Friday, May 30, 2008

Summer Time

I guess I am fortunate to be able to experience what just about every kid in America is about to experience. A few months off! I'm able to feel like a kid this time of year as I anticipate having a few months off. Believe me, we do not have 3 full months off. My last day is June 6th, I have a few full day conferences in July and teacher commitments will start early August. Still it is cool to be a teacher many times of the year.

2 months summer
1 week Thanksgiving
2 weeks Christmas(oh, Holiday Break)
1 week Spring Break
various off days here and there

4 more days with kids, one more work day

Thursday, May 29, 2008


You may know it as Kentucky Fried Chicken, but after having dinner there Wednesday night I now know it as Kinda Feel Cheated. Really the only thing that I truly crave at KFC is the potato wedges. For years I would just get the 3 strip combo, wedges and a drink for around $2.99. For the past 2 years I've ordered a KFC/Taco Bell combo at the hybrid store by my school. For about $4.50 I could get 2 tacos, 2 strips, wedges and a drink. I'd actually split this with a friend from work with me getting the diet Pepsi. A while back this combo could only be had by their new build a combo.

Well, Wednesday night before church I recommended that my wife meet me at KFC instead of going to our usual Chicken Express. I had seen a 2 piece chicken with a side and biscuit deal for $1.99 and add 59 cents for a drink. Easily $5 for the kids to eat WITH drinks and maybe $5 if my wife and I split the KFC/Taco Bell combo.

When I arrived I noticed that the sign showed the 2 piece deal for Monday and the Chicken Fried Steak deal for Wednesday...STRIKE ONE. Then my wife and I searched the hard to read menu for a mix of food that my family would actually eat and for a decent price. Their menu is so hard to read. They don't have many single items listed so when I asked for an order of just wedges the guy asks what size? Then I look around and don't see anything listed so I ask. Their menu is hard to read...STRIKE TWO. I ask the young high school student if they still have the KFC/Taco Bell combo and he replied, "I don't think so." STRIKE THREE.

Not even the worker knows what they offer. Our meal ended up costing over $15 and the kids didn't eat much. The biscuit and wedges were great. The strips mediocre as was the tacos. My wife didn't complain about the Mexican Pizza that she got though. The diet Pepsi was good, but the cups were plain paper cups.....STRIKE OUT. This time of year with the high humidity having a styrofoam cup is a must if you even think about leaving the store with your drink.

Very disappointed and I didn't enjoy the food for what it cost me in money and Weight Watcher points. IF I ever go back I'll just order the large wedges for $2.99 and probably bring my own drink since I blogged a long time ago that their medium sized 20 oz. drink is $1.59. Sonic is right next door so I'd probably use my 99 cent sticker and get a route 44.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Shoe Casualty

My good friend Bif Barnes, a.k.a. billyv stayed over Sunday night before he headed back to Missouri. We played cards Sunday night and when we got home billyv decided it would be best if he let his slightly smelly shoes air out overnight before he headed home in the morning. Monday morning billyv came in asking if I had his shoes because they were no longer underneath his Honda. I assured him I did not move them.

The shoes disappeared. Sometime between 1:30am and 8:30 am Monday morning someone either took a pair of used Nike shoes or neighborhood dogs carried them away. I'd say it was a 50/50 chance that either one happened. We've had bibles stolen from my truck and a few weeks ago when I left a pair of shoes on the front porch one of them ended up beside my house. We do have a pack of 4 dogs that run wild.

Ironically I grew up in a neighborhood in St. Louis called Dogtown and here it looks like dogs carried away the great billyv's shoes.

Useless MAN fact of the day: Did you know that The Bata Shoe Museum, located in Toronto, Canada, is the only shoe museum in North America. The collection was compiled by Sonja Bata, of the Bata shoemaking family. The museum features shoes and shoe-related artifacts spanning 4,500 years.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Church Family

I can't say enough how much having church friends, which really is what I consider my local family, means in tough times. I also have a great connection at work as well.

I had a rough week at my job and Friday was probably the worse day I've had all year. I came home and was ready to crash. My friend B offered to come over and bring pizza and cold beverages. He and his wife hung out and really gave me valuable support. We then had a yard sale on Saturday as well and on Saturday night we went to see Indiana Jones.

On Friday while facing these severely stressful moments I immediately sent email to church friends asking them to pray for me as soon as they got the email. And this morning at church I was part focus of our morning pre-worship prayer. I left church this morning just about as stress free as I've felt in a long time.

I am so thankful for close friends and the fact that I have many brothers and sisters in Christ who have helped carry me through this rough week. All praise to God!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Ants 2

I was mowing for a friend on Tuesday and a Preventive Pest Control guy was going door to door when he stopped me and asked if I was the owner. After I said no he almost left, but I disclosed that I lived nearby and that I have ant problems. I agreed to have him treat my house and on the contract it had 4 yearly treatments for a whopping total of $450 a year. This potential money spent was not planned so after thinking and researching for a day I called back and cancelled the services. I have ant problems, but not $450 worth.

I did some research and decided to go by a place nearby that offered "Do It Yourself" treatments. I was warmly greeted and assured that I only needed to spend $50 for their 3 step process so I purchased the products.

Then the next day my wife says that their nighttime janitor does pest control on the side so she left him a message. This morning he called and said he could come by early and take care of the ants. He put down dome liquid bait like I had already put in place. Then he sprayed the foundation of my house also taking care of a few wasp nests and a fire ant mound that my son came across. Luckily he only took on 2 bites.

When we asked what we owed the nice guy and he simply said nothing. "I can't charge you for what little I did." Wow, what a nice surpise. I joked with my friend B that we could use that money to go to the movies. Might go see Indiana Jones tonight with someone who was 1 the year the first one came out 27 years ago.

After mowing I clipped in at 199.5. Looks like I'll be having buttered popcorn tonight (: !

Thursday, May 22, 2008

St. Louis Trip

I am getting excited about my trip to St. Louis. Generally in the past we would head out the last day of school as soon as the bell rang and the kids were safely off the parking lot. This year I am going to wait a week before heading out. I've staked my claim to 30 days in St. Louis. Last year I left with the kids and the wife came the last 2 weeks. This year she has been indecisive and to the day that my mom was arranging to fly down before driving back with us my wife informs me that she's decided to not work 3 weeks in June and will probably drive back with us, stay a week and then fly back.

Her indecision has kept me anxious as we really need to tie down the cheap Southwest Airlines "Wanna Get Away" airfares. Securing things hasn't really been a priority of hers. I got online tonight and the $59 fares were scarce. My wife was still throwing different dimensions into the trip such as her driving back with the kids and me staying the additional 2 weeks. Part of the catch of going for so many days is that my family will get to enjoy the kids. I went ahead and secured her a flight back on Saturday the 21st and she'll be arriving in DFW about 8pm if anyone would like to pick her up. The bummer thing of her flying back that night is that I'm supposed to detail a bunch of cars for CA$H that day and I probably won't see her off!

On a side note I broke down and called my friend Minhaul this morning. I hadn't verbally talked to him in about 3 months. My last real contact was the few days late birthday card that I sent him the end of March. Minhaul refuses to keep up with TheMAN thru email and my blog so in a way he won today when I called. I could hear it in his voice when he answered too! You're a good man MinMAN!

21 days before take off! 2 more weeks of school. Or 8 days with kids. Tic Tic Tic Tic. BillyV is in town this weekend and I'll get to spend time with him Sunday night.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sonic Disappointment

I received $35 in giftcards to Sonic and spent about $15 the other night and was not disappointed. Tonight I decided to use up the balance so I drove to a different Sonic and ordered our meal. At 7pm on a Sunday night the wait was really long. The drive home was about 10 minutes so I was really disappointed when I grabbed one of my son's tater tots and it was cold. I was hoping my tots were warm. No such luck. I ordered the 4 piece strip dinner and the strips were cold as well. One of the 4 strips was about 1/2 size as well. The last kicker was the tomato on my wife's sandwich. I checked the receipt and it says, - tomato.

I checked the receipt for that usualy offer to go online and tell em what you think. No such luck. I even went online to look for a customer service line and there isn't a link. The only thing I could do is call.

As I waited on my food I could see the "quality" and "customer satisfaction" board. All 100%. I think I should call, but is it worth the hassle? The biggest disappointment is since I'm on Weight Watchers all foods have point values and I wasted valuable points on this substandard food.

Guess the only business Sonic will get from me for a long while is the 1/2 drinks. Truth said, I really don't care for the food they serve so it is no great loss. I'll get my chicken strips from Chicken Express or Scotty P's from now on. They're made fresh to order. Not the precook and then fried kind.

Saturday, May 17, 2008


I think I'm going to start charging the ants rent. They are everywhere in my house. They are so resilient too. They are miles away from their home, in ant measurements, and they are looking for food. I'm pretty sure they don't have any pockets, but once they find food they manage to alert their friends. Last year I found a steady stream of ants hiking up the wall in our pantry to the top shelf. After killing them individually for about a week I investigated. They managed to find a corn syrup jug with a lose lid and they made their way inside. Must have been a thousand dead ants inside. Don't they communicate how dangerous things can be. Also they don't seem to catch on when they find dead, smashed friends on the counter.

I did have a blast today at church as I mowed over ant hills. Some of these hills were nearly a foot tall out in the field. They scurry around in a frenzy. Doesn't seem to be a method to the madness. I do know when you disturb a fire ant mound they do their best to seal off the mound.

I guess I could be thankful that the ants that come inside aren't fire ants. I polled my friends last night at cards and most of them say they've had problems with ants as well.

Can you exterminate ants?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

.2 Pounds

I started attending Weight Watchers classes late March and for the first 5 classes I lost at least 2 pounds each week. I've gotten to a comfortable weight, for me, and the last 2 times I've gone in I lost 4/10ths of a pound a week ago and 2/10ths last night. I haven't really crashed my diet as I am still within the allowed points per week. I do know that I do not diversify my foods enough with fruits, veggies and milk.

I am on a point system and I spend points during the day as I eat select foods. I am allowed 34 points each day. An example for me might be:

breakfast: low fat english muffin, poached egg, precooked bacon=4 points
lunch: turkey sandwich, low cal bread, 2% cheese, fat free pringles=4 points

This allows me at least 26 points for dinner and I tend to save these points for some less than healthy meals. I am given an additional 35 bonus points each week to spread out for special occasions. I can also earn extra points for working out. 30 minutes on the treadmill might earn me 2 points, or a late night 100 calorie snack.

For me this is kind of like only being able to spend cash. I either have the points or I don't. Last week was a little tough because it was teacher appreciation week and one of the days the theme was sweets. One student did bring me WW blueberry muffins.

Keys: drink water, write down what I eat, work out, diversify my food choices. I do plan on losing more than a pound this week. I'm 2 pounds away from breaking the 200 pound barrier.

DON'T sabotage me. A kid brought me a large order of Chick Fil A waffle fries today. Saving grace was they were cold.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Computer Problems

The power imput is lose and now the computer isn't keeping charge or staying on. It's beeping at me as I type. EVERY 15 seconds. Worse than the smoke detector. Who fixes things like this and how cheap will it be? 4 years ago this Toshiba was a $500 computer. I replaced the battery and that probably wasn't the problem. That $80 could have went towards repairs.

Right now I have it jacked up by a small screw driver and it stopped beeping. The things we do to patch things up temporarily.

What to Do?

1. How do you tell someone who you are good friends with and respect very much that you don't want your kids hanging around one of his kids because they are a bully and a bad influence? This child is 2 years older than my daughter and 5 years older than my son. I think I am close to having to talk about this delicate situation soon.

2. Is it okay to mow your neighbor's yard without their permission? Our side yards join and his yard is extremely full of weeds. Today I noticed they weren't home and since I was mowing my yard I went ahead and mowed his adjoining yard. I proceeded to mow his front yard as well. I then edged and weeded. Last thing I did was put down some weed and feed. Should make my summer a little bit less stressful. My wife informed me that they took the kayaks out so I knew I wasn't going to get caught.

3. Went to Saltgrass Steakhouse right after church and found the wait was at least an hour. We went for refreshments and then home to do a little cleaning. Our plan was to go back after 2pm. At 2:15pm the wait was down to 45-50 minutes. We ended up hitting a drive thru on the way home.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Free Chipotle

It is teacher appreciation week in our area and kids are bringing little tokens this week: gum, pens, candy, etc. The REAL appreciation felt today was when I went to Chipotle and ordered a chicken bowl and it was FREE! The guy even said come back for a free dinner tonight. Tonight's order will be crispy chicken tacos. Advice was given to come in after the 7pm dinner rush. No problem! Thanks Chipotle for teacher appreciation day.

On a side note I ran a Norton Anti-virus scan and as of right now my searches aren't getting hijacked. It took about an hour to fully scan my laptop. Over 100,000 files were scanned finding about 4 trojans or download deals the hijack my searches sending me to 3-4 different websites. I read this is how some websites boost their traffic in order to justify charging advertisers a bit more.

Our computer tech at school advised paying the annual fee and have the Norton program scan each time I start up.

Monday, May 05, 2008

In A Slump

Haven't been motivated to blog lately. Busy time of the year I guess. About 5 weeks of school left. Church has been taking a lot of my time as well as mowing. Went to the doctor today and was given some medicine to take care of a rash that broke out due to stress. Slight pain and discomfort so I got some pain medicine as well.

Going to St. Louis in June for 3-4 weeks. YES! Looking forward to that. Meet me in St. Louis.