Saturday, September 30, 2006

what time is it?

Went to sleep Friday night about midnight and fully exhausted. I awoke about 1am to make bathroom trip #1 since I drank 2 diet Pepsis between 9-11pm. I laid back down and heard a few voices and what I though was the sound of people playing pool. When someone breaks a fresh rack in pool it makes a distinct marble and marble sound. It wasn't close enough by to keep me awake so I fell back asleep. Then at about 5:30am I awoke for bathroom trip #2 and heard the pool balls clanging again. It is still dark at this time so I figured I could look out my back door and see if I could locate the billiards game. I could see a house in a small cul de sac nearby that had 2 guys shooting pool in the garage with both doors open. This gargage was converted into a bar-like pool hall. It was painted red and I could see some decor that suggested that it was more of a party place than a car or storage place.

I can only imagine the people in the cul de sac who could hear and better see what was going on. It has been nice enough to sleep with windows open so I am sure someone else was kept awake by the game. My mischevious mind thought I could go about 9am with my daughter and take her fund raising information, ring the door bell, and wake them up.

I know of at least 3 houses that have pool tables in garages in my small neighborhood. In Missouri we put them in basements. I guess a garage would make for easier unloading and setting up.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

I'm NOT Taking It

You know those times when someone tries to give you money for something and you refuse to take it. It can be an awkward moment. It happened to me tonight as I showed up to mow for a friend from church who was recovering from stitches so he couldn't mow. He had emailed me yesterday and I originally was going to mow last night, but got talked into going to the auto auction so I postponed mowing since my friend said as long as it was done by Saturday.

I showed up right at 6pm expecting him to be on his date with his wife, but he was getting his equipment out so we chatted a little bit. I started the mower and started cutting grass when my friend starts to hand me a $20. I simply said I wasn't taking it and he insisted that I take it. The conversation went something like this:

Friend: Here take this.
Me: I'm not taking that.
Friend: Here, put it in your pocket.
Me: I don't have pockets.
Friend: I'm leaving it here on the table.
Me: It might blow away.
Friend: If you don't take it I will mail it to you.

So what ultimately happened? He left the $20 on the table and I almost forgot about it. I went ahead and took it knowing it would easily cover my Chick Fil A order in the morning.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

High Anxiety

I have been experiencing a level of high anxiety today. The following are partial reasons that I am experiencing anxiety:

1. Frustration with students in general not listening to directions.
2. Still one car and my mind is racing on who I'm riding with and when.
3. I need a sub for Wednesday and it took me 2 hours to prepare after school.
4. I need to mow for about 3 people AND I have one car and a broken mower.
5. I'm out Wednesday, but I still need to get bagels to school.
6. Exciting H.S. volleyball game tonight. We won in 5, needing overtime.
7. While announcing I ran out of battery power for the mic.
8. Before running out of power I said the wrong name for OUR team, first time ever.
9. I felt like I needed to verbally unload when I got home and my wife was on the phone for an hour. Usually she wants to spill verbage.
10. I lost a student and got a new one today.
11. I'm tired.

Hope I can sleep.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Car Update

Still no 2nd vehicle. We did test drive a 98 Volvo GLT Turbo Sedan Friday night, but I'm not too sure if this car will be on the market because the potential sellers are looking at the new 07 Civic CRV that will be coming out this week. I would anticipate a scarce number of them being available, and knowing Honda they will probably sell over sticker until their lots fill up.

Consumer reports calls the Volvo reliable, but many people that I've read reviews from dog it for it's electrical glitches and say that when you do need a repair it is very expensive. It does have 96,000 miles and I've been told by the seller that for some reason the AC/heater fan occasionally stops for a few days before restarting. Hmmm? May be a good buy if we can get it below private party book value.

Our dilemna is whether to look for something about $2000 that we can pay cash, or find something a little nicer and borrow about $3000 from the bank.

Nicer weather is here! YEAH!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Houston Update

The travel to Houston was a safe one. We avoided all rain and most traffic. We arrived at our hotel, Club Quarters Houston at 3:30pm in time to check in, freshen up and walk to the stadium. You can see Minute Maid Park from the front door of our hotel(about 8 blocks). We were one of the first 10,000 fans to enter the park so we each received a Roger Clemens bobble head doll. Since it was early we decided to take them back to our rooms instead of keep them with us during the game and afterwards.

Houston right now is hot, humid, yet breezy. I was soaked from the 8 block walk to our hotel and had to change shirts before going back. Lucky for us the stadium is a dome and was climate controlled just right.

Watched a good game and my 60% stock on the Cardinals winning went belly up. Another late inning dramatic win for the Astros. After the game we stopped by our hotel to change out of our Cardinal clothing before we headed off to The Flying Saucer right around the corner. It is a place that serves about 100 draught beers as well as 200 bottled beers. We ordered a few drinks and a late dinner. *FOOD critique ahead: I ordered a plate where I got to pick from a list of salamis and meats as well as cheeses. The pick 2 was $7.99. We received a wimpy 4 slices of Genoa salami and a small wedge of Cotswold cheese garnished with a few almonds, grapes, crusty bread peices and dressings. AND no fork or knife to cut or spread the cheese with.

Worked out this morning and we will head back for North Texas around 11am. Be home in time to see if the Cardinals can beat Clemens in his possible last game as an Astro.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Houston Here I Come

Leaving for Houston this morning to catch tonight's game between MY St. Louis Cardinals and the Astros. I've watched the last 2 games on tv and the Cardinals have coughed up late inning leads only to lose in dramatic style. Tonight the Astros will pitch their best pitcher and who knows which batting practice pitcher the Cardinals will be using.

I've wanted to take this trip for about 5 years and I'm finally going with a church friend who grew up outside St. Louis. My happiness rests about 60% on the Cardinals winning, 20% enjoying time spent with a friend, and 20% the experience of visiting a different Major League ballpark.

If you watch the game tonight I'll be in the bleachers right next to that little burm(hill) in right center field. I might be wearing my PUJOS #5 jersery.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


This weekend was our growing city's flea market called Trade Days. It happens every month on the 3rd weekend. My mom was visiting with her sister and they are professionals when it comes to flea markets and yard sales so we took them Saturday morning. This flea market is the perfect size because with steady movement my wife and I can get thru it with the kids in less than 2 hours.

For me the draw is trying to find a decent ball cap for about $5. I didn't have any luck this time because most hats were of the Mexican or Texas football varieties. I almost pulled the trigger on a $4 red Addidas hat or a $3 Budweiser Dale Jr. hat, but resisted. One stand also has multi pack socks for cheap but there was no need at this time. My wife did find one vendor who was selling ALL of his shirts for $1. This included decent thread count Fruit of the Loom t-shirts as well as a few short sleeved golf style pull over shirts. I ended up buying 2 shirts, one a reddish-maroon and another a color that Billyv would probably like to have....a burnt orange Texas Longhorn colored shirt. It actually had a tie dyed effect across the chest. I wore both shirts this weekend and washed them. They didn't shrink or fade. What a deal.

The cool thing was getting a couple of compliments on my burnt orange shirt Monday. Little did they know the shirt only cost $1. I guess next time I'll spend the $3 to park and walk straight to this vendor. It might help if I went on Friday for a better selection. Buy at least 10 shirts and clear out old shirts to give to Goodwill. At least I wouldn't feel so bad staining or ruining a shirt that only cost me $1.

Now if I could only find a car for $1.

Sunday, September 17, 2006


When our last computer was on the outs we weighed our options for our 3rd ever computer purchase. In the previous 8 years that we were married we have owned 2 Compaq computers. Both of them were of the separate monitor and tower kinds. I personally checked out computers online and in stores and decided that a laptop would do all that we needed it to do and it was just as cheap if not cheaper than most tower driven computers. We settled on the $499(after all rebates) Toshiba laptop. It has been wonderful. I'll probably never own a modem towered computer again.


The laptop takes up so much less space. We've also taken the laptop on long trips and it has acted as a DVD player, gaming system and music player. I've been able to use it at my mother's house in St. Louis and conveniently I don't have to remember any of my passwords for any of my accounts that I use. It also conveniently travels to other places in the house were I have been able to search for cars and such while still being in the same room with my wife....meaning good quality time. I can surf while she either reads or watches TV. Maybe it has kept us closer and not in separate rooms.

So if you are faced with a computer purchase in the future I highly recommend buying a laptop, decent price and convenience.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Water Facts

At the request of Mommyprof I will share some of the interesting(at least to me) facts about water. I have taught a 4 week unit on water and it's properties to my students, 4 times a day. I teach that you could go 2-3 minutes without air, 2-3 days without water, and 2-3 weeks without food. The following are some facts about water:

Water covers 70% of the earth's surface.
Fresh water makes up only 3% of all water.
97% of our fresh water is frozen, most at the poles.
Cold water sinks, hot water rises.
Water is the only element that can naturally
change between it's 3 states: gas, solid, liquid.
Water is the only element where it's solid floats
in it's liquid.
The molecules of water consense(get closer) as
it gets colder and at 4 Celsius, 29 F it EXPANDS.
(that's why ice floats in water)-GOLD cubes
would sink in liquid gold.
The 4 things that help water evaporate are:
heat, wind, surface area, amount of humidity.
Our bodies are 70% water.

We watched a video that said the amount of water on earth never changes so while we are experiencing a drought, somewhere else must be receiving more than their share of rain. If this fact is true and humans are 70% water, then isn't more and more of our available water being used to sustain human bodies? Maybe that is why we are in a drought period.

Drink up! Take showers to conserve water too!

Thursday, September 14, 2006


Last Christmas I purchased a paralell bible for my wife. She was wanting The Message and our pastor often reads from the New International Version so I bought one that has both versions side by side. It was a smaller leather bound bible and she loves it. Since it was smaller it only cost $35. The larger leather ones run up to $80 and higher. Ever since then I have really wanted to buy myself a new bible. I've had my last NIV maroon leather bible since about 1992. It is the bible that I marked many sermon dates from 1993-1996 and there are plenty of underlined favorite sections. My favorite bible that I've had was The Life Application hardback student bible that has lots of notes at the bottom. I still have it, but it hasn't had a cover on it in over 5 years. I do usually turn to it when I am doing some serious research.

The first bible that I actually remember receiving as a gift was a New American Standard bible that my mom gave me back in 1981 when I got baptised. It did the job for a while before I bought the ultra slim, sleek, NIV leather bible. I ended up not liking that bible that much and gave it away pre-1990.

That said, when I purchased my wife's birthday gifts on Sept. 2nd I ended up buying myself a similar sized, smaller NIV leather bible like my wife's. I really like it. The print is a decent size. The bible is small and convenient to carry. My first casualty came Sunday when my daughter used it as she drew pictures on paper during church. She missed the paper a few times. I guess I could try to use our couch leather cleaner on it.

One thing I've learned in the past is that leather bibles are pretty durable. My maroon leather bible once got drenched as it road in the trunk of an older Mustang one night. To date it is still a durable bible.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Would Jesus Drink Beer?

Tonight I went to the new Racetrack gas station to air up a tire and fill up my Neon while I was at it. I gassed up the car and proceeded inside to buy my wife a Pepsi and ask if they could turn on the air machine. While walking in a guy was asking everyone for some change. He got some and moved to the front of the line to pay the 7 cent tax on his 99 cent Natural Ice beer. He mumbled something on his way out and another patron threatened to "beat that crackhead if he is still outside."

I had to pull my car over to the air machine and noticed that the guy was standing by the ice machine. I was slightly worried that I could be approached while airing up my tire. Before I could stretch the hose around he was in my personal space telling me his story. "That's my blue car over there and I ran out of gas and I need to get back to xxxxx." He said he worked at a local Honda dealer and had a $750 check, but needed cash for some gas. There I was isolated and basically at this guy's mercy. I told him that I thought I had a few ones to spare and opened my wallet. GREAT, the first thing that shows is a $10. I quickly said that was for my family for breakfast. When I gave him the $3 he said he didn't like to panhandle. I mentioned that I couldn't turn him down because what if he was Jesus just testing to see if I would help out a stranger. This might have been to appeal to any morals that he might have had. A worker came out to dump trash and he backed away a little bit. He asked for a ride to somewhere and I declined. He then asked for any other spare change and I emptied my pockets of about 50 cents.

I couldn't help but wonder if he thought I believed that it was really his car.

If it was Jesus would he really be drinking a Natural Ice? If it was Jesus would I get any credit for giving out of fear?

The $3 I saved with gas being cheaper just went to buy some guy more beer or some crack.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Blue Ice

Tuesday's science lab requires the use of blue ice. I taught this lesson last year and really look forward to teaching it again. If you use food coloring to make blue ice you can then put the blue ice cube in a cup of water and see what happens. As the ice melts the blue water sinks to the bottom of the cup of clear room water temperature. A whole more dense/less dense activity that I have been teaching for about 2 weeks.

Problem is while prepping the lesson at school today I could not find ice cube trays. I had them last year and for some reason they are not in my science kit. Our science lab was practically dismantled to make room for an extra regular classroom so many of the materials were distributed across the grade levels. I looked and looked and did not find the treys. So tonight I went to Big luck. I then went to grocery store luck. Then off to grocery store luck. I decided to purchase the bathroom sized solo drink cups and make my cubes with them. I went to luck. My debit card was in a pair of shorts at home.

I drove back home and finally located the shorts. They were in the dryer and the card was not in the pockets. I unloaded the dryer and stuck to the back of the dryer was my debit card. It was melted a little bit, but when I went back to the store it worked.

Bottom line is, science goes on. Do you think I should be able to comp. out the 1 1/2 hours that I spent looking for ice cube trays? AND when did ice cube trays get phased out?

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Addicted to Jeeps

I have found myself spending hours online looking for Jeep CJ-7s. If you've been trying to call I apologize. In the past I would blame the busy signal on my blogging addictions or my desire to play poker online(FREE KIND). Since selling our Jeep Liberty our thoughts and efforts have casually turned to looking for a 2nd mode of transportation. I really feel that I am an educated consumer. I've been through the Consumer Reports used card book trying to weed out cars with bad scores(nearly all American made cars). I've looked thru the local paper classifieds for new and used cars. Last week I went to the auto auction.

Our possible choices for vehicles under the $5000 mark includes: Jeep Cherokee, Dodge Neon, Chrysler Sebring, Dodge Stratus. All which score poorly with CR. This weekend my wife and I have probably spent 6 hours looking online at CJ-7s. My sources have been,, and Ebay. Last night my wife found the car we are looking for. A 1980 Jeep CJ-7 with an 8 cylinder motor and a hardtop for only $6000. Cheap if you know Jeeps. Problem is, it is in Georgia. How can someone realistically buy something they haven't seen or driven?

This morning at church I had to confess my coveting or lusting for a Jeep CJ-7. I've owned 2 in my life, but it has been nearly 10 years. Believe it or not they were cheaper back then.

Anyone out there with a CJ-7 for sale?

Thursday, September 07, 2006

One Car Blues

It has been a tough 2 weeks being a one car family. To start the day it means that my wife has to drop me and my daughter off at school one hour early. That translates into waking up 30 minutes earlier and no messing around. I get to school at 7am. Somehow I've managed to keep Bagel Wednesday, Cinamon Roll Thursday and Chick Fil A Friday intact. Give my wife credit for getting 3 people ready and me ONE. I do brush the kid's teeth though.

I have been stranded at school and last Friday had to borrow a vehicle to pick up our lunches since I am the Food and Beverage Specialist. After school a "resourceful" friend has taken my daughter and myself to the gym where I work out and get picked up at 5:30pm by my wife. Or on Wednesdays and today my wife picks me up after 5pm. I did get a little bit of school work completed today.

It is my team's weekend to mow at church and usually I take my lawn mower in my Jeep and go mow, either Thursday, Friday and sometimes Saturday. I am not going to mow this weekend although tonight it did successfully shove my mower into the trunk of my 2000 Dodge Neon. I mowed a yard that I had already received cash for. Cash is KING!

That said, a few people have offered to let us borrow spare vehicles. One is a 97 Jeep Wrangler that my neighbor has. I would hate for something to be stolen out of it. Maybe I could use it on weekends. A church friend offered to let us use their mid 90 model Ford truck. This might work because their home owner association gets on to them for leaving it parked in the street.

I did enjoy the auction and will probably go back in the future. We are going to take our time with NO car payments and just know that God will provide the right vehicle. Even if it is the 97 Dodge Neon, 5sp, 2dr, NO A/C car that we drove from 1998-2000. Small world, but it could happen.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Auto Auction

I've sold cars retail. I've bought cars new and used. I've also sold personal cars. One thing I've never experienced was a wholesale dealers auto auction. A good friend from church had some insight about a local auto auction and we went tonight to look at cars since we are a one car family. I learn on the way the this friend's step brother owns the auction. His brother in law buys and sells cars and owns a nearby car lot. And his sister works the Wednesday night auction. Talk about a family affair.

We arrrived at 6:30 to check out some cars. There were at least 150 cars running thru 3 auction lines simultaneously. I am looking for a car in the $3000-$4000 range. Once I find a car and win it on a bid I would still owe a purchase fee to the auction place and $500 to the brother in law since he would have to handle all the paperwork. This would turn a $4000 car into about a $4700 car. Not bad considering to buy a similar car on a dealer lot might cost at least $6000.

There were people everywhere scoping out their personal favorites. I'm sure there are many niches for dealers to buy for. I learned that $15 would get me a 12 oz. ribeye and I was tormented by the smell of good ol' fried foods. Next time I won't eat before hand. There was also plenty of beer being drank. It was almost like I was at a festival of some kind.

The following describes some of the cars I was interested in:

01 Jeep Cher. Sport, 105,000 miles, black, 4wd, auto-did not sell-reserve $5300
02 Jeep Liberty, 85,000 miles, blue, 2wd, auto-did not meet reserve-last bid $7950
01 Chrys. Town & Country van, Silver, 104,000-SOLD $4000
98 Jeep Cherokee, 124,000, 2wd, auto-did not meet $3800 reserve

I learned that many cars did not sell. A 2000 Hyundai sold for $800. A Dodge Conversion van with new tires that could hold 20 migrant workers sold for $1100.

If you buy a car you have one hour to check it out. Drive it off the lot and really test it out on the road. Upside is that you save at least $1500-$2500 on what it would cost on the open market. And just like a car you buy on the open market it would be AS-IS. If the 01 Black Sport wasn't 4wd and automatic it probably would have been in my price range. I'll go back next time a little more wiser.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Labor/Memorial Days

For as long as I can remember I have misnamed the holidays of Labor and Memorial Day over 1/2 the time. Kind of like getting someone's name wrong the first time so you mess it up all along. We didn't go anywhere for the big weekend. Friday night was card night, Saturday was date night, Sunday was my wife's birthday and we went to a kid's birthday party and today it rained all day long. First time it has rained all day since before Memorial Day. It has been kind of nice.

I spent about 3 hours shopping for my wife. She prefers not to tell me what she wants and she really likes surprises. After being married for 11 years it is really hard for me to buy her things. I refuse to buy jewelry because it gets lost or broken in a short manner. I have tried my best not to buy her "guy" type gifts: sporting equipment, gift certificates, etc. After my flower flop on Friday I decided I would buy her $50 in flowers that she could plant or such. I ended up buying her a gift card to a local nursery. I also got her 6 other little to medium sized gifts and overall she seems very pleased.

We are still using one car. I need to complete our sale. The title came Friday and the buyer was supposed to come by and finish it all up, but something came up. Haven't heard from him since. He's got the car and I've got the title. Guess he could return it and I have a car that is paid off!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Flowers or Not?

My wife's birthday is this Sunday and she doesn't like to tell me what to get her for her birthday. Unlike my dad I refuse to buy giftcards or give cash as a birthday gift so I try to be creative. I thought about sending her flowers at school and then last night about 10pm I realized I hadn't ordered them yet. My excuses could be that we had a busy week since we only have one car now and our schedule is out of whack and last night was curriculum night at school. I got online and searched for florists and found one called sunshine-florist. I ordered a European arrangement for $40 plus delivery. I clicked order and entered my credit card info. I made a cute card and ask that it be sent to her school. I thought it was a great idea. I could kill 2 birds with one stone since she got a new position AND it will be her birthday. I could make her feel special amongst her peers.

As the day went on I tracked the purchase and by noon it wasn't delivered. I called 3 times before 3 and they assured me it would be delivered. By 3:30 I gave up since my wife was about to leave school. Fortunately I was able to cancel the order and get my $50 refunded.

Long story short, I got to tell my wife that I TRIED to deliver flowers to her school. Now I can let her spend $50 on flowers at a local nursery and she'll really enjoy planting them out front since hopefully the drought and heat wave is over.

Now I just have to figure out what else to buy her since she hasn't given me any hints. Problem is we have ONE car and she'll have to stay home while I shop.