Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Women Sports

I am about to begin announcing for my 5th season in decent sized school district. I call games for volleyball, softball and basketball for girls high school as well as basketball for the boys high school team. I can honestly say that girls sports can be as fun and as exciting to call as the boys games. My only true comparison is basketball and the level of play for the boys is much higher. My favorite sport to call is probably volleyball because no matter how lopsided the teams are there are some rallys that are really exciting. An inferior team may pull of winning one game of a best of 5 match also. In basketball and softball the better team usually dominates the whole time.

That said, I saw a commercial on ESPN the other day where some well known female athletes walk up to a mega megaphone and start talking about women sports and equality, etc. I do agree that girls should be given the same opportunities as men when it comes to scholarships, BUT it is obvious that 99% of the time women's sports can't compete with men's sports when it comes to viewership. Who watches sports? MEN. Who do they watch? MEN. A very small percentage of women even care enough to watch golf, baseball, basketball, bowling, football and such. Men don't watch women's sports. Tennis may be the one sport that women are on an even playing field. Men ARE programmed to watch sports, but realistically we watch other men. Occasionally the lucky guy marries the girl who knows a bit about football or baseball and will go out to a sportsbar or sit around on a Sunday afternoon and watch NFL games.

Finally, since men's sports brings in about 98% of advertising money at the college level I can see why it is tough to evenly provide scholarships to both girls and boys as outline in Title IX. I wonder if all of the other scholarships: academics, arts, music, etc are evenly spread ?

Monday, August 27, 2007

You Know..........

You know it's been too long since you've been at the gym when:

+you are happy doing 1 mile in 20 minutes
+you call it a day after 2 bicep exercises
+your stretching routine is longer than you workout
+you forget your locker combination
+you forgot what a naked grown man looks like
+your feet hurt after walking 1 mile

With the routine that going back to work brings I really hope to get back into the swing of things at the gym. The scales show me up 10 pounds since summer began and I know I can reclaim, or should I say, shed those evil pounds with a few weeks of consistent working out and eating behavior.

All the above were true. I stretched out for about 10 minutes. I walked a mile, then went to the restroom. I came back and walked another mile in 18 minutes. My free weight routine was 2 sets of curls. I then sat in the dry sauna for about 10 minutes and called it a day. I even got a few unwanted looks a sweaty, hairy, dripping, flabby, old men. Clothes really do wonders for people. Even thinner people who APPEAR to be fit.

Goal for the end of September is to be back under 200 pounds. The next milestone would be the 190 mark.

Go me!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

How Long Do You Wait?

Does it bother anyone else when you visit a drive thru and are asked to pull up or out front and "we'll bring your order out ASAP?"

I went through a "healthy" fast food drive thru tonight and ordered 4 simple items for myself and my family. I paid my $5.48 and was asked to pull around the corner just as the car in front of me did seconds ago. I sat out front entertaining my kids and the car in front of me got 3 bags of food. I sat for a little while longer and began to wonder if my food was traveling down the road with the family in front of me. Since I had 2 kids with me I pulled back around to the drive thru and asked about my food. I was told to pull to the window.

I was asked, "You the one with the Texas Cheeseburger?"
Me, "Uh, yes and fries, onion rings and 2 tacos."
Server, "Sorry about that, it happens sometimes when we have so many people pull around front." She handed me my food.
I look in to see I am missing my tacos.

Not much in the area of customer service recovery efforts. I have contacted the stores website and informed them what happened. We'll see! If I get a satisfactory result I'll not name the place since I usually get good service. If you frequent this place you should know by what I ordered.

Me and BillyV moment: "I don't remember ordering 2 tacos..." as I bite into one of BillyV's tacos!

What would a place do if you refused to "pull forward?" You know by pulling forward it makes the store's numbers appear better that they provide QUICK service. Bah!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Poison Ivy

Last Wednesday night I skipped church to do some work for the church. We are trying to put in a sign at a busy intersection and the weeds were over 6 feet tall. Well, my work Wednesday night wasn't too bad although the tall grass was thick enough to run my weed eater out of string before I finished. I also had some weeds that required the use of a hand clipper. I managed to mow the rest and all said I cleared out an area of about 15 square feet.

Thursday I got a call from the pastor asking if I had about an hour to help put the sign in. It was my last day off and I had plans with the family so he excused me from helping. I felt the need to help and loaded the truck with my weed eater thinking I could clear out the little area that was still blocking what would be the bottom part of the sign. I let the pastor know I would help and while I waited for him to show up I started weeding. Then I noticed the dreaded Poison Ivy monster. I had already whacked some of it down. Bad thing for me I had on short sleeves.

A little bit later I worked the augger(gas post hole digger). In the 30 minutes that I worked I sweat a lot. I was worried about wiping the poison ivy in my eyes so I kept my goggles on.

I went home, showered, and then spent the day taking the public train with my family to downtown Dallas.

Nothing showed up until Sunday when I could see these little spots on my forearms. It was 3 days later and usually poison ivy shows up withing 12-48 hours. As I look back I did do the laundry on Saturday and possibly picked up my sweat pants and t-shirt as I grabbed clothes to wash.

Poison Ivy Facts:
Once you break out it is not contagious.
The oil of poision ivy(urishiol) can stay active on shoes or clothing for up to 5 years. WOW.

If you suspect that you've been exposed to poison ivy:

Apply rubbing alcohol to the infected area.
Rinse with water (any water).
Wash up with soap and warm water.

I found something called zanfel that sells for $40 an ounce. Instead I read online that if you take a hair dryer and heat the infected area to the hottest that you can bear your skin sends a message to the brain to start healing the skin instead of reacting to the itchy feeling. So far that has worked!!!!!

Moral of the story: don't skip church, or don't help the pastor after you have been excused!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The $100 Dollar Test

We went to the bank today to deposit my wife's check and also to take out enough cash to start our budget system. We arrived around 12:30 and after sitting in the bank drive up lane for about 10 minutes without moving my wife got out and went inside. Does anyone else feel slighted that the 2 empty lanes are for "commercial" accounts only.

After a few minutes I realized that my wife indeed made it inside so I pulled around to the front of the bank and waited for her return. A couple pulled in next to me a few minutes later and made it inside also. After a short wait my wife returned to our truck. She holds up a $100 bill that she found on the ground. If you remember about 2 months ago I found a $100 bill at BigLots and returned it and never heard another word about it.

We sat and pondered about what to do. Comments from my last blog tend to slant towards keeping it if it was OUTSIDE a place of business. Together we decided to wait and see if the couple who parked next to us lost any money. When the guy walked up next to us he was surprised that we started talking to him. He reassured us that he didn't lose any money.

That said we decided to drive off. We continued to discuss what we should do. Did God bless us with a $100 bill? What he testing our character?

Once again, what would you have done?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Budget Time

You know when you post a date of when you are going to start your diet and that date finally comes and you look for reasons why you COULD bump it back just a bit? Well, today is budget time for my family. My wife and I both get paid on the 15th and we are going to make a commitment to paying off all our debt outside the house and one car payment within one year.

I analyzed our monthly bills, fixed and flexible, along with variable items such as food, clothing and entertainment and with aggressively paying down what debt we do have we still have a bit of money left over each month. We are going to an envelope system where we will put cash in various envelopes: mine, my wife's, clothing, food and dating-entertainment. If there is no cash then it means NO GO. We plan on using our bankcards only for gas, hair cuts and any medical issues. Probably will create a miscellaneous envelope for the times I earn extra cash mowing or detailing cars.

My number each month to spend is $100, or $25 a week. When you only have so much to spend a few things will change: $5 buy in poker nights in stead of the $20 games, fewer fountain drinks, non-premium beverages on card nights, sodas while watching the game at a sportsbar, dining at home a LOT more, sneaking in my own popcorn to the movies, going to the $5 theatre instead of the $8 nicer one. Breakfasts at home instead of drive-thrus.

What do you think is a reasonable amount for personal expenses each month?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

No Return for Me

Last Friday I went to Walmart in attempts to exchange a gift for my daughter. In the past my name had been blocked and I've not been able to exhange anything without a receipt. Well, once again I was refused and it was awkward having to tell my daughter that daddy has something on his record and I couldn't trade in her game that she got for her birthday. The Walmart rep did give me a # to contact and it seems that I have an outstanding bad check for about $400 from 2003.

During the summer of 2003 I received a visit from a nearby city police detective. My identity had been stolen from the trash dumpster of a car dealership that I had worked for 2 months. The case came to a head when police responded to a tip of check laundering. When the came to the hotel the suspect took off in a vehicle and a high speed chase occured and it ended up with a tragic result. The assailant broadsided a lady resulting in her death.

The detective showed me a driver's license of the suspect and there was my first and last name, address, driver's license number and some other data. He did use a different middle name and it was HIS picture. Weird. I ended up being called to be sworn in, but never testified. I never really knew what happened with the case. Fortunately for me my credit wasn't tarnished because I've been able to buy things without any problems. I just can't exchange things at Walmart.

So what do I do? Spend the time and effort to clear my name at Walmart? As far as I've experienced this is the only flaw that I have at this time. I would need to fax or write the records department asking for a release of the information. Then I'd need to contact Telecheck to see what I need to do with them and so on and so on and so on. This seems like it is a problem maybe once ever 2 years so I may just skip it. I may get the released information because it would be nice to know what happened.

On paper it appears I was charged with manslaughter. The case must have been plea bargained because I still can't find any record of what happened.

Monday, August 13, 2007


The countdown to the start of school has officially started. Both my wife and I spent a little bit of time at school today getting ready for the kids who come 2 weeks from today.

This past weekend my wife took our son to St. Louis as she attended a funeral for her brother in law who tragically died in a one car accident. It is a miracle that her nephew lived. My wife drove so I was glad they made it safely back last night. You truly never know when is the last time you might see someone. The hard part was letting them go last Thursday. I really wanted to hug on my son!

I had my daughter and she stayed with church friends as I attended a work retreat. We are opening up a new school so it was a great time for us to bond and get to know each other. This is going to be a special year!

I am also looking forward to spending a bit of time with my best friend Billyv who should be coming thru on Thursday. I think he has a weekend church commitment at his former church in the area.

Fact of the Day: Did you know the can opener was invented 48 years after the can was made?

Friday, August 10, 2007

Death and Taxes

I am doing something tonight that falls in between the experiences of death or going to a funeral and paying taxes. I am going to a professional baseball game tonight. That's not so bad, but it's for a local team that is in LAST place and I could maybe tell you 2 people on the team. Makes me feel like a typical gal in not knowing players on the team.

"Which color are we so I know who to vote for?"
"First of all, the HOME team usually wears the white color and the visiting team wears gray or some other color accentuated by their team color. Second, you don't get a vote here, you cheer or root for the team."

Anyway, when our church group posted this on the calendar I knew I wouldn't want to go, but when I was asked I told our leader that "I will reluctantly go to the game." The ONLY reason I am going is to participate in our church group function. It is going to be HOT----100+. It will take 45 min. to 1 hour to get to the game. I am missing out on an opportunity to play cards. I'll get in late and I have to leave at 7am for a retreat.

5-11pm is going to be torture for me! Also, my wife isn't going because she left for St. Louis yesterday, her brother in law died in a car accident. My daughter will go in her place.

Pray for my wife and the famil with the loss. Also, think of me sweating in the Texas sun.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Thankful Moments

Why does it always seem like we remember the bad things that happen to us. When I visit family in St. Louis I sometimes get beat down by my brother who often says, "Oh yeah, nothing is easy....." and other sayings that are kind of negative like this. I think that the 10% of bad things or negative things seem to occupy our thoughts more than the 90% of neutral or positive things that happen to us. One example could be that out of 10 golfing trips it might have rained 1 time, but during that one time we thing....."It had to rain today, the one time I get off work and try to golf."

Well, today I am thankful for the one negative thing that COULD have happened to me and DIDN'T. I was driving back from mowing my friend's lawn when I noticed that I was indeed going 50 m.p.h. in a 40 m.p.h. zone so I backed it down a bit. Sure enough less than a 1/2 mile later I noticed a motor cycle cop pulling up behing me. I remained calm mainly because he didn't have his lights on. He then proceeded to pull into the lane next to me and stopped 2 cars ahead of me before turning on his lights. I thought maybe he was going to point for me to pull over as the light turned green. Nope, he pointed at the car in front of me. That guy got a ticket and it could have just as well have been me that got the ticket.

After I got home I realized that I have our church's advertising placard on the back of my truck. Did the Holy Spirit intervene and cause me to be aware that I was speeding? Is there a possibility that the officer saw that and decided not to give me a ticket? Or did God intervene and blind the officer to the truth that I was speeding too causing him to ticket someone else?Spiritually, crazier things have happened.

Either way, thanks GOD for sparing me a $100 ticket.

MAN FOTD: Did you know that according to today's USAToday there are still 78,000 service men missing from WWII? Makes the 3,000+ service men who have died during this Iraq War pale in comparison. There are 4 missing to date in this war.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

National Night Out

I don't know if this is a national thing, Texas thing, or North Texas thing, but we are having our National Night Out tonight. In the past our neighbor and his wife have taken it upon themselves to kind of host our area deal, but I have not heard or seen any fliers for this year. I do know some neighborhoods have block parties and local fire and police departments make their rounds and greet the people and kids.

When it comes to meeting my neighbors I am not that outgoing. Yet, at church I am in charge of our welcoming center and love meeting new people. When my neighbors congregate on our street I tend to say hi and continue about my way. My street is a little bit unique in that my side of the street only has 3 homes and the other side has 6. Then add in the few neighbors who are adjacent to us. In the past we have taken over the dead end street, the neighbor had cooked hot dogs and picked up sponsors t-shirts. The kids all run wild and I end up counting the minutes to when I can go back inside.

Not sure what is happening tonight. I wouldn't mind sneaking away about 5pm before the hoopla gets started and roll back in after 9:30pm when everyone has retreated to their casas.

Is anyone else doing the National Night Out thing tonight?

Monday, August 06, 2007

What's The Purpose?

I knew when school let out that going to St. Louis while my wife attended a 3 week training was a wise thing to do. I would have sat around the house for 3 weeks with the kids with way too much time on my hands. Well, summer is dwindling down and school is just around the corner, but right now I find myself sitting around without purpose. Mowing is down to a one day a week thing. The gym is only a 2 hour activity. We don't have the money to just go and go right now so it is wise for us to stay home. It's so hot that staying home means staying inside. That means I am on the computer a bit more and I'm snacking A LOT!

My mom turned in her retirement papers today and she said she was most concerned about what to do with herself once she doesn't have a purpose to get up in the morning.

I just have a hard time sitting around and doing nothing!

I did make southwest chicken chili tonight: 4 chicken breasts cooked and shredded, add one onion and one green pepper chopped, add a jalepeno to taste, add one 28 oz. can of chopped or diced tomatoes, add one can of beans(chili, red, kidney, doesn't matter), add chili seasoning and cook. Feel free to add things like salt, pepper, cilantro. Let it cook on low for a while and enjoy a decent, semi-healthy meal. For me I'll ruin it with lots of tortilla chips, cheese and sour cream.

Facts about chili:
-Did you know that chili peppers were grown since 4500 B.C. in the Americas, from Peru in the south to Mexico in the north?
-The heat is measured in Scoville units. Bell peppers rank at zero units, jalapeƱos between 3,000 and 6,000, and habaƱeros at 300,000 Scoville units.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Useless Fact OTD

Billyv and I go way back to about 4th grade so our friendship spans 30+ years and thru the years and states apart and near we have maintained this friendship with very little interuption. One thing I was always good for and billyv seemed to love was the MAN useless fact of the day. Yesterday I posted that 70-80% of the toys we buy in the USA are made in China and billyv commented that he loved the fact of the day. That said I am committed to bringing you at least one useless fact of the day at the end of my normal posts.

We were successful today FINDING yard sales, but the only real catch of the day was made by my daughter. The 2nd sale we found had some Little Petshop items and she bought the whole thing for a $1. The Littlest Petshop Park retails for about $30. I know this because 2 weeks ago we bought it for her birthday. Along with the park she got 6 "pets" which retail for about $4 each. Total retail would have topped $50 and she paid $1.

Next time I think we will hire our neighbor to watch the kids from 8-noon. After about an hour they were both driving us crazy!

TheMAN Fact OTD: Nearly 90% of adult contract oral herpes simplex 1. I saw this on Dr. G last night. She is the one who does autopsies. A young lady died from this only 2 weeks after she kissed some guy at a bar who might have bitten her lip. Only 22 known cases of death thru this disease.

Down for the Count

The main goal for today was getting my mowing completed. It had been 8 days since I last mowed so I took off about 9:30am this morning with my daughter and after getting a donut and making a deposit at the bank I started mowing about 10am.

Long story short, I mowed 4 lawns in the heat of day and I staved off heat exhaustion, just barely! I spent most of the afternoon laying on the couch watching The Bourne Identity.

I felt revived enough by 8pm to take my family for sno cones. Wow, it hit the spot.

Fact for the day: 70-80% of toys bought in the USA were made in China. We have one of the toy sets that were recalled due to lead being in the paint.

I wonder a)how many don't know about a recall
b)how many who do know about the recall just throw the toys away
c)how many take the time to get a refund?

Saturday AM: yard sales or rummaging some may say

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Actual Date Night

We have a sitter lined up for tonight:

Her needs: a little bit of shopping at the local outlet mall.
Our needs: dinner at a gourmet pizza place, FREE COUPON!
My needs: go to a movie

Should be home sometime after midnight. Could try to drop my date off by midnight and then go see The Bourne Ultimatum.

Ding Dong! See ya.............

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The Ultimatum

I do love movies, but not often does a movie come out that I can't wait for. The kind of movie that I would probably go to the midnight showing to be one of the first to see it. Well, this Friday The Bourne Ultimatum comes out and I am looking at ways to convince my wife to do something with the kids while I go and watch this movie.

The first of the Bourne movies was The Bourne Identity which was released in 2002, which was based on the book written by Robert Ludlum in 1980. The first book deals with the Vietnam war so the movie is "loosely" based on the book. Sequel books were written in 1986 and 1990. Eric Van Lustbader wrote 2 more books since the movies have been blockbuster hits. It appears that the last 2 movies have been a blend of the last 2 books by Ludlum and the 2 books by Van Lustbader. No telling if there will be sequels.

I do enjoy Matt Damon and the Bourne movies to this date have not disappointed. Now, if I could find a way to go for FREE that would be so ME! I feel like I need to find The Identity and The Supremacy on cable before going to watch the 3rd movie.

You can read all about Jason Bourne and his saga's at .