Monday, June 28, 2010

Help Restore MJ's and Leni's Missing Comments

***Update 1 July 2010, Thursday:

Cease fire! Cease fire! Cease fire!

Ladies and Gentlemen, our surge has worked fantastically! We've gotten the attention of someone who may be able to help resolve this issue. Thank you! Thank you! Your hard work and participation in this action has paid off! We are now in talks with someone who can help fix this problem.

For now, I'd like to ask you all to stand down for the time being. Do Not Post Any More Help Requests At the Blogger Help Forum for now. The person who's helping us is requesting that we hold off any more multiple posts for help in order to help diagnose the root of the problem of MJ's and Leni's disappearing comments. We've gotten their attention, and now they need to focus on the problem.

We can help them expedite solving the problem by letting them work with MJ and Leni and not be distracted by any more posts from our surge asking for their help. So, for now, please Do Not Post Any More Help Requests at the forum.

The Surge worked! We're now holding a cease fire to engage in talks to resolve the conflict. Well done everyone!

Stand by for further developments! I'll bring you the latest news as it happens!

Thank you! Thank you so much for your continued support! You people rock!!!

Click here to follow what's happened. But please stand by for now. We're in a cease fire, so no new posts for help at the forum for now. We don't want to start a flame war. We want to engage in productive dialogue and cooperate with the Blogger Help Forum to solve this problem. The talks at the forum are heading in a positive direction. And your patience and hard work and support is very much appreciated. You people are just spectacular and astounding! Thank you so much!

Original post dated Monday, June 28, 2010

In case you haven't noticed, there has been some serious issues with Blogger lately. On the morning of 12 June 2010, Saturday, it was discovered that Blogger had automatically deleted MJ's blog, Infomaniac, without warning or a reason. A day later, the same thing was done to Leni Qinan's blog, Escorita y Peligrosa.

MJ was blocked even from using her Gmail account, so she couldn't access her Gmail or contact Blogger to directly to find out what was going on. It was up to her blogging community to sound the alarm and come together to find out what had happened to MJ's blog. It was the united efforts of bloggers like you and me, working together, posting multiple requests at Blogger Forum to restore Infomaniac, that helped us get Infomaniac back online. Leni Quinan's blog was also returned. Thank you so much for your support and hard work in getting Infomaniac back. It only took us a weekend to get Infomaniac restored.

However, a serious problem still remains. When Blogger took down both MJ's and Leni's blogs, they also erased all of their comments from the blogs they visited and their own blogs! Even worse, any new comments they leave on blogs, including their own, are automatically targeted and erased by Blogger!

I've contacted Blogger Forum once again to report this problem, and with your support and requests at the Forum, we got some reply. Unfortunately, the Blogger Team either misunderstood the problem or even worse, they don't care. It's been over a week now, and still, the Blogger Team has not adequately addressed our concerns about why MJ's and Leni's comments have not been restored to our blogs, and why their new comments, if they post under their Blogger/Gmail accounts, are systematically targeted and erased by Blogger within 24 hours.

This problem is more than just about missing comments. This is about our shared history and community. MJ's blog was a hub on Blogger, a place where adults from all over the world could come together and share a laugh, to forget our worries for a bit and just relax and unwind. It was the home of a large, international community of bloggers who came together to share ideas, humor, advice, and celebrate and support each other during tumultuous periods of life. This was a community that celebrated diversity. It was a place where all minorities and people of all walks of life were welcomed and embraced, a place where we built up a community that not only values wit and humor and compassion, we also embraced free speech and freedom and equality for all peoples.

MJ's and Leni's comments were more than just replies to our blog posts. They were personal correspondences. They were written proof of our support for one another. Some of these comments were heartfelt, personal notes of support during times of crisis, when we experienced hardship or personal loss. And we've certainly lost a number of our community who were dear to us. The erasure of MJ's and Leni's comments is an assault on our community and a violation and despicable desecration of the memory and honor of those in our community who've passed on.

The continued and targeted, automatic erasure of MJ's and Leni's new comments is an attack on free speech and the diversity and equality that this community (and Google supposedly) embraces and holds to be true. We cannot sit idly by and let Blogger continue to systematically target and erase MJ's and Leni's comments.

Sometimes, bad things happen, because we have no control over them. We try to pick up the pieces and move on. But sometimes, evil things happen, because we do nothing and let it happen. In the words of Martin Niemöller (1892-1984), who survived the atrocities and Nazi death camps of World War II:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out --
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out --
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out --
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me -- and there was no one left to speak for me.

Do not let Blogger continue this evil act of automatically targeting and erasing comments! It is a violation of free speech and an unprovoked attack on an international community that embraces diversity, supports minorities, and advocates for freedom and equality for all people.

Join us in fighting against this vile and deplorable act by Blogger. Help us restore MJ's and Leni's missing comments and keep Blogger from automatically targeting and erasing their new comments as well.

I am proposing a change in our tactics to get Blogger's attention in resolving this matter.

Our strategy will be executed in three stages to obtain maximum effect. First, we will create a surge. I need all of you to make this work. We will post multiple requests at the Blogger Forum to get their attention.

Stage 1 is to set the time for the surge. Mark your calendars for Wednesday, the 30th of June, 2010. I want you to post a request on Blogger Forum to ask why MJ's and Leni's comments have disappeared from your blog and why new comments they leave using their Blogger usernames are being targeted and erased within 24 hours. Click on this Post a question link to post your request. (If you use Firefox, Right Click on link, then Open in New Tab; If you use Internet Explorer, Right Click on link, then Open in New Window. It'll make it easier to copy and paste the following info). Under Choose a category, click on Something is Broken and fill out the Your question box. Copy and Paste the info below if you'd like, and feel free to edit it to fit your style.

In fact, here's a template of what I'm posting at Blogger on Wednesday. Feel free to copy and paste this request when you go to Blogger Forum to post your request. Edit it as needed to fit your style.

Title/Question: Help! Blogger automatically targeting and erasing comments!

I am writing to report that Blogger is targeting comments from two of my readers and has erased all their old comments and continues to erase new comments they leave within 24 hours. Comments left by MJ of Infomaniac ( and Leni Qinan of Escritora y peligrosa ( have disappeared from our blogs (and theirs) since 12 June 2010 and new comments they leave using their Blogger/Gmail accounts are being systematically targeted and erased by Blogger within 24 hours. Why?

This problem has been reported before and yet no one appears to be looking into it to let us know that something is being done about it. Is this a virus? Or is this an intentional attack? Please let us know that Blogger is aware of this problem and is working on resolving this issue. It's a very disturbing thing to realize that Blogger is automatically singling out and targeting individuals to erase all their old comments and any new ones they leave. Please help fix this serious issue.

Thank you. We look forward to working with you in solving this problem.

Remember, the surge starts Wednesday, and I want everyone to keep posting a request at the Help Forum starting Wednesday and lasting all through next week, Tuesday, 6th of July, 2010. The goal of the surge is to get as many requests posted on the Blogger Forum as possible. The more requests we post, the more likely we'll get the Blogger Team's attention. The surge will only work when the Blogger Forum is suddenly flooded with multiple requests to restore the missing comments. There is power is numbers, and I need many, many, multiple requests at the Blogger Forum to catch the Blogger Team's attention.

So please, spread the word to all your readers to join us on Wednesday and start the week long surge at Blogger Forum to get their attenion.

Stage 2 is to click on this answer a few questions/feedback link and report your dissatisfaction with the Blogger Forum. (If you use Firefox, Right Click on link, then Open in New Tab; If you use Internet Explorer, Right Click on link, then Open in New Window). It's a short 5 question survey that asks for your satisfaction regarding the Blogger Help forum. The fifth question asks "What Blogger information were you looking for? "

It's a blank space where you will type how unhappy you are. Here's what I'm writing there, so feel free to copy and paste and edit to fit your style:

I am very unhappy and angry that Blogger is automatically targeting and erasing comments from certain bloggers, like MJ ( and Leni ( I want the old comments from MJ and Leni restored to my blog and their own, and I want the Blogger to stop erasing the new comments MJ and Leni leave when they use their Blogger/Gmail accounts. Their new comments are erased automatically by Blogger within 24 hours. No one from the Blogger Team seems to be aware (or cares ) that this problem has been going on since 12 June 2010. Please fix this problem. You either have a virus or you're intentionally erasing their comments, censoring free speech and attacking our diverse community that embraces minorities and equality for all people.

Remember, click on that feedback link and reply as many times as you can. You don't need to sign in to fill this survey out. The more negative feedback Blogger gets, the more likely they'll look into the matter. Remember, our numbers count, so make sure to join in the surge starting this Wednesday, 30th of June and continues on to Tuesday, 6th of July. The goal is to show a massive number of spikes or jumps in the requests for help and the negative feedback on the surveys. That will catch the Blogger Team's attention and help us get some answers as to why this problem of disappearing and erasing comments continues. The more of us who post at the Blogger Forum and feedback link, the more impact we'll have on getting the Blogger Team to help us resolve this disturbing matter.

Stage 3 is to get the word out. Email your friends or let your blog readers know what's happening and to join us in our surge. Please help us spread the word and join in our group action starting Wednesday 30 June 2010 to Tuesday 6 July 2010. And after you've posted your request on Blogger Forum, click on another person's help request to restore MJ's and Leni's comments to show your support and post there as well. Remember, the more of us who post multiple help requests and feedbacks to Blogger, the more likely we'll get their attention. We need your help to return the missing comments and stop Blogger from automatically erasing new comments that MJ and Leni leave on our posts.

Your participation is necessary to make this a success. There are all ready plans and movements to elevate the scale of our actions to include contacting Google headquarters at

Google, Inc
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043
Phone: +1 650-253-0000
Fax: +1 650-253-0001

Leni has all ready contacted the Google head office. There are a bunch of other Google offices (one may be closer to you) that we will contact as well as part of our contingent plans after the week long surge. I've all ready started gathering information on government agencies and other organizations dedicated to free speech and equality for minorities and all people. I'm planning to reach out to them and the media to bring about public attention to what's going on at Blogger.

But the most important thing we can do right now is to spread the word about the surge starting Wednesday and for everyone to participate. Remember, the more of us who post at Blogger Forum and the feedback links, the more likely Blogger will have to take notice and step up to solve this problem. Your actions count, and I'm counting on you to take part in our community efforts to help our own. Your support has been invaluable in restoring MJ's blog, Infomaniac. And your continued support is necessary to return the missing comments from MJ and Leni. We need all of you to help us bring about a change that will rightfully restore the missing comments and ensure the continuation of free speech and diversity in blogging.

Please join our efforts. Please spread the word. The surge starts Wednesday, 30 June 2010. Remember, one person can change another; and two people can change the world. Imagine what all of us can do when we work together.

Thank you.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Help restore missing comments from Infomaniac

*Updated 22 June 2010 at 0300 am--scroll to the end of the post please.

First of all, I'd like to say a very big and heartfelt Thank You to everyone who participated in our group action to restore Infomaniac on blogspot. You spread the word, you posted on Blogger Forum, and your support and efforts have paid off in returning Infomaniac. Thank you so much for taking the time and making the effort to correct an injustice to one of our own. Our multiple postings at Blogger Forum got their attention and got us action. All it took was one weekend (a weekend!) to return Infomaniac. Together, we really can move mountains!

Now, I ask for your help once more in solving a new problem. As you may have noticed, all of MJ's and Leni's old comments have vanished from our blogs. Furthermore, their new comments disappear after being posted. Please help restore their comments on our blogs (and theirs). I've started a new post at Blogger Forum requesting their help here. Let the Blogger Team know that we want the comments restored.

There are people who sit by and watch things happen; and people who wondered, what happened? We're the people who make things happen. I am asking you to join us once more and ask Blogger Forum to help us fix this problem and return the missing comments from Infomaniac and Leni Qinan. Click on the Post a question link on the sidebar to post your request to restore Infomaniac's and Leni's comments. We can make it happen when we work together.

Please support our efforts to help restore the missing comments. I really do believe in the power of our community efforts and group action to make changes happen. We've done it before and we can do it again. To paraphrase Dylan Thomas:

Do not go gently into that night! Rage, rage against those trying to put out our light! We ain't going out without a fight!

Thank you.

*Update 22 June 2010 at 0300 am*

I've posted a new request at Blogger Forum to help restore the missing comments from MJ and Leni. It appears that Google is not clear on the problem, as seen by their reply to Scarlet's request here. So I've posted this request to help clarify the situation. Please keep posting your requests and support to return the missing comments at Blogger Forum. Click on the Post a question link on the sidebar to post your request to restore Infomaniac's and Leni's comments. They are noticing and are replying. Our collective efforts are working. Keep up the good work so we can have Blogger solve this problem and return the missing comments from MJ and Leni.

You can also send them feedback at this link here. Tell them how you want the missing comments from MJ and Leni restored. And tell them what you think about their services.

Thank you for your support and for your continuing hard work to set things right. There is a great power that comes from a community that is united to change things for the better. Together, we can accomplish great things and overcome much adversity! Keep up the good work, people! Our efforts have an impact!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Help restore Infomaniac

Some of you may have noticed that the link to Infomaniac shows that the blog has been removed by Blogger. This was done overnight and without warning. Infomaniac is one of my favorite places to visit online, because there are great people who visit there and share laughter and ideas and help keep blogging alive. It's where I met most of my blogging friends and encountered so many great people with fascinating ideas and views.

Since MJ, the owner, is unable to even sign into Gmail or Blogger to report this problem, I've posted at the Blogger Help site for assistance in resolving this matter. I asked the Blogger Team for help here. I'm asking for your support in resolving this matter. The more people we can get to request the Blogger Team to help resolve this problem, the more likely we'll be able to get Blogger's attention and get a quick, effective response. So please head on over to the help link here and ask the Blogger Team to restore Infomaniac. Click on the Post a question link on the sidebar to post your request to restore Infomaniac.

Your help is appreciated. Thank you.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Twenty Questions and a Bonus

I've twenty questions that I plan on answering in this post. They're actually two memes in this one post. I was tagged to do one set; the other one I found interesting. I thought they were both actually kind of fun to explore so I went ahead and answered them. So here we go.

The first set of ten questions was posed by the lovely and enchanting Scarlet Blue. Scarlet asks:

1. Do you prefer asking questions or answering them?

What a fascinating question. I don't mind answering a few questions. In fact, I kind of like giving presentations and speeches and answering questions.

But I have to say that I do enjoy asking questions, because I like learning new things and finding out more about people. You learn the most fascinating things about people. Everyone's got a story. You just have to listen to them tell it.

2. What is your favorite joke? [Or favorite one liner?]

I can't recall ever having a favorite joke--as I like all of them. Mostly the dirty ones crack me up the most. I have a very wicked sense of humor. My fave one liner I thought upon accidentally, when I was put on the spot by during a lecture by the drug addiction counselor. I was sitting in the front and for some reason, he singled me out and asked me point blank, "Do you drink?"

And I replied,"Only when I'm thirsty."

The discombobulated look on his face was too funny! He wasn't expecting that! The class couldn't suppress the snickers and giggles.

3. Have you ever fantasized about being on Big Brother [the well known TV show... I'm not alluding to incest]?

Nope. I never want to be on reality tv. I value my privacy. There's a freedom that comes with anonymity. You can go wherever you want and do whatever you want to do without anyone all up in your business. Forget Fame; I'd rather have Fortune.

4. Have you ever wanted to enter a talent show?

I've actually been in a few talent shows growing up. In high school, I was a member of a few singing and dance groups and we actually won a few awards. I don't think I'd want to enter one now, only because I like my privacy.

5. Is Simon Cowell really necessary?

Only if there's a Paula Abdul. Simon needs someone opposite of him to balance him out. He was the Ying on American Idol and Paula was the Yang. Together, they created harmony. Apart, they're just painful to watch.

6. Tea or coffee?

I like iced tea (and where I come from, that means sweet tea. I was shocked to find out that there are places that served iced tea unsweetened! Who in their right mind drinks unsweetened iced tea? Bleh!). Hot tea is good for dipping stuff, like buttered toast and buttered crackers.

7. What is your favorite perfume? Or smell?

This is easy. Gardenias, the lovely, sweet scent of gardenias is my favorite scent in the world. It's a magical scent that takes me back to a time long ago, when I was just a small child, lying on bed watching the moon and stars through the open window, dreaming about all the wonders of the big world out there, while a gentle breeze blew in the sweet, serene scent of gardenias blooming in the front yard. To this day, I find the sweet, scintillating scent of gardenias to be relaxing and pleasing and ethereal.

8. What is the quickest route to Wales from where you live?

An airplane across the Atlantic, assuming the Icelandic volcano isn't acting up. Otherwise, it'll have to be by ship--one with lots of life boats and life vests and no icebergs in sight. And more importantly, one that's not carrying Celine Dion on board. The last time she sang on a ship, it struck an iceberg and sank!

9. What does the word 'Wales' conjure to your mind?

Dr Who and Torchwood! I luv those shows!

Would you like to play with my screwdriver?

10. Are you dreading dreaming up ten questions to ask six bloggers?

Nope. Not really. I'd probably ask silly questions like favorite color, favorite food, favorite cartoon, and favorite adventure. But I won't make up ten questions to ask people to answer. These ones that I just answered are fascinating enough on their own.

The second set of ten questions was posed by the well traveled and adventurous XL. He wasn't tagging anyone, but his questions caught my interest. XL asks:

1. Coke or Pepsi?

Ah, yes. I haven't drank soda in years. But back when I was drinking soda, my fave was Mountain Dew--for the sweet taste and energy jolt. I used to live in Atlanta, home of CNN and Coca Cola!

But I admit that I didn't like Coke that much. For one thing, Coke was kind of harsh tasting for me, a little too strong, acidic. Pepsi had much more flavor, and it wasn't as gassy as Coke. I always felt like I was drinking more bubbles than liquid in a Coke. I preferred Pepsi with meals, but Coke is my choice when making a marinade for ham or bbq chicken! Coke adds delicious flavor! Not to mention Coke is great for removing rust.

I luv your hot dog! It's so plump and juicy and fills me up just right!

2. Do you play a musical instrument?

When I was younger, I used to play the harmonica and learned the flute one year. But as I grew older, I discovered that my lips were better put to use on other more fun things. I would like to learn how to play the ukulele though. It's small enough to carry on the plane and it's perfect for beach parties and camping!

3. If you could go back in time, would you make a different decision in your life?

This is a very good question. There are often times when I think about the mistakes I've made in my life, sometimes wishing that I'd done something differently. But when it all comes down to it, I don't think I'd change a thing. Those experiences, even the painful ones, helped me be the person that I am today. I'd like to think those experiences made me wiser and more aware of who I am and where I'm going.

4. Which sport do you consider to be "football?"

The one where they play for the championship in the Super Bowl! The game where they kick a round ball into a net goal is called soccer! And rugby is the fun game where they run around passing a football in a different, exciting way.

5. Do you like to travel?

Yes! It's one of my passions in life! It's one of my favorite things to do, explore new places and experience local life and different cultures. It's a big world, and I want to see it all!

6. Do you like Piña Coladas and getting caught in the rain?

Yes and yes! I like walking in the rain--heck I've gone running during the rain. I enjoy playing in the rain. And Piña Coladas taste great. I like the rain. I find it relaxing and refreshing. I think that rain is romantic.

7. Surely you like cats, right?

I sure do. But I don't have any pets right now. There are a few strays who like to hang around my porch though. I feed 'em from time to time, and I leave a bowl of water for them to drink. It's getting hotter now, so they need all the water they can get.

8. Beatles or Stones?

They're both good in their own way. I like Hey Jude from the Beatles. And Satisfaction is a great song from the Rolling Stones. I can't really decide. Okay, it's the Kinks for me!

9. Which foreign languages can you speak (regardless of fluency)?

Other than my tourist Greek phrases from my trip to Greece--Yia sas!, I'm trying to learn to speak Spanish fluently, and not just the tourist stuff.

10. What special meal would you prepare for me?

I'd make you my favorite--Fried chicken; potato salad; some pineapple grilled chicken; pineapple grilled pork chops; corn on the cob; sweet cornbread; rice; salad; iced tea; and some pineapple pie or peach cobbler with vanilla ice cream for dessert. Then some screwdrivers to wash it all down.

And finally, a surprise. I thought I only had twenty questions to answer, but that all changed. I was in the middle of answering these questions when I happened to take a break and surf the internet. Guess what I found? IDV has also given us ten questions to answer. And though he didn't tag anyone, the questions were interesting. That is the bonus! And so here we go, the bonus ten questions that the talented and timeless IDV posed. IDV asks:

1. What's your earliest memory?

My father and mother, taking turns rocking me to sleep when I was a baby, I was probably two or three. It was late at night. I was sick, feeling terrible, but having them hold me, rocking me, comforting me made me feel a bit better and helped me fall asleep. It was a very comforting feeling, and I felt safe and loved.

2. What was the last thing you ate?

Egg salad sandwich--just bread, hard boiled eggs seasoned with salt & pepper then mixed with mayo.

3. Would you support a comeback by Steps?

I have no idea who these people are. At first, I thought it was a question relating to Alcoholics Anonymous, in which case, I support their 12 Step program for recovering alcoholics.

4. What is your dream car?

Does a flying carpet count? It would seem much more practical and I wouldn't have to worry about parking. The one from Disney's Aladdin seems pretty cool. I'd want one of those for sure.

I've never really imagined myself with a dream car. But I have answered this question before over at XL:

If I could have any fantasy car, it'd be that Aston Martin v12 Vanquish from the James Bond movie, Die Another Day--and I want it complete with the rockets, the guns, the optic camouflage, and the ejector seat! A car like that would be handy during rush hour traffic or in case I have to do some espionage work for the shadow gov't.

I've also imagined myself going on wild safaris in a Toyota Land Cruiser!

And I'd definitely like a smart car like Herbie!

5. How tall are you?

Tall enough to enjoy the rides designed for adult fun!

6. Margaret Thatcher vs Queen Elizabeth II: Who would win and why/how?

My money would be on Liz! It's always the quiet ones you gotta look out for. You don't marry Phil and keep those troublesome kids in check unless you've got a high pain tolerance and incredible strength to keep it all together.

7. Mama Cass died choking on a sandwich. What sandwich filling would you happily choke on?

Egg salad--I just had one.

8. Has a pick-up line ever worked for you? If so, what was it? If not, what was the worst reaction?

I'm pretty bad at picking up signs that someone's trying to pick me up, unless they come right out and say it, which has happened a few times. The first time it happened, I was 19, out with a friend to enjoy a night in the big city of Atlanta. It was my first time in the big city, and my friend was an independent, free spirited woman in her early 20s who was showing me the night life in the big city. We were standing outside in line, waiting to get into a club, laughing ourselves silly.

We were still feeling the buzz from the shots we had earlier, when this statuesque redhead with a pixie cut, hoop earrings, and a black catsuit strutted up to me, and said, "I think you're sexy. I want to take you home and f*ck all night long."

My cool, suave response was, "Um, I'm with her," nodding to my friend. I was freaked out! This was crazy!

The redhead turned and looked at my friend up and down slowly. Then she said, "She can come, too."

I luv the big city life!

9. You find yourself inexplicably cloned. You would, wouldn't you?! Just out of curiosity, or maybe for some other reason?

I'm not sure about being cloned. But if I do, by chance, I'd probably have my clones try out all the things I've been curious to do, just so we could compare notes and see how it was.

Or we could hook up with Alice and her clones and start planning how to build our army and defend ourselves from the Zombies and other entities bent on taking over the world.

And when we're done saving the world, we'll start repopulating it!

10. How did you find this blog? Go on, indulge me!

I think from Snicks blog via MJ. I was looking for Stevie Nicks music online when I came across Snicks blog. Snicks led me to Maidink, who led me to MJ. From MJ, it was over to you.

And there you have it. Twenty Questions and a Bonus Ten more all answered. I had fun doing some of these. And a few of them really made me think a bit. But overall, I enjoyed it. You don't have to answer any of these questions. But if you do decide to go ahead and answer some of them, please let me know so that I can come on over and read your answers.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


I've been busy these past three weeks. Whatever free time I've had, I've spent doing chores and sleeping. I actually started on a new venture just a few weeks ago. I've decided to settle down for a little while and not travel as much for work. I have to confess, though, that I'm going to miss traveling, seeing new places, meeting new people, and just enjoying what different locations had to offer.

But I've been thinking about settling down for over a year now. Mostly, it has to do with going back to school and getting ahead professionally. I started a graduate program a few years ago, before I started traveling for work. I was getting tired of my old company--the office politics, the stress at work, and the never ending ridiculous conflicts that seem to happen on an almost daily basis. The truth was, after two and half years since I started as a professional in the industry, I was getting burned out.

Traveling restored my faith in my profession. It made me remember why I was a service professional in the first place. I've been able to learn a lot working in different locations for different places. My skills have expanded tremendously, and my expertise has increased greatly, earning me more money along the way. And the money has been much better than what I earned working for the old place. Traveling has given me many opportunities to experience different, fascinating places and meeting new, interesting people. Not to mention I've been exposed to a wide variety of clients whose needs I've successfully provided for. I've applied new techniques and ensured tremendous satisfaction in meeting their needs. Some of them have been great customers who've offered me a private position. But I just wasn't ready to give up the freedom that comes with traveling--I like being able to work at a place for a short, defined period of time, making good money and knowing that I can always move on when I get tired, bored, or just want something different.

But as much fun as I was having doing travel assignments, working in temporary locations, I was always bothered by the fact that I had some unfinished business back home. I like to finish what I start, and I knew that I had to go back to school to get ahead in the industry. Actually, I can get ahead without going back to school, but I'd have much more opportunities and versatility with the extra schooling. It would also help me advance much faster in the industry. But I think I just want to finish what I started so I know that I've done what I set out to do.

It's a little strange to be working in my hometown for a company as an associate, instead of a temporary contract agent. But I've met some great people so far. And I can't complain about the extra compensations that come with being a service professional on staff with a company. I do confess though that I started during a very tense and exciting time at the company. The other professionals have actually banded together and started to organize. Though I've not had much experience working for this company, I am familiar with their operations--much similar to other places I've worked at. I can't really complain about management here, since I don't know them that well--I am a very new member of the company. But I can say that compared to my first company, this current one is so much better. But, if the other professionals want to organize, then who am I stand in their way?

The important thing is that our clients are still getting the excellent service they paid for. And as service professionals, we aim to please and deliver the kind of service that leaves our customers satisfied and keeps them coming back when the need arises. Our reputation helps attract new clients. Our confidentiality is guaranteed. And our skills and talents are what keep our clients happy and well cared for; it's what keeps them smiling and returning whenever they need our services.

I do confess though that it was a little strange for me to work some of the hours that first week while orientating, getting to know the particular ins and outs of the company and the services it offers. I've not had to work during the lunch hour in years. I'm used to performing my services after hours and long into the night, entertaining the clients and meeting their needs. And I was asked to be in beginner positions that I've not tried in years. I've been specializing in more advanced services for the very particular and discriminating clients I've met in my years of traveling. And I've forgotten how labor intensive some of these beginning positions are. My thighs were sore after the first week! But some clients still prefer the basic services, and the basic maneuvers are still the best when dealing with new, uncertain clients who are both frightened and eager for our services.

It did feel good to start working my usual schedule though. As good as I am during the lunch hour, I'm much better after hours, when my skills and expertise are put to good use serving our clients. But I'm working more hours than I was when I was traveling. So, I find myself doing chores and sleeping in my time off. It's only a matter of time before I get used to the new schedule. And while the money is not as much as I used to make while traveling, it's much better than what I expected. And the compensation and perks of working for this particular company are excellent.

But I still confess to having some doubts and uncertainties about settling down. It feels strange to be considered a full on associate for a company, rather than a temporary contracted agent. Maybe it's the sense of permanence that unsettles me. What can I say, I like traveling. But in the end, I know that I'm making the right choice. When fall comes, I'm going back to school. And until then, I have the rest of the summer to adjust to my new venture and enjoy some of the perks that come with settling down. Hey, I still have a few days off every week to enjoy myself and take off to entertain myself and enjoy the sights and scenes out there.