CFR and Transport Terminal OSHA requirements.
 In addition to Hiring and Training responsibilities I taught Time Management, Winter & Holiday Driving Classes,
 Road Rage Classes and Classes on Blood Borne Pathogens and CPR-Stroke. I completed Accident Reviews and
 Post Accident Investigations, including all Drug Testing Pre-Hire and Post Accident/Incident.

November 1992 – February 1993. OTR Driver. J. B. Hunt Transport, Bridgeview, Il
OTR Truck Driver
Tractor Trailer Driver.

March 1992 – November 1992. Craig’s Catering Self Employment , South Holland, Il
Catering Service Owner/Operator. Banquets, Weddings and Hors d’oeuvre Parties.

April 1991 – March 1992. Supervisor. Reliable Galvanizing, Chicago, Il
Operations, Production, Shipping and Receiving as well as physical plant maintenance.

September 1989 – January 1991. Agent/Registered Representative. Prudential Financial Services, Tinley Park, Il
Salesman, Insurance Agent
Sold and maintained insurance and financial services instruments. Auto/Home/Health/Life & Securities.

September 1987 – September 1989. Commercial Cleaning Service. Self Employment, South Holland, Il
Business Owner
Sole Proprietor of a Commercial Cleaning Service. Cleaned and Maintained three bars and two restaurants for a full two years.
Key Holder.

April 1985 – April 1989. Cew Video Productions, co-owner. Self Employment
Videographer Photographer

December 1985 – September 1987. Manager. Nick’s Sports Page, Dolton, Il
Bar & Restaurant Manager
Qualified and proficient in all capacities, Cook, Bartender, Security, Balancing and Deposits.
Key holder.

April 1981 – March 1985. Messing & Management Specialist. United States Navy, United States of America

Wardroom Cook At Sea, underway,USS Mahan DDG-42
Ships Baker At Sea, underway, USS Mahan DDG-42
Berthing Petty Officer, Ashore, CTW-1 United States Naval Station, Meridian, Ms.
UOPH, Unaccompanied Officers Personal Housing
BOQ, Bachelors Officers Quarters

June 1972 – November 1980. AC Delco Automotive Cooling Systems Mechanic. Roy’s Radiator Inc., Harvey, Il
Automotive Mechanic and Technician
Automotive Air Conditioning Technician and cooling systems mechanic.


American Heart Association Basic Life Support & CPR/Stroke Instructor, May 1998 – June 1998
American Heart Association, Healthcare Provider Instructor Course, March 1998 – April 1998
American Red Cross/Standard First-Aide, December 1997 – January 1998
National Traffic Safety Institute/Traffic Survival Workshop/For Facilitators, June 1997 – July 1997
National Safety Council Driving Course For Instructors, April 1994 – May 1994
J.B.Hunt Transport Driver Training Program, November 1992 – December 1992
ICS PC Specialist /Certificate, November 1992 – February 1993
Professional Driving Institute, CDL-A License, September 1992 – October 1992
Nightingale/Conant-Top Commission Earnings/Correspondence Course, June 1990 – October 1990
Hume Group, Successful Money Management/Correspondence Course, October 1989 – February 1990
Prudential Financial Services Registered Representative Training, August 1989 – September 1989
Thornton Community College, August 1985 – December 1985
United States Navy, April 1981 – March 1985
Thornridge High School, High School, September 1974 – June 1978
St.Jude the Apostle Elementary, September 1966 – June 1974

Honors and Awards

United States Navy, 03/1985
Honorable Discharge
United States Navy Messing & Management A-School , 10/1981
Graduated valedictorian 98.67 Avg.
United States Navy, 04/1981
Squad Leader & Athletic Petty Officer for company #104 Great Lakes Training Station
Boy Scouts Of America, 08/1974
First class Scout, Attended and participated in all scouting functions for four years. Camping weekends, Honor Guard at High Mass.
 Three Klondike outings, one Jamboree, One ten day Canadian canoe trip, and many fund raising drives including but not limited to food
 and candy sales, Sunday breakfasts and paper drives.