Sunday, September 21, 2008


This is my son's first year for playing baseball and Friday night was his 2nd game of the season. We were worried because we signed him up with many boys who are older than him and who had already played last year. I was pretty anxious that first practice to see if he could hold his own and keep up. I left that practice knowing he'd do alright. The first game the coach put him at first base knowing he would have a good chance at catching balls thrown his way. When I say catch I really mean stop all the balls that are rolling his way because not many 4 and 5 year olds throw the ball that well.

His first game he actually fielded 2 grounders and tagged the bag for his first 2 put outs ever. He hit off the tee and really had a good understanding of the game.

Friday night he hit live pitching and hit the first pitch he saw. He popped it up and the pitcher almost caught it, but nontheless he did pretty good. If a child doesn't hit 3 live pitches then he will hit off the tee. My son hit live pitching both times. The highlight of the night was that he fielded 2 balls in the same inning getting 2 more unassisted put outs. He knows what he is doing because he is already doing a little bit of a fist pump. He was bummed out when he was moved to 3rd base for the last 2 innings. He already knows he'll see less action at third.

I think I had unrealistic expectations for him since he seems to be a natural at all things that involve throwing, catching or kicking a ball. Thing is he's really exceeding my expectations because he almost needs little to no coaching. He really learns by watching and learns quickly when told. The cool thing is he looks like a ball player as well.

Time to start video taping.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Lost Badge

I dressed up yesterday and right before walking out the door I decided to change shirts. I grabbed one that didn't need ironing and I was on my way. I got to my truck and realized that I didn't have my badge for work. I was sure that I put it on previously, but couldn't find it anywhere as I traced my steps back thru the house. I even checked for it twice on the first shirt I put on. After about 10 minutes I had to leave.

Last night I was all over the house looking for it. I folded all the close in our room. Checked that shirt again. I looked in the hamper as well as the washroom, our cars and under furniture. No luck.

This morning as I was spending my last 30 minutes dozing while my wife was getting ready I heard, "I found your badge." My wife tossed it onto the bed. She found it in her make up bag. Guess it fell off as I changed shirts. I would NEVER have found it on my own.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Sunday evening I did a little grocery shopping and asked for $40 cash back. I was engaged in conversation with a younger gentleman who has worked at this store for a while. We talked football and I grabbed my things and was on my way. I had already made plans to go to the movies with my friend B and right before heading out the door I told my wife that I got us each $20 for the week. I then check my wallet, no luck. I grabbed the receipt from my pocket, no luck. I then checked the car, again, no luck. I realized I never received the money from the cashier.

Now I was in a bind because it was near 7:30 and I was to meet B at the movies about 10 minutes away for the 8pm movie. As I pulled from the driveway I called B and said I'd be pushing 8pm. As I walked into the grocery store the young man was carrying his drawer to customer service. This is when I ran up and tackled him.....not. I walked to customer service and said I was sure that I didn't receive the cash back. The manager on duty asked who it was and I said the guy who justed checked out.

I am thinking I'll have to leave my name or wait a while. That's when she said, "Give me a minute and I'll count his drawer." I sat and read a little about Hurricane Ike from the Sunday paper and within 5 minutes she handed me $40.

This was one of those moments that made up for the times you do get ripped off AND/OR you have to wait a long while.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Weekend Update

Friday night my wife and I met a few other couples at a local establishment to watch Kyle Sherman play acoustic guitar. The owner admitted that business was down since our local town passed a "no smoking" law in restaurants and bars. The town closest to us is collecting the defectors. I liked going out not having to deal with 2nd hand smoke. Kyle Sherman was great! He mixed some cover songs from The Fray, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Brittney Spears(yes), Matchbox 20, Goo Goo Dolls and then some of his own songs. Check him out: Kyle was a former music minister for a DFW church.

Our friends J and L stayed over Friday night until 3am. Then Saturday night I went to a birthday party and ended up playing cards. At midnight I was 1 of 3 remaining players when I turned my seat over to a girl who teaches at my school. She came in second and doubled my money for me. NICE! Can you say TIRED.

Sunday morning we visited ARBC . The pastor who married my wife and I is leading this church. He actually started there in 1997 and we were members there until about 2000 when we moved to MO. It was great seeing many people from when I started a class back in 1997. The worship setting was unique because it was in the gym and there were round tables and chairs. My 4 and 7 year old did great as they were able to color on there notepads during the service. I liked having them in there with us as my son was trying to sing along during the praise part. The kids easily went to their class afterwards as the new childrens building has a 3 story slide. It helped that they had 2 fish tanks and a bird cage. The kids loved it. We had great fellowship at lunch as we went to the pastor's house and talked about our current church situation and old times. Pasta was good!

Last night I went to the movies with B. Not too late as it was the 8pm movie. For some reason I wasn't able to get to sleep. I was tired, but I guess the 44 ounce diet Coke had me wired.

Long weekend. It has been nice coming home and not having to be anywhere. Busy week coming up.

I got on the scales today.........................................................

Monday, September 08, 2008

Dine Out Cheap

I still wish someone who knew about websites and servers would hook up with me and start a website called . I am the professional on how to take your family out to lunch or dinner CHEAP. Mainly it deals with when kids eat free and knowing portion sizes and how many certain meals will feed. Splitting meals is often involved and do avoid paying for kids meals.

Tonight: McD's(not the healthiest) Quarter Pounder meal, upsized, 3 double cheeze and one additional $1 drink. $10.

Last night: Dickeys BBQ 2 meat platter with 2 sides, FREE kids meal pulled pork sandwich with a side, add a kids drink, ice cream is alway included. $12.

Last week: Chick Fil A did a free 3 piece strip package for anyone wearing a football jersey or team logo. 2- 3 peice strips, 2 coupons for FREE kids meals, Large waffle fries, sandwich no pickle, one more drink. $8. Chick Fil A ALWAYS has coupons and takes them long after they expire.

Every Friday: Chick Fil A for breakfast, 2- 3 pack chicken minis, 1 cinnamon cluster, 1 chicken with egg biscuit, one large diet Coke. $5.50. Okay this deal is just for me. One of the students I've had the last 2 years has a parent who works there every Friday and I get the 1/2 "public servant" deal. I actually got the deal this Friday from another worker who has seen me for so long.

Last Tuesday: New York Sub Hub. They have a footlong sandwich of the day for $4.79 and the six inch for $2.79. Add a $3 bag of chips and have the family split ONE drink and you get in for under $12. WAY better than Subway or Quiznos.

The Zone Pizza Buffet: On Sundays kids eat free. The buffet is about $6 per adult. If you must have drinks the cost ends up being about $16 for a great buffet with TVs to watch NFL as well.

That's why I am in charge of lunches at my school. Especially on Fridays I manage to find ways for us all to eat for about $5 each when other teachers are ordering delivery and spending as much as $10.

My long term goal is to prove that you can dine out cheaper than dining at home. You do have to get some staples like milk and ice. I find deals on that. Once again, I'm FRUGAL, not CHEAP. Cheap is buying Kroger brand drinks. Frugal is finding diet Pepsi on sale for $2 per 12 pack.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Those Crane Machines

Last week my daughter and I went to the store for a Redbox movie. Next to the Redbox they have those 50 cent crane machines where you try for the stuffed animal. I NEVER let my kids play those since I feel they are a rip off. My brother plays them all the time, but he frequents bars all the time that have them and that's just part of his entertainment value.

As I'm checking out my movie my daughter goes over and notices the "out of order" sticker on the window. She goes ahead and moves the joystick and the crane moves. It drops, doesn't pick anything up, and returns to normal. I told her that the reason it is out of order probably is because the crane isn't working properly.

As I'm grabbing the Redbox movie my daughter says, "Look dad, I got one." I disappointed her by saying, "That's like stealing sweety." She quickly shoved it back into the compartment. After rationalizing for a while I told her we need to walk it up to customer service. The lady looked perplexed that we actually went to turn it in. She asked if we lost any money and I informed her we had not. She simply said, "It looks like your lucky day little girl."

Part of me says we did the right thing by offering to give it back. Part of me says we should have insisted on giving it back since we didn't pay for it.

Thoughts? I'm just impressed she actually got something out of there.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

To Hooters or Not to Hooters

I got the invitation today by a good friend to meet him, his wife and a few friends at a local dinner/drinking establishment. When my wife informed me that her plans included going home and going to be early I accepted the invite. The jackpot moment of the night was when my friend informed me that all restaurants and bars in our town had become smoke-free Sept. 1st. I was so disappointed....not.

The get together started to break up about an hour and a half after I arrived so I was a little disappointed. I figured I'd be out til about midnight and now I had 2 hours to spare. Since I hadn't had dinner I decided to pick it up on the way home. The Jack in the Box drive thru had about 15 cars in it. That's when the idea for chicken wings came about. My favorite place closed at 10. My second option was Buffalo Wild Wings, but the idea of getting Hooters wings to go jumped right to the forefront. Thus the conflict.

I personally don't have a problem with Hooters. The waitresses are wearing less revealing clothing than many high school girls. It's the "taboo" thing for many people like me who are committed to a more conservative church. I'm married to a wife who went one time and would never go again. If I do go with friends and someone from church sees me it could be a bad witness moment, and so on.

I pulled up and walked right in. I was surprised at how empty the place was for a Friday night. The ratio was probably 75/25 guys vs. girls not including the waitresses. I'm sure the place will be packed on Saturday for college football and Sunday for NFL. I ordered 12 wings, fries and a diet Pepsi(to go). I got my bill and it was over $20. WHAT. I checked and the order was for 20 wings. Oh well. My drink was more than my fries too. I tipped and my meal ended up costing $24.....OUCH. For me....double OUCH OUCH.

The late night dinner was G R E A T. I got my wings with the sauce on the side. I LOVE their fries too. 10 wings would have been plenty.

End result. I don't feel bad about going. I didn't sit around getting sloshed and I didn't stare...that long at the waitresses. I actually was being a critic of the girls. Not a very flattering outfit for most of the girls there. You don't really see any skin, but you do know exactly what each girl has. AND that said, most of the girls at this Hooters would benefit from 30 minutes daily on the treadmill and/or a membership to Jenny Craig.

So, are you a Hooters fan?