The Tumultuous 1990’s

My Tumultuous 90’s
by Doug Bayliss

For me, the 1990′s were very tumultuous, but in the end, because of my fortitude, it was a successful decade. I ultimately navigated through several life-changing events.

First, we were blessed with the care of an angel from heaven, our daughter, who desperately needed our love and care especially in light of her medically fragile condition.

The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too. ― Ernest Hemingway, Men Without Women

Secondly, during this time I also worked through the hard breakup of a very successful family business. As a result, I managed my very own mid-life career change!

Thirdly, through all of this, I succeeded in staying married to a mean, rotten old witch who constantly tormented me! Strike that! To the kindest, most caring, beautiful loving woman that ever graced the earth!

Okay, so this was just a quick snapshot of what the 90’s were like for me.  I’d like to revisit someday and expand, I’m thinking there are some good stories here many being motivational.

Sharing your life story can be an astonishing affirmation. Have you thought about the things in your life, that re-affirm that you are capable to do anything thing that you want to do?

Word of the day: Tumultuous adj. characterized by unrest, disorder or insubordination

Generation Jones

Are You “Generation Jones?”
by Doug Bayliss

Generation Jones is a term recently coined for the generation born between 1954 and 1965. As a generation raised in the shadow of the older baby boomers and foreshadowed by a younger generation X, some of us in this date range might feel a little overlooked.

However, this generation, as the up and coming largest population segment, is being noticed by advertisers!

As you may have guessed, I am “Gen-Jones,” and I’d like to tell you a little about myself.

I love being outside and enjoy camping, going for walks and star gazing. I think this came about during my early childhood. At that time I spent a great deal of time visiting my grandparents who owned a small country airport. A favorite memory is riding with my grandfather on a big tractor while he mowed the airport runways!

 

The kind of tractor I would ride on with my Grandfather as he mowed the runways.

There was also a swimming pool and a wooded area for exploring so I’m pretty sure this is where I learned to love the outdoors.

I did an Internet search on the airport and actually found an article with a photo from 1953.

Sky Manor Airport
Sky Manor Airport circa 1953.

In high school, I was a member of the chorus and in my senior year I was honored to be invited to join the coveted Madrigal group, which was acapella and I enjoyed that very much. Today I am a member of the Hanover Barbershop Chorus in Hanover, PA, and the Heart of Maryland Barbershop chorus in Catonsville, MD.  It’s a great hobby for acapella singers!

I started work as a bookkeeper at my Dad’s engineering company in 1978! When computers hit the scene in the early 1980’s I converted the handwritten and popular “one-write” books along to a computerized accounting system, which I enjoyed doing very much. I did this type of conversion for several other companies.

I advanced throughout my career and became Director of Finance for a company that sold very expensive air pollution control

In the late 90’s I successfully managed a “mid-life” career change due to the collapse of my employer’s business. After obtaining Microsoft certifications I became a full-time computer technician and today continue to gain knowledge and experience supporting this crucial facet of any business.  I currently manage computer systems and projects for one of the areas largest property management companies located in Baltimore, MD.

I am married and helped raise 3 wonderful children. Our firstborn daughter, recently married and a graduate of the American Art Institute has given us 3 beautiful grandchildren.  Our Son, a senior at Penn State is studying structural engineering.

Our last child, Erica, was born in 1992 with a severe disability.  Developmentally her brain remained 2 months old and presented us with many challenges. It, however, united us as a family and we are much stronger and compassionate people from this experience. Our story about life with Erica is here.

To fill the void of so much time left on our hands, we started a home-based hobby business and provided music and MC services for events held in and around Gettysburg, PA.  For 10 years Bayliss Entertainment was a successful venture but we have since slowed down due to my own physical limitations.

Let’s see what tomorrow brings.

Marquis – I Will Never Pass This Way Again

Please enjoy this inspirational video of the late Randy Chisholm, the first Ontario District champion ever to go on to win an International Quartet Champion title, with Marquis quartet performing “I Will Never Pass This Way Again.”

R.I.P. Randy Chisholm, you remain an inspiration.

Boundaries

A Walk Through The Forest At Night
by Doug Bayliss

Crack! A stick snaps underfoot and suddenly we are consumed by silence.

Cool night air raises Goosebumps as it gently brushes exposed vulnerable skin.

Tiny pins of white light twinkle down through tall majestic trees.

In awe of the tranquility of the moment, we remain alert in the surreal quietness.

A soft “peep” chirps through the air, followed by another.

Each member of vast orchestra chimes in, “peep… peep… chi-burrr.”
The forest timidly resumes its symphony.

“Hoot-hoot-who,” “kakaw, kakaw,” “bzzzzz,” a tiny insect zooms by –too close for comfort!

Leaves bustle as creatures stir beneath the foliage, in pursuit of their dinner, or scurry quickly so as to not be dinner!

Heavy winged percussion carries night birds through the air, branches creak under their weight as they land.

A faint “whoosh” sound is heard beneath the commotion.

We continue our walk through nature’s gallery as a distant glow casts long dancing shadows.

A bright cold moon, rising in the east greets us as we step into a vast open space.

We have reached the ocean’s shore.

Sparkling brightly in the glow of the moon, wave after wave happily rush to the shore with a thunderous roar.

We hasten our walk to the water’s edge, and absorb the ocean’s power, trading the wooded clamor for the soothing rhythmic beat of the ocean’s tide.

Bright glowing bubbles dance in the sand as water repels back into the ocean, only to return once again to kiss our toes.

My Work History

40 Years of Experiences
1978-2018

Douglas R. Bayliss

I began my career, I’m proud to say, as a bean counter. If you don’t know what that is, it refers to someone who intently and thoroughly keeps bookkeeping records, counting every last bean as it were. I worked in accounting for 20 years and progressed from full charge bookkeeper for an SMB to accounting manager to director of finance for a multi-national business.

Then quite suddenly, and through no fault of my own, things changed and I was unemployed. It was the 90’s.

Looking for work, I noticed most of my contemporaries, vying for the same position, were highly educated with many of them being CPA’s. I’m enough of a realist to know they were a force to reckon with and would the selected candidate before me. Especially at the salary level, I had attained. It was time for a  career change.

Kudos to me for successfully charting a course through a mid-life career change. It was the mid-1990’s and I set off to discover a new technology simply referred to as “information.” It was a good move.

Various paths led me to Apartment Services, Inc. in Baltimore MD, where I’ve been since 1999. ASI is one of the areas largest multifamily housing management companies. While still in IT, my accounting background is helpful since I work within the finance group.

One path along the way I was outsourced to a bank to help get a project organized. With a team of bank employees and other Tek-Systems’ consultants, I was instrumental in leading this project to completion. The bank was so happy they gave me an analyst position until my next assignment came up!

Other assignments in the 90’s:

Middle River Aircraft Systems: Audit purchase orders against take off drawings. Survey government contractors to determine their level of Y2K readiness.

Dupont: Managed a team of computer 18 mobile technicians in an assigned geographic area, and inventoried tens of thousands of electronic parts for a major US Telecom. I often think fondly of this assignment and the monthly data consolidation meetings in Morristown, NJ.

Before the “Information Age:”

TREMA North America, Randallstown, MD – Design and supply of air pollution control equipment – Responsible for procuring parts and steel fabrication,  shipping industrial chemical processing equipment globally.  Managed budgets and kept detailed job cost records, including project cash flow forecasts. In addition, I supervised a full charge bookkeeper and an office manager.

Nielson-Wurster Group, Somerset NJ – Forensic Engineering  – Accounting Manager. Converted a detailed manual bookkeeping system to a [then] state-of-the-art computerized accounting system. Supervised a bookkeeper.

Bayliss Industries, Flemington NJ – Design of chemical processing systems. Full charge bookkeeper also worked in the Research & Development pilot plant, testing chemical processing equipment configurations.  This was my Dad’s business in the 70’s and early 80’s.

While the 80’s were “lost” too many of my contemporaries, these were some of best years on record for me.

Traveling With Children

Child’s Play
by Doug Bayliss

The holidays. The most traveled days of the year.

Let us reflect on why some parents dread family road trips. Is it filling up the gas tank?  Paying Tolls?  What to eat along the way?

No -it’s the thought of the whining…, the poking…, the cries of…   “Are we there yet?” All from the little angels crammed into the back seat!

Luckily, there are ways of keeping kids happy while riding for hours in a car. To demonstrate, I’ve created a cast of characters to show you just what I mean. They are about to embark on a trip to Grandma’s house.

I will let the family introduce themselves:

“Greetings all. This is Dad.”
“Hello everyone, I’m the Mom.”
“Whatever, I’m Bobby.”
“Can I stay home? I’m Nancy.”

Narrator: Let’s listen in as our family gets ready to leave…

Okay everybody. Ready to go to Grandmas house?
Yay Grandma’s house!
I wanna stay home and play with toys!
Bobby we know you’ll have lots of fun once we get there.  Everybody in the car!

Narrator: They hop in the car, and after buckling up, “Over the River and through the woods to Grandmother’s house they go!”

This should be a terrific day.
I just hope there’s not a lot of traffic.

Mom Bobby is looking at me — Am not — Are too — Am not –ARE TOO!

Now stop it children… Are we there yet? No… I’m thirsty. I wanna drink of water.

Kids kids! Enough already!  Let’s play a game called “I Spy.”
I’ll start. I spy with my little eye something orange.”  The sticker on the window! Is that right?
Yes Nancy, good. Now it’s your turn.  “I spy with my little eye something… Yellow.
The check engine light! Haha! I spy something blue.
High bean light!  I spy something red.
Seat belt clicker! I spy something gold.
Mom’s necklace! I spy something green….

Narrator: Everyone is looking around but nothing green seems to be visible…

There is nothing green.  It was a sign we passed way back there. Hahaha  I win
You don’t win, you’re a cheater.
Am not. You always cheat.
Do not.
Do too.
Do not!!!
I’ll stop this car!
Okay okay lets try a different game.  This one is called horses.  Just count the horses you see on your own side of the car.


If we pass a cemetery on your side, you lose all your horses and have to start over.
That’s not fair.
Yes, but if you hold your breath all the way past the cemetery, you can keep your horses. Dad will let us know if we come up on one.
Sounds like fun. First one to count 50 horses wins!

Narrator: Our family no sooner starts playing when they drive by a field of what looks like 100’s of horses.

A Million-Zillion horses. I win I win!
That’s not fair. How come she always gets that side of the car?
You’re just mad because I won.
Am not, you always get to sit behind Dad.
Look Bobby, see what’s ahead?
Oh Boy look at all those horses on MY side! I got more than you – I win!
No you don’t I won first!
Did not.
Did Too.
Look kids a cemetery up ahead. And look, it’s on both sides of the road! Remember, hold your breath or lose all of your horses!  Ready? Here it comes… 1.., 2.., 3…

Bobby is breathing through his nose.
I am not.
That’s cheating.
I am not breathing through my nose.
You are too.
Oh yea, well you’re breathing because you’re talking to me!
Am not I can hold my breath and still talk.
Well so can I!
You’re both talking and breathing. You both lose your horses!
No fair.
Yeah no fair.

Okay this game ends in a tie. Let’s try a game where we can make up a story.

It’s called “The House on the Hill.”  On your turn make up stories about people who live in the houses we are driving by.

Can I go first?
Okay Bobby, you go first.
See that house over there? Really old people live in there… and they eat children!

You’re  scaring me.
You’re a baby.
AM not. AM too. AM not. Yes you are.
Waaaa I’m not a baby.
I’m losing my patience with you two… I will stop this car!!
Look kids, let’s try another game. This one should be no trouble for us at all. Remember the Minister’s Cat ?

Make up words to describe the minister’s cat using letters of the alphabet. Nancy you can go first starting with “A.”
The minister’s cat is an Apple cat.
What kind of cat is that? There is no such thing.
Is too!
Is not!

It’s okay maybe the minister’s cat just happens to likes apples. I’ll go next. The minister’s cat is a beautiful cat. Your turn Dad.
The minister’s cat is a cautious cat. Your turn Bobby.
The minister’s cat is a dead cat.

Waaaa Bobby killed the minister’s cat!
Did not.  did too.  did not.
Then why did you say he’s dead? Because he got runned over by a car. Waaaa!!

That’s it I have had enough! I’m pulling this car over!

Narrator: To everyone’s surprise, Dad pulls the car into a rest area and stops the car. Mom and kids are wide-eyed and full of nervous anticipation:  Dad has never actually pulled the car over before. He turns his head towards the children and yells:

Chinese fire drill!
Yea let’s go!
Weeee fun!
Oh lord help us!

Narrator: With this latest round of excitement the kids fall asleep and mom and dad have a nice quiet ride for the rest of the trip to Grandma’s house.

[end]

Note: From the Toastmasters Advanced Speech manual “Interpretive Reading.”  The project is to portray several characters in one reading using voice changes as a movement.

Introduction: “In this original composition, “Child’s Play,” Doug will share some games to play during long car trips in hopes of making the ride less stressful, especially if traveling with children.”

Above & Beyond

Looking back on my work life I have come to realize I have some exceptional experiences. The more notable ones I will try to relive here for your amusement.

Going Above & Beyond
by Doug Bayliss

Let’s go back to 1988 and look how shipped goods made it to New York City.

1. Everything crossed the Hudson River to NYC by barge. Pushed and pulled by tugboats.

2. Goods unloaded and stored in large warehouses.

3. To keep tug boats competitive owners wanted to decrease wages and eliminate some positions such as the cook. Union said no.

STRIKE! New York City was gripping with a tugboat strike.

1. Many industries were not affected by the loss of having tugboats. By now pipelines, bridges, and tunnels were in place, and truck and trains picked up the slack from the striking tugboat operators.

2. Made possible by the invention of shipping containers. You might have heard of the term “intermodal,” which means they transfer directly from the ship to trucks or trains. The containers are their own warehouses and can be stored outside. Huge indoor warehouses (and tugboats) are no longer needed.

At least one industry was affected. (I knew because I was an assistant project manager for a design project). We were modifying some structural steel in a Titanium Dioxide manufacturing plant to fit some new equipment.

Manufacture of the “whitest chemical,” is a billion-dollar industry.
TiO2 in Paint
TiO2 is essentially the white base in every color. From paint to car parts, to your clothing you “touch” it every day.
4. Acid waste is one by-product of the manufacture of TiO2.

 

Enter the 1988 tugboat operator’s strike.

5. Tugboat strike stopped barges from hauling acid out to the ocean.

6. Afraid the levy would break and flood a local development with acid.

7. Send Doug and a co-worker out to survey depths of the pond around the edges.

Perth Amboy, NJ
A waste-acid pond near the Garden State Parkway in New Jersey.

GOING ABOVE AND BEYOND

  • Rubber boots and gloves.
  • Aluminum row boat
  • Burning runny nose, itchy eyes
  • Really, really bad smell
  • Measuring stick ate by acid
  • Oars ate by acid!
  • We measured what we could and got out the hell out of there!

That is one time I certainly went above and beyond!

The Pledge of Allegiance

American FlagMy final project in the Toastmasters Interpretive Reading manual is to recite a famous speech from history. I chose the “Pledge of Allegiance” performed by Red Skelton from his live National television show.

“Red Skelton’s Pledge of Allegiance”
by Doug Bayliss

In 1969, comic Red Skelton lamented on his weekly television show that the Pledge of Allegiance might someday be considered a “prayer” and eliminated from public schools. He then described an incident from his schoolboy days in Indiana.

Skelton’s teacher, Mr. Lasswell, felt his students had come to regard the Pledge of Allegiance as a daily drudgery to be recited by rote; they had lost any sense of the meaning of the words they were speaking.

As Skelton related the story, Mr. Lasswell told his class: “I’ve been listening to you boys and girls recite the Pledge of Allegiance all semester and it seems as though it’s becoming monotonous to you. If I may, may I recite it and try to explain to you the meaning of each word?”

The Pledge of Allegiance:

I: Me, an individual, a committee of one.

PLEDGE: Dedicate all of my worldly goods to give without self-pity.

ALLEGIANCE: My love and my devotion.

TO THE FLAG: Our standard, Old Glory, a symbol of freedom. Wherever she waves, there’s respect because your loyalty has given her a dignity that shouts freedom is everybody’s job.

UNITED: That means that we have all come together.

STATES: Individual communities that have united into 48 great states. Forty-eight individual communities with pride and dignity and purpose; all divided with imaginary boundaries yet united to a common purpose, and that’s love for country.

AND TO THE REPUBLIC: A state in which sovereign power is invested in representatives chosen by the people to govern. And the government is the people, and it’s from the people to the leaders, not from the leaders to the people.

FOR WHICH IT STANDS, ONE NATION: One nation, meaning “so blessed by God.”

INDIVISIBLE: Incapable of being divided.

WITH LIBERTY: Which is freedom, the right of power to live one’s own life without threats, fear, or some sort of retaliation.

AND JUSTICE: The principle or quality of dealing fairly with others.

FOR ALL: For all, which means, boys and girls, it’s as much your country as it is mine.
And now, boys and girls, let me hear you recite the Pledge of Allegiance:

“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands: one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Since I was a small boy, two states have been added to our country, and two words have been added to the Pledge of Allegiance: “under God.” Wouldn’t it be a pity if someone said that is a prayer, and that would be eliminated from schools too?

Red Skelton
Red Skelton

Eulogy for Jeff Bayliss

April 14, 2014

Today was the memorial service for my younger brother Jeff. It was nice to see so many family and friends, I even recognized some of Jeff’s old fraternity brothers and a friend or two of his from high school.

When the floor opened up for folks to say something, if they were so moved, several people got up and related a story or two.  However, I did not feel “right,” in doing so after other family members and friends were formally introduced to speak. It was an “open secret” that Jeff and I were not friends, to put it politely. I did, however, have a prepared eulogy and will share it here.

“It was a late Wednesday night. Michelle and I were walking into an Arby’s restaurant, in Gettysburg, where would often go for diner after our semi-monthly Toastmaster’s meeting. Toastmaster’s is where you practice giving and evaluating speeches in front of a peer group.

The phone rings. It’s Jeff. Gee I haven’t spoken to him in a long while I wonder what’s up.

Hey Jeff. How’s it going? My heart sinks, and I could barely speak, as he telling me he has cancer, and that it is bad.

All I could muster was “Oh Jeff. I am so sorry,” as I let tears roll down my cheeks.

To you, my family and friends, in true you don’t know what you have until it’s gone fashion, all I can say to you now is:

Reach out to your brothers and your sisters, your friends and neighbors. Even if for some reason you’re not getting along. Reconcile. Call your fathers, your mothers, your sons, and your daughters… if only to say; “Hi, how ya’ do-in?”

The life given to us by nature is short. The memory of a life well spent is eternal. Like my brother Jeff, lets make sure our lives, are lives well spent.”

Jeffrey Bayliss.
1962-2014