Archive for the ‘African Culture, Social Issues & Business Stuff’ Category

The current troubles in the Sudan . . .

November 13, 2005

. . . reflect the past and current and highly probably future troubles in Africa in general…root-generational tribal warfare, religious hatred, intolerance of all but one’s clan, a poropensity towards indiscriminate genocide, etc.

If you remember the so-called “famine” in the Sudan that killed tens of thousands of innocents, it was no more an actual “famine” than a group of thugs hijacking a truckload of wholesale groceries bound for a Safeway supermarket, because that’s essentially what happened, a group of militarized mlitants/thugs/killers simply denied the free-flow of food in and out regions where their enemies were concentrated in and they had basically surrounded but couldn’t mount enough of a military offense to go in and finish wiping them out, so they engaged in what amounted to a “state of siege” just like they used to do to castles in the Middles Ages and waited and waited to starve them or starve them out so they could then murder them.

Africa, with its huge stockpile on natural and human resources, has the potential to become the greatest continent on Earth, has the potential to become the greatest concentration of the wealthiest confederation of nations on Earth, easily surpassing our own United States Of America or the EU or the Chinese Conferderations, BUT they’re going to somehow re-radicalize their mindsets and politics and quit living in the mindset of pre-Colonial times and get on with the business of business, get on with the cold hard fact that if they soon learn to at least try to live together that between increasing tribal warfare and AIDS and a multitude of other harshset problem they’re not going to be living much of any if at all much longer, not as recognizable independent nation-states at least.

Plug for “The Express”, Tanzania’s only reliable online source of news

November 3, 2005

Just a quick plug for

The Express
,
Tanzania’s only reliable source of current, unbiased and useful news about the country. They’re on their own very slow server, so even if you have a broadband connection it takes 2-3 minutes or more for the page to load, please give it time.

Having business and personal interests in East Africa in general and Tanzania in particular, TZ is where my older brother Gary is a life-long resident and successful businessman, I’ve been reading “The Express” since 1998 and while it’s sometimes a little obtuse, it’s compact and blog-like writing style is easy to digest and does provide much useful insider’s insight into the current conditions of life there.

What I actually do for a living

October 26, 2005

I’ve had some enquires about, what with my primary personal website having a welcome screen that is my Web designer personna mainly plastered on it but my site containing tons of other stuff and makes many references to my HVAC/mechanical contracting career among other professional interests, what I actually do for a living.

Well, welllll, my primary job, what I get paid every week to do, is Senior Estimator and Manager Of The Commercial Division for Goldstar Mechanical Services Inc. out of Charlotte, N.C,

http://www.goldstarmechanical.com

, Goldstar Mechanical at this moment being (very highly probably) the largest new residential construction HVAC contractor in North Carolina.

While I run the small commercial division as Manager of said that sells new and replacement HVAC/heating & air conditioning systems to/for new and existing commercial buildings, a lot of most days is spent running heat loss/gain calculations (used to properly size HVAC equipment installations) using an expensive but necessary program called WrightSoft,

http://www.wrightsoft.com

, which I have a love/hate/tolerance relationship with after having used it on a daily basis since this past April, both their residential and commercial versions. This is engineer-level work but I’m one of those engineer-level folks on many levels who just happens to have the knowledge and experience without the engineering degree per se’.

I also do extensive market research using Reed Construction Data’s proprietary construction market database,


http://www.reedconstructiondata.com

, from which, it’s one among many other sources of leads for new work, I sell Goldstar’s services including design/build HVAC systems for commercial and residential installations.

Yes, I did do Goldstar’s website and yes I know it sucks but I did it according to the specific direction of my boss who also signs my checks so as long as he’s happy with it which he is then I’m also not too ashamed of it, Smile.

Speaking of that, of course I also, in my one hour of free time per month, also create websites, re-do existing websites to make them more user-friendly and compliant with Federal Section 508 guidelines and offer my SEO/Search Engine Optimization services for customers who have a hard time working the “natural” i.e. non-pay-per-click listings on Google and MSN Search and Yahoo etc., and will do most anything for a legal dollar if it involves The Web which I’ve been on since 1990.


http://hkentcraig.com

And, of course, I also Contributing Editor For Project Management for “Contractor” magazine,

http://www.contractormag.com

, which I have been since 1998 and is a lot of fun, my editor, the best editor I have ever worked with, Bob Miodonski, giving me the opportunity to pass on bits and pieces of my accumulated so-called wisdom and knowledge of mechanical contracting to the next generation of project managers and estimators coming up through the ranks, that and did I also mention I get to raise a little hell and kick the shins of pompous jerks mainly General Contractors while also educating? Yeah, it’s more fun than the proverbial barrell of monkeys and I’d ALMOST pay them to do that, Bob, you didn’t read that if you just did, okay, Grin?

And, AND I’m also US Business Agent for my brother, Gary Hoops, who owns Circle H Ranch in Tanzania, he growing up in East Africa while I grew up in NC, if you don’t know this story you need to go to the more sections of my website, http://hkentcraig.com/index2.html , and poke around some to find out the story or stay tuned here as I post occasionally about this and that dealing with African issues because of this connection.

and, AND, ANNDDD of course I’m trying to get back into my art and my music, art right now is easier than music since art doesn’t require daily practice while music does.

AnnndDDDDD, well, enough for now, don’t want Mike, my boss at Goldstar and whom I routinely give 45-50 even 60 hours per week when required, thinking I have much of any actual free time on my hands, Smile But Sincere, since it’s through his graces and his signing of my weekly check that allows me to pay my bills and make a decent living for my family and my job with Goldstar always does, all kidding aside, take precedence over my other business and hobby interests.