Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Birthday Sara!


It's hard to believe it's been 8 years since you were this small......


Happy 8th Birthday, Sara!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

2 Videos for a Rainy Tuesday

(First, a note to the Facebookers out there - none of the embedded videos carry over to Facebook when the entries from the blog are imported. So, click on the link at the bottom to visit the blog and see the video!)

I'm about to give in and take the Tylenol PM and collapse. Before that, here are two videos I keep wanting to share.

First, the explanation of why I think the name Cool Whip should be permanently changed to Cool Hwip:


Second, a video for the song that has been stuck in my head for several weeks - the original Men at Work cut of "Overkill". Unfortunately, this could be my new self appointed theme song.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Hot Pockets!

Instead of telling you how my day actually was, I'd rather share Jim Gaffigan's excellent view on Hot Pockets.


"Take out of box - place directly in toilet"

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Extreme Sara's Bedroom Makeover

First - the new Blogger photo tool is simply horrible. You upload them all at once but select them individually to put them in the post? I wasn't sure how you could take a terriribly designed function and make it worse, but now we have a stellar example.

Aside from "Blogger Gripe 2009", we took on painting and completely moving around everything in Sara's room this weekend. This is ahead of her birthday next Friday and stupid me said "Let's get it all done before her birthday party". There is nothing like popping Tylenol Arthritis like candy to make the weekend a delight.

Sara wanted "Smurf Blue" and she got it. Notice that Alex has already taken possession of the bed.


The High School Musical sheets have been deemed "not cool" and my mother's birthday gift to her is something that is cool so they are out right now making that purchase.


The other corner of the room. The wooden chest of drawers is mine - purchased for me in 1978. And, being in a computer nerd family, Sara has her own computer for streaming Radio Disney and not much else - yet. In this picture, Alex is just daring me to try to sit on the bed.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Trudging through another week

What a week and still two days left. The "TO DO" list is packed and the more I check off, the more I add on. I think I am close to having the rest of the year planned out. I always have to work looking 2 months into the future and the holidays are no exception. There will be exciting visits to exotic places like Knoxville TN, Charlotte NC, and Detroit. Yep - Detroit in November. That should do it for 2009 - from Thanksgiving through New Years, I should have no nights away from home. As crazy as this year as been, this is a much needed break from the road.

I am slowly piecing the home office back together and getting ready for the inevitable end of my office coming in March 2010. I salvaged some shelving today for storing my work tools and equipment here in the garage. I gave away my 4 year old computer armoire on Freecycle. 5 minutes after I posted it, I had a taker. This gave me the garage space I needed for my 'garage makeover'. The shelving is up with plenty of space for my work gadgetry. I also got the rest of the pool put up today (after tons and tons of rain over the last two months, we finally got 3 dry days in a row. But, the rain returns tomorrow. Poo.)

That's it. 9:30. Time for sleep.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I want to get FAT!

Yeah - everyone else is talking about getting healthy, but you know the true secret to living is massive cupcakes that are 25 times the size of little wimpy cupcakes.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Onward

The last three days have been a blur and tomorrow we go back to our normal lives - work and school. The funeral service was today and by this evening we were dealing with loads of clothes and getting backpacks ready and sorting through bills to pay. I think I am more mentally tired than physically tired at this point. Now, we trudge forward and hope that "weather balloon dad" manages to keep Jon and Kate out of the news for just a few more days.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Today, we remember


The call came early this morning. As much as you attempt to prepare, you always convince yourself that there will be more time. This morning, we lost my wife's grandmother. She moved here to town with my wife's parents a couple of years ago and though watching her decline over the last few months has been quite rough for us all, we were so fortunate to have the time to be so close. I am deeply grateful that our children got to be around their great-grandmother in the same manner that I grew up with mine. Selfishly, we hate to let go of someone who we love and who has meant so much to us but we celebrate the many great things she accomplished in her life and she has left us many wonderful memories and a true example of faith and strength.

With these things in mind, I share with you the scripture I have chosen to read tomorrow morning at church:

 1 For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, 3 if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. 4 For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. 5 Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
6 So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. 7 For we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.
(2 Corinthians 5:1-8)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cyber Overload

I sit in front of a computer all day at work. This somewhat sucks the joy out of sitting in front of one in the evening. To make matters worse, the personal time on the PC seems to be turning into just as much work as actually being at work.

Example - balancing so many social networking sites and profiles. This has become an increasing burden. So, in going with the book I am currently reading (In Praise of Slowness by Carl Honore), I deleted my participation in the following time sucking websites tonight:
Linkedin - I just see no point in it whatsoever. I fought even getting involved with it up until about a month ago and the endless messages from it are just plain annoying. Deleted. Gone.
Classmates.com - what is the point? Those I care to be in touch with are on Facebook. Deleted. Gone.
Google Profiles - deleted. I really need another way for people (robots) to find (spam) me.

I am also going to check my personal email only once a day moving forward. This is fairly easy to do some days and some days I find myself clicking on the mail icon over and over - it's almost a reflex to hit it when I open the browser. No more.

I am still on the fence about Twitter. Sometimes I want to pull a Miley Cyrus and just punt it. (It appears Courtney Love has also deleted her account - who would think these two would be trend starters?). It's entertaining to read some of the tweets but I really am starting to just get over it.

Facebook - updating the status is a chore. I am keeping it just because it is a nice easy connection to a lot of people I had lost touch with but I've narrowed my privacy down so far that I am not easily findable. Maybe that will prevent me from getting 'Facebook Friend Overload'.

Finally - the blog. The blog is my outlet so I am keeping it. I've added links to some of my favorite blogs and sites so I can also come here and click on what I want to read - sort of 'one stop shopping'. I'll just try to honor the 'quality not quantity' rule and not post just to post. That will mean less posts since I rarely have a whole lot to say that would be considered quality.

My next task will be getting email under control. That means a lot of mailing lists are about to have one less person on their mailing lists.

Monday, October 12, 2009

As seen on I-71 earlier today....


We should never have to wonder why there are so many wrecks.

Town to Town - Up and Down the Dial


I'm back in Cincinnati for a short trip. I'm also half asleep from not sleeping well last night and from driving for the majority of the day. Plus, eastern time is a real booger. I am not staying up for "Big Bang Theory" since that would require being up late since it finishes at 10PM here! Nope - not doing that.


Cincinnati is a great place but I am always reminded of what a dumb move it was to move here in '96 - newly married - taking a job that had nothing to do with my degree just because of the $$.

Such a dumb move. It's odd to think about how one decision can completely alter your life.

Back in present time, things are holding together. I have a full day of work tomorrow but I'm already a tad ahead. Looks like I will have a rainy drive home Wednesday but I am getting out of here before the first really cool weather of the season drops in. It's only Monday but I am already looking forward to the weekend. My week is booked solid.

That's all for this Columbus Day / Thanksgiving Day. I hope you and yours had a good one.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A weekend of housework!

(Click to see a panoramic view of the attic!)

It's not much of a panoramic view since it is so tight up there. You can't really see all the wide open space but I am pleased that 90% of that stuff is holiday stuff and most of the floor is completely clear. I actually have about 50% less up there now than when we moved in 5 years ago. No Oprah hoarding episode for us unless you count my tote of Rodney the Reindeers or tote full of old high school junk.

I did finally purge all of the kids school papers. I kept the cute stuff. Everything else is gone. This was a tough one but I realized that I had saved every single paper they had brought home. In just K-1 for Lindsay and K-2 for Sara, that meant one full Glad ForceFlex bag. Yep - I had a problem there. Resolved!

I am heading to Cincinnati tomorrow morning and it looks like it will be rainy and yuk. I was hoping for better but the Zune is packed with podcasts and I know where to stop for good coffee. Let's hope the old Contour is up to the challenge.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Comedy Renaissance in Prime Time

I think that there is a weird correlation we could research and prove between the economy and the number of comedy shows on prime time TV. I believe that the networks have figured out that we're depressed enough at work and in daily life with the economy and the wars and the political junk that we need a lift at night.

I am not a drama fan at all. I've never watched an episode of Law and Order or Lost or CSI:Miami. I stopped watching House 4 years ago and may have seen 3 episodes of CSI. Last year, I was down to one night of prime time viewing (Monday) and Thursday had become quite optional since The Office was on a downward slope (too awkward).

Well, this year things have changed. Here's a summary of all of the stuff I am watching (Yes - this is all I watch) and thus wasting my precious time that I could be multitasking and working toward that Nobel Peace Prize:

Monday:
The Big Bang Theory - here is a show that gets funnier every year and I was concerned with the season premiere since they were so quick to put Leonard and Penny together. I thought we would just see them going back and forth between being together and apart all year. Nope - they are playing off of their new relationship and this past episode was a classic as Sheldon was trying to "train" Penny out of her bad habits using chocolate. Be warned - this is one of the few shows that does not post complete episodes online so set your DVR's.

Other Monday news - I gave up on 'How I Met Your Mother' this year. Last year was frantic at best and I'm just done.

Tuesday:
Flipping Out - I am behind 2 weeks on the DVR and we are near the end of the season. This is a 'documentary' (sort of) about Jeff Lewis who flips and remodels houses. The interaction with his staff and those he comes in contact with is just hilarious some weeks. This year we have learned that the staff is not allowed to poop at his house. Amazing.

Wednesday:
The DVR is on fire on Wednesday now -
The Middle - I am slowly getting into this. It is really good but so close to my actual life that it makes me cringe sometimes.
Modern Family - The best new show of 2009 - I love that Ed O'Neil is back and has a hit and it is nothing like Married with Children. He is so much better than that. The cast on this show is perfect. And - Shelley Long is guesting as the Mom this week!!
Glee - Glee seems different than anything else on TV. The writing is just top notch. I'm not sure how they will keep it fresh but right now it's brilliant.
(Honorable Mention - Cougar Town is just plain funny and way over the top. I would not let my kids see it as I would not know how to answer all of the questions they would ask.)

Thursday:
Community - Community was funny in episode 1 and not-so-good in episode 2. It has steadily come back though and this week was really good. I think this one could be a long term winner as long as it stays out of ruts.
Parks and Recreation - Parks and Recreation is my vote for the funniest show on TV. I didn't really follow it last year but this year has been amazing. I hope enough people give it a chance for it to stick around. It was so good this week that I kept it on the DVR so I can force anyone who comes by my house to watch it. That includes the UPS man.
The Office - It's another show that can make me cringe. This season has been better. The Jim and Pam wedding episode is most likely going to be the defining episode of the show - like "The Soup Nazi" was for Seinfeld and "Chuckles the Clown" was for Mary Tyler Moore. It was one of the best written episodes of any show I have seen in a long time. To think this is season 6 and it has reinvented itself into one of the freshest shows on TV.
(In absentia...30 Rock - 30 Rock is about to come back. Last year was really good so I am looking forward to this year)

Nightly - I'd rather watch The Jay Leno Show than any autopsy or court show. I don't watch it every night since I try to read or actually sleep since my day starts so depressingly early. If you have not seen JMZ with Kate of 'Kate Plus 8' - click here now. Who knew she could act so well (or is she acting?!?)

Friday - I watch nothing
Saturday - I watch nothing - with the exception of college football.
Sunday - I watch nothing - with the exception of watching the Titans get beat every week.

That's all of my "TV Talk" column for this week.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Oh, blah....

Some random thoughts for the day - served up like warm Chicken McNuggets.....
  • I had energy up until yesterday. Today was pure blah and I think it is because of the terrible diet of restaurant food (from being on the road for 7 days) and junk food (from being too unmotivated to fix something real when not on the road) that has finally caught up with me. Too many carbs - too much sugar. I need to get all of that under control and I need to cut out the sodas. I probably need to at least start walking or get some sort of exercise. Now, I'm pooped. Maybe I just need to go to bed early and cut my losses.
  • Speaking of being on the road, I head out again Monday morning for a three day visit to Cincinnati. I actually like Cincinnati and have the benefit of knowing my way around (from having lived there what seems like a lifetime ago). Knowing your way around is quite a plus. I have not mastered Richmond, Virginia. I am slightly getting better with Miami and Orlando.
  • My DVR is also slowly filling up. I am behind two episodes of Flipping Out. I am behind one episode of Glee and I missed Community, Parks and Recreation, and The Office tonight. I have my work cut out for me this weekend!
  • I guess I'll watch us bomb the Moon tomorrow morning. I guess I heard about this before at some point but I don't know when. It still seems incredibly absurd to me.
  • Finally, I ordered my copy (used via Amazon, of course) of In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed by Carl Honore. It is the Huffington Post book pick and is about a subject that quite fascinates me. I'm worked quite hard over the last few years to purge as much 'material stuff' from my life as possible. I feel I still have a ways to go - for example, I have too many books and old audio tapes that I just can't let go of. I also have several boxes of stuff in the attic that really need to be taken to the thrift store. Most of this stuff was purged when I re-did my home office. The next thing I need to work on is slowing down and not trying to pack so much into what little 'free time' I have. I am working on it but the hardest part is not letting other people fill up that free time with activities that force you to drive 30 miles out of the way or stay out until midnight. It's hard to say no and you can't do it all of the time but you have to be able to say NO some of the time. It's the only thing that will keep you from losing it. More on this in the near future...
That's it for tonight. I've found myself tempted lately to write on stuff and then second-guessed myself into not writing it. It's hard to explain why. I'm going to try to get over that wall also. So, that probably means more writing and less pictures. Writing is the point of having a blog in the first place, right? We'll see how that goes.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Christopher Cross on Fallon!

Jump back in time to 1980 with these two clips from "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon"! I hope that Jimmy will keep bringing back some of my old favorites like this that we just never see any more.

Here's "Sailing" which was an web-only extra. Yes - I did once have a Christopher Cross jacket that had "Sailing" on it. I must find a picture of that jacket!



Here's "Ride Like the Wind" with a special appearance by Michael McDonald! (Who knew Christopher Cross could rock out on guitar like this. Maybe he's trying to make sure this song gets on the next edition of Guitar Hero?")

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Weekend Update

Not SNL - my actual weekend update. We're still out of town and went to a wedding today which was quite nice - not that I have a scale to rate weddings or anything. There has been very little stress over this entire trip and I hope I don't jinx the remainder of it by writing that. I think the lack of stress can be attributed to all the allergy meds I am taking. I'm just floating around doing whatever is suggested and I'm getting a decent amount of rest. No staying out 'til midnight for me.
I'll have some random pics to post later. For now, this is all. Over and out. Time for sleep.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Suit up!


Have I mentioned that more rain is on the way? The 20 inches last month just wasn't enough. It hasn't rained since Sunday and everything in my yard is still wet! The ground still squishes when I walk out there. Enough weather - today I decided that I needed to wear something different to the wedding this weekend.

The problem - I have expanded regularly for the last few years. I work it off and then eat away the stress and the stress is winning! (I am craving Dunkin Donuts right now - a big maple doughnut and a large coffee. Yet, I am resisting since I am afraid of what the night crew there might do to the coffee.)

So, for the last few weddings and other suit-wearing events, I have worn my dad's suit. That's right - I expanded out of my own suit and borrowed a suit from my Dad because I was thinking my newly found "build" would be only temporary. Uh huh.

After 5 stores, I picked up a grey (or gray) blazer at Target and it actually fits! (46 R - just like my 'new to me' Members Only jacket). I'm not just wearing a suit so I can be like Barney Stinson - I am heading back to Georgia for a wedding. This means I am off until Tuesday! And, this weekend I get to be in a family picture not wearing my dad's navy blue suit.

Tune in next time for another exciting tale from Doughnut Eaters Anonymous.