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Ralph Furley

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About Ralph Furley

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  1. I’ll lay it out in a nutshell, given my experience. If your sons are looking for greater competition, reps, and hopefully ( I say hopefully because each program is different) better instruction, travel ball will help. However, and this is the key, based on what I have seen when I played baseball, and observing my now HS ball players, EVERYTHING CHANGES AROUND 11-12 years old. Puberty is a b***h. It doesn’t care how good you were prior to...when that kid, who was uncoordinated and awful at 8, 9, 10, etc. becomes a man overnight, the game changes. So, my advice...nothing wrong with travel ball, although most are a total and complete scam, playing or not playing, will not determine future success, in any sport. What will determine future success are three things: 1. Does your child enjoy the sport? And when I say enjoy, they can’t get enough work in, they eat it up. The passion comes from within, not mom or dad. They’re in the backyard day and night. 2. Hard work. Natural athletes with start out of the gate with a huge advantage, however hard work will either sustain the advantage, or if less athletic, at least close the gap. Especially when puberty hits.... 3. Size/ puberty. This one, you and your child have no control over. The kid who was totally uncoordinated at 8, shows up at 12, in full puberty mode pushing or exceeding 6 ft, has a huge advantage over the natural athlete who, also is 12, but happens to be 5 ft nothing. Yes, 1&2 above, could close the gap, but it’s an uphill battle. Smaller kids can barely hit the ball out of the infield, while these “other” kids, who nobody had on their radar, are launching 300 + bombs, and looking down, literally, on the coaches. Kids who love the game can survive until they hit puberty, however others will NEVER get there or they’ll fully develop in college...unfortunately too late for HS. Bottom line, don’t be the jerk Dad who thinks their 9,10,11 year old is too good for LL, and rob your child of the some of the most fun they will have as a KID; in other words, competing with their buddies, and building lifetime memories. Look at travel ball as an assist, not the be all end all. Full disclosure: my kids both played travel & little league, and now HS baseball. Winning championships in both LL and travel, however their memories, and the times they look back on, are generally from their time in LL.
  2. My personal belief is FB needs to go the route of Netflix and become subscription based, or at a minimum, offer this feature to turn off advertisers. We (users) are unquestionably the target, and in this model the primary organization (FB) is inherently conflicted due to the obvious need of how to monetize their business model. Absence of “pay for play” forces them to monetize us, therefor their real customers are advertisers. As long as users look for “free” access we will continue to be monetized and will come with all the unintended consequences. Any business that puts themselves between the true users, and their need to make money, is inherently at risk for abuse, and ultimately failure.
  3. Your fear is not irrational, it is certainly a reality with this disease. At first, when it became “real”, I was uncomfortable around him, but I was very young, and back then (late 70’s), outside of Gehrig and Hawking, ALS was not well understood or discussed as commonly as today. Over time, I became more comfortable with him, and found ways to communicate. It never got any easier, but I, and my siblings and cousins, worked through OUR issues. Over time we developed a unique relationship. I would sit with him, share my stories, and confide in him, in ways I wouldn’t with an other family member. To this day, I still remember sharing my cancer news with him, both the bad and the good news. He was my champion, always there for me when I needed him. He didn’t have to say anything...I knew he was there for me. ALS transcends life in ways only those living with it can truly understand. You will never be a burden, as long as you allow your family to help you, and most importantly, let them love you. I wish you the best, and just wanted you to know that you can live with the disease, if you choose.
  4. Randall, I sincerely wish you (and most importantly your wife and family) the best. My grandfather lived with ALS for close to 30 years. I have fond memories of him, pre-ALS, however the bulk of my memories stem from post ALS, as I was maybe 7-8 when he was diagnosed. Watching him slowly degrade over a two year period, from a 6 foot strapping man, to being confined to a wheelchair, than ultimately bed...was very difficult for my family, especially my grandmother. That said, they made a choice to live with ALS, and for that, me, my siblings and cousins are forever thankful. Although he could never do the physical activities he used to do, he was a huge part of our lives. He was there for all of our family celebrations, able to witness, and participate ( as best as he could) in our daily lives. He saw all his grandchildren graduate high school, college, and more. He comforted me when I was diagnosed with cancer as a young man. He gave me strength I never knew I had. Unfortunately, he never got to see his great grand children, however they know him better than they could have if he was able bodied. They know him for his fearlessness, lust for life, and strength. He is my hero, and in many respects theirs too. Although I had great memories, i must say it wasn’t very easy....there is no sugar coating this sucks. Challenges no person should ever have to endure. But, they (my grandparents) accepted the challenges, and embraced them. My grandmother wouldn’t let go; she dedicated her life to him...literally. Sacrificed everything they knew, for the unknown. They were a living example of love, and sacrifice...real love...real sacrifice. But, most of all, they learned to live with the disease, and they made it work. They were happy, really happy. Happy to be together. Happy to look into each other’s eyes, heart, and soul. They found a new love; a love that didn’t require words, a whole other plane. It was theirs, and theirs alone. They were special, their love was special; it was the most unfortunate gift, but they made it theirs, and for that I am truly blessed. When I am going through a tough time, I look to him ( and my grandmother) to give me their strength, their courage. I hope you find peace with this horrible disease. God Bless You
  5. Otis you just described my old life. I did a very similar commute to the city for 15 years. Summer is hell on earth, and winter is f’n miserable. There are a couple days in between when you can take a moment to enjoy the city and everything that makes it what it is, but those days are far a few between. I was making good living but was commuting like some kind of hostel. Each day it ate away at me, finally left the city for job in the burbs and haven’t looked back. Going on 8 year and no regrets. Yes I miss the “feel” of working in the city but not enough to live like an animal. At least it felt that way at the time. Gl
  6. In general, performance reviews are used for two primary purposes. Identify those employees who are out-performers that you would like to promote and retain; the other is to establish documentation to move out the under-performers. The key driver unfortunately (and this is due to labor laws and attorneys) is documenting under-performers. Without these mandated reviews, it's legally more challenging (and expensive) to move out the dead wood.
  7. I gave a lot of thought to this, but I'm not as clever of some of the other posters on this board. I'm smiling while I write this as I expected an immediate assault for not reporting some kind of holiday meyhem, but I'm an honest dude, what can I say, sorry to disappoint.
  8. Ok, I haven't checked back since the holidays, so I apologize to anyone for not wrapping this up sooner. Ultimately the family collectively ignored the SiL's crazy pay for play nonsense. Apparently I wasn't the only one who found her control issues to be a bit over the top. We indulged in food and drink, and outside of not being at anyone's home, ended up being an enjoyable time. I'm sure this is not the ending the FFA wanted, but it's all I got, sorry.
  9. Full disclose, not a labor attorney, but oversee our HR department, and work closely with our labor attorney regarding employment issues. My advice would be as follows: Have your wife attend meeting alone. Absolutely no reason for you or anyone else to attend meeting. If your wife was not sleeping, she should put it on the record, and categorically deny the accusation. She is the accused and doesn't have to prove she wasn't sleeping, the burden is on the employer. If she was sleeping, now is the right time to come clean, otherwise if there is proof, video for example, she will be caught in a lie, which is worse than what they are alleging. Highly unlikely an employer would terminate employee for a one-off mistake like this, and if they did it could be grounds for a wrongful termination suit. The offense of sleeping on the job, in and of itself, will not hold up in any labor dispute unless there is a pattern, of which has been documented and previously addressed with her. Otherwise, if she is a model employee, with positive performance reviews, there is nothing to be concerned with. Further, if she is > 40, she is a protected class, which means the bar for just cause for termination is even greater than a non protected class. Bottom line, if there is no documentation of past issues, and your wife has never been previously disciplined, I wouldn't be overly concerned. If she is terminated, and there is no documentation of poor performance, or other HR related issues, she would be in a good position for a wrongful termination suit. gl
  10. Yep, I hear you. I'm going the opposite way...plan to be overly generous, even more than previous years; share good wine (but not the very very good) and see where this goes. Also, going to bring some really nice brown goods, high end mixers...again, go entirely the opposite way. You want to be cheap, fine that's your choice, I choose to be generous. At this point, at retail, my contribution will exceed $750, and continuing to go up. I'm purposefully going overboard as my silent protest. For instance, Christmas prime rib will be paired with Jordan Cabernet. Some of you may think I'm crazy, but f-it, I can so I will. My goal is to make her feel small and petty, and will especially enjoy this Christmas knowing she is a wine snob and her husband is a whiskey snob. They will be totally confused. And when they ask, what do I owe you, the answer will be your enjoyment. You (SiL) will not take this holiday from me!
  11. Yep...that's exactly how every other holiday, vacation, you name it has been. Enjoy the time together, contribute the best you can, and don't be that guy.
  12. There is some merit to this post. There have been grumbling over the years that some of the cousin families who participate, have not done their "fair-share" in the past. But, IMO, thats how it goes...and if you have specific issues address those offenders, not micromanage a holiday that everyone seemingly enjoys.
  13. I thought about taking this approach, however it pulls me down the rabbit hole, and I somehow I will come out looking bad at the end. Best thing I can do is pretend like this nonsense isn't really happening, and cut a check at the end of the night. Wife is onboard with my approach, so I'm in the clear and will do everything to remain outside the circle of insanity. That said, I will be tucking away a few bottles of the really good stuff for me and my wife.