Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Can you believe that for a little economy car there is nearly $5,000 worth of repairs to be done??
I don't think all of the plastic, metal, upholstery and rubber in my car would add up to $5,000!
However, because I'm in the wrong line of work, I can now see that about 2/3 of that bill is LABOR costs. Let's get something straight here..
If I were to take my car in because I can't get a headlight to work, it would cost me about $75 to replace it in a shop.
Because it's a MINIMUM of $60 just for the mechanic to even look at it, plus $15 for the new lamp.
I've replaced headlights before. It's a 10 minute job.. TOPS.
If they're clearing $60 for a 10 minute job, that equals $300 an hour.
I need to go back to school. Trade school, that is.
That way, I can learn how to work on these computerized cars, and the fleece the unknowing consumer who buys these cars for every last cent they own!
Better yet.. I'll buy a garage, and staff it with mechanics, and just take my cut right off the top! This way, I can't be seen as the "bad guy" because I'm only paying my guys for the hard work they do in order to keep your expensive toys up and running!
This is brilliant. Now, all I need are a couple of willing *ahem* guinea pigs *ahem* investors, and I can get started!
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Why, you ask?
Because I wanted to make sure that my wife took note.
You'll see the reasoning as you keep reading.
I went back, and looked over my archived posts, and things I've written and said about my marriage, my wife, and my family life.
Do you know that I have complained more than I've complimented my wife since starting this endeavor?
I don't know why that is, it just turned that way on me.
So, in order to alleviate this problem, I've taken it upon myself to build her up here on my blog as well as at home.
Thus, I'm starting today.. If only to get a jump on the New-Year's resolutions that everyone seems to put off doing!
My wife is a wonderful mother, not only to my kids, but to those she watches for friends and family as well. She cares, and has a HUGE heart for children of all ages.
My wife is awesome with numbers. What I have to take time to figure (and usually get wrong!) she can do in mere seconds, and be correct! This is one major reason why I have her keep the checkbook, because she's able to juggle those numbers around much better than I ever could.
My loving spouse is a very vital and outgoing person. She tries to make friends with everyone she meets, and attempts to get each person to participate in activities if possible. (even when some of us don't want to deal with another!)
My wife is great at the attention to detail. I don't know how she does it (must be a girl thing!), but she's able to tell if the floor has really been vacuumed, or if it's just bee the cursory swipe and duck kind of job. To be honest, I don't think I could ever have the patience to "deep clean" the way she likes to..
These are just a few of the things I love about my spouse. I can't tell you them all, because then I'd have nothing left to write about the next time except to repeat them, and that's boring!
I don't know why it is that I fail to mention the "little" things to her. For most women, the BIG stuff is nice, but to hear the everyday "Thank you for being you" kind of things really pay off more.
I tend to get fixated on the major issues, and harp and nag when something doesn't tend to go my way or happen the way I planned. She doesn't deserve the ire I send to her, it just winds up going that way.
For the most part, I've made the consious attempt to keep my frustrations that I deal with at work well apart from my home life. If things go really badly at work, I'll call ahead, and let her know that I'm going to be needing some "down-time" before dealing with family stuff. This is nice, but it isn't always feasible or practical. Sometimes it works, but more often than not, life just doesn't allow for the slow-down period.
To be honest with you, my readers, I feel that my greatest failing as a husband is that of apathy.
Because if it isn't broke, I don't mess with it. If it works, use it until it breaks.
Not only with mechanical things, but with the relationship as well.
This leads to MAJOR problems.
There are things that I can do that really bother my wife. I've spoken of them in earlier posts.
However, because of her loving and giving nature, she tends to keep her complaints in check, hoping that I'll see the things I'm doing wrong, and change.
However, because I don't hear of any problem or issue, I contend that there's no problem, and I keep up with the action that bothers her.
Yeah, you can see where this is going, can't you?
It boils over, and explodes. And then I rant and rave to my readers here on my blog, which bothers her yet again when she's painted out to be the "bad guy".
Now, there are some of you who have dealt with her, and can honestly say that she's very judgemental. I'd have to agree with you.
However, you must also understand that it's because of that ability of hers to judge that I'm still with her today.
I'm not going to elaborate on that any more, it's something I prefer to keep to myself.
So I now declare to you all (all 2 or so who read this!) that I dearly love my wife, and I resolve to state this at least once a month, if not more from now on.
Please, remind me from time to time, as I tend to forget things, and can use all the help I can get!
Happy New Year people, and the best to you all!
Friday, December 26, 2008
I was browsing Youtube, just checking out things that make me chuckle, and I came across this video.
I don't know about you, but someone MUST have been a little bit on the twisted side when they made this...
See for yourself, and try to pretend that it doesn't bother you in some way, shape, or form...
Kermit sings "Hurt"
After all, it's the day after Christmas, and I really don't want to do too much!
So, here's a funny video to watch, and my best wishes for your Christmas, and on the upcoming New Year!
Straight, No Chaser
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Yeah, her family and mine live in the same town we do, so we try to pack the entire holiday into about 10 hours of complete madness.
Luckily, there's some kind of twisted formula my wife uses to be able to figure out who's house we go to first.
If it's on a even year, but not a leap year, then we go to her parent's house first.
If it's leap year, we go to her parent's first.
If it's an odd year, we go to her parent's house....
Did she trick me?
I'm thinking so!
Whatever her reasons, we end up being at her folks first each Christmas. We celebrate with them, give and get gifts, and eat.
Then, we make a quick stop at the house, unload everything gotten from her parents, load up the gifts for my folks, and go to their house.
Then follows round two of Christmas. Gifts given and received, food eaten, and a bit of conversation.
Once this is over, and food coma is beginning to set in, we pack it all up again, and head home.
This then leads to the LAST part of Christmas, when we have the family time..
Gifts are given and received, yet more food is eaten, and then as my wife and I clean, the kids get to play with all of the goodies they've gotten...
Once the madness settles down, I find my comfortable spot, whether in my overstuffed recliner, or in my comfortable corner on the couch, and watch the mayhem of new toys and excited kids.
Where else can you drive yourself crazy to get things done, only to reminisce, and look forward to the next time?
Merry Christmas to all!
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Hos job duties, as described in the handbook are as follows:
Patrol the warehouse, doing random checks of order selectors, loading personnel, inbound receiving clerks, and replenishment drivers. Do a weekly yard audit of all trailers outside, ro ensure proper storage and movement of inventory coming into and going out of the warehouse. Randomly check on inventory in stock, including reserve items. Participate in one store audit per day, making sure that QC associates are doing their jobs correctly. Inspect and audit 5 company stores per week, limited to no more than two stores per day, one store visit per month.
Yeah. Those are the duties he's been slacking in. He hasn't left his office since the end of Summer! He sits in his office, browsing the web, and sometimes filling out enough paperwork to walk it down to the front office. Yeah, he does leave from time to time to go to a meeting, but 95% of the time you can find him sitting at his desk, talking on the phone (usually with his wife and kids), or browsing some internet site totally unrelated to work.
I can't really fault him for the internet use, I mean, look what I'm doing on company time!
But seriously, to shirk all of those other things, and pawn them off on the rest of the crew? Don't you think we should get some kind of pay raise for doing his job?
Not even a "Great job this year, you all make me proud" kind of speech.
The last "talk" we had was his instruction to buckle down, and do a better job, because we missed a HALF POINT in the last corporate audit we had.
So we got beat down because instead of the 100% he was expecting, our department got a 99.5% rating.
Oh. My. God.
Someone fire me because I didn't do his job for him.. again.
I hope that Karma means he'll get something worse this year than what I've dealt with...
And I hope to you, all of my readers, that your Christmas is filled with life, love, happiness, and joy.
Merry Christmas, and I'll see you all on Friday!
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Because of the wonderful weather that we're getting here in the Pacific Northwest, I get to file an insurance claim.
Because the shelter I'd bought to cover my car wasn't meant to hold up under that much snow, and collapsed last night... On my car.
Happy Holidays to me.
Now? I've got to drive my wife's car to work, and call the homeowner's insurance to get my car fixed.
Joy To The World.
By the time this is all over, I'll probably wish that I'd gotten a new car for Christmas...
Happy Holidays everyone! I hope that your week goes better than mine!
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Here in the Northwest, we're really not used to too much snow. However, this last week I've gotten about 2 feet of the powdery white stuff!
Thanks to the greenness of our road-keeping crews, I have absolutely no way of getting out of my driveway, let alone through town or even south down the interstate to my work.
Now, this doesn't stop my wife, who drives the testosterone-charged SUV with all-wheel drive.
It does put a crimp in my driving habits, though. I can't get around very well in a small compact car who sips gas through a straw. It just doesn't happen.
Yeah, I sacrificed the power and prestige for the pocketbook. Sue me.
Anyway, I've been slacking at posting because of the weather, and I honestly apologize.
I'll make sure to get to work on Tuesday, and you can all chew me out then, and give me all sorts of crap!!
Not to think that you won't give me some kind of grief today about it, but heck, if I'm getting comments, it can't be a BAD thing!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Today I've got a personal bitch, and it has made me say "WTF?" a few different times today.
All last night the news forecasters were talking about the weather front that is coming in, and how bad of a snowstorm we're going to be getting.
Now realize that this ISN'T the midwest. People here start to really freak out when they see the white stuff fall from the sky. Rain, fine. Sleet? I can deal.
Soft fluffly snow?
Lemme outta here!
Thus, we've gotten about 2 1/2 inches of snow so far. Not much, but enough that I've personally seen three wrecks since it started falling.
Now the warehouse I work at isn't in a busy area. We're one of only five buildings in the surrounding area, and two of them are residences.
Tonight is the night for our Christmas dinner here at work, so not only am I getting to sit here and watch the snow pile up, but I get to wait until after dark for it to freeze solid before I climb into my car and try to drive home.
Now, I'm not worried about _MY_ driving in the snow.
What really freaks me out are all of the other insane drivers..
You know who I'm talking about.
The folks who drive like there's nothing on the roads, and then you see them wrapped around the highway median a few miles further because of some ice..
Or the idiot who's driving 10 miles an hour down the center of traffic, and weaving side to side in order to keep everyone else from "throwing crap" onto his windshield.
Or the trucker who's on the far right, but swapping lanes with no signal, and shoving other cars left and right as he tries to make his shipping timetable.
Yes, I get to deal with all of these, and a few more....
The worst part?
It was completely clear when I came to work this morning.
Now I'm just kind of curious how bad it is at home, and whether I should take a personal day off tomorrow!
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Yeah, I said "y'all".
Sue me, some of my family have spoken like that for years, and there are some "country" phrases that just say it all, so there!
Anyway, back to my question..
Do you look forward to, or do you fear, the company Christmas dinner/party/whathaveyou.
Me? I can't stand it.
Because we've got an absolutely CLUELESS HR person, and she doesn't understand a thing about the employees.
Each and every single function we've done these past 5 years has been a complete and total FLOP.
She picks events, food, entertainment et all to her personal preferences, and not to the general consensus.
If she wanted to do something like that, why not put on her OWN party, and invite us over? Don't use the company money and time to make the associates grumble and gripe over what they're not getting, and how silly the theme is, or anything of that nature..
I'll give you a couple of examples of her style.
First, we've got the company gift-giving process we do each year.
Before we even got started on this, the warehouse personnel decided to save up funds to help the "Make A Wish" program for kids with, or recovering from, cancer.
What this program does is give the child, and their close family, the chance for a vacation of a lifetime. The only request from the foundation? $5000 for each child you want to try to sponsor.
If your facility is able to make that goal, you get to "adopt" a child's family, and you usually will get a visit from them once the trip is over.
If you make more than that, but less than enough for a second child, then the extra is put into a pool fund to help out causes who are falling short.
The last 4 years our facility has been able to support 4-5 kids per year. That's between 20-25k a year to a charitable cause.
This last year? She stopped it. When questioned why, her answer was this:
"I feel that we're putting WAY too much funding towards these kids, and not enough of it towards our own goals."
Translated, it means that she was hoping that the cash that we'd generate for the kids would then be diverted towards her coffers, where she could delegate the spending.
Sad to say that this year's Christmas gifts are going to seriously be lacking compared to the last few years. All because of some selfish reasoning.
Another example is the picnic we tried to plan for this year.
We tend to try to take pride in being a family-oriented business. Healthcare is paid for in full by the company, and that policy is blanketed to cover not only the associate, but his entire family of dependants as well.
Because of the family focus we have, the picnic planners decided to try to hold a carnival-type of cookout. Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, Corn Dogs, Fries, Pizza, Clowns, a couple of trick pets, and some games were in the works.
Enter in Ms. HR.
The picnic ended up like some kind of school fair, with cash being REQUIRED to be able to play the games.
What kind of games?
A cakewalk, that cost $5 per entry. It made exactly $0.
A water balloon toss. $2 per entry. It made $4.
A "Dunk the manager" contest. $1 per entry. This made $10.
No clown. No pets. No bounce house. No fair or circus-type of attitude anywhere.
Only 25 out of 300 employees showed up for it, once it was announced that games would cost cash to play.
There were 20 gifts to be awarded, and 10 were returned because they were things like $1 sun visors, or Water bottles that could be bought for less than $.50 each.
Needless to say, there were plenty of outraged folks over this.
And now we're hearing the plans for the "banquet" we're supposed to be having for this Christmas dinner.
Are we having anything traditional?
Chinese Take-out is the menu.
Sure, it's being catered. However, Chinese food for a CHRISTMAS dinner?
Where's the ham? Roast Beef? Turkey? Mashed potatoes?
Wherever it is, I know you're not going to find it at my dinner.
And the prizes?
Well, like I said, 300 employees, and there's only 15 gifts to be given out.
Odds are that there are going to be some serious rumblings about that one.
Oh, and also add to that the news that the Christmas bonus program that everyone looks forward to this year has been decided upon (by HR) to be diverted towards a disaster relief program for this area in case of flooding or severe weather.
Last time there was something that severe around here, the employer I work for was just buying their first storefront back East!
That was 35 years ago!
So yeah, I'm pissed, I'm disgruntled, and I know that I'm going to hear about it from other workers.
What can I do about it?
Well, you're reading it.
Hope yours isn't as bad as mine's going to be!
Last week, I was swapmed with work, thanks to the idiocy and ineptitude of a manager.
Why is it that when folks have to use a computer for work, they will automatically assume that they can treat the machine like it's their home computer, and not one for work?
There are certain guidelines that need to be followed when you're using a work computer.
1) NEVER open personal emails or email attachments while at work. Just don't do it. You never know what attachments could be potential viruses or trojans, and it's best to leave that stuff at home, instead of bringing it to the worklplace.
2) Limit how often you're on random internet sites. Net usage gets monitored, and it's expected that you're going to have times when you'll be on sites outside of the "work approved" places. However, you should ALWAYS try to take these in moderation. Spending 8 hours of your 10 hour workday on EBAY isn't the best way to keep the surfing potential open!
3) When in doubt, leave it alone. Never go to a site or agree to an Active-X control unless you know EXACTLY what it's going to do or install. This goes especially for folks who have weekly internet updates. You never know when that Google Browser Toolbar is going to cause some kind of resource conflict because corporate is assuming that your system is configured like everyone else's in the network.
These three things could mean the difference between a happy use, and potential termination for abuse of policy.
Anyway, I rant, and rave, but I need to get finished.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Well, my most vivid memory is helping my grandma make her cookies, lefse, krumkake, futtimuns, cinnamon rolls, pies, cakes, and pastries in the weeks prior to our family get togethers.
I come from a very large family, and the celebration of Christmas was usually a 2-3 week event. Many meals, many people, and lots of gifts to go around.
But the one cookie that tended to let me know that is was Christmastime was when my grandma would start baking the Peanut Butter Hershey's Kisses cookies.
PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES WITH HERSHEY KISSES
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. peanut butter (creamy)
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1 1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix together first 5 ingredients; then add remaining flour and mix until you form a sticky dough. Roll into small balls and place onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes or until just golden brown. Place unwrapped Hershey kiss in center of each cookie, while they are still hot. Makes approximately 48 cookies.
I would DEVOUR these with gleeful abandon. Of course a tall icy glass of milk is also a must for these delights!
Hope you enjoy, and Happy Holidays!
Amazing how quickly the weeks go by when you work like a dog..
Anyway, here are my five fun factoids for you to vicariously live by proxy through me and my sad existence!
1. Growing up, I had quite the animal magnetism. I could honestly walk one block, and have dogs and cats follow me for no apparent reason other than I looked good.
2. To this day, I can usually get dogs to obey me with little to no effort on my part. I'd say that I'm a dog whisperer, but then Victor Milan wouldn't have a job, so I'll let him keep on thinking he knows more!
3. Don't tell my wife, but I LOVE to cook. I love learning new recipes, and I also love to try making new dishes from time to time. I make a mean BBQ, and I've been asked about my chicken wings a few times, even though I haven't made them in over 2 years!
4. When I was in college, I lived off of potatoes, pasta and rice as a staple to my diet. I'd dice and fry up potatoes like mad, make hommade noodles for pasta and boil them for a side dish, and I'd fry up or steam rice and add cream of chicken soup to make a minor meal. (This explains how I was only 180 pounds before going into the service!)
5. When I start doing hard work around the house, I hate to get interrupted while "in the zone". It never seems to fail that while I'm trying to get some nasty job like digging up root systems for old bushes we've taken out, or trimming the hedges back, or replacing windows or blinds.. That I'll inevitably get pestered to come see this, or help lift that, or bring me this, or take that out during my time of work. I don't mind helping, but if it's not really that important, can it wait until my major project is done?
Anyway, these are my facts for this week. Have a great weekend, and I'll see you again on Tuesday!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Guys are very physical creatures, while women are more mental and vocal.
Today I'd like to talk about something else in a relationship.
If you can't talk to each other, how exactly do you expect the relationship to last?
Now, I know this is going to sound stereotypical, but in "general" terms, men say exactly what is on their minds, while women tend to insinuate and lead conversation.
Don't ask me why. I don't make the rules here.
Guys are direct and to the point. Point A to Point B. Get it over with, done, job's done, check, move on.
Girls? Well, not so much.
First, let's talk about this.. Does this make you think of anything? No? How about this? Now are you getting it?
Sad fact is that communication between the sexes is like comparing simple addition to trigonometry.
For guys, it's 1+2=3.
For girls? 3x2 + x - 2 = 0
It's sad, but that's the basics.
In order to understand what a woman is trying to convey, either you need to read between the lines, and solve her equation, or you have to cheat, and straight up ask her what she's trying to tell you.
Let me put you straight guys: Try to solve it as much as you can!
Asking a woman to explain what she's trying to say is like asking her how much she weighs.
Don't do it.
Try to be an active listener. Repeat back things that you pick up that seem to be important. This actually means that you've got to at least follow the conversation, and not just pick out some words that you hear while you're watching the game.
Ladies: If you want to have your guy listen, try to also understand his weaknesses.
Don't start talking seriously with him while he's watching the ballgame, or playing a video game, or is in some other distracted frame of mind.
All this will do is frustrate BOTH of you. Him for trying to concentrate, and yet try to show you he's paying attention, and you for thinking that he doesn't care about your concerns, just his game/video/food, etc.
If you need to talk, see about setting up a time when you can both sit and relax. Set a mood. Let him/her know how serious this means to you.
Girls, even though it's really not in your nature, try to be more direct and to the point. Yes, sometimes this means being blunt. However, with honesty being the best policy, I don't really see how he can be offended if you're trying to actively be open and honest in your relationship?
Guys. You've GOTTA listen.
That's it. LISTEN.
Don't try to find something to fix. Don't offer advice unless asked for. Nothing.
90% of the time, women really only talk to air what's on their minds and hearts. They're not asking for someone to fix it, or give them advice. They're actually processing their emotions and feelings while communicating, and this helps them fix the issue themselves.
Take this example:
My wife sat down to talk with me one morning. Something was bothering her, and she needed to tell me about it. Me, being the all-wise and all-knowing guru decided to appease her, and waited for her to tell me her problem.
While she was talking, I noticed something interesting that kept me from turning into "Mr. Fix-It". I noticed this:
While she talked to me about her problems, answers that she knew but didn't want to face kept creeping into her talks. She'd address these feelings as they came up, and her conversation would take a turn.
I literally watched my wife start talking to me about a problem she had, and watched her talk herself completely through the problem without me really saying anything at all.
The man who knows how to fix it all stayed mute, and helped her fix her problem.
Most of the time, we all know how to solve the problems that face us. The major problem is admitting that we're willing to pay the price to get it done.
Maybe it's telling the truth after so many years of lies and coverups.
Maybe it's admitting that you're not feeling the same way as you used to.
Whatever it is, usually the answer is painful, secretive, or dark.
Now, this isn't always the case, as there are many other reasons to talk.
Maybe she's wanting some kind of input on your finances.
Granted, she might completely ignore this input, but at least she feels that you know your money's in good hands when she's keeping you "in the loop".
Now comes the biggest problem in communication:
Yup. Me and my gender are the biggest problem in communication.
Why? Because we tend to assume.
"She should know I love her because I provide for her as best as I can!"
"How can she feel unloved when I do all of this stuff?"
Ever hear these?
We need to learn to communicate, and not just show by actions and deeds.
Yes, the actions are great, and appreciated. However, remember my definiton at the beginning?
If you're trying to show love to a man, then actions will suffice.
BUT! If you're trying to show your love to a woman, then you need to TELL her. Frequently.
Why? It's part of the mental stuff, guys!
A woman who is poor but happy will have a husband who works his tail off for the little amount that they have, but also comes home to tell her how wonderful she is, and how happy she makes him feel.
I can also give you plenty of instances where rich women have turned to other lovers because even though they have nearly anything and everything they could think of materially, the husband isn't around enough to give her the time of day, and she feels neglected and unappreciated by her spouse.
Let's see.. Rich and miserable, or poor and happy?
I'll bet most women would be willing to deal with pinching pennies if it meant that they were in a relationship where he was able to make her feel alive, loved, and a vibrant sexual creature.
Anyway, that's my soapbox lecture for this week.
Never forget to talk. Guys need to learn this skill in order to make a relationship work, and ladies need to learn a new dialect when talking, so that they can actively communicate with the opposite sex.
Thanks for reading, and I'll talk with you all again next week!
Oh, for your listening pleasure, I've included this great little ditty!
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
I have to offer my apologies to Bee at Bee's Musings for my royal screw-up of her "Secret Santa can Suck it!" gift exchange.
Apparently, I shouldn't attempt to operate machinery, or blog!, while exhausted.
Last night, thinking that I was going to be pro-active, and do something ahead of schedule instead of flying by the seat of my pants, and just pulling ideas and excuses out of thin air, I decided to complete my project, and post it.
Much to my dismay, once I'd posted, then informed my recipient, I sent an email to Bee letting her know about my overachieving-ness, and prepared to bask in the knowledge that I'd finally done something ahead of schedule, and appropriately.
Not this duck.
You see, the whole idea of this was to post everything on Thursday, and BEE was supposed to be the person to inform your recipient of the gifts they were to receive.
So, not only did I cut out Bee's part in the game, but I also blew the whole "secret santa" aspect of the exchange as well.
One good thing did come out of it. My recipient liked what she saw.. (I think, either that, or she was just being polite so she could get the heck out of my trailer-park blog.. One of those feels true!)
Anyway, here's my promise to Bee that I'll follow orders next time, and if need be, I'll make sure to come up with something completely random the day it's due instead of blowing the rules, and screwing the entire operation up.
You can trust me on this one. I'm great when it comes to procrastination!
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Why? Because it poops, of course!
What comedy blog do you know of that doesn't mention poop at some point?
Next, we have another close favorite of mine:
Yup. PERV, the Christmas Elf.
He comes complete with sporting his own personal Yule Log, so no worries there!
Then we have the oh-so-popular gift of:Yup! Yule Doo!
Nothing, and I mean NOTHING says "Merry Christmas" like an ornament fashioned like your own pet's poop!
Finally, because they're all small-ish gifts, and I can, I'd box all of these gifts together into one box. Well, mainly so that Bee would think that I was at least attempting to follow her rules!
I'd then send these lovely gifts off wrapped lovingly in this cheery holiday gift wrap:
I mean, doesn't that just warm your heart?
Anyway, that's my gift, and I hope you all have a Merry Christmas!
Somehow, and I'm not sure where it started, but somehow this blog of mine has become a type of blackmail against my wife.
Honestly, I don't try to use this in any form to influence her thinking at all.
I just use this like an empty canvas before a painter, and spill out the ideas and words that are jumbled in my head, and hope that something meaningful is conveyed once the stuff is put down.
I don't write this to belittle her, or chastise her, or critique her.
I blog because it helps me to sort out who _I_ am, and what I'm thinking and where I'm going.
It helps me to figure out were I might have gone wrong.
It helps to use my overactive imagination, and tell stories and anecdotes.
It helps to give me the release I need for pent-up frustration and anger at times as well.
Needless to say, I'm on PMS watch at my home. I'm not saying that I know exactly what's going on with my wife and her body, but there are times where the signals are just too vivid to not notice.
I don't understand why, but PMS has always confused me.
I'm not trying to alienate you ladies, but I've gotta be honest here:
In my experience, women in general are hormonal creatures to begin with. I mean, you've got the "biological clock" ticking away, and it does strange and wonderful things to you.
You see the picture of a newborn baby, all snuggled against come fuzzy blanket, and you get the warm soft fuzzy feeling, say "Aww", and everything seems wonderful in the world.
You might see an overly suggestive scene on TV, or read about some racy idea in a magazine, and get all worked up only to bring that feeling home. This could be directly after an argument, or even after something good has happened. We guys can't really tell the difference, we're just happy to get some!
Then there's the temper. Oh lord above.. The TEMPER.
The toilet paper roll is on upside down. One dirty dish is left in the sink. There's visible dog hair on the carpet. There's water drops on the bathroom floor. The toilet seat's been left up. The bed's not made.... Need I go on??
Now, I'm not saying that it's all bad. However, for some reason, your clock seems to magnify all of this 1 BILLION percent. Yes, I said a BILLION.
(Well, not the horny part, since most of you think that's completely disgusting during that "time of the month" anyway!)
Yes, I'm a slob. I take my time, and do things MY WAY. Can that really be all that bad?
If the job gets done, is it really important when or how it got done?
I say, let me have my little quirks, and deal with it. I'm too old anymore to really change too much more about myself.
If you feel that I'm using this to get at you, my wife, it's really not.
I'm just thinking out loud, and airing my thoughts.
I kind of like it that way.
I'm a selfish bastard.
Lil' old me.
I don't know what it is about my mentality, but whenever I get something, I tend to think about how it is going to benefit me, and what I'd get out of it.
Cash, what I can get myself.
Food, how many meals I can make out of it.
The list could go on, and on, and on...
What is it about me that makes me have a knee-jerk reaction like this?
Why can't I act like other folks I know, and think about other people first, and myself AT LEAST second?
What has caused this seeming greed that I tend to show at the worst possible times?
I don't know..
I do know that it really bothers me at times.
Get this scenario:
I'm given a small amount of money. In my mind, I'm already divvying up the amount, and figuring out what I could get myself with it. Let's see, there's that book I've been wanting, and I could get a couple of cheesburgers for lunch.. I can budget the rest for a soda each day at work..
Are you seeing this?
If my wife sees that I've gotten money, we'll talk, and then I do the more responsible thing, and take care of the necessities: Gas. Bills. Kids.
Why is it that I need to talk it over in order to do the "right" thing with my money? What has caused me to be so irresponsible?
Again, I don't know.
I don't know why I'm so greedy and selfish about things.
I do know that I'd like to change this behavior, I just don't really know where to start at right now with everything else personality-wise that I'm already trying to change..
Maybe I'll just shelf this for a time when I'm NOT working on another character flaw..
After all, looking out for myself got me to where I am today, didn't it?
Well, DIDN'T it?
Friday, December 5, 2008
1. I love this time of year, and yet some of my most dark memories are also around this time. Read next week, and you'll get to see one of them.
2. I have two scars on my left hand on either side of my thumb. It happened when my brother kicked a raquetball under my foot as I was carrying a contoured coke glass in one hand. I stepped on the ball, fell backwards, and slammed my hand down on the glass, sending a glass shard through my knuckle joining my thumb to my hand. I still have use and feeling of my thumb, so it was blind, dumb luck that kept me from having the tendons severed!
3. I have chronic back pain due to falling out of a cherry tree when I was 8 years old.
4. Because of #3, I also have three vertebra in my lower back that are completely fused together.
5. I used to dream about becoming a professional hockey player while I was in high school. That and my dreams of being a pro soccer player died when I blew out my left and right ACL and MCL in my knees while playing football. Injuries that still bother me to this day.
Ok, now you know a little bit more about me. Yes, a couple of these posts show that I'm getting old, and things are slowing down and not working as well as they used to. That just means you've gotten one more piece of info about me than I originally planned.
Hope you all have a great weekend, and I'll see you all next week!
Thursday, December 4, 2008
I mean, most of my posts have been about my relationship, and the things that bother me, or what I've needed to do, or what she's done to upset me, etc, etc..
So with this in mind, for the next couple of weeks I'm going to talk about some serious stuff, and see what you all think.
If you have questions, and want me to do some research and look things up, feel free to mention it in the comments, and I'll do what I can to answer it.
With that being said, here's today's topic.
How to impress a girl:
Smile at her
Listen to her
Laugh with her
Cry with her
Believe in her
Pray with her
Pray FOR her
Cuddle with her
Shop with her
Give her gifts
Send her flowers
Hold her hand
Write love letters
Go to the ends of the earth
How to impress a guy:
Show up naked
Don’t block the TV.
Amazing, isn’t it?
The difference in relationships between a guy and girl is so diverse, there are times that I seriously wonder if we’ll ever get it right.
I mean, yeah. I stole this whole thing off one of my prank T-shirts at home, but it still speaks volumes about how men and women perceive relationships.
Take another shining example of my T-shirt wisdom:
10 Things men know about women:
10. Women have boobs
Yeah, I know it’s crude humor, but doesn’t this tend to reinforce the assumptions we all have about what guys look for, and what completely frustrates women who are still looking for “Mr. Right”?
I went to a seminar a few years back about couples and relationships. To be honest, I wasn’t sure that I was going to take anything back with me that would help me understand this alien that I’d decided I was completely head over heels in love with. But one of the analogies that I heard that weekend has stuck with me over the years, and I still get a chuckle from it.
It goes like this:
Sex to men is like needing water to drink. The human body needs water. It CRAVES water.
The keepers of this life-giving water that men so dearly crave is kept by the well-watching women in their lives. They’ve got the water, so why would they need anything more?
So men do just about anything in order to get the water they so desperately crave. They do “nice things”, they buy gifts, they put on a show, some buy water, some beg for water, but as stated above, ALL MEN ARE THIRSTY.
How is it that they’re able to get a drink from time to time?
That can only be explained by the well watchers, and they’re not talking….
I don’t fully agree with the last part of that statement, even though there are times when it feels true.
However, the key here is humorous, and it’s also quite serious as well.
Yeah, men LOVE sex. If you don’t believe me, then just check out the ratio of porn usage between men and women. Men are gratified just by SEEING sex, let alone experiencing sex.
Women, on the other hand, love to be pursued. To them, the game isn’t how fast a man can get into their pants as much as it’s how far you’re willing to go to prove your interest in them as a person. Can you interest her mind, gain her attention with humor, or impress her with your knowledge of arcane facts and trivia? These are all factors for the lady. Gain her attention, get her mind working, and you’re well on your way to a good relationship with her.
Sure, girls like physical stimulation as well, but it’s not the driving force for them like it is for men. Granted, this is statistics talking, and there are generalizations here, but a far greater percentage of women would prefer a long night of serious heart-to-heart talks over one night of mad sex. Being able to emotionally connect with their partner is something that most women only read about in cheesy romance novels. It’s tantalizing to think about, but stuff like that never really happens in real life, does it?
I say it can.
Now, I don’t think it’ll happen overnight. I’m not saying that it’s something you’re going to have happen on the first date, or your wedding day, or even on a 10th anniversary. But I really do believe that it can happen. The key to this is patience and communication.
Men have to be receptive to the wants and desires of the women in their lives. This doesn’t mean that you listen to them, and then interpret their desires as something you might like to do, and this will make them happy. No, just because you’re wanting sex does not mean that when she tells you she’s feeling lonely that you need an hour-long intimate lovemaking session. She’s telling you that this is something that is leaving her emotionally cut off from you, and it’s making her feel abandoned, and lonely. Sex isn’t going to fix this. We as men need to open our ears and minds and listen to the wants and needs communicated by these wonderful creatures, and hear what they’re really trying to say.
Women speak about feelings, emotions, just about anything they can think of..
Men? Well, we tend to speak about physical stuff, and cold, hard facts.
How do we break down the communication barrier?
That’s up to the two of you to decide.
I’ll talk more about ideas for this next week.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Now, in driving back and forth to work, I've come to one conclusion..
Most semi drivers are assholes.
Don't get me wrong. I'm sure that they're nice folks outside of their cab, and some of the most nice and impressionable folks you'll ever meet.
But while on the freeway? They're asses.
I mean, I live in the Pacific Northwest. It rains here.. Often.
Yet it never seems to fail. I drive to work at an ungodly hour in the morning, and usually the only traffic I'll ever see is trucks.
About 70% of the time, the drivers are decent, and stay in the far right-hand lane, and cut down on congestion if there happens to be another driver around.
However, there have been quite a few times where I've seen all THREE lines blocked by trucks, and they're all going about 10-15 miles BELOW the posted speed limit.
Then there's the grand deal of RAIN.
As I've said before, in this great Pacific Northwest area, it rains quite a bit. Because of this, visibility gets kind of limited from the rain falling, and the spray kicked up by vehicle tires from the road.
Now, in a perfect world, the mudflaps that are added to a trailer are supposed to cut down on this spray. But in reality? All it really does is fan the spray to the sides of the truck. This causes what I've come to describe as "The Halo" effect.
Picture this: You're driving along, and it's gently raining, so the mist is causing you to need your wipers intermittently, and everything's pretty decent. Then, up ahead, you see a foggy shroud. As you get closer, you notice dark shapes in the fog. As you approach, the shapes resolve into lights surrounding trailers. Suddenly, intermittent wiping becomes low. You come alongside these trailers, and low turns to high so that you can see from all the water being thrown into the air off the pavement, plus the added precipitation falling from the sky. As you finally pass this truck and trailer, then reverse. High gears down to low, then eventually back to the intermittent wiping.
The above scenario is only for ONE truck, and that is only if he's in the right-hand lane.
For some strange reason, when it rains around here, truckers seem to feel the need to drive in the center lane. Now, I don't know if this is for visibility reasons, or just because they like to splash cars on BOTH sides, but it's what they do.
Now, if you get more than one truck, there's no hope of maintaining any kind of speed, and visibility is more a game of Russian Roulette than driving. I mean, what if they hit a small patch of standing water that flies towards your windshield? Suddenly the constant spatter is submerged in a gritty and dirty blanket of oil, tar, and asphalt combined with what water is left. Attempting to see through it is nearly impossible, and even the best wipers can only smear the stuff from side to side for a while. Repeat this about 3-4 times, and even the most well dispositioned personality will be thinking about a sniper rifle and hatch marks on the butt end!
Needless to say, I can't stand driving with truckers. While in a car, they're fine. While walking, they're fine. Put them in the cab of a truck, and we've got problems.
Until they can find a way to monitor this better, I'm going to keep buying stock in wiper blades, tires, rain-x, headlights, and rifles and ammunition!
Wish me luck this afternoon, it's raining here, and I've got a drive ahead of me...
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
I had to get on a conference call this morning, and go through a "refresher" course of how to enter in service requests.
Because of the nature of the beast, I had to also get my backup person in on the phone call as well.
So, before the call, I tidied up the office a bit, got some tea and soda, and one more chair.
Then, my "assistant" showed up, we entered the conference call..
Only to be met with complete silence.
Yup. We were on time, but the call hadn't started yet, and we were stuck in a no-man's land of "when is this show going to get started?"
So we made small talk, and idled about my office trying to patiently wait for the call to get started.
About ten minutes into the wait, the online presentation fired up, and we were able to see that everyone was there, just not able to get into the telephone part of the conference.
About ten minutes after that, the "moderator" for the call showed up, and we were able to get into the call.
So nearly a half hour was wasted on killing time for ONE person.
Now, there have been MANY problems with the way the service requests get done. Mainly the biggest problem for the group that were all in this meeting was dealing with setting up new hourly hires.
Not management, not salaried positions, nothing like that..
Just working grunt joes. Nothing fancy.
How did the conference start out? By telling us how to get things set up for Salaried employees.
Next? How to set up management.
Then, he tried to close, saying that everything had been covered.
Immediately there were 10 cries for explanations for hourly employees.
This is when we found out something I don't think the folks "back east" were wanting to admit to.
When they implemented this request plan, it was initially set up for ONLY salaried and management folks. Hourly associates weren't going to be needing anything from it.
However, when the company grew, it became necessary for them to implement changes in the request process, and hourly employees wound up needing things off the service request menus.
Just because this happened didn't mean that the company actually CHANGED anything, it just meant that we, as remote technicians, had to come up with new and interesting ways to request things.
Now, since the new audit, things have to change. Because of this, we can't request things for new hourly employees until the changes are made.
This means that any new hourly hires are effectively STUCK doing NOTHING worthwhile until the company changes their software and policies.
My "substitute" went NUTS when this bombshell was dropped.
"How are we going to get new folks set up if we can't get them access?"
"Have them do menial labor jobs until we can implement the change."
So, instead of being able to use the new folks to help with the work that they've been hired for, they're going to be pushing brooms, picking up wood particles, stacking pallets, and anything else that doesn't require some corporate security clearance.
When is this supposed to change?
Implement date is set for the beginning of next year. Tenative date that I was told about is February 10th for finalization.
Forgive me a second, but it's just now December, we've currently hired 12 folks, another 10 are on their way, and so I'm going to have 22 people doing crap jobs for THREE months while the changes that should have been made YEARS ago are finally done?
Yeah. My assistant was able to feel my pain today.
She's glad that she doesn't have to deal with this as much as I do.
Main reason? Because of the call, she went and ate a candy bar, and had three cups of coffee.
Me? I just tacked up yet one more note about things that need to get done once someone finished their job, and then sent off the required emails to my bosses.
Eventually, someone might get something right, and things will operate like they're supposed to.
Right now, I'm just having a tough time recalling who I've allowed to get away with what around here so that folks can actually work instead of play with dirt or pallets!
Anyway, I've got some new hires to fake credentials for, so I'm going to be busy the rest of the day.
You all have a great day, and I'll chit-chat with you at some point tomorrow!
Remember: WTF Wednesday, and I've got a doozy for ya!
So, thanks to Bee at Bee's Musings, I'm going to try my hand at this.
The rules are simple.
First, Link the person who tagged you. Then post the rules on your blog.
Next, share seven random or weird facts about yourself
Then, tag 7 random people and include links to their blogs.
Finally, let each person you've tagged know about it by commenting on their blogs.
So now that this is all done, it's time for the facts.weirdness..
1. I never knew how tall I was while in the service. The main reason for this was because one doctor that measured me was quite a bit shorter than I was, and after his physical I was listed as being 6'5" tall. A year later, I had a doctor that was taller than me give me yet another physical, and according to that one, I'd shrunk, as I was only 6'2" tall afterwards. Because of this, I tend to tell folks that I'm somewhere between 6'3 and 6'4. I let them decide, it's easier that way!
2. I completely adore the cheesy Kung-Fu shows that used to be on TV. Especially when they weren't able to sync up the mouth movements with the dialogue. I also loved the snap/crack of the punches and kicks. It reminded me of the times when I used to cut wood in the winter.
3. I am a voracious sci-fi fantasy book reader. Right now my favorite series is by Jim Butcher called The Dresden Files. I love the mix of reality and fantasy that he's able to combine in these novels. It's like having cake and eating it too!
4. I adore music. Not just one specific type of music. I love it all. Opera, muzak, classical, rock, pop, reggae, soul, r&b, hip-hop.. I have to be honest, I don't like much rap, but there are some good ones there as well, I just have to look harder to find them.
5. I've been able to get places because of my singing. Yes, I actually won a trip to Las Vegas because of my voice. No, it didn't get anywhere after that, but I really enjoyed the trip, and I loved that I was able to bring my wife with me!
6. I hope to one day own a beach house. This has been a dream of mine for a while. Deciding to just pack things up, and head for the beach, and not have to worry about where you're going to stay, because your house is RIGHT THERE. It'll happen, some day..
7. I still have dreams of being in a band. Yes, I don't think the dream will ever die. I'm able to fulfill this dream every so often because of the wonder of the video game systems.. Yes, I play Rock Band avidly when I can, and I live vicariously through my gamer self!
OK. That's it.
Now.. who to tag??
Since I've got _SO MANY_ readers, I'll tag a couple, and see what happens..
I'll first tag my WIFE - gottaluvme3 - at A New Day.
Next, I'll tag Real Live Lesbian, just because I'd love some of her thoughts!
I'll also tag Dana, at Amid Life's Crisis, just because I know how much my wife will love that one!
I'll also tag Brad at Diaries of the Professor, because I haven't sent off his Swapfest gift, so I gotta give him something!
I'll also tag Just A Girl, because I think she got me into the whole truth thing about myself!
I'll also tag Amorous Rocker, because I love her take on things, and would LOVE to see what she's got to say..
Lastly, I tag Siren at Idiot Girl in Action just to see what she'll come up with.
Hope you all have fun, and I'll talk with you later!
Friday, November 28, 2008
Not only that, but I'm also expected to make up some labor that had "lost hours" because of yesterday, so I'm doubly blessed in getting extra work piled on me as well!
But, true to form, I'm putting it all off to one side so that you call can have something new and interesting to read today:
Here are my 5 fun facts..
1. I didn't eat much at all yesterday, because I'm still fighting off this bug.
2. I was kind of pissed at my mom yesterday for being the "mother hen" and demanding that I go see a doctor for this said problem, since it also reinforced my wife's comments! (I hate being told what to do!!)
3. I'm hoping beyond hope that this next weekend without the kids will mean that I can take a small break, and get some much-needed sleep in somewhere. I'm starting to fall asleep on the couch, in a chair, at my desk, at the table, at my computer desk at home (I'm too scared to sleep here at work!).. Maybe I should go take some kind of sleep apnea test??
4. I'm seriously thinking about joining a gym for a while, and see if I can lose some extra weight. I'd really like to get back into the shape I was in when I came out of the service! (or at least close to it!)
5. I honestly enjoy sitting and watching movies with the kids, even if I have absolutely no interest in the movie itself. It's kind of nice to see them enthralled at what's going on, and how intently they'll watch to see if they can predict what's going to happen.
Anyway, there's my 5 things.
Hope you all have a great weekend, hope you had a good Thanksgiving (even those of you who don't celebrate the holiday can still have a good day!) and I'll talk with you all on Monday!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Today, in the spirit of the season, I will point the looking glass inward, and poke fun at the things that I do that at times have even caused me to stop and ask.. "WTF?"
Let's start with the easy ones:
I profess to love my wife dearly, yet it seems that I've done nothing so much as bitch about each and every little thing that she does to piss me off..
Why do I do this? Why on this public blog? Why not in some personal journal instead of out here for anyone and everyone to read?
I don't know. I really don't.
I do know that because of her, I have become the man that I am today, and I'm getting better!
It's because of her love and devotion that my kids have a solid home to live in, and a safe and secure environment that they can grow up happy and carefree.
Because of her, I can see myself as a better father and husband. I even think there are times when I can picture, like a blur out of the corner of my eye, the man I could become. The solid and stable father figure everyone wishes for. That happy, jovial, kind, generous and giving person who never asks for anything in return but the love of his family.
Yes, I hope to aspire to this, and because of her, I honestly think that it's an achieveable reality.
How about my need to read about each and every person I can find that piques my interest?
Why do I do this? What's in it for me?
I tend to HATE gossip, and for that reason, I also tend to distain "reality TV" shows as well.
However, what was I doing last night? Watching Biggest Loser on TV.
If my wife turns on one of her shows, do I leave the room?
Yes, there have been times. However, more often than not I sit and watch the show with her.
I don't know. I don't know what my craving is for voraciously reading things in other blogs. I don't know why I'll be willing to waste an hour of my time watching a choreographed show that claims it's "reality". All I know is that even though I can't personally stand it, I'll deal with it because something in what I'm reading or watching has grabbed my attention at some point, and I wait to see if it's going to happen again.
With most of the blogs I read, this happens quite often, and I comment about them.
With the shows I've watched, it doesn't happen as much, but I still will try to see if something interesting will grab my attention again.
I don't know how to break that with the TV watching, but if I could, I don't know if I would.
I'm one of those who loves to watch people. I could sit at a table in a restaurant, and do nothing but drink a soda and watch the various people for hours on end. I used to make weird assessments about some of the folks I'd been watching as well. This used to upset my wife, because I was making assumptions about someone without knowing who they were. Now there were times that I was right, and she'd still point out that it was a guess, but nothing factual. Looking back, I'd have to agree. However, it is something that I've always done. Maybe I picked it up from my dad. He does the same thing in large groups. If he's not actively talking with someone, his eyes are scanning the crowd, taking in the sights, sounds, and actions going on around him.
I'm a voracious reader. There have been times where I'd waste a whole day doing nothing but reading on a book until I was able to put the finished novel down. I'd eat a little, drink a bit, take the occasional bathroom break (these breaks don't mean that the book was put down, however!), but I'd read, and read, and read until either the words got all blurry, or the book was done.
I've said before that I know there are things that need done around the house. So what's so important about a book that I can't put it down long enough to fold some laundry, or clean up some dishes?
Why do I insist on putting off yardwork? Why isn't the trim done on the inside of my house? How much longer until the windows that I've installed are COMPLETELY done?
I don't know. Maybe once I've gotten my game fix over, or read this last chapter, or seen this one show...
You know where I'm headed here, don't you?
Why do I insist on blogging? What's the attraction for me?
I think mainly for me the attraction is the chance to write, and have someone be interested in what I say.
Can I help that I'm an attention whore?
But I can enjoy it!
That's my main draw.
I love reading some blogs, and getting ideas for how to write, and narrarate, and put things into my own perspective.
Yeah, it hurts sometimes when folks get serious with me, and give comments that tend to cut me down.
But I really don't think that it's going to slow me down any. As long as I'm writing what's in my heart, and saying things that are my personal perspective I don't really care who reads it. All you're doing by reading my blog is actually seeing the world through my eyes.
Yeah, it's nothing fancy. There's really no bells or whistles, or shiny flashing things. It's just what I see, what I have experienced, and how I've come to relate to it.
Anyway, that's my WTF Wednesday this week.
You all have a GREAT Thanksgiving tomorrow, and I'll read up and talk with you all on Friday!
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Recall that I don't like confrontation?
Well, because of the comment, I've gotta point out that if I'd GONE to the doctor, I'd have been regarded as being overly dramatic because of my cold..
Since I haven't gone, I'm being stubborn, and just plain silly.
How do I make the two work here? Where's the defining line?
I just love playing volleyball. Don't ask me why, I really couldn't tell you, I just enjoy it.
There's lots of activity, plenty of time to talk and have good conversation, and if you want to get competative, it's there for the taking as well.
I'm going to relate to you five of my favorite memories from playing, one that's quite recent, and others from my heyday of playing, which was about 4 years ago.
First, the most recent one.
I've just started playing again, and I've been trying to work the kinks and rust out of my game. I still have problems with my serve, because it's been so long since I've actually HIT a ball! My bumps are needing work, because I tend to skew them just a bit to the right, and my sets aren't all that bad, becuase I was quite a good setter.
This last weekend, my buddy came out to play, and we didn't have enough folks for full teams, but we decided to play guys against girls. This meant 5 girls, 3 guys. No problem, the guys would wipe the floor with them! (yeah, right!)
Anyway, we're into the middle of our second match, and I set the ball for my friend. Beautiful set. No spin, about a foot off the net, and right in stride for his jump.
The sun shines, angels sing, flowers bloom, the whole nine yards.. A true thing of beauty.
Then comes the magic moment. He winds up, gives a grunt of effort, and swings..
Wait.. That's not the end.
Yes, he did miss the ball with his striking hand.
However, he didn't miss it with his head.
Yup. Complete fan with the spike, but one grand headbutt to make David Beckham proud!
I tell you, it took me about 10 minutes to compose myself and be able to play again. Heck, just thinking about it makes my sides ache just a little..
Fond memory #2:
Back when I was voraciously playing volleyball, I was in a competative men's league. Three hits, blocks, traps, sets, fakes, the works! I loved playing this, because I learned so much about the strengths and weaknesses of tall guys, short guys, fat men, skinny ones, etc..
It was during this time that a friend and teammate of mine showed me "the serve". This monster could make the most hardened player pale with the speed and accuracy. I mean, he'd hit this thing, and you could hear the wind whistle past the ball as it headed for your body.
He taught this technique to me, and I've used it to good effect, but not as well as he has ever done. I know this for a fact, because he puts me to shame each time we get to play against each other!
Fond memory #3:
I recall when I used to be able to play for hours on end.
We'd start playing around with some pick-up games about 6:30 in the evening, and there were times I recall getting done about 11 or so that night.
I'm kind of glad that we only play for an hour or so! I don't think my aging body would stand much more, since I refuse to admit to myself that I can't play like I used to! (while writing this, I'm rubbing my knees and back, since I still insist on diving for those "questionable" balls!)
Fond memory #4:
I miss a couple of the folks I used to play with "back in the day". There was the Jokester, Mike, who had a way of playing hard, but still cause everyone to laugh like no tomorrow. I hope he's living his dream of being that stand-up comedian he always dreamed of.
Then there's Hep. The Cambodian nightmare who taught me how to play defense. The man stood about 6 foot, but only weighed about 150 pounds! He'd jump for a spike, and seemed to hang there for a few minutes looking for that perfect spot. It was amazing to watch. Well, that, and his defensive digging, when it looked like he was break dancing to get to a ball! He'd do "The Worm" move, put one hand down, the rest would serpentine behind his hands, and he'd be back up and moving before anyone could tell he'd been down to get a ball!
Good times, missed friends.
Fond memory #5:
I recall the last time our "gang" got together to play. Three were going off to college, Two had gotten new jobs, and one was getting "too old" to play anymore. We started the games like we always did, slow and easy, working up to the level we'd become comfortable at. Jokes were passed around, teasing about some plays were made, cheers for good effort was given, and a grand time was had by everyone. We then went out and had drinks and ice cream afterwards, and remembered the good times we'd had over the years.
I still think on those times, and while I'm now playing, I often wonder what they are all doing now.
You know, I should call a couple of them, and at least invite them out. You never know what might happen!
Have a great day, and have fun this Thanksgiving!!
Here's something I've been thinking about this last week..
I really hate confrontation. I don't know why, but I just do.
I'm not one to get angry or upset very easily when someone tries to "get me started", but I can get angry at the drop of a hat over some things as well. I don't know why, but that's me.
Take this for example:
In my first marriage, there were times where my ex would WANT to get into fights. At these times, she'd pick, yell, scream, cry, and try anything to get me going. Usually, this was a day-long process.
Because of my temperment, I'd deal with her issues, and keep on going.. However, the pot was starting to boil.
Soon enough, I'd get my fill, and I'd pop. Yeah, I'd fight with her.
However, when I'd get to these points, I wouldn't be nice about it..
Newp. I got NASTY.
So we'd fight, it would be down and dirty for all of about 10 minutes, and then it would be over.
I'd then go grouse and grumble about the argument, she'd go and cry and wonder why I could be so mean.... You know how those go.
I guess that's one major reason our marriage didn't work out, but at least I learned something from it..
Now, I've got to be honest here. There are three people on this planet that know how to get me riled up faster than anything else.
Yup. My kids.
Frustration over repeating something 15 times just isn't my bag of tea. I really have no patience with ignorance, and it upsets me to no end.
Yes, I know they're kids, and they'll screw up. I give them this, and because of my temper, I do tend to go back and apologize if I overreact about something.
Here's an example of this kind of behavior:
My daughter and youngest son are barely a year apart in age. Because of this, they tend to play and fight and tussle with each other and their belongings even more than with my oldest son.
Last night, they decided to play Hide and Seek for a while. Everything went well, until my daughter decided that she wanted to pick up my youngest son, and carry him from his hiding spot to the "base".
Not being as strong as she'd thought, she dropped him on her way to the "base", and my son ended up jamming one of his fingers. This, of course, made him cry and scream bloody murder. Because of his crying, she then proceeded to yell at him, and tell him that he wasn't hurt, and that he'd be just fine if he'd stop crying (mainly to get out of being in trouble for hurting him, but heck, it was good advice at the time, don't you think?).
I came into the room, and checked out his hand. While looking it over, I calmly asked him what had happened. (I had been standing in the next room, and had seen everything, but I wanted to get their stories, if only to confirm what I'd seen)
He told me about their game, and my daughter's decision to carry him to their "base". he then told me that she "threw him down" because she was tired. I stopped him, and corrected this, because she didn't just throw him, it was an accident, and she hadn't meant for him to get hurt. I wiped up tears, gave him something to drink, an aspirin for pain, and sent him off.
Now, while this was going on, my daughter was doing something else.
I was checking over his finger, and quietly asking questions. She, however, was screaming at the top of her lungs, protesting that it wasn't her fault, he hadn't been hanging on well, it wasn't her idea, he hadn't fallen on that hand, etc...
After getting my son calmed down, I then turned to this erupting volcano of crying and emotion, and asked her to sit down.
Tears streaming down her face, she did, still proclaiming her innocense.
I knelt down beside her, and asked her for her side of the story. Loudly, she began telling me her side of it. Finding my son, him not wanting to count, her "helping" him get back here, his pushing off of her, and her trying to stop him but he fell anyway.
Since (as I'd told you before) I'd seen what had happened, I tried to correct her, and let her know what parts of her story weren't true.
This then caused another bout of screaming and crying.
That made my top BLOW.
I got up, told her to apologize to her brother, and then go sit in a chair for a while and think about what she'd done.
I don't know where the monster came from, but it took me over completely, and with no remorse.
Then, there's this issue I've got with passive-aggressive stuff, too.
Now, I'm no "man's man" type of guy. I enjoy things: sports, cars, electronics, video games as most stereotypical guys do. However, I wouldn't say that I'm the model of manhood, either.
I'm nothing like my dad. Before he retired, he would work nearly from dawn to dusk, then come home to eat and shower before watching TV for an hour or so just before his bedtime. Little, if any, time was spent with the kids. They usually just got in his way when he needed to get something done.
I'm also not much like my Father-in-Law. This man can't stand still. When he's at work, he's busy with work. When he's at home, he's gotta be doing something around the house.
To be honest, I admire his drive, but it's just not ME.
Right now? I'm sick. I've been fighting this same cough-type flu bug for nearly a month, and I'm getting irritable.
If I were my dad, I'd be taking off work until it was resolved. You can't work and be sick at the same time, so take care of yourself, and everything else will fall into place.
If I were my Father-in-Law, I'd ignore the problem, and eventually it'll all get sorted out. Can't miss work, because you gotta provide for the family.
I'm neither of those. I'm somewhere in between. Yeah, I can ignore the annoying stuff, and keep up with my schedule, because my family depends on me. However, if things get TOO out of control, then I need to take some time and get myself healthy in order to keep my sanity.
Somehow, this annoys my wife. If I tell her that I'm going to stay home from work because I'm sick, I get the eyeroll, a semi-disgusted sigh, and a small lecture about my work attendance, and my needing to manage my time off better.
Last night? I got the speech from her about needing to go see a doctor about my cold.
I don't get it.
Is she trying to tell me that when it's her suggestion that I'm sick, it's OK to be ill? Or is she trying to tell me that this has gone on long enough that she's tired of listening to it, and wants me to get it fixed? Is it that when _I_ make the announcement that I'm sick, it just must be some way of my wanting to avoid work, so it must not be all that bad?
I don't know.
I don't think I ever really will, to be honest.
I just wish I didn't feel like this right now.
Sorry for this disjointed post, maybe the next one will make more sense!
Friday, November 21, 2008
Here we go with the things about me..
1. For some reason, I LOVE corny comedy stuff. Monty Python, Jackass, you name it, I'll watch and chuckle each and every time. Don't ask me why, I just do!
2. I'm a trained classical pianist.
3. I'm a voracious reader, and will sit down with a book and tune everything else out in order to get into a book I really enjoy. Don't believe me, just ask my wife!
4. My favorite song of all time (right now) has got to be Golden Earring's 'Radar Love'. It gets me moving each and every time I hear it, and I've got it on CD!
5. My least favorite song (right now) is Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow's "Picture". I've heard it butchered TOO many time while running Karaoke, and I really don't want to hear it anymore..
Well, those are mine, now it's your turn!
Have a great weekend!
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Back in my High School days, I got a chance to tour the world for a while with a select international soccer team.
We first met in Denver, and practiced as a team for a week, then flew off to London. Once there, we were bussed to Liverpool, where our "home" field was going to be located.
There, we drilled with some of the world's leading soccer coaches, and learned quite a bit about what we DIDN'T know about the game.
Then came the exhibition matches.
First, we played at home. We lost. BIGTIME. can you say 8-1? Yeah, in soccer terms, that's a blowout.
Next, Arsenal. That one was closer, and we only lost 3-2. Still a pretty high-scoring game, but a good match.
Then London. This one we actually came out winning 1-0! We were stoked, and ready to face the world!
This turned out to be a good thing, because we then went on a MAJOR travel exposition, jumping from place to place.
From London, we went to Helsinki. Then to Olso, Berlin, Brussels, Paris, Geneva, Prague, Madrid, Rome, Athens, Jerusalem, Cairo, Johannesburg, Sydney, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and Washington D.C.!
The only places we didn't go that I really wanted to see as well were the Central and South American countries such as Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Colombia, etc..
Anyway, I honestly LOVED the time we spent.
My favorite city? I'd have to say Prague. It was AMAZING.
The architecture, the music that was EVERYWHERE.. The history, all in one place.
Not only that, but it was so CLEAN for a large city.
Most of the other places I'd been to were quite dirty.
Rome? Don't get me started..
Athens? Crowded and dirty.
Cairo? In the middle of a desert. Need I say more?
Anyway, it was just amazing. Free time was available from time to time, and so we'd get in small groups and go sightseeing.
Geneva would have been nice to visit for a longer period of time, but we basically went in for the game, and then right back out so we could make the deadline for our Prague appointment...
Madrid wasn't too bad, but since I don't speak Spanish, it was kind of tough to find someone willing to speak with you!
Since that time, I've always wanted to go back, yet I haven't had the chance yet..
Maybe someday I'll be able to.
Until then, I'll live with the memories, and dream of what could be!
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
I've got another one that seems to be a recurring idea here on my blog..
As you may or may not know, my wife and I are trying to get pregnant.
I've had the vasectomy and the reversal. My count is low, so we're going to have to deal with artificial means to get that way.
However, before we can do that, we've got to make sure that my wife is ovulating first.
The way to do that? Give her drugs, of course!
Now, she's been going on some SERIOUS mood swings.. Hot, cold, up, down, sideways lately..
Not only that, but because they weren't working properly, they then DOUBLED the dosage!
Now? They've got to get her consistent.
Last month? No ovulation.
This month? She was early.. by 10 days.
And each month costs me another $20 for 5 pills..
The problem I've got here is this:
These pills make her irritable, grumpy, and really difficult to be around. I mean, most days I'm walking on eggshells just to be on the safe side!
Now, the idea behind these pills is that she'll ovulate, and that will assist in getting her pregnant.
That's great. I applaud this.
However, one of the ideas to getting pregnant is to HAVE SEX, right?
I mean, that's supposed to be a PERK of all of this, isn't it?
Yet with the anger, frustration and emotions, NOTHING happens.
Woo. Freaking. Hoo.
Not only that, but then I get these kind of responses from her as well:
"With what we're going through, I don't think we should have kids right now!"
"I can't see you as the parent of my child"
"You certainly don't act like a father"
Do you see a dilemma here?
How is it that these "miracle" drugs that are supposed to help us reach her goal of becoming a mother are completely tearing us apart?
Do the doctors who prescribe these drugs actually look at the mental aspects of these drugs before writing the prescription for them?
Tell you what: Next time I see that doc, I'm going to have him give his wife the same pills for six months, and see how happy HE is with his wife a raging hormonal monster..
I mean, seriously here..
How happy can a marriage be when someone is completely unstable?
Now, I LOVE.. and I _do_ mean LOVE my wife. She's a wonderful woman, and I'm the luckiest man to have earned her love and affection.
But these past few months while she's been on these pills has been a literal HELL for me.
My biggest fear right now is this:
Once she gets pregnant, and has this baby (babies), is my "old" wife going to come back to me, or am I going to end up with a different person?
I don't know.
I'm just really REALLY worried about the post-partum depression stuff too..
Is THAT going to be magnified because of these drugs as well?
Dear God, I hope not!
So my WTF is this:
They give a drug so you can get pregnant, IE have sex.
Yet because of the drug, she can't stand you, so you don't have sex.
How exactly is this promoting anything??
That's like offering a diet pill to help you eat less.
However, because you take the pill, you'll want to drink more water, and retain it.
So you stop eating, but you're still gaining weight because you can't get rid of the water gain.
Same difference, just a new body area!
Sometimes, I really hate pharmecuticals....
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
I'm the oldest of two boys. My brother is 4 1/2 years younger than I am.
My parents are still married, and are headed for their 40th wedding anniversary pretty soon.
But I'm going to let you all know about something that I touched on in my earlier post.
I'm a liar.
Yes, that makes me a bad person, doesn't it?
If you think that, then you can stop reading now.
If you want to find out how I came to be this way, then feel free to read on.
Growing up, I was taken care of by my grandparents. Both of my parents worked full-time jobs, and usually put in TONS of overtime, so we didn't really get to see them much. I'd go to school, get out of school, head home, do homework, eat dinner, then get picked up by my mom and head home in time to take a bath or shower, and get to bed. I'd hardly ever see my dad when it wasn't a weekend.
Then the time came when my mom decided that I was going to be old enough to be home by myself. I was 10.
I was given a list of things that I was expected to do once I got home. Here's the list:
1. Start dinner. This was then to be ready to serve at 5. If it was later, spanking.
2. Start a load of laundry. Clothes needed to be washed daily. If fresh laundry wasn't done, spanking.
3. Clean the house. A literal white-glove test was done each night. Failure meant a spanking.
4. Vacuum. If there wasn't fresh tracks in the green shag carpet from my vacuuming of the house, a spanking would be forthcoming.
5. Clean dishes and empty out dish washer. Failure to comply will result in a spanking.
6. Homework. Any non-passing grade will result in severe penalties.
7. Shower - Quickly. Anything over 5 minutes spent in the shower will result in a spanking.
This was my routine from the time I was in 5th grade. I'd get home, and make sure that dinner was ready and going. Then I'd run through the house, pick up all the laundry I could find, and start a load. Once that was done, I'd grab the Pledge and a rag and start wiping down each and every surface I could find. Then I'd grab and start vacuuming the carpets and floors. Once that was done, it was usually time for dinner. The table would be set, and we'd eat. Then i'd clean up the table, wash dishes, and put them away. That would then leave me just enough time to sit down at the table to do my homework, and get it finished. Once done, I'd jump into the shower, scrub, and get ready for bed.
I can't tell you how many times I was spanked, to be honest. Things like finding a line of dust on the coffee table because I was a bit careless, or a piece of crusted-on food that I couldn't get out of the crack of a tupperware lid (I still hate those things!), or one section of carpet that didn't look like it had been vacuumed.. All these things led to spankings.
Needless to say, I got used to them, and they didn't really faze me one I hit middle school.
Now at this point my mom was at a very stressful time in her career. She worked as a nurse, and the hospital that she'd been working at was bought out by the larger hospital in town. Because of this, she had to relocate her job, lost her seniority, and was busted down to "new hire" status.
This led her to come home at night in really foul moods.. Which she would then find an outlet in beating me.
However, because of my lack of response in getting spankings, she then resorted to more "creative" ways to punish me. Plus, she found more things for me to be responsible for.
I recall one time being beaten with the rolling pin she used to make bread and pie dough with..
I also remember the time I'd been told that I could go play with a friend, only to be told just after she got home that I was going to stay home. I argued, and then was knocked out. I found out later that she'd ripped the top off of a piano bench, and belted me alongside my head with it. This resulted in my being taken to the hospital to be treated for a concussion and minor skull fracture. My mom's explanation? I had been playing football in the street, and dove for a catch - hitting my head on the curb.
No questions were asked, because she was a fine upstanding member of the hospital, and it was an era of "don't ask, don't tell" as well.
Finally, I got my chance at freedom.
When starting High School, I found that I could get a job, if my parents signed a release form.
So, I took the form to my dad one weekend, and convinced him that I needed a job in order to pay my own way.
Once the dotted line was signed, I took it back to school, and got a release from them so that I could get work. Once I got my first three checks, I moved out of my parent's house.
I was VERY lucky in that I'd had an older friend who was willing to let me move in and stay with him. If not for that, I'm sure I would have been in some serious trouble. As it is, I still got into trouble, but I did manage to get through it all mostly in tact.
Yet because of the fact that I would get beaten for any failing, I developed a severe defense mechanism.
I'd get asked questions, and I'd make up an answer to avoid a beating. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it failed MISERABLY. Other times, it was ignored.
Yet this behavior was more like a "fight or flight" response. Any time some kind of confrontational challenge was issued, the response was almost immediate. Lie. Make it good. Memorize it. Recall for later stories.
Now, I'm not excusing my behavior. There really should be no reason to lie.
However, in my defense, I honestly feel that some of my lies probably saved my life.
Those times when my mother would come into the house, and you could feel the anger, rage, frustration and overall peevishness of the day washing off of her like heat from a furnace - those were days to make up really REALLY good lies.
You might ask yourself where my dad was in all of this? Working.
My mom didn't try to leave bruises, and when there were bruises, well, I'm a growing overactive boy, and things do tend to leave marks.
So, if he wasn't there to observe it, it was my word against my mom's.. Who do you think he'd believe?
Now? I cope with my mom, and I still try to keep the lines of communication open. However, there are serious times at their home when I can feel trouble brewing, and it is at those times when I'll pack up the wife and kids, and head for the safety of home.
Do I still love her?
Yeah. Of course I do. She's my mom.
Do I accept what she did?
Absolutely not. There's no excuse for it.
This is also one more reason why I love my wife. Because she's helping me to learn to be a much better parent than I grew up learning from. Now? I can parent with love instead of discipline. I can discipline with moderation, not rage. And I can now say "I love you" to my kids without feeling semi-silly.
Anyway, that's my rant. I hope it didn't bore you. I'll have something less serious to talk about tomorrow!
I'm a gamer.
Yes, I enjoy playing my stupid video games.
For me, it's a way to relax, escape, and just not think or worry about the things that went on in my day. When I play during the weekend, it's my way of unwinding from the stress of the week, and getting myself back to that "happy place" that I need to be in so that I can subject myself to the stress and chaos that invades my life while at work.
Yes, I know that there are things I could do that are more constructive. There's stuff around the house that needs fixing, there are dishes in the sink that should be rinsed and put into the dishwasher, there's a dog that loves the attention...
To be honest, I don't mind doing those things. However, I'd much more enjoy doing those things once I'm better set mentally, you know?
I'm not saying that what I'm doing is really acceptible. What I'm saying is that I've found a way to cope with the stresses that come at me, and that until I can find some other effective way for me to deal with it, I don't think it's going to change much.
I'm also a liar.
Yes, I lie.
The sad part is, that I've gotten GOOD at it.
Because of my situation when I was growing up, I learned to make things up in a hurry, with no preparation whatsoever. This made me able to juggle quite a few stories, and keep them all fairly feasible.
This also destroyed any kind of accountability that I had for myself, and basically had me wondering WHO I really was. I was one kind of person for this one, and a different kind for this next one, etc..
Thanks to the tough love and support of my wife, I've been able to fight this habit. I still stumble from time to time, but for the most part I'd say that I'm recovering very nicely.
I'd kind of equate my lying to an alcoholic. For me, even telling the "little white lies" was the same as taking a drink while trying to stop. It doesn't just stop at that "one little lie".
No, it blossoms.
Because then I rationalize with myself. "That wasn't too bad, you can handle this" then becomes "well, that was a bit much, but still not bad.." to "Where am I going with this, and when did it get out of control?"
I have to remind myself DAILY about not making things up on the fly.
There are times where I really don't want to deal with things, and I'm sorely tempted to just say something in order to get that person off my case, and away from me.
Usually, I am able to beat the urge.
However, there are times when I become human, and I fail.
Anyway, just a little taste of my life for you.. More to come later!
Friday, November 14, 2008
1. I finally got a chance to play Volleyball again. First time playing in about a year, and I'm SORE.
2. I am totally crazy-type in love with my wife.
3. There are times when I wish I could have stayed in the service instead of getting out when they made the stinking cutbacks.
4. Certain songs bring back memories, and I love it when I hear Jim Brickman's "Love of My Life" done.
5. I'm great at finding reasons to procrastinate when I don't want to do something.
Well, those are my facts about me for today.
Hope you have a great weekend, and I'll talk with you all again on Tuesday when I get back!