Thursday, December 04, 2003

Christmas Cards
Well, I received my first Christmas card in the mail today. What the fuck? It's the freakin 4th of December. Who is that organized or anal about cards to have them sent out this early. I haven't sent cards out in a couple of years. My wife was the one who did that. So, the last couple of years, I just haven't felt like sending cards. Maybe this year.

Home Decorating
Tomorrow, Rachel and I are going to start decorating the house for Christmas. I'm going to try and let her make most of the decisions about how to decorate. She loves putting things out, so I'm going to let her. Not planning on playing any carols while we do this, but, maybe I'll play some of the "cracked" carols such as "Grandma got run over by a reindeer".

Accounting Class
In class today, our instructor gave us all a status sheet letting us know what our current average was and our total points. It takes 450 points to get an A in the class. So far, I have 418. That means all I have to do is get a 32 or better on my final test to get an A. The problem is, I currently have an average of 104.8 (thanks to extra credit points). So, the egotistical part of me says I need to get a high 90 score on the test to keep my average about 100. I'm not going to bother figuring out what the lowest score I could get is. I'm just going to try and do the best I can.

How much is that doggie in the window?
Okay, I'm not buying a dog. But, I am in the process of trying to determine whether I need to purchase new bowling shoes (dog? bowling shoes? what?). The problem is, the pair that is being recommended to me as an equivalent or better than the worn out pair I have cost $157. For bowling shoes? Damn, that's a lot of money. Of course, what price does not having to rent shoes bring? I think I'm going to have to seriously consider just how bad I need new "quality" shoes before I even think of forking over that type of money.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Thought of the Day
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines.

So much I'd like to do or accomplish, but I just can't find a starting point. It seems that I have the desire to do things, but don't know where to start. Each project I come up with seems to have a prerequisite. But, even those have things that have to be done before hand. Somehow, I need to learn how to pick one thing and start on that. Focus seems to be something I need to work on.

By the way! The first line of this post is a lyric from the song Time by Pink Floyd. So, if it seemed familiar, that's why.

Social Calendars
Once again, my 9 year old daughter has a more active social life than I do. I am having trouble keeping up with everything she has going on. From play days to birthday partys, from church to sleep-overs, she is just constantly going. Maybe that was the strangest thing that I felt while she was at my Dad's place, I wasn't driving her from one event to the next. Oh well, better she's active than a wall flower. Oh, one other thing, right now the personal phone usage is about 60/40 in my favor. I figure I have a year or two at best before that swings the other way.

Happy Birthday
Today is my son's (from a previous marriage) 21st birthday. I wish I had the chance to talk to him, but thanks to his mother and his medical condition, this is the closest I can come. One of these days I'll explain the whole situation. Suffice it to say for now that it's nowhere as close as the relationship with Rachel.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

I'm back among the living
Should anyone care, I'm back. Sorry about the absence, but I was hit with a mild case of flu that's been running around here in Colorado. I say mild since some people here have died from it. So, I feel lucky to have only been achy, feverish, chilled, sore, tired, etc... But, I finally feel like I'm almost back to normal. One more day or two and I should be rid of all the symptoms. At least I can finally do most of my normal activity without having to take a two hour break for every one hour I do something.

Thanksgiving and Christmas
My daughter Rachel spent Thanksgiving with the Oldcatman and other members of the family. I'm glad she was able to enjoy the holiday even when I didn't care about it (and later turned up sick that day). She had a good time with the animals, my aunt, cousin, and of course Grandpa. Course, I'm now hearing about all the chickens, cats, dog, and horses and their daily activities, but I'm just happy she had a good time.

Now, Christmas is coming up. I've always enjoyed Christmas. Guess it's the kid in me. Hey! I'm greedy, I'll admit it. I love getting presents. There is also a part of me that really likes the fact that for one brief period of time, people will think of others. Odd thing to make a conservative happy, but I do like hanging out at the mall and watching people scurry and run around. I love watching little kids talk to Santa and tell him their wants. I don't care for the Carols, but I can live through it.

Number one thing I enjoy the most is the look in Rachel's eye's when she thinks about presents, Santa, Christmas dinner, and all of that. The look of expectation and joy is just so wonderful, it can cheer even the gloomiest of days. She's the typical kid wanting anything and everything, but it's wonderful that she is happy with whatever she gets. Plus, she's getting old enough to want to make decisions about decorating the house and tree. To watch her decide what ornaments and decorations should be used this year is just heart warming.

On the housing front - We didn't get our offer accepted on the house we looked at. The sellers decided to go with the first offer. Oh well, at least now I've got my feet wet and have things prepared to move forward.

Accounting class - Just a week and a half left. If I've done my math right, all I have to do is get a 40 something or better on the final test (out of 100) to get an A. Makes me feel good to know that I'm doing well, must be my competitive nature.

Dating situation - Had to throw in something for a laugh. There is no dating going on here. Any one know a nice lady?

Bowling - Still plugging along. I've got a combined 195 plus average between the two leagues, tournaments, and subbing for other people. More than my concerns about my average, I am just really having fun this year. In both my leagues, I have people I enjoy talking, joking, and competing with. People actually seem to search me out to talk to and spend time with. It really makes me feel good to think that someone sees me and wants to spend a few moments with me. Reminds me that I may get down on myself, but that's my own emotion and is not shared by everyone. Makes me look inward and remember that even on a bad day, I still have a lot to offer.

As you can tell from some of my comments today, I've been doing a lot of thinking lately. What I came up with is that I'm human. I have a lot of good qualities, I struggle with my emotions, I'm competitive, and I probably have as many people who like me as those who don't. The important thing is that I like myself. I would like to be a better person (who wouldn't), but as long as I'm okay with me and Rachel loves me, what else do I need? The answer is nothing. I simply have to remember to do things that help me (and Rachel) and not stress on what others think. Wish me luck!

Sunday, November 23, 2003

Oh, my aching back
Well, another tradition of winter here in Highlands Ranch. It's the annual day after the first day of shoveling snow back-ache. Nothing major, just enough discomfort to let me know my back is there. Every now and then I'll move just right and my back will tell me its tired. It's usually not bad, but this time we have sub twenties weather, so if I'm outside for any reason, my back muscles just can't warm up.

Good decision on my part
I made the right decision not to go to the Broncos game today. Heard on TV that it was the coldest temperature during a Bronco game in history. That, plus the fact that the Donkeys lost to the lowly Bears, and I really would have hated to spend the time and money to be at the game. At least the Chiefs won today, so, my tickets to the Broncos/Chiefs game should be good.

Sting Concert
One of the musicians I enjoy listening to is Sting. I liked the Police and I really like his solo stuff. He is going to give a concert here in Denver in February. I was tempted to buy tickets and go see him until I saw the prices. Standing room tickets are $62.50. Standing? You mean to tell me that they plan to sell SRO tickets before they've sold the first ticket? Oh well, guess I'll wait until the concert DVD comes out.

Saturday, November 22, 2003

Oh, the weather outside is frightful
Yikes, who turned off the heat? The weather here in Highlands Ranch, Colorado is a brisk 14 degrees and we've received about 3 to 4 inches of snow. Had to shovel the driveway for the first time this season today. What a fun way to pass the time. The snow is supposed to taper off this evening but the temperature won't be climbing for a couple of days. At least we're supposed to get some sun tomorrow.

Not as big a Bronco fan as I thought
I was offered seats to tomorrow's Bronco game from my friend I'm splitting the season tickets with. Seems he and his daughter have come down with the virus that's been floating around here lately. The game is against the Chicago Bears. Hmm, let's see, stay home and watch the game from the comfort of my recliner or go to the game and sit outside on a cold plastic seat for better than three hours in sub twenty degree temperatures. Tough choice, but I think I'll have to stay indoors. I'd go if it was the Chiefs game, but the Bears? I don't think so.

Movies vs. Books
Not sure if I've mentioned that I read alot. Mostly read things by Stephen King, James Patterson (really like the Alex Cross books), books on finances, and golf. Right now, I'm also reading the fifth Harry Potter book. And yes, I've read the other four. The Harry Potter movies are pretty close to the books. There are some minor changes and omissions, but nothing too major. Now, the other book I'm reading right now, Along Came a Spider (Patterson) has also been made into a movie. Morgan Freeman plays the Alex Cross character which is a perfect casting move other than he's a little older than Alex in the books. Talk about differences! The movie basically has the Cross character, Jezzie Flanagan, Mike Devine, and Gary Sonjei. Where they came up with the opening scene in the movie is anybodys guess. The kidnapping is different such as while there is a Megan Rose that gets kidnapped, she's only part of the crime. There is another child who also gets abducted and he's not Russian like in the movie. There is a basic kidnapping, investigation, and the plot twist of the supposed good guys now having the missing child. But, the entire process of how you get from point A to B is totally different. In the movie, the character Sonjei dies, in the book, he's commits multiple crimes, is married, finally captured, goes to trial, goes to prison, and then escapes. He's more of a advesary of Cross in the book than in the movie. Also, in the books, Alex has two kids and a grandmother that he lives with. I really do enjoy the movie (and Kiss The Girls), but they are nothing like the books other than they're about a black cop named Alex Cross.

Friday, November 21, 2003

What to write?
You'd think that with having taken some time off from writing that I'd have a small assortment of items to write about. Well, if you thought that, you'd be wrong. I'm sitting here struggling for something to write about. So, I apologize in advance if today's post is not that exciting.

House update
Nothing new on the house situation. Didn't expect anything today anyway. There is a relocation company involved in the deal and that will generally slow things down. Last we'd heard, the listing agent thought the sellers would be thrilled by my offer. Why you'd be thrilled about a back-up offer I do not know. Unless......the only thing I can think of is that the primary offer has some contingincies that are making the seller nervous.

World Tour
No, I'm not going to do any traveling. But, I have signed up to take a world tour of sorts. There is a restaurant around here called Old Chicago's. They stock and sell over 130 different types of beer. They also have what's called a Hall of Foam. The way that a person gets into the hall is to drink at least 110 of the 130 types of beer they sell. The restaurant now has a record on file for me listing the beers I've had so far. Each time I go in, I hand them my tour card and they'll keep track of my status and let me know which beers I still need to try. So far, I'm up to 2 (Coors Light and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale). For their own safety, they will only let you add six new beers a visit (to prevent someone coming in and trying to add, say 20 beers in one night). So, I figure if I visit the restaurant an average of once a week and have three beers each time, I'll be in the Hall of Foam somtime next August. In the meantime, I will get discounts on food after I've had 10 beers, a t-shirt after 50, a ball cap after 85. Wow, get free stuff (kind of free) for drinking beer. Damn, had I signed up earlier, I'd have a house by now.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Okay, I goofed. I promised that I was going to write a proper post yesterday and then failed to do it. But, I had a very good reason.

After class on Tuesday, I drove around the neighborhood where I'm looking to buy a new home. Well, I came across one the had the "nice curb appeal" that I'd like. I stopped and picked up a brochure and then looked at the home on the internet. Really nice home. Nice enough in fact that I wanted to look at it yesterday which is way ahead of schedule, but the house is that nice. Unfortunately, the home is already under contract. But, they are excepting back-up offers in case the primary offer falls through. Without boring you with all the details, the short story is that I looked at the house and spent last night writing an offer on it. My real estate agents are a husband and wife team (who just happen to be my daughter's god-parents). Well, the husband was cautioning me about the remote chance of getting the home. But, the wife has talked to the agent selling the home and everything we're hearing leads her and I to believe that the first offer is a little suspect based on what the selling agent is telling us. Legally, she can't give us any details, but, she's just phrasing things and reacting to our offer like we're going to make things better. So, I'm just going to have to keep my fingers crossed. The nice thing is that I either get the house or I don't, there is no negative here.

Depressive funks
As I said in my last funk, I had a bad few days and was in a funk. When these things hit me, all my fears seem to come to the front of my mind and control my thoughts. I just get worried about taking care of my daughter, worry about money, worry about worrying so much. It's just had to shake. I don't know if you have ever been through these feelings, but man they suck. I know on a logical rational level that Rachel and I are fine. However, I just can't accept that emotionally. I guess this is my version of a female time of the month/PMS issue (not being derogatory, just kidding around). Then, I do something like look for a house and suddenly I feel better about getting something positive accomplished and all those thoughts move to the back of my mind. I simply need to realize that doing something towards a goal improves my mental state. When I feel a funk coming on, I need to work towards a goal to stave it off.

Back to Odd things
Okay, some body explain personal dress styles to me. Today at school, there was a large woman wearing a bright pinkish orange outfit. The pants were the light weight cotton variety. So, I could see every bit of cellulite and fat that was on this lady's thighs and butt. Why don't people think about this? Now, I firmly believe that everybody has a right to dress as they wish, but come on. If you are fat, it should be obvious that clingy clothing is not right for you. Similarly, if you are a well built woman, if you were a revealing shirt and short skirt, don't be surprised when guys notice you even if they stare/ogle a bit. Again, common sense. Now, no one deserves to have to take rude comments, but when you wear certain clothing, you are going to have people notice you. You have the right to wear a t-shirt saying religion sucks. But, if you wear said t-shirt to a church, don't be surprised if people react to it. Duh! I appreciate the fact that people dress as they wish and want to be comfortable. But, I just laugh when a lady, for example, wearing a short skirt gets upset because someone notices her legs. Gee, I wonder why? Lady, you are displaying 80 to 90 percent of you legs, do you not expect us guys to notice?

Mad at school
Well, I'm upset with the college I'm attending. Because I hope to be working next semester, I will have to take courses at night or on-line if I want to continue. I would like to take the second semester of Accounting next term. The only problem with that is with the textbook. We buy one book for both semesters of Accounting. So, I have used almost half of my textbook so far. Now, the idiots who run the on-line Accounting class have decided to use a different textbook. So, to continue my Accounting course, I'll have to buy another textbook that I will only use half of. I'll end up with two books (and not cheap ones at that) that I will only have used one portion of. Gee folks, thanks for thinking of the cost to the students.

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