Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Regular updates ... riiiiiiiight.

Wow, I have failed miserably at keeping this thing up to date! Even as things change. However, on a recent drive PB reminded me that I should update it more as it's a good history of things that are going on in life. As I age, as things come and go, then it's only natural that this should provide a reminder of what happened and when.

So to recap thus far... Sept 21ish is when my Jeep was stolen. Yep, taken right out of my driveway. Hmmm maybe I need to rename my blog now, eh? I'm not really Crawling anywhere! Oh well, it's only a temporary time w/ no Jeep as I'm looking at a time when I can grab a new one. Ok, well, not a "new" new one, just new to me. Preferably an older one, one I can build and mod and enjoy in ways I hadn't been able to enjoy my other one. In it's place, I got a new 2009 Dodge Ram 1500. The V8 has power I haven't had except on my motorcycle, which I still have.

The house is good. We just got a Christmas tree last weekend on the caravan. However it's still not up nor decorated. Given how busy we are, I see it being a few step process. First, put it up and put a skirt around it. Then I see it getting lights and anything else. But like I said, I'd bet a slow process.

Poker is still going ok. I need to play some more big money games, as I think it could be profitable, however, I have a hard time playing for the big money as I don't like giving that money away. But we'll see what happens AFTER Christmas.

Christmas is coming up and should be a fun day at PB's mom's house! We'll see if she's surprised at her present. Needless to say, I think she will be.. I'm looking forward to the short weeks later in the month. 2-3 day work weeks will ROCK!

Let's see... anything else happen... we went snowboarding to Mount Baker on the Friday after Thanksgiving, Nov 27th. They had an 80" base already. Luckily for us it was icy. BLAH! Overall it was a fun trip but man, that ice can sure hurt the tailbone! We're looking forward to the next trip, maybe this month, maybe early January.

hmmm that's good enough of an update for today. Maybe I'll write more later!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Let's recap...

Since I'm now going to try and blog more again, I can recap more of the things that have gone on that I haven't blogged about in a long time....

Let's start w/ the one that is on my mind the most.. PB. (oh how she looooves her nickname!)

Besides being smoking hot she puts up with my shit, what more can a guy ask for?! But in all honesty most of what I wanted to do while I was 30, I've been able to do with and because of her. When things hit the fan, she was the one that was there.

She bought me a snowboard, we laughed together as I learned how to use it. She's an amazing cook. She looks smoking hot in dresses that she no longer owns. She doesn't kill me when we find out she no longer owns those dresses. She shows patience as I decide I hate poker and am no good at it. She teaches me how to be a better soccer player, then gets to see the immediate rewards where she smiles with pride as her coaching works everytime the ball hits the back of the net. She laughs and talks about the monster she created as I figure out poker and start winning good money. She's the one that asks "Why not take the bike?".

We've gone camping, for a weekend or for a night. We hit Vegas and had a great time. We'll be hitting Portland, seeing new things and having another amazing time. We'll drink together, laugh together and share a lifetime together. We do pretty much everything together not because we depend on it and require it, but because we love it and want to. We don't lead one life, we lead two amazing lives that just so happen to compliment each other ever so perfectly. I thank God every chance I get that back on that great day after my birthday, I could receive such a great present.

In 8 amazing months, I've done more than I have in the years before it. This is how my 30's have started and I'm excited at what the future holds. Many more surprises and events, more smiles, hugs and kisses. More miles, more grins, more inside jokes, nicknames and entertainment.

3/4's of year one down and there's no looking back. This is the life I was meant for. With her, hand in hand, moving forward, never back. Laughing as the likes of DB and others fall to the wayside.

I love you, my PB.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I know, I know...

I don't write near enough here.. If only the summer hasn't been so busy. When I'm at work I'm *gasp!* usually working! Though now that life is settling down, sports seasons are coming to a close for the summer/fall leagues and we're having an open weekend here and there I should be able to find some time now!

So let me try and recap some things... Let's see.. We went to Vegas. The tip trick we read about online worked. For those that aren't fully in-the-know, let me educate you..
  • We booked a trip to Vegas, reserving a basic room @ the Bellagio.
  • When we checked in to the hotel, I put a $20 in between the credit card & my ID.
  • I asked if there were any upgrades available.
  • The lady upgraded us to a full lake view room, top floor. $20 extra dollars.
That little trick saved us about $250. The room was AMAZING, the view with the floor to ceiling window, just something I will never forget. No, we didn't get married, but we had a great time.

Oh something else happened in Vegas that I quite enjoy... I figured out how to play poker!
Since then I've been working on my game, online and in person. I won top-hand of the hour at a casino near by, netting me a few hundred. 4th at a charity tournament and I've been cashing in at 95% of all online tournaments I play now. Usually finishing in the top 15%. I say top 15% instead of like top 5, because these tournaments usually have anywhere from 2500-7200 people in them at once. So I usually make it from 150-350, always making my buy-in back and a little extra. Needless to say I can't complain and enjoy the competition.

Life is good though. PB & I are going to Portland this weekend for UFC. We will be there to celebrate our 8th official month together. Good times it is :)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

So it hasn't rained...

Yet apparently that's big news? Hmmmm... I suppose it could be if we were in some major drought. But this is Seattle. It's been nice instead. So what are people whining about? The fact that if they don't water their lawn it's going to be yellow already? (Mine's close.... hahaha) I know the allergy sufferers hate it and I have my days. But medication does wonders. I say keep the sun! If you don't like it, move to Miami (where out of the 29 days it hasn't rained here in Seattle, it's rained 25 days down there).

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Oooooh how I haven't blogged in a while. I don't know why. I've got so many side projects, events, and life to live, it's hard to sit down and just type for a little while. I suppose I should work on that. I have been debating about a photo blog? I have started to figure out more about the nice SLR that I have and thus, have taken some interesting pictures. Just this morning I took a picture of a yellow bird in the yard, then on the way into the house decided on an "artsy" photo of a soccerball sitting there. Maybe that's what I'll do. Recruit PB and myself to take fun photos of random things and people. Post it on the internet, see what happens, how it goes, etc.

The only drawback to that? All those copiers out here in the interwebs. I'll have to watermark images and crap. Blah. Or well, I suppose I could just let it go and then sue whenever I see my photos in books or somewhere like that should any be good enough...... ha.

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Recent events.........
PB moved in. Master's degree - Housewarming Party. Vegas in July. Parental visits. House reorganization. Ticket while camping. Fishing.

Much living going on in the year of 30. While I may not be a YES man, I am willing to do plenty of new, fun and exciting things.

Friday, April 17, 2009

I need to blog more!

Or so I've been told.. So here ya f*in' go! Actually I have plenty to vent about. Like how I hope computer virus writers need to get the most painful, most dripping STD humanly possible. Yeah, I'll start off with that rant, right off the bat......

I've been a PC user since I was 16. I went through the phase of hacking and doing malicious things. But never bad enough to cause serious problems. Sure I downloaded a few games and things of that nature. But I never wrote any code that would harm people's computers. Let alone on the global scale that people are doing now. So the news since right before April 1, was about this new virus. Everyone was scared about what could happen. Then, when the first came and went and there was nothing, everyone kind of chuckled. Until this week. Suddenly our servers starting exhibiting signs of a problem. Deeper analysis pointed to a virus. Then it started spreading. It got an admin login on one server and then *BOOM* away it went. Servers all around the world started getting it. We have 300+ servers & probably close to 2000+ workstations. Suddenly people are working around the clock & every day we have a new way of fighting it. Thus almost every day it was morphing in a way that the previous day's efforts were being erased and invalidated. We're just now getting ahead.

So for the past week, despite working my ass off all day, all I've done is clean fucking virus problems. Not one "issue" other than cleaning. GRRRRRR.

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But on a brighter note, PB & I went to opening day @ Safeco. Man that was a great time. I'll be posting pics of the game shortly, I'm still redesigning my home web site. Once that's done I'll post up the link. (That's also why the logo from above is missing too ^^) It was great to see Griffey @ home. It was definitely a touching moment seeing him introduced. Chills and memories flooded in. Good times, good times.

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Let's see... I fixed the bike, putting 1.5" spacers on the rear pegs so PB's legs are at a better angle when she rides. So far so good, she sat on it last night and it worked well. Today I'm browsing around looking at communications systems. The weather's about to turn and it's going to be time to RIDE!

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OH and a quick shout out to Dimes for her nice little how-to video on makeup. Because you never know, someday I may need to know how to do it. You know, right after I start wearing PB's pants....

Speaking of pants... I don't know how many read this blog, but go to Joe's Sporting Goods before they close! I've spent almost $250 there in 2 trips, everything is 10-30% off as they liquidate the store. I'll keep checking back too as they're going to keep changing the pricing as they get closer to the end..

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Ahhhhhh....

You know today is APRIL FOOL'S DAY, right?

Well in that case, I hope you had a great time at the shock of my last post. There's some fun jokes going around today too. Like the new "Gmail Autoresponder" ..

Other than that humor, life is good. A new month, a new day, but the same great life.

Life's changes..

Life at 30 seems to be quite different for me. There's been all kinds of new events.. A birthday party in Vegas with 15 friends. A car accident. My house broken into. An amazing girlfriend. Learning to snowboard. Things just keep popping up!

So I think PB is pregnant. Why do I think this? The morning sickness usually point to a culprit.. Especially when she hasn't been sick and then feels fine towards the end of the day. Looks like some things will have to change a little. Snowboarding? Not for a while. Motorcycle? Yeah, because dying and leaving her to be a single mom is high on my list.

Work is great, life is going to be interesting but great. I may not be quite ready to be a dad, but who is? I know people who've planned baby's and they are still surprised and taken off guard by everything that happens.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Ahhh.. the fresh snow of Spring.....

Yeaaaah, that's what I was thinking Saturday night.. Where does snow come from at the end of March?! Especially so much snow you can barely see the road? Then go about 10hrs later and it's gone, not even a trace. Craaaaaazy!

Overall, not a lot to say for this weekend other than it was busy. Had the Leanne Womack concert @ the Showbox in Seattle Friday night, that was fun. Watching PB do karaoke afterwards was fun as well. Saturday afternoon/night went well down in Olympia, then church & soccer Sunday. It was one of those go-go-go weekends.

But when you have the most amazing girl around, it definitely makes it easy to just go and spend the time together. We threw last night for the first time as well, so that's a plus, especially with softball starting in the next 2 weeks. I'm looking forward to more of that lovin.. hehe

Nothing much else going on right now. Heading to Yakima Saturday for my nephew's 2nd birthday. Should be fun I suppose. We're hoping that Snoqualmie extends night skiing until Saturday too, so we can hit that on the way home =) Right now they've only extended it until Friday.

Well, almost April. My how time flies..

Monday, March 23, 2009

I lived, I lived!

HAHAHAHA! She couldn't kill me (the mountain, nor PB) hehe! I actually had a great time snowboarding Saturday. I made it down the mountain a few times, like 5 actually and felt it was a great learning experience. I'm excited to learn more, go again and then do some more runs probably following the great PB (or maybe I should change that to "Crash"?) down the mountain. It won't be long..

Then a small little gathering at the house that night. It was good times. Some pool, beer, jello shots, a fire in the back yard, it was good. Everyone had fun, plenty to do for everyone, a very successful night.

Yesterday was just as great. Breakfast with a couple friends that stayed Saturday night, then some Xbox 360 (I'm up 2-1 thus far!) and dinner at Jimmy John's. We played more 360, watched some TV, movies and a few episodes of the Office. It was just a great weekend.

Ahhhh now back to work... SHIT. haha

Friday, March 20, 2009

What do I do when I'm bored in the day?

Well looking @ the number of my blogs, I obviously don't blog as much. But I do have a few sites I go to and laugh at.

Actually, looking over where I go, it's mainly news & ESPN. But there's one. One great site I go to that keeps me laughing everytime I'm there. Mainly at people who are so stupid you have to wonder how they're still alive. Then there are a few you feel bad for.

Of course, there are fakes too. But that's for you to decide.

For all of you, I present, fuck my life! Or well, actually fmylife or on the web site FML!

Just be warned if you're at work, giggle lightly otherwise people will want to know why you're just laughing to yourself!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Some things in life really aren't a joke...

and when people do stupid shit, it then pisses me off!! Thus here I am ranting and raving about stupid shit. At least then I cool down somewhat.

What some people don't know, ok, most people, is that I've taken suicide prevention courses and am certified to work those nifty hotlines they have to help save people's lives. You know the type, where you answer the phone and all you hear is "You have 60 seconds to tell me why I should live before I pull this trigger..." and then it's game on.

Sadly, I'm not joking. That's how it can be. Sometimes it's just a girl crying over a breakup, sometimes you get someone mad at the world. What they really want is someone to care, someone to talk to, and really, someone to give them an insight they may not be getting from their parents, loved ones, whatever. The training to be able to get that certificate is intense, emotional, and not the funnest time I've had. So needless to say, I look at suicide different than a lot of people.

Saying that, I don't mean my view, because I still view it as wrong. Though I haven't really figured out how I stand on terminally ill people committing suicide, because there's a huge moral dilemma there. So it's been a debate and discussion for a while.

But I digress. My point is that I know how serious it is. I know how real it is. What I don't stand for is people who cry wolf about it just because they want the attention. There's a difference between those people who are on that line, who feel life has nothing for them, who are minutes away from grabbing that knife, those pills or that gun and the person who has no intention of doing so, and is talking about it just because they want that attention from people because someone else has all the attention.

I have a cousin like that. Everytime one of her sister's has something big going on, like a wedding for example, she puts on the whole "Life isn't fair." "I'm tired of playing the game." "God hates me." crap. Sadly that's just what it is too. Right now she uses Facebook status updates to display her disdain for her life. Then she gets lots of messages from people on her list that don't know about her attention whore standing, then the next day comes up with a new status to reflect how she wants to not be here anymore. Why's she doing this? Because her sister's getting married soon and has all the attention with people planning on the travel, talking about how cool it is she's getting married, etc.

It's like the little boy who cried wolf. If there's ever a time where she's actually serious in this endeavor, no one will know. Because she keeps bringing this up everytime she needs attention. While I know that most actual attempts are just that, simple cries for attention, hers are never attempts, just the talk to get the attention. Then once the event she wants to take the attention away from is over, she's "fine".

Grrr... very fucking irritating. Sadly she already sees a shrink. Maybe they need new doctors in Canadia. Someday those older than me, almost as old as my mother will need to grow up. I'm sure her kids love seeing those messages.

And this is why I like living hours away from my nearest family member.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Where has the time gone?

It seems as though I never update this thing lately. It's not as though I have no time to do so, as my work day is basically the same as it always is. I guess there's just not much for me to rant or rave about that I care for people to know. Some parts of my life are always going to be private.

Hmmmm let's see..

  • As a nerd I fixed my own XBox 360. That was fun. There wasn't anything to exciting there, but the result made me proud to play, as it runs like a champ.
  • My knee from snowboarding is almost 100% I'd think. It still hurts from time to time, but it's taken a beating and kept on going so far. I think PB's trying to murder me though, with talks of going back up to the mountain this weekend. Look for a blog update next week on if I survived, otherwise look for my funeral/party invitation.
  • Football season ended and while we didn't win a ton, we definitely had a great time.
  • Soccer is never ending and while in one league we suck, in the other we're 7-1 and on the way to the championship game!
  • Softball is starting soon, which will be different nights than soccer. I'm looking forward to that, it's been a while.
  • My sister got married. PB got to see the family too. That was fun. Especially watching her get my mom & step mom confused!
That's a good update. I think I'm going to start post-dating blogs. Write them in advance and let them post on that date. At times that'd be easier. Just an idea I'm floating around. Or maybe I'll move this blog over to my new web server that's still being setup. Oh yeah, the longest frickin' process I've ever gone through. Thankfully it's not my new provider's fault, it's the one I'm leaving. They apparently don't like you leaving, so they make the process very difficult and convoluted. Bastards.

Anyhow, I'll update more here tomorrow or Wednesday. Time to do a quick upgrade so I can get the hell out of here and go home!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Change of pace?

I really haven't had much to blog about, so let's change the pace on rants and raves and show some humor! Yes, some of it is nerd humor, but deal with it. I'll start it all off with a pic that will make the one I love giggle...

















Friday, February 20, 2009

Good or bad... hmmmm


Yep, he's baaaack.. Seems to be the talk of the town... I keep going on "Is this good or bad?" Kind of like the Russian Astronaut in Armageddon when they draw straws.

I grew up with Junior. His leaving Seattle hurt. But he was so likable, I didn't mind that much. Comparing that to A-Fraud, it was way different. Everyone still hates him. Now that Junior's coming back am I excited? Eh, I'd say more a reserved excitedness. I'm happy we have a left handed bat. If he stays healthy, he'll rock his full year in Safeco. If he follows trend & gets hurt, then well, we tried.

For now, I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt. I'm even trying to get opening day tickets, I just don't think I'll be able to. Upon announcing his return, the M's sold 16,000 more season tickets. Should be an interesting year.

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PB's finally feeling a little better today after being way sick the past few days. Those white spots on the tonsils always look so nasty, yet so cool to look at. Either way, they are not fun if they're on your tonsils!

Lucky for my kickass immune system, I'm not sick with that. I'd end up needing to go to the dr & getting a note too. I hate sitting at a dr's office, so it would drive me nuts! Plus sitting at home all day is no fun at all! Cabin fever big time, especially in such sunny days.

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Well, time for pizza! We have a lady who's last day is today. Time to go celebrate with food. Hopefully beer too! mwahaha!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

What it must be like...

.. Ever see things on TV or read it on the news & wonder how people can stand it? For example, countries that don't provide basic care for their citizens. While the U.S. doesn't provide health care, we do have social service programs, laws, freedoms, & the right to do just about anything we want.

Countries like China restrict it all. This blog, for another example... I can say I hate Bush, I can say I love my job, I can say I hate people, I can say whatever the FUCK I want (see what I did there?) however the fuck I want & whenever the fuck I want. I can profess my love of intelligent people or PB, I can disclose that if you're a prick I'll put you in your place, and I can talk about whatever or whoever pisses me off at that very moment.

Love me or hate me, I don't really care. My friends know pretty much everything in this blog. Dimes for example reads all my posts. Agree or disagree she respects my opinion and we have a great friendship because of it.

Imagine now, that one of my readers worked for a communist government or every time I posted it had to go through a government censor program. Not so much fun now is it?! I'm sure the recipe blog would pass through ok. I'm not so sure that this blog would. Ha, who am I kidding? This blog & 99% of its postings would be against the law.. They'd either be deleted or my ass would be put in jail.

For all this, I'm glad for my freedoms, I'm glad I have my rights. I'm glad I live in this country. The benefit of this blog is it's my world. I can spout whatever. Don't like it, leave. Like it, visit regularly. Hell, even leave comments, I believe in free speech though I can & will moderate posts as needed. I am a human & a person & I expect to be treated as such. Failure to do so will lead to unwanted consequences.

As I said, thank God for America. Everyone have a great day and don't take for granted what we get for being here!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Valentine's Week...

Working with a bunch of guys that like to talk as much shit as I do makes the work day fun. Then we sit and chat about things like Valentine's day, women, beer, cars, and anything else that appears from day-to-day.

Unfortunately at this present time there is no nickname's setup for my group, so I'll just make up names instead! "Bill" & "Robert" are the only two people in my department in the office today with me. Bill showed us the coffee mug his wife made him. It has pictures of the two of them in it, pictures of his wife with their baby, and then a piece of paper that gives him a free charter fishing trip. It was pretty cool, definitely creative.

Then the service center (our IT help desk) manager sent us an email, saying she heard us talking about Valentine's and wanted to show us what she got her fiance. It was a brand new, 2008 Kawasaki Vulcan motorcycle. He had previously sold his motorcycle to pay for her engagement ring (everyone all together now: "awwwwwww"). We were pitching idea's for her to give it to him, since she's not sure how to pull it off yet.

We then discussed the thing's we're doing and how much of a commercial "holiday" that Valentine's day is. I only say it like that because people shouldn't need just one day a year to do something nice for the person they care about. Sadly though, because there is more than one guy out there who won't ever send flowers or do something nice, this holiday was born. Those of us that do random sweet things because we care see that day as a day to be creative. Because roses and candy are too cliche. Plus really, I could send roses any other time of year at a fraction of what they raise the prices to. Dozen long stem roses during late Feb - end of January: $50-80. Same place, same flowers, week of Valentine's day: $120+.

Yet doing something creative, something personal, something that makes a moment and shows some thought will do more than any store bought rose or candy heart. I know, nothing says I love you like dark chocolate... But still. Creative is where it's at!

Since I know some of my reader base, that's where my description of what I'm doing for Valentine's day ends.....

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On the bright side, PB gets to meet the family this weekend. That should be a good time. I haven't been back in a few months anyway, so it'll be a good time for all. Plus it'll help that we're staying at the Hilton too, so she (or well, me more so) can unwind away from them all. I haven't seen some of the family I'll see this weekend for many years, like close to 3-4.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Life...

المرح الشيء غوغل المترجم. حتى أتمكن من الحديث عن هذه الفتاة الخاص بأي لغة كنت ترغب في ذلك. الانجليزية؟ من المؤكد أن سهولة. الأسبانية؟ من المؤكد انها بذلك تكون قادرة على قراءتها. العربية؟ يخلط الجميع للخروج من الجحيم! وهكذا فإنه العربية.

أنا بس كنت استخدام هذا الوقت لأقول أنا سعيد لهذه النتيجة المذهلة امرأة في حياتي. لم اكن اعتقد في يوم مثل هذا الامر. أنا دائما عن أمله ، ولكن في الحقيقة ، لم أكن على يقين من أنها حقيقة واقعة. أشكر الله كل فرصة يمكنني مذهلة في اتجاه الشخص الذي القى لي. أنا سعيد لأننا كنا قادرين على رؤية كلا! ها هي الحياة ، والحب ، والضحك من العمر.


Sí esto es acerca de usted. La traducción no es tan buena, cerca de que a nuestro idioma, pero se vuelve al punto de ancho. Poco.

Monday, February 2, 2009

I'm aliiiiiiiive!

Kinda. haha That picture I posted on Friday was scarily accurate to how yesterday's humbling experience ended up! And boy do I fucking hurt! My fingers are even sore. However, I'm extremely grateful for the amazing girl that I have in my life.

First and foremost I have to recap my first snowboarding experience.. because this is something that has to be put down to be remembered. I will post pics of the trip into a separate blog later.

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I talked a lot of shit. Kind of the normal shit I talk with everything else. Because really, why would snowboarding be any different from other activities I do? God granted me the ability to pick things up and run with them very easily. Sports, technology, life, I learn and go forward. Usually from a crawl to a walk to a run very fast. Failure's never been an option, neither has having to work really hard at things. It just works.

But not this time.

Oh no, God decided that while other activities in life may come easier, this was one activity I need to work at. But the thing is, I'll do just that. I'm too stubborn to give up and really, I fucking hate to lose. HATE to lose. Especially since I'm losing to myself and SNOW. A frickin' inanimate object. How the hell do you lose to something that isn't even trying to compete with you?!

The chair lift went pretty well. I didn't really fall getting off the first one like PB thought (figured) I would. She tried her little initiation "push" which I balanced and stayed up on. There's hope! I could be good! Or...... not. I promptly ate it the whole way down. Sitting and reflecting and getting frustrated each dump. It took me way too long to get down that first run because I wasn't sure how to deal with my frustration. About half way down that first slide, the back of the board cut in hard and while I was very tense, I tried to counter that idea like a dumbass. As I felt the pop of my knee, about 10 seconds later I hit the ground. What I screamed inside my head is not safe to post on this blog, even for me. PB knew something was up based off my reaction.. I mean, really, I don't get hurt, not much. But I made it down, and it hurt.. She made a quick run after that, while I tweaked with my bindings a bit, trying to find my balance. We took a quick break for batteries and a shot (or two), then it was back to the mountain.

We decided it was about lunch time & PB really wanted one of the restaurants that are up on the mountain. It was ski-lift time again! Again, proper dismount, thus not making an ass of myself nor did they have to stop the lift for me... whoohoo!

There was this moderately steep downhill right off, as we took a right to the next lift we had to take before we got to the food.. So PB was working with me on how to take it and keep it easy. However, on this day, NOTHING was easy. While I started to do it correctly, I made it probably 15-20 feet where I then promptly ate it. Then continued to eat it about every 2 feet the whole way down. I even got to find some ice! My tailbone still enjoys that discovery. I had no real strength in my left knee though, so after enough falls, I unbuckled (we hit a flat spot, no momentum = walking) and walked to the next lift. I was so tense while falling down the slope continuously that when I loosened up to walk, I was exhausted. My body hated me. While talking with PB on the walk, we had a ski safety lady ski by, who watched my little ... adventure .. and told me that if I was tired or having a real hard time to just ask ski patrol or the safety people and they'd get me a courtesy ride down the mountain so that I didn't kill myself.

That little piece of advice was in the back of my head the rest of the next ride up. Oh, and I didn't bite that dismount either! When we got to the food place, I was so exhausted that I didn't want to eat, despite needing food. So I picked something and just kind of ate pieces here and there, while PB devoured hers. At least one of us could eat something. While eating and unwinding there, I pretty much made the decision that I wasn't going to slide my ass down the mountain for a few reasons. One, my knee really was starting to hurt in ways that made me nervous. Two, it wasn't fair for PB. She can board, but while going with me, she's not going to leave me behind. So as I fall and get pissed every 3 feet, she'll end up waiting for me. Thus not a fun ride for her. I couldn't do that. Real relationships, good relationships are about compromise and give and take. We have always done that and I'm pretty sure we always will. So I swallowed my pride and asked for a ride down, so she could it it on her own and not have to stop for me the whole way. I owed her that much after all the patience she had with my inability to do anything on a snowboard but crash.

Ahhhh the sled ride down. They strap you into this sled, and the ski patrol takes you down. That was actually pretty fun. We hauled ass down the mountain (passing PB even with her head start but I got to wave LOL!) and once at the bottom I waited for her to come down. She was happy and excited about her run smiling and happy to tell me about how amazing it was. Seeing that in her face really told me that the decision I made, regardless of how big of an ego bruise it created, was the right decision. That excitement and smile told me all I needed to know about the day. Since it was about 4, they were slowly shutting down, but she was able to get on a lift and hit it again before they shut it down. She came down, the same excitement and smile on her face as the last one. Yep, I may suck at snowboarding, but seeing her happy after those runs definitely made the day perfect.

We got a chai tea to depart with, then remembered that they took pictures at the beginning of the day, so we went to check them out. They got 2 good action shots, one of her, one of me (obviously has to be shortly before biting it! ) and then two great pictures of us, together. So we got the package deal with 4 5x7's. They're some great pictures though.

Once home, PB forced me to sit on the couch, made me some ice bags, rolled them up onto my knee, then proceeded to get me water, cocoa, beer, food, whatever. A sweetheart, in so many ways.

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Today's my review too, this should be fun. I haven't had a work review in ages. Hell, in all my career I've only had one raise. Not by lack of performance, but because the companies I end up working for go bankrupt or get bought out & merge. Thus if the ownership is always changing, there is no annual review other than, "Keep working!".. So we'll see how this goes.

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A sad, yet happy story that tugs at anyone who's a hopeless romantic....

Read me...

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On that note, it's time to get some food!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Man...

.. what a slow Friday. It's too bad they restrict so much access from here, otherwise I could remote out and do some other work. Oh well, I'm just doing some intense web research and trying to keep myself occupied. I'm sure another long email thread about random things is in order. My group is fun like that. It gets even more fun when your boss chimes in and cracks a few jokes as well.

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It's been so slow, it's now 2p, and I just got back from a 2hr lunch. We sat, had some beers, and laughed. A lot. Learned a new word even....

Behyman (be - high - man). If you're not sure what that means, well, sorry! I know I've got mine though, so that's all that matters. Like I said, a good lunch. My stomach still hurts from laughing so much. My co-workers are fun, that's for sure.

Well the weekend is a little slower, with only soccer tonight & football tomorrow. I think Sunday instead of watching the Super Bore, we'll be off snowboarding. Where has yet to be determined, but it sounds like it's between Baker & Crystal. Either way, I hope I live!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

As the world gets smaller....

Holy crap odd. Odd enough I must blog about it. I have a knack for remembering faces, though not names. So I could remember seeing someone at the store for example, then see them again months later and think that I've seen that person somewhere before. I may or may not remember where, just depends. That's how my mind works, faces are easy, names are harder.

When PB & I put together our football team, I was looking through our opponents that were scheduled against us. Teams that had played previously had pics of those teams, and looking at the first team we played I just recognized one woman on that team. I figured it's because I play enough sports, she's probably played on some other league or something along that line.

After my great lunch today, I went over to the corporate break room to get something to drink and I swore the woman at the table with others was the coach of that first team. Nah, couldn't be. So I came back to my desk, pulled up the team page of that team, pulled up my company directory and ... holy shit! So I've been chatting with her about who else plays for her that works here. Professional networking at it's finest! Plus, she said they have a hard time finding players sometimes, thus another outlet to play when I don't want to get a team together. Sweeeeeet!

The world sure does shrink!!

The hits keep coming & coming...

almost 90,000 this week. That's job losses people. By Wednesday of this week, over 90,000 people have lost their job nationwide. As it's that time of year when the companies report to Wall Street their earnings, they are announcing job cuts to help push off the chance of a collapse.

So this week is half over and we're pushing 100,000. We already have 200,000 for the year. In JANUARY. Last year we had as a country around 2.6 million jobs lost for the year. The single most since 1945. I find that stat with mixed emotions. Because there are more people than 1945, it's probably not near as damaging, but then again, that's a lot of money that's no longer being spent in the local economy.

Sadly, there's not a whole lot that any individual employee can do to make sure that they don't lose their job. Well, other than picking an industry that is safe. But then again, what is safe? Microsoft is laying people off, Home Depot is laying people off, banks, manufacturing, construction, real estate, retail, everyone is making cuts.

Well I should be grateful that I have all that I do. People are going to continue to hit rough times, so those of us that are ok will definitely have to help out where we can. However, there's a fine line with that "help". As many who lose their job or home (or both) do get depressed, help isn't the easiest thing to accept. While down, offering help can take them even further down, offering to pay for lunch or dinner makes them feel like they can't pull their own weight. The biggest thing you can do to keep them happy with that? Do free things... Go to the park, play catch, be active. Just be a friend.

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So on a brighter note ummmm the Super Bowl is coming up? Or even better, they are looking at expanding the liquor selection in Washington's liquor stores. I doubt we'll see Everclear anyday, but hey, more choices is still a positive.

OH and a definite plus is that the vending machine over at the corporate office has Bit-O-Honey! That is a huge plus. mmmmmmm

Ok, that's good enough for now. Nothing has really touched a nerve lately, just been busy with 'life'.

Monday, January 26, 2009

It's January....... right?

I got a huge case of spring fever on the way in. I mean it's sunny out with no clouds in the sky. What a way to start the week. Despite the cold I felt like I should have rode the bike to work today. Looking at Komo4's weather for the week however, it looks like today's the only possible day.

Looking at the rain coming, I decided to check how the weekend treated the different mountain ski resorts. It did snow in the lowlands this weekend, plus some rain, so it had to have snowed in the mountains too..... right? Or you know, they got 2" of snow in the past 48hrs. TWO INCHES. In January. COME ON. I got all this cool winter gear that just sits and waits. It's 5 degrees up there tho. Sounds like a great time, if you're a damn polar bear... Maybe this upcoming rain will bring good snow to the mountains!

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Overall, kind of a slow blog day. The weekend went well, not losing one game all weekend. Including the nail biter final to our football game. A great defensive flag football game helps keep the adrenaline going for the entire time. It was intense and exciting.

Super Bowl is this weekend too, thinking about throwing a party since there is no softball. We'll see how the week starts to pan out and then we'll go from there. But I think it'd be a great idea. Then again, I kind of have another idea that'd be fun too. Again, we'll see how this week plays out and decide from there....

Friday, January 23, 2009

Apparently times are tough..

Thank God for some real job security. While tens of thousands of Puget Sound workers are finding the axe, I'm lucky to not have that worry. Not even a little. While companies are reporting losses for the year, our numbers are way up. Apparently worldwide shipping is a profitable business.

This is where I mix up my 5 year plan a little. I'm keeping the plan intact, however, I'm keeping an open mind on if it happens in 5 years or not. While those that have been shown the door figure out where they want to work or what they want to do, the economy around Seattle is going to slow. Not the best time to take a business live 100%. Rather, it's a great time to just do the planning, the paperwork, the policies needed, then look for some different opportunities and do some part time work for things that come in. When there is a surge of small business and opportunity, then it's time to pull the trigger. Jumping too early means disaster, and who wants to be homeless??

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On that note, TGIF! It's Friday.. Nothing really important to note, just another day. I'm definitely going to keep updating my business blog, I'm going through ideas on which things to hit on, like different series based off the day.. Like Management Monday, Tech Tuesday, etc. But I don't know that I'll do one everyday.

OH! One thing I did hear on the way in to work that made me wonder about is how there are so many stupid men out there?! One of the ladies on the radio show I sometimes listen to was bitching because her husband didn't call her back after her ultrasound. Even after she sent him pics. Apparently, 4 hours later he finally called back. This is their first kid btw.

HOW?! If that's your first kid, how the hell are you not at the ultrasound with her to begin with?? If it's the 3rd or 4th, ok, no problem, I understand that it's "old news" in a sense. But you'd still call afterwords to find out the sex, make sure it's healthy, etc. How does a guy who's married and wanting kids with his wife just pass it off as though she was just trying to tell him about her breakfast? (I was going to use the BB analogy there that S² uses, but really, who calls to tell about that?!)

I'd be excited as one could imagine. I'd be open to go to every doctor appointment. It doesn't matter if it's just a checkup. This is your child, your DNA, your future. If you're not excited about the idea, then you needed to think about that before taking the steps to have kids.

I know, he's scaaaared.. Please. Being scared doesn't mean you're going to ignore your wife after the most important event with your first child. I don't know, maybe I just don't understand because I could never fathom ever being like that. But then again, I'm also the guy that has no problems running in to buy tampons either.

Still. Not good if you ask me.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

And the ball is in motion.....

That motion, is like a snowball... as this ball rolls it's traction gains, it's goals emerge and life changes..

Thus the new business blog is up, things are flying and away we all go.. Where we stop, no one knows.. actually I know, because I have no plan of stopping..

And I present to you the Business Blog: Maximum Dollar.

Business & Businesses

There's a reason I have a 5-year, million dollar plan. This isn't a in 5 years I'll have made a million, but rather within 5 years my company will be bringing in a minimum of a million that year. As I talk with friends about the companies they own, work for, or work with, I come to realize just how easily this task will be to work. The only part I am still hammering out is just how far I want the company to dig into business inefficiency.

I like blogging about business, because in 1-, 2-, 3-years down the road I can pull it up and take a peak at what I was thinking now, to see if I was under estimating the problem or to see if I stuck to the path I had already envisioned out. Maybe I'll create another blog just solely on the business process & where I'm at with that. Maybe I'll do that here later today even, copying this blog into it as the first official post.

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I was chatting with a friend a couple nights ago about the company he works for, who I've done some work with on many fronts. He was asking me about some new policies that were put into place very quickly and not implemented over time like most. He was interested in my secret to accomplishing this, as change never moves that quickly. I explained not only the technical reasons on why the policies were put out there but the efficiency it offers over their old way of doing it. While he understood all that I was saying, he couldn't understand how easy it was for them to make the change, because in most businesses not only is change feared, it's usually slow to implement, and here in less than an hour, his company had a TON of change.

What can I say, I'm just that good. Now that I'm done stroking my ego, I'll share a small amount of why I'm that good.
  1. I have experience to back it up. I know what I'm doing, period. It doesn't matter if you're a software company, an insurance company, an accounting firm or a lawyer's office. I can walk in, see where you're efficiency is failing and ways you can turn it around.
  2. Once I see how your office is backwards, I can provide the financial incentive to make any owner/CEO/president suddenly think, "Change is AWESOME!".
Now, with point #2, don't think I go in there and pay them to change. They pay themselves to change. I just show them the approximate amount of money they save by just making a few changes: whether it be processes, software changes, computer hardware changes, or a combination of all of the above. When you tell a CEO that in this tight economy that I can save them approximately $200,000 a year without losing any staff, they sit up straight in their chairs and hang on every word coming out of my mouth. Plus they then are more than willing to give me a percentage of that to get that efficiency.

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That's all the easy part. There's nothing in any of that process that makes me nervous to do it. The question is, however, how deep do I want to go. Do I keep it to technology, or do I go down the business management side of it as well. I hate to use the analogy of Office Space, but there are some really dumb management types out there. As such, the people that deal with them on a day-to-day basis don't understand or fail to see it. That's where a third wheel comes in, evaluates the business on a whole, the IT staff, the sales manager, the HR director, making sure that the company is running at it's peak capacity. Where the flaws are found, multiple solutions can be presented. Move inefficient manager A to department Z. Move efficient senior employee B to department D to turn it around and lead it to profitability. Sometimes those closest to the situation can't see the solution sitting right in front of them.

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Each person has strengths and weaknesses. That's human nature. The question is, can that weakness be fixed or is it something permanent. If it's permanent, how can you work around it and make use of what that person is great at. That my friends, is what makes a great manager. The ability to make people succeed. Because in the grand scheme of business, a great manager can't be selfish. It's not about you, the manager. Your success comes when you're employees do great things. If you smother your employees and not allow them to succeed, you're working too hard at micromanaging. When you're salesmen bring in a monster quarter because you allowed them to do what they're good at, when you shuffled people around to get their strengths out there, delegated the projects and customers in a way that utilized every person to the peak of their potential, THAT is when you get your recognition. Because you're the boss, you enabled it. Senior management will see what you were able to perform and you will be rewarded as such.

"Don't tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results. "
-George S. Patton

To bring sports into it, a great leader or manager (yes, they are two different things; not every great leader can manage & not every great manager can lead but there are those who can lead & manage) is a quarterback. You can be the best QB ever, but if you don't have the right staff around you, who's going to catch your passes? Who's going to deflect the defense to allow you to create magic on the field? If you think you can do it all yourself you will fail and as such, you will not only be demoted to second string, your salary will suffer with it. Bring your teammates up and along with you, you will fly, breaking records, winning games and creating that nest egg that we all want financially. Most importantly, you'll keep teammates. No one wants to play with a selfish leader who can't complete passes and fumbles all the time.

That works the same in management. Employee turnover hurts the bottom line. Being an efficient department isn't easy when you're constantly training new people. But as a leader or a manager you must look into what is causing the turnover. There are usually 2 main reasons... A) You chose the wrong employee to hire or B) Your management style doesn't fit the people in place. As a manager, people sometimes have way too much pride in that they can't admit that they don't know how to deal with their people. That's where maybe you're a better leader, but a really crappy manager. That's OK, but you must own up to it, and your management or leadership must recognize this and utilize your strengths at the benefit to the company. If it's option A, well, then as a company you've got to sit down and look through why you're hiring the people you are. You know the old insanity joke.. the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result each time... Well, hiring the same type of people over and over again while expecting something different each time is, you guessed it, insanity.

There's a reason I have about 15 different management & leadership books, each by a different set of authors. Some are prize winning, some do seminars that sell out in each city, some are just the theory & psychology of business management and leadership. Mix that in with experience, common sense, & some business savvy thoughts, and you get me. Yes I've lead people, I've managed, hired and fired. I've had one person quit on me in all my years of a manager. ONE. While that looks like turnover, it was a calculated move on my part, getting him to quit as we did not have a firing policy at the time. With that, I was the highest requested manager to work for. Imagine that. Work hard for me, I've got your back. Slack off and I'll mentor you, find your strengths and make sure you do what you're good at so we all win. Sometimes I do agree that there are cases where you can't win, that employee is impossible to reach. Sometimes as a manager you have to admit to your mistakes and realize that keeping that person is a bad choice & thus showing them the door is the only way to go. That's not a bad thing. It helps keep you grounded.

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I will end this long winded blog right about here. I only brushed the surface on a number of little things going through my head. I could take each paragraph and turn it into a blog about this size and help change businesses. At one point I probably will do just that, with a business blog. In the meantime, the overview of my company is set. There's far too many companies out there that fail, not for lack of a great idea, but for a lack of direction. It's time to provide them the compass.

For you managers, leaders, and management hopefuls.. remember, it's not going to be easy, you have to accept fault in yourself, you have to work hard and you have to do it in a way that gets results. Work smarter, not harder. Otherwise you could find yourself here instead.

The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.
-Theodore Roosevelt

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

GAHHHHH

Mother fucker! Two times my mouth just bypasses all filters in speech or typing... 1) when I'm exhausted. PB can attest to this after last night, given Sunday night's circus -or- 2) when I get fired up because of people that I just truly don't understand.

Obama the antichrist? Really? FUCKING really!? He's been our president not even 24 hours. People lay off right after the election as if it didn't happen. Now that it's a reality and in their face, it's time to start that topic again. Facebook/myspace messages of "Here comes hell!", "Down the gutter goes our country", etc, etc.

Asking an acquaintance why her views extend the way they do in terms of that, she mentions "signs" and how she doesn't want to be the religious preacher when it comes to talking about how if she's right, life is going to suck because of his Antichrist status..

Now let me get this out of the way first and foremost as I didn't want to do a political blog, nor a religious one. I voted for GWB in 2000. In 2004, I voted for him again as really, there was no better choice and really, he couldn't do worse than he had done (wrong there for sure). I was a supporter in 2000, indifferent in 2004, and a hater in 2008. MANY people other than me believed the same. Hint why Obama was elected.

He wasn't elected because of his race, it was because he was the best speaker offering change that could sell it. He's the type of sales man that shows leadership, picks the right people, smart people, that will bring about change. He doesn't have a dad and strings inside politics, people are/were tired of that, which is why GWB is leaving with the lowest ranking of any president... EVER. 43rd president, meaning in ranking he was 43/43. I know that like in sports, unless you're first it doesn't really matter. To be dead last however, says a TON. But I digress. Big time.

As for this particular person, she mentions signs she sees. So I ask, probably the dumbest and most obvious question any one person would ask... "Like what signs? I don't see him asking to be worshipped in place of God" Not to mention I mean he goes to church. That church doesn't have a pentagram and sacrifice small animals or virgins. He's not asking for people to worship him, so I am waiting for a smoking gun or some kind of something that gives people this belief. Because really, to believe such a HUGE thing, one would think it requires something, ANYTHING, that points to this. Her answer? "I can't really explain it to you, one would need to have a very big, very deep relationship with God to understand..." Wait, wha.... ? So because apparently God and I aren't dating, I wouldn't understand nor be able to research these "signs" that someone sees (and apparently can't explain to a peon like me).

This is where she then goes off on how she hates how people claim religion while doing the opposite. I listen (or well, read) this argument while throwing morsels at her to keep her on her rampage just so I can laugh and get fired up while I throw more at her to see how deep this goes in her belief system. She goes off about how people judge and shouldn't and how she tries to live by God's word. .... wait, didn't she just judge me and what I believe earlier? Does she know what I know nor have any idea of my religious views? Hmmm, I must remember to use dictionary.com to check the official definition of judge or judging. Because I think I'm confused.

What signs are these people seeing? Obama wasn't elected because he was black, he wasn't elected because he goes to church, he was elected because he advertised the change that people are desperately seeking. Yes, he may not have as much experience as McCain did, but at this point in time, people didn't want the experience. They wanted to shake things up. Bush came from a family of politicians full of experience. Here we are.

He's not been president 24 hours, yet people are already foaming at the mouth just waiting for the failure or hell on earth. Sadly, in 4 years, it still won't be here. If he does just a fraction of what he was aiming for, this country will finally start doing things we should have been doing years ago... Will that be a failure? Nope. Even funnier will be the new supporters. Those same people that claimed he was the Antichrist or that he's the beginning of the end of the world will suddenly be a fan, trying to cover up their original feelings "I was just saying the whole time I hoped I was wrong... since I am, yay! Go Obama!" At which those that tried to get you to open your mind a little, to give it a chance (do you have any other choice, he is the elected president now), we'll be the ones looking at you, seeing that your closed minded beliefs are why people look at you the way we do.

Do I think Obama is the save all? NOPE. Do I think he'll do everything he promised on his way to the White House? NOPE. Do I think he's the reason the world will collapse? NOPE. Do I think people need to relax and let time take it's path? YEP. Nothing will happen over night, nor would we want it to. I just want people to keep an open mind as things go on. I'll be the first one to say I was wrong if shit hits the fan. I'm not naive enough to think that there's not a chance of that. I know there's a chance of that. There's also a chance I could hit the lotto. There's a chance that anything can happen. But if I sat around and just talked about it's only a matter of time and everything coming out of my mouth was gloom and doom, how good would my life be? Really? I'd lose my friends, my career would stall out, and I'd be single. I'd have to get a cat who'd claw the shit out of me for being a loser and then want to hang myself from my stairs.

I understand people are pessimistic. But with things already shitty, how about looking towards a little positive, as we're at the start of a little change. Not all change is negative.

As obvious, this was a rant on people. I'm open minded to understand other's views. When they can explain them. When they have valid points. If you don't have the points, that's ok, naive people can have an opinion too. Just keep them to yourself.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Steps... take one, then another..

Given the theme of blogs past, there are a number of things I'd love to do before I die. I'd love to open a small diner. I hope to have kids. I desire to not only work for myself, but to be financially set by doing so. With that, I hope to bring friends along for the ride. Because if I'm doing something that makes me a lot of money, why not let them make lots of money too?!

On that note, I've had a lot of really deep thoughts and plans in regards to my future. So much so I believe I have a model that will change the way companies use and acquire technology going forward. Kind of like the "Best Buy" of IT. I've floated different aspects of different pieces through my head for a while. Last night on the way home, about 3 pieces floated by each other and clicked.... Thus my new goal of making a million in less than 5 years.

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Wow, I was just pointed (by coworkers) to a news article talking about a 22yr old girl who is auctioning off her virginity to pay for college. Highest bid thus far? $3.7 million. I don't know what school she plans on going to, but I think that pretty much covers it. But hey, why stop there, she's starting off as a prostitute, might as well keep the process going. Because once you're the woman known for selling her virginity, I'm pretty sure no good guy is really going to want to keep you. Not to mention that thanks to the internet, her picture will forever be associated w/ that news fact. I'm sure her kids will be proud to know what their mother did.

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Oh and I've mentioned the online recipe Blog before, Favorite Eats.. I haven't written anything there in a few, but my co-author has. PB will get access before long, just need to get her the right ID to login, and then she can add whatever recipe's she wants for the world to see as well. It's gaining popularity too, with 5 people currently watching it for new posts.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

New toys...

Oh how I love me some toys.. Yes, that's right, I'm a little kid.. The only difference is that my toys cost more..

My newest collection:

That was my very latest.. Before that, just this morning I was able to score some new boots too!


Once I get those toys in and installed I will post a new picture of the board. Mmmmm gotta love new toys.

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Something I've been reading a lot about given it's still early January is "New Year Resolutions"... I guess my main question is, WHY?! Why is it that so many people set unrealistic expectations as if a new year is suddenly a reason to be a different person. I'm sorry, but if you've always been an asshole, I'm guessing you're still going to be an asshole in 2009.

Who benefits the most by these promises? Gyms, psychologists, and then, in the end, Ben & Jerry. There's a reason that each gym has a $200+ deposit (or better known as "start-up fee") and that you won't find any new year special reducing or eliminating that. Because when you quit going after 2 weeks they still get paid!

The problem as I see it is that most people set unrealistic expectations with huge change right off the bat. Instead of starting small and working towards the end result. When someone says "This year I'm going to the gym every day for at least 2 hours! Then in 2 weeks I'll be down 10-15lbs and will be on my way to my year weight loss goal!", they're setting themselves up for massive failure. They're forgetting the increased muscle mass may have the scale appear to be slowly dropping. Not to mention that at a minimum of 3 nights a week it will take 2-3 weeks before your body starts any serious change for the normal person. Thus, after about the 20th of January, Ben & Jerry's sales start increasing. Sad that they have only lost 2 lbs in all their workouts and grunts, they sit at home, drowning their sorrows in a tub of Chunky Monkey.

It's not fair by any means, but come on people. Drastic change doesn't happen over night. It takes steps. Each step being a realistic one at that. You can't expect over night weight loss, you can't expect to suddenly be rich, just as you can't expect to suddenly change your life. Change isn't bad, but you have to be fair to yourself. The big thing is to understand that if you don't accomplish all the grand schemes you set out to do, you didn't fail, you're not a failure, but to keep working on it. Giving up and going back to the old way of things you wanted to change is leading yourself to disappointment. Then year after year you get the same results. Nothing.


And to be fair, my New Year's resolution? I've got to be honest here... I've really not made any this year. I don't really have a reason to, I enjoy my life right the way it is. However, I do have goals I want to accomplish, kind of fits with the "I'm 30 this year, live life!", so I guess it all fits into those. Some of those goals:
  • Don't die. -Simple enough.
  • Snowboard. -Got a board from PB for Christmas, just got my toys above, this goal is on it's way down...
  • Get all my business plans in line for 2009. -Sounds easy & most is done already, just takes a little more time in planning, organizing and figuring out the details.
  • Making sure the people closest to me know how much I do care, both by expressing it verbally and via actions. -again, simple enough.
  • Staying active w/ sports, gym visits, playing in the yard or whatever comes up.
That's pretty much a small sample list of things that are on my list. Granted there's plenty more I want to do, there's plenty more I would like to do but that's for another day. Maybe I'll create a big list and check things off as I complete them.

Monday, January 12, 2009

End of the day... (And post # 50!)

So ends another great Monday. Actually there was nothing great about it. I'm not as stiff today as I was yesterday, always a bonus. After a soccer game friday, throwing about 30 passes on Saturday, then playing soccer yesterday my body finally got it figured out and isn't mad at me. However, I do believe I need to go outside in the yard every day after work and throw a minimum of 20 passes at a target just to get into the arm strength that I'm used to having. I definitely noticed less zip on the ball towards the end of that game, which is where all the screw-ups were coming from. I felt like Brett Favre.

On the bright side, after a disastrous Friday night game, a rough Saturday game, last nights game was freaking amazing. PB tore up everything in the remote vicinity of her making stops that awed both teams out there.

Now that I got her car out of the garage my list for the week is to get my bindings & boots, paint the night stands from upstairs, finish up the AITG web portfolio, do some photoshopping to combat ..... crap I don't have a name for him yet. That's also now on my list.

Now for entertainment:


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

How I spent Mother's Day, 5/18/06.

Editor's note: This story is a long one. It was a great learning experience that didn't thankfully cost much. Since that day in 2006, the Jeep and it's driver have changed dramatically. I am more experienced and it is better equipped. Enjoy the story and the pictures. -CA

Ok, so Mother's day, 2006. Great weather in the Seattle area so as such we (Erik, Cortni, and myself) decide it'd be great to get up into the mountains for a little bit of R&R. Little did we know that it would be quite the opposite! It started off simple enough, just some hill climbs, some puddles and great scenery.


It was a good 65-70 degrees out and the top was off the Jeep. Definitely a great start to a day. I however did not take any pictures of some of the small towns we drove through on the way up. One was Greenwater, a small town with maybe 3 stores but some camp grounds and cabins you can rent. Oh, I should say it was out Highway 410, Chinook Pass. It is still closed at the summit due to snow, but we weren't aiming to go over the pass, but rather just have fun on a forest service road or two.


Most of the stuff we saw was pretty cake. What you can't see in this pic is that there is a HUGE hole up on the left that if I had a winch I'd probably work my way through it. However, being completely stock it wasn't for me. Nor would I even try and risk it. So we ended up backing down this hill and heading up another route. A route I will call, Forest Road 72. That road will forever be etched in my memory. It had some GREAT scenery though. I mean it was absolutely amazing.


As you can see from the pic above, there were hidden gems around just about any corner. The higher we went in altitude the better some of the pictures got. Below is being still fairly low and finding Mount Rainier peaking around a corner:


You'd think that was awesome, but well, it gets better, see:


That's right up near where things got.... fun? Crazy? Or rather, insane. We come around this bend and see nothing but snow. No more dirt, gravel or road. No big deal, we're not going to go anywhere so we'll just mark the snow and back out and head down another trail. Erik heads up with his Chevy (no pics there, sorry) and then I follow with my Jeep after he backs out. After reaching my stopping point, we stop, get out and take some pictures.



After having so much fun, why not go ahead and just back up the rut I made and hit some more hills!


Looks good still! No problem. But you will notice there that my front end has started to slide down out of the rut. What the ... ?! So it's time to get out and see what I'm dealing with.....


Hmmm, doesn't look too bad, should be able to just turn the wheel and get back on track.. But then my front wheel hits a soft spot with the mud and rocks and decides to shift that over.


Our thoughts have shifted into "Oh, no biggie, let's just tow it out, who cares. Ha ha ha, be sure to take pics, the Chevy gets to tow out the Jeep."


Can't be that hard to do. I mean, really. Hook, tow, move on.


Soooo, let's hook the Jeep up and get out of here!




But once we start pulling, it doesn't want to get back up on the level ground, rather just kind of slide towards a very steep drop-off with rocks and trees. Never fun.


Wait! Craig! Put on your seatbelt, it's safer that way, you do not want to die!


I wish you could have seen my expression when I realized there are no seat belts. No seat belts you ask yourself? Yup! That's right. At a certain angle, Jeeps will lock the seat belts. Great idea, if you're rolling or in a dangerous spot. But when you take the belt off and it goes all the way in, it should still be able to unlock the belt to put it back on. Or well, be smart enough to realize that it's locked because it's at an angle where you shouldn't be getting back into the Jeep! I am not quite that smart yet (at that time. I'm currently smarter after this day. That's what they call experience!) Using the term "Pucker factor" doesn't even apply in this situation. There is no feeling like this in the world when you literally do not want to get back into your vehicle for fear of death being likely shortly after you get in & shutting the door.

Thankfully a couple guys stopped off to help us out. 3 actually. 2 were really helpful and we did a lot of brainstorming, digging and rock moving. There were many moments like the following where we discussed the best way to do things.


Unfortunately, none of it helped. Well, I can't say that. We did get it moved back, but we just couldn't get the rear-end to get up on level flat ground again, no matter what we tried.


From inside the Chevy:


We just about had it. One more pull and we'll have those wheels up on the flat part in nothing flat! You can see the tension in the tow line.


Figuring all we had to do was just unhook it from the truck and attach it to the tow hook on the other side to better the angle on the pull, Erik pulled forward to release the tension. What happened there nearly made me faint. The back right tire of the jeep decides to just go up into the air, with the three tires on the ground being the ones pointing it down the hill.


It was at that time I made the executive decision that it was time for a tow truck. So one of the gentlemen who stopped to help took me down to Greenwater to call a tow truck from there. Unfortunately I tried to have my roadside assistance cover the tow, but I guess I messed that up when they asked where I wanted it towed to and I advised them "About 20 feet?". I guess that's a "winch" and they don't cover that. Gonna have to work on my skills to get that covered next time. Maybe "the nearest town" would have been a better answer? So anyhow, stuck up in the hills, I had cell service. Down in this tiny town? NONE. I had to buy a calling card to use the payphone and then wait for the tow truck. Erik & Cortni being the loyal friends stayed up with the Jeep, Chevy still attached because we didn't want a wind breeze to blow the Jeep down the hill, given that without the tension the rear was up in the air.


That will hopefully be the only picture you will ever see with the Jeep being towed anywhere. The driver was extremely nice though and a good guy. Told me about winches I can get for the same price I was towed for and other places we could go and everything. A+ to Fred's Towing in Enumclaw. I would recommend them to anyone. So on the way down we found a hill climb and go figure, a tree just jumped right up in front of the path I wanted to take!


Side note, no I didn't hit the tree. To top off my night, we stopped off at Carl's Pizza in Bonney Lake. AWESOME pizza. Played softball with the owner and he's a great guy. So we ate, laughed and were glad we had all vehicles and people with no injuries, deaths or roll-overs. During the ride home however, one of the pizza's decided it wanted to try and fly! (Yes, that is upside down)


Needless to say I was VERY careful about what I did the rest of the day. I was not feeling all that lucky. But isn't that how they say you gain "valuable" experience? Is when things go completely south?? Well, I can tell you that I will not be in that situation ever again.

Thanks to all that helped that day and to all for the humor that it now is. I did a lot of prayer that day, hoping the Jeep would not go down, praying that if it did, let me not be in it and the truck doesn't go with it. Now that it's said and done with, I'm ready to go climb some hills. No more of this snow.

Gotta love it...

Wow, this is going to be a multiple blog day.. been a while since one of those..

I've gotta say, I really appreciate the small things my boss does.. For example, I worked at 6 this morning.. Coming in late, no big deal. Hell, even leaving early after coming in late is ok. After all, not many people are willing to work any hour of the night. But I guess that's why I get the big bucks, right? But I digress.

Come to find out I have to do an upgrade tomorrow night too. Between 5 & 6. No big deal, I just stay late to do it... Until he tells me to go ahead and leave at 4 to do it from home. Who in their right mind would say no to that? There's no real reason other than he respects the work done.

Out of all my bosses that I've worked for this one seems to get it the most really. He's not as technical as those of us that work for him, but he tries hard. He doesn't let pride get in the way of saying "Help, this isn't right..." thus saving the customer time and money. It beats struggling with it for an hour before admitting he doesn't know. Nothing worse than a small problem growing to a large problem because of a delay in asking for help. One can only kiss so much ass to make up for it before the customer is tired of hearing it.

This isn't the first time, but it's always a warm & fuzzy when the little things that happen make you feel wanted. Definitely a reason why this place could very well be the very last place I ever work. This is why all my friends want to know if we're hiring, because the corporate environment here. This is also why I was able to lure my buddy from Boeing to come here. The benefits and pay are top notch, the BS is low, the attitude is fun, and they appreciate everything you do and reward you accordingly the whole way..

I just have to remember I need to get him something for Christmas in '09. He got all of us a bottle of wine this year. We get taken out to lunch with a few beers, he covers our asses with any other departments when we're in the right and they don't want to hear it and he just keeps us all happy by doing whatever it takes. Kudo's to the man, that's all I gotta say.

Sorting through older files..

While doing some disk cleanup on my web server I found an old logo from when I was messing around.. It's quite entertaining really...



Click for the full size version (in a new window)!


Yeaaaah, apparently I was passing all kinds of ideas off.. But doing this maintenance, I found an old story that I will be reposting after this..

I just have to copy/paste and format to this window, as it has pictures and a write up that will take up probably the whole page. It is quite long. Mother's Day of 2006. I shall never forget that day and the experience gained..

Some other notable pics I found:



Who knew Jeep's could even get this fast? However this was before the tire change, lift, etc..



Hmm, I took this with my phone probably about 3 years ago of an incoming storm that looked absolutely nasty!



And finally, last, but definitely not least.. one of the fun pictures I took of one of my heroes.



___
I think I need to go to bed earlier when I know I have to get up at 5:30 to work. Though I can say there is a certain satisfaction in getting up, putting on my super comfy robe, then sitting downstairs doing work without having to commute, sit in the office, and listen to people talk. Working from home will never get old.

Well it's lunch time, time to go reheat some of that excellent dinner that PB cooked last night.. After that I'll work on porting that story into this blog format to share with the world how I nearly could have died & totaled my brand new $25,000 Jeep when it was just 3 months old!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

*Yawn*

I think I'm going to start posting photoshops into my blog. By photoshop I mean actual pictures that I take that I then photoshop in whatever way to make them look different/better/worse. The key is actually photoshopping them first. I will also then post the orginal above or below it to show the differences..

That will start after I finish playing with fire & tools in the garage so that I may get the Honda out of it.. That little muffler "break" is a fun little project. I should take some more pics of it and it's completion. Maybe tonight. I need to go buy a torch after work to finish the project. Gotta weld the metal together to keep it quiet and permanent.

Other fire/fun projects I need to do: strip the bike of it's stickers, give it an oil change, apply new stickers to the Jeep, change it's oil, move the winch box inside the hood, take the rear seat out and fix that, build a speaker box for it, put that in, then change the differential fluids as well as the spark plugs.

All this while playing sports 3 nights a week (Fri, Sat, Sun) while going to church Sun mornings and snowboarding sometime in there over the next 2 months. Staying busy? Just a little bit. But I like it. Besides, when I'm rocking out in the garage I get cooked real kick-ass dinners. Which reminds me, I should have her type up the recipe to last nights amazing dish so I can post it to my recipe blog.

Anyhow, time to go back to drafting up some football plays & making sure the nations ports run smoothly..

Monday, January 5, 2009

The new year...

New Year's eve was pretty uneventful. It was nice having friends join us to bring it in with fun & alcohol. All I gotta say is nummy crackers! Ok, maybe not so much. I need to make sure to keep an eye on dates. If the "best before" date says 01Feb06, that means they are probably not the best.

One sad, sad, sad thing with the new year came with the death of my beer fridge. I bought a new huge cooler to use instead, but still, it was a sad event. Time to browse for a new free beer fridge. Though I'm not sure how I'd get it to the house yet, since the back of the jeep isn't all that feasible during the winter months. Once the top comes off however, I think I can fit one back there.

I got my Christmas present from PB over the weekend. A very nice looking snowboard that has some nerd-ism in it that I hadn't realized until looking at my cell phone picture. I know she didn't notice it, and I'm surprised I didn't notice it when I was looking at it when I got it. I'll show that in a later pic that I take with a real camera, not my crappy cell phone camera. Her getting me a kickass present is A+ to begin with. Nerd built into it is another bonus point.

Here it is another Monday, everyone's back, life goes back to normal. Or at least until it snows again. Sports during the next 2-3 months are going to be pretty intense. Friday night indoor soccer, Saturday afternoon we have flag football then Sunday night we have indoor soccer again. However, some sports will have to suffer as we miss a day here and there to go off snowboarding! Because that's happening for sure. I need to go find some bindings & boots however.

I'll probably write more later as I do more recap. Tonight I'm hoping to get all our pics of Leavenworth / Soccer / New Years up on myspace/facebook. We'll see. Gotta get the muffler of the Honda fixed first and foremost.