Wednesday, December 23, 2009


I am visiting my friend Billy V in Columbia MO, home of the Mizzou Tigers. We had lunch at Shakespeares, a downtown pizza place. It wasn't bad. The atmosphere was better than the pizza. Afterwards we went to the Mizzou store and when we walked through a little deli to use the restroom we got locked out and had to go back outside in order to get back in so we just left. We ended up going to Walmart and I was really dreading the throng of shoppers.

To my surprise the store was relatively calm for December 23rd. I ended up getting my brother a Mizzou coozie and while looking for a white longsleeve or mock turtle neck I came across a good number of #81 Owens jerserys. He last played for the Cowboys 12 months ago and these jerseys were on clearance racks in Dallas last January. I was shocked to see them listed for $29 and these were the cheap jerseys. Makes my $23 purchase last Friday seem like a great deal since Witten is still on the team.

Guess they shipped all #81 jerseys up north hoping the simple folks here in Missouri wouldn't know any better. I should have checked for Green Bay Favre jerseys.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

KFC Response

I got a quick response this time especially since I sent the link to my blog that complained about KFC and last of customer service. The email was nice and offered me $20 in KFC credit. We'll see if it shows up. Will post when it does.

Do you think KFC will go out of business like the other places I visit do?

Another One Bites the Dust

I think I am only going to post about eating from now on.

Last Saturday after mowing for most of the day I decided to treat the family to a late lunch. Of course I had a coupon for a place called Dodie's, a cajun seafood place. My wife informs me that it is no longer open at the location we used to visit, but I knew there was a Dodie's sportsbar just down the highway a bit. I looked their number up online and called asking about them honoring the coupon. The girl said they did not.

We ended up going anyway as I was hoping to catch the Cards/Cubs on tv. When I got there all the TV's were on college football and I was informed that was all I was going to get. We stayed and within minutes the band started playing. It was LOUD. We found out that they were setting up for the night and they only played Separate Ways from Journey.

I think this restaurant was related to the other seafood place, but the menu was less seafood and had a larger variety. My wife and I split a catfish dinner and the kids split a kid's popcorn shrimp me. Overall the food was good and our server was great. May go back again sometime.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Yum Yum to GONE

Friday I was going to order Chinese food Yum Yum to Go, a from a place owned by the family of a student I had last year. I was really busy Friday and realized our school lunch was in about an hour. I hopped online and typed in their web address. It came back "not found." I google searched and again no luck. We ended up ordering McD's at the last moment.

Saturday while out mowing I drove by the strip where it is located and was going to pick up a flyer in order to have their number for future references. As I drove up I couldn't find it. The sign was gone and it was replaced with a Nail salon sign.

Not being stereotypical, but did this family keep the building and just switch occupations?

"Extra long nails just 4 dollar more."

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Un KFC Again?

Last May I posted about printing a coupon Oprah endorsed for the new grilled chicken for KFC. It had a barcode on it and you had to print a new coupon per customer. I took my family of 4 and when I got there they didn't honor the coupon "Due to the success of the promotion........" I went in and was told to fill our a form which I should have known better when I filled out a torn piece of paper with my name and info and one for each family member. After about 2 months I contacted KFC via email through their customer service "Contact Us" link. I shared what I went through and again never heard from them. So, just last week I contacted them again asking for my free meal OR just a simple apology. I included that I would never visit a KFC again until I got the meal or an apology. It has been a week and I've not gotten an email.

What would you do? Just write it off and visit again? Stick to your guns and never go back? Keep complaining and let everyone know about the poor customer service? Tell me?

I think I will write one more email and just link this post for them to read. At this point, I will never go to KFC again. I know they are in kahoots with Taco Bell and I went there last night so what do I do with a Taco Bell?KFC combo store?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Pots and Pans

My wife shopped at Kohls and Sunday and while she was out I realized we had the new booklet advertising their upcoming sale so I tried to call her to tell her to wait. No luck, her phone was dead. She purchased a Calaphon 10 piece set on sale for $180 plus tax. We took it back Sunday night and I repurchased it last night and did I get a deal.

My coupon was for an extra 20% off-new sale price $144.
Plus we earned $30 Kohl's cash- $30 additional plus
Plus the lady who helped me found a FREE Gift-$70 Calaphon Dish/Lid.

By using the coupon and waiting our net savings/deal ended up being about $136. WOW. All that on a $180 purchase.

He shoots, he SCORES!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Another Restaurant Bites the Dust

When we got back from St. Louis I really had a craving for a breakfast sandwhich from The Bagel Factory. About a month my family stopped by on the way to church only to see a sign on the door saying "Closed today." We did go back a few weeks later and enjoyed a perfect breakfast. We talked to who I think was the owner and the guy who has always made our food. I asked about that Sunday and he said they had a few issues that day. On this visit we found a banner out front that said, "New Management, Cheaper Prices." The food was indeed cheaper and just as good.

Well, since we were running late to church on Sunday I decided to take the kids for breakfast before church. I was leary when I pulled in and the banner was barely hanging. As we got out of my truck another couple tried to open the door and it was locked. A lady nearby said they had been closed for about 2 weeks. BUMMER.

I just wonder if I am so cheap that I like places with cheaper prices and coupons which in the long run cause them to go out of business.

I took my kids to Einstein's Bagels and ended paying $15 for our breakfast which would easily have been about $10 or so from The Bagel Factory. I hope they manage to pull it together and re-open.

Slowing Down

I kind of feel like a ball player at the end of their career. They just don't hit as many homeruns as they used to. The magic number for homeruns was at 754 for a LONG time and some guy named Barry Bonds, with the aid of steroids, past that number and ended up with about 760 something. Well, I'm at about 651 posts and haven't posted in about a month. I guess I'm really busy and it is easier to just post something on FACEBOOK. I guess I like Facebook since I am connected with my closest friends.

The one thing about Facebook I don't like is having to accept or reject friend requests. "Will you be my friend?" There are some people I just don't want knowing my business. And I have a few friends that I have decided to hide their comments for various reasons. I sometimes get a request from someone I worked with a while back, but didn't really know. If I have to ask someone who it was I probably should ignore the request.

I think I would like to be consistent with blogging again because it lets me share things going on at a little bit more indepth. I'm very inconsistent to what I may post, but I think that is good. I really fizzled out this summer when I went to St. Louis.

We shall see! Maybe I can take some online steroids and bump my numbers like a few ball players have.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Froggy Got Baptized

This morning our church had a baptism service where about 30 people were baptized. Kids 5 and up were in the service instead of chidlren's church. How great the impact. My daughter on the way home asked if dogs went to heaven. I told her dogs don't have a soul and therefore can't accept Jesus as saviour. Well, tonight my 5 year old son asked me to re-inflate the pool. Wasn't long before he and a "toad" friend were swimming together. About 5 minutes in he says, "Hey daddy, froggy got baptized."

You never know when life's magic moments will occur.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Just a Few Things

We went to Crater of Diamonds State Park near Murfreesboro Arkansas and the weird experience of the trip was driving thru Hope AR. It is the birthplace of Clinton, but that is not strange. What was strange or weird was seeing the thousands of small white FEMA trailers that were used during the Hurricane Katrina days. These things are packed in like sardines for acres. Not sure if they are usable anymore.

The day after we got back from our trip the a/c blower on my truck stopped. Fortunately for me I only had 35,300 miles on my truck and it was covered. Another 700 miles and I'm sure that would have cost me about $500 bucks.

Today was my first official day back at work for the 09-10 school year.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

This Weekend

Wow, I packed a lot in this weekend. Last Thursday I went to the midnight showing of GI Joe. Friday I mowed for a friend and that took up 2 1/2 hours of my day. I played cards both Friday night AND Saturday night. Sunday we got up and decided to head for Arkansas. My wife had been wanting to go camping since Spring Break. There was no planning and prepping involved. Our main destination was Crater of Diamonds State Park. We found out online that the campground was closed. We left our house about 9:45am, gassed up, then headed east. We stopped on the way for groceries and arrived around 2:30pm. It was HOT! We basically checked the place out and asked where would be a good place to camp.

We arrived at Narrow Dam campgrounds about 4:30pm. While setting up a park ranger informed us that we were setting up our tent in a restricted area. After talking with him for a while he recommended another campground nearby that might be more enjoyable. It was right on the water and had a beach swimming area. We made it there and got our tent set up by 6pm. We purchased 3 day fishing passes, hunted for worms, went swimming, fished and then had hot dogs and smores before dark. We packed it in.

We bedded down about 9:30. As of 12:45am I had yet to fall into a deep sleep. At one time I saw the moon as it glided across the sky right about our open screened tent. We packed up camp by 8:30am and headed to search for diamonds..

We spent about 4 hours total sifting through the Arkansas soil searching for the big one. It is really just a field that has been plowed. You rent a bucket, screens and shovel for about $20 and we paid $18 as a family to get into the park to dig. It was really hot so we found a large tree and started digging. As far as we know we didn't find any diamonds. This couple acre area was deemed not a profitable place to mine for diamonds, but a few big ones have been found there.

As we were finishing up our daughter reminded us that she had gymnastics practice. We hurried and left by 1:15pm and made it home by 5:30. Just enough time to shower and get to practice.

FUN times!

The Zone McKinney

I took my kids this morning for pizza at Alfonzo's at The Zone in McKinney. It had been a long time since we had visited, but the last time we visited we saw changes due to new ownership/management. After visiting today I doubt I'll ever trek across town to visit either the pizza place or the arcade area.

What went wrong at Alfonzo's Pizza:
It was about 12:30 when we arrived. I would think this is peak lunch time, yet when we arrived there were only 2 other people having lunch. Of the 6 pizza slots only the remnants of 2 pizzas existed. When we ordered the buffet I was charged for kids drinks which comes with their meal. The high school worker was nice, but not knowledgeable at all. I asked about 3 generic questions and was answered with, "I don't know." The guy making pizzas did make what I asked for although when I asked for bbq chicken he responded that he wasn't sure if they had any chicken. The lettuce was not so fresh and was JUST lettuce instead of a normal mixture with purple cabbage and carrots. The dessert had yet to be put out. When he did put it out there was nothing to pick it up with(fingers). I was bummed they didn't have rice krispy treats.
They ran out of plates so I reused mine twice. Loud music was blaring from the pizza making area.

What went wrong at The Zone arcade:
When we visited about 4 months or so ago it appeared as if they were shutting down. They were decreasing the number of games they had. Today many of the crane machines were almost barren. You could see the bottom of the machines on at least 3 of the games. Other than that many of the games didn't give out tickets or were just out of order.

In it's hey day the place was busy. Today it was a ghost town. Kids are out of school and this place should have been hopping. I can't see this place staying in business much longer. That's a shame.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Don't Tease

Last week I went to a few teacher workshops. Teachers in Texas are expected to take 18 hours of Professional Development throughout the year. To help with this most districts have weeklong summer workshops for subject specific areas. One day I took a morning session and in my class there were only 5 people. I knew the instructor well since she is a curriculum person for my subject area. She started the session off by saying we'd get out early since we had such a small group. She posted a time......11am. So when 11am came and went the whole group got a little antsy. 11:20 and she is still instructing and then started asking for feedback. She asked what we could use from this workshop in our classes. AND then she asked what she could do better to make it more relevant next time. REALLY? It was 11:28 when she said, "We are going anywhere until everyone shares something."

Somehow I walked out of the class 1 minute early. I really wanted to tell her in front of everyone that she not should say we are getting out early when indeed we didn't. I've experienced this with this person a few times prior so I was leary when she said we were getting out early.

This would be like telling a kids they could have ice cream later and not coming through for them. Or a wife telling her husband that maybe there could be some quality time after the kids go to sleep tonight. Once that carrot has been dangled that is all a guy is thinking about all day. Then the night comes and it doesn't happen he is bent. Well, I left the inservice bent. I am still wondering if I should email her the constructive feedback or will it only put strain on things since I will be working with her all year long.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Good Day

I was really looking forward to being back worshipping at Hope Fellowship this morning. We woke up and got out on time. My daughter was to leave from church for her first ever camp today. One last minute visit to a convenience mart for a disposable camera and a snack for her. The number one highlight of the day happened while I was walking down the sidewalk towards the front door of the church. My daughter voluntarily grabbed my hand and we walked side by side to the front doors. That really hit the spot. One one hand I see my little girl growing up and going off to camp for the first time. In the same frame of time I am reminded that she is still my little girl.

After church we ran and got her a quick snack since they won't have dinner until 5 or so. We came back to church and checked her in at 11:30. The bummer thing is we found out that she will be in a cabin with girls and counselors from another church who have 12 kids going along with our 100 or so. She didn't have any separation anxiety that we saw. We said our good byes and walked away.

We had our favorite lunch, Durkins, with our son. Durkin informed me that the Cardinals were on national TV against the Phillies. After lunch we came home and my son got me to jump in our pool and play wiffle ball with him. Then a trip to the swingset to dry out. I think he is enjoying all the attention since sissy is gone.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Gym Talk

I went to the gym and somehow got there without my MP3 player so I ended up on the treadmill just having to watch the 3 TV choices. Usually ESPN sports is on so I parked myself in front of the ESPN tv and set the treadmill for 60 minutes. About 20 minutes in 2 ladies(girls, women), a little younger than me, got on 2 treadmills next to me. For 20 minutes I got to hear about relationships, men, dating, children, family, divorce, housing arrangements and so on. It was kind of weird feeling like I was eavesdropping.

So in a weird way I learned that one of the girls started dating her future husband at 15, got married at 20 and had a son a year later. A few years later the husband ran off with the daycare person. She said they were a great couple until they had children and then they grew apart. I heard that men take a lot longer to grow up. I learned that her mom was older than her dad and they divorced when she was 18. Her mom is now dating someone 13 years younger than the mom, but 10 years older than the daughter.

You get the point. It was just weird. I felt like I was violating someone's privacy, yet also felt like they were talking about stuff that should be talked about in a more private setting. I know where her mom lives, her dad lives. I know her mom is into horses and her dad into motorbikes and 4 wheelers. She had a sister and 2 brothers. I was trying to figure out how much older her parents were than me.

I'm glad I ended up with a pain in my rear, really, so I ended up stopping after 40 minutes and 300 calories. Guess I could have stopped and moved to a different treadmill.

Back from Missouri

A friend dogged me tonight about my absence from blogging. It isn't like I don't have lots of time since I haven't worked since June 6th. I guess it is something that I've done regularly for about 5 years or more so for about 45 days I didn't even open blogspot other than a few times to update my blogs about my kids. So I'm back!

Saturday June 19th I took off early for St. Louis with my 2 kids. We really stopped just ONE true time on the way. I got gas and McD's in Waggoner OK. From there we were in the truck for 5 1/2 hours. I did stop at a store right by my dad's so technically we stopped twice.

It was special to make it for Father's Day as we spent the day with my dad who is 69 years old.

Highlights of the trip:
-Father's Day
-I made $365 one day helping detail 20 cars
-Food: Seamus(3), White Castle(3) Cecil's Pizza(3), Ted Drewes custard(2), Lions Choice(3), Gus's Pretzel dogs, eating Ameghettis in Berra Park
-I gained 4 pounds
-I brought back my brother's 79 Jeep CJ-7
-I watched 2 Cardinal games, both wins, both FREE
-4th weekend I saw 3 different fireworks shows
-Six Flags with family, my kids can ride more rides
-bowling 4 times
-mowing my brother's yard 5 times

Why 30 days in St. Louis? Family, friends, food and fun. ALSO, I have been back home for one week and really have a hard time doing NOTHING. I waste so much time when I don't have to do things. That is about to end. My teaching workshops start next week. Not everyday, but here and there.

I hope to get back on a regular basis. While I was away Facebook kept me busy.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Pizza Party

Had our sons birthday party at Durkins Pizza this morning. Had 9 kids total and arrived at 10am. Mr. Durkin had an area set up for making pizzas with the kids. He also gave them a tour of the kitchen. He really did a great job entertaining the kids AND adults from 10-11. He didn't bake any of the disaster pizzas that the kids made so we ordered 2 medium cheese pizzas, 2 XL pizzas, 2 cheese breads and drinks for kids and adults.

My wife made a cake that looked like a pizza. I wonder if Duff from Ace of Cakes would be proud. It looked awesome. After the cake and presents it was really time to head out. We hadn't discussed price so when it came time to settle up he only charged me for the food. The total bill was $48. I handed him $100 and he looked at me like I was weird. I told him $100 probably wasn't enough considering he got there early, wasted some product making practice pizzas and used up an hour of his time. If we had a party at a "party" place we'd easily been charged a couple hundred dollars PLUS all the food and so on. He took the cash and said he would tip the kitchen help.

What a deal. 2 hours of time, food included, very little clean up. I am so glad we came up with this idea.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Happy B-Day BillyV

I've known BillyV for over 30 years. Our friendship is the longest standing friendship that I have and even when he lived in Texas and I in Missouri we stayed in touch. We did live in Texas together for a few years and now he's back in Missouri as I'm stuck in Texas.

I miss his friendship and hope to see him a lot this summer as I visit the St. Louis area for about 30 days.

Hope you have a great birthday and I hope you survived the Missouri storms that hit Wednesday night according to my dad.

Storm Chasing

My wife would rather take a vacation on a storm chasing guide than some cruise or mountain get away. Tonight was a little crazy. The westward sky grew grey around 6pm as it often does. When we got to church I overheard an associate pastor say he had been watching the doplar radar most of the afternoon. After signing our kids in my wife and I headed for a lite dinner. On the way her friend called saying a tornado had touched down near her place just southwest of where we were.

Tornado sirens began to go off as we pulled up to the burger joing. We sat at Freddy's Drive In and could see the sky turn multiple colors. Something was coming. We ordered a burger basket to split and I called my friend B to see if he could give me a weather report. He informed me that a squall line was headed our way and it stretched from Oklahomo down thru the DFW metroplex. He also informed us a tornado touched down just south of us.

The wind began to pick up and it began to rain as we ordered our ice cream. We were torn between staying at the restaurant or trying to head back to the church. We made a dash for it and as soon as we got to our car the local tornado siren went off. I thought I would park in a bank drive thru and wait it out. It was next door. No luck since cars filled every slot. I then pulled behind The Great Wall of China restaurant just out of the majority of the wind and tiny hail. As we sat there we couldn't see anything. The building blocked most of the weather as well as our view of what was coming. At one point I gripped the steering wheel and held my foot on the brake. I then said, "We could be in the middle of a tornado." My wife told me to put my cone in my left hand and hold hers!

After what seemed like 10 minutes the 70+ mph winds dwindled and it was just raining. We survived. We did get to church 40 minutes early to check on the kids. It appeared all was well and we went to a nearby RadioShack to check the availability of a Nintendo DS "Lite" for our daughter. We got to see the weather report from 3 stations and some footage of the current storm.

From what I've read from Facebook friends and visual damage to fences and trees it seems like this one was a doozy. Now I know what it means to pray without ceasing.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Peter Piper Pizza

Took my 2 kids and one of their friends to Peter Piper Pizza today. Got that coupon in the mail you know. $10 in free tokens with a large 1 topping pizza purchase. Guess how much I ended up spending WITH receiving the tokens and I didn't buy any more?

A. $11.99
B. $18.00
C. $26.50
D. $35.00

I ordered the large pizza and asked for 1/2 cheese 1/2 pepperoni. I don't know why I paid an extra 60 cents for getting pepperoni only on 1/2. Maybe it had to do with the way she rang it up. I then ordered the buffet for me and drinks for each of us. The total out of pocket was C. $26.50. 3 small kids drinks cost $5 with tax. That is pathetic.

While we waited for the pizza I let the kids scout out the games. They ended up finding 6 tokens and about 10 tickets. I was finished eating by the time the kid's pizza came out.

The kids had fun. For the $11 worth of tokens they ended up getting: 1-2 foot long pixie stick, a small package of stickers, a few tiny erasers and a squish ball with 3 foam rockets.

Pizza wasn't bad. I won't go back for a LONG time. The kids had a great time and like BillyV posted on his blog I tried not to sour the occasion for the kids. In my mind the value wasn't worth what I spent. For the kids, they loved it. I really didn't get much fight about leaving when it they ran out of tokens. Only my son asked me for more tokens. NO!

Laying Sod

I bought 8 peices of St. Augustine to put down in my friend's yard Wednesday. She got a letter from her Home Owner's Association about fixing bare spots. We found this place way out in the middle of nowhere called A1Grass. They had a 1/2 pallet of St. Augustine as well as Bermuda. I bought 8 1foot by 2 foot peices of sod.

My friend has bare patches in her yard for a few reasons. First she isn't watering the way she should and it is either weedfest or bare ground. Second it is a shaded place and Bermuda doesn't do well in the shade, especially with little or no water.

Solution options:
1-put down Bermuda grass seed and water
2-put in St. Augustine plugs and water'
3-put down St. Augustine sod and water

I'm trying option 3 and don't really know how much work it is going to be. I actually have 9 peices and will see how much that takes care of. I can always go back and buy more. Each peice cost $1.50 so I want to do it a little at a time.

I prefer St. Augustine to Bermuda. Each kind has it's pluses and minuses. St. Augustine should grow in the shade, it just needs WATER!

Monday, June 08, 2009

Tale of 2 Detailing Days

Friday I detailed 4 cars at school since I didn't comp that day out. I detailed a Honda Accord for someone who worked on my personal laptop a few times. I then detailed a Chevy Aveo for a room parent who did a lot for our grade level team. For teacher appreciation week he forgave us of lunches that he had paid for since January. For me it was about $70 worth. A third car I detailed was a Volkswagon Jetta for a teacher and I only charged $20. The last car I detailed for a lunch, minus me tipping. It was a Pontiac G6 Convertible. All of these cars required an interior cleaning and exterior prep before waxing.

Well, today I was asked to detail 3 cars for a family who often has me do their cars once a year. The first car I did was a brand new Buick Enclave. The guy was cleaning it when I arrived. All I had to do was apply and take off the wax. The 2nd car I spent the most time on was a 2002 BMW. It required me removing some tar and paint from the rocker pannel. Still I only did the outside of the car. The last vehicle was a Dodge Ram Quad cab and it was spotless as well. I removed a little bit of tar and waxed on and waxed off in about an hour.

I worked much harder Friday and spent about 6 hours total. I netted about $25 worth. I detailed inside and out of these cars. Today I only detailed the exteriors and 2 of the cars I didn't even have to prep for waxing. When Steve asked how much I figured I work for about $25 per hour and said $100 would be plenty. He said he would write me a check for $125. That was nice.

Either way I ended up in the plus and enjoyed being outside cleaning cars.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

This Year's Take

I had a great homeroom this year for sure. I already miss my kids and just hope next year will be as good. We just had teacher appreciation week a few weeks ago so I didn't know what to expect on the last day. Here is what I got from my students:

-$50 combination card to movies/Chilis or On The Border
-$25 Olive Garden
-$20 Cinemark movies
-$15 Target
-$40 Scotty P's
-$10 Starbucks
-$25 Cinemark movies
-bag of about 10 king sized candy bars
-sunblock and Dallas Mavericks cap

I got a few really nice cards. One student wrote me a personal note of how well her year went. As a guy I think I get less teachery gifts and end up with more gift cards.

A lot of kids were crying this year as well. Not so much last year.

Friday, May 29, 2009

My 2 Cents Worth

A month or so ago I posted about trying to talk my GMAC credit card down from their after introductory rate of 17.99% and when they wouldn't budge I paid the account off with another card that was offering 0% AND no transfer fee. In all the paying off mess I ended up still owing a bit over $2 in accrued interest and sent a check for that amount.

Last week I called to officially close the account. I was once again reminded that I was a valued customer and that they would hate to lose me and probed again as to why I was closing the account. They started telling me of all the benefits and asked what they could do to keep me as a customer. I simply said they could have dropped their rate under 10% 2 months ago. Even after I told them that I was trying to pay off all my debt the person offered to raise my limit. They were following the script so close they didn't hear what I said.

When I finally convinced them that I wanted to close the account for good I was told that I had a 2 cent credit. I asked them to mail me a check. So today I opened a letter that contained a check for 2 cents. Do I cash it? Do I deposit it? Or do I keep it as a reminder of how impersonable the credit card industry has become? Maybe try to cash it once we pay off our final credit card in about 5 months. NICE!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

$3 Newspaper

It wasn't long ago that I faced a dilemna, pay 75 cents for the USA Today or just 50 cents for the Dallas Morning News. I still quartered up for the USA Today. That was about 2 years ago when the Sunday paper was still $1.50 for one and $2 for 2. I stopped in yesterday to get Sunday's paper just for the coupons. Guess what? This Sunday paper didn't have the coupons this go around. I don't know if I was more mad at the $3, the no coupons, or a combination of both.

I understand readership to newspapers that you actually hold is on a sharp decline, but wont raising your price so sharply, so quickly decrease a dwindling readership base even faster?

The best deal I saw 2 years ago was at the Texas State Fair when the Dallas Morning News was giving $50 in fair vouchers away for a 13 week subscription for about the same price. I didn't see that deal this year. You know I looked for it too!

Monday, May 25, 2009

2 Tacos for 99 cents

I grew up in St. Louis and when I was old enough to drive I often visited the Jack In the Box drive thru and took advantage of the 2 tacos for 99 cents sale. Now they are always 99 cents, what a value. I do like the deep fried appetizers and they are only 3 points each on the Weight Watchers plan. Yesterday while we were watching TV we saw a commercial spotlighting the 2 tacos for 99 cents. When they displayed the 2 tacos my wife and I both immediately laughed and made some snide remark that we've never seen a Jack In the Box taco that looked that fresh.

My wife made these when she worked there and when they went on sale 2 for 99 cents she said people would order 50 at a time. Kind of like ordering White Castles for the party. They are premade, frozen and deep fried. When they were done frying she had to pull the hot taco tips apart to squeeze in a 1/2 slice of american cheese, lettuce and hot sauce. She talked about how she couldn't feel her finger tips for days. On TV the lettuce looked juicy and fresh. In reality those tacos basically fuze the cheese and lettuce together. They are almost like little deep fried empanadas.

No complaints about false advertising because I love those tacos. Just ask BillyV how much I like them.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Ballgame

Last night I had 4 free tickets to see the Frisco Roughriders. They are a AA minor league affiliation to the Texas Rangers. My school participated in an MVP program for 5th graders and I benefited from it as well. It was the perfect night for baseball and my son and I went with a friend of the family and his son.

We made it to about the 6th inning. My son did really well staying in his seat and watching the ballgame. His dinner included a kids hotdog pack for $4.50 which included a hotdog, chips and a drink. Not bad for ballpark prices. He also ended up with cotton candy which turned into a sugar disaster. I saw some of my students at the game.

This ballpark is perfect for taking the family to. They have a package for $29 and it includes 4 tickets, 4 McDonalds value meals and 4 hats. Every seat in the park is a great one as well.

Tonight I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Cardinals and Cubs were on WGN. Tomorrow night they will play on ESPN. NICE! Now if they would only win.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Family In Town

Picked up my parents from the airport Thursday night. My dad helped me mow and then they watched the kids that night. Friday night was my son's ballgame and we went out for pizza afterwards with a good friend and his family. Durkin's is GREAT stuff. Saturday rained out our ballgame, Trade Days and teacher appreciation day at the Heard Museum. Saturday night we did dinner and Sunday they flew home.

My dad and I were to meet the rest of the family Saturday at 5:15 at an On the Border nearby. As I pulled up I noticed the lot was near empty. As we waited for my wife and family we were approached by a manager saying they were closed for "routine" maintenance....meaning....they got shut down for something. EcoLab, a food sanitization company, had 4 trucks parked out back so they were taking care of something. The manager handed us a $10 voucher for any other visit along with a card for FREE chili con queso. I quickly called my wife and we planned to meet at a different OTB.

I had a $25 giftcard, we had a $10 voucher and we got free queso. My mom covered the $3 overage on the bill and we left an $11 tip. Great dinner for very little cost. NICE!

Family = GOOD

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Family In Town

My parents came to visit today and the sole purpose is to visit the grandkids with the intent of seeing one of my son's ball games. He doesn't hit from a tee anymore so I dropped the TEE part. Some kids still do though. Today I took a personal day just to pick them up from the airport. I had intended on mowing early, but woke up to heavy storms. Plan B was to work out, pick up my daughter and pick up the grandparents. Their flight was delayed an hour so we actually stopped at McD's on the way.

Grandparents watched the kids tonight as my wife and I had 2 different agendas. I had staff appreciation dinner at La Hacienda Ranch and my wife met with a special friend for the evening. I made it home by 9pm and as of 10:45pm my wife is still unaccounted for and must be having a great time.

I really appreciate the effort my parents put forth in seeing my kids. These are good times and they are creating some special memories. My kids are almost 8 and 5 respectively and they will most likely remember these times. I know for sure I will! We'll have a great weekend.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I, like many people across the country it seems, printed of the coupons for the free 2 piece grilled chicken meal for KFC the other day. It seems OPRAH did some promotion and you could print up to 4 coupons within a 24 hour window period for this meal, no restrictions other than it couldn't be used on Mother's Day. Can't imagine taking mom to KFC for her favorite meal.

Tonight I figured we would go for a cheap dinner since I had 3 of these coupons. It would be plenty of food for my family. When we walkd up I saw the sign saying they were only offering rainchecks and not chicken since the promotion was overwhelmingly successful.

My dilemna at that time was to figure out where we were going to eat dinner. No way was I going to spend $15-$20 on KFC. I really just don't like the place well enough to spend that kind of money. Instead we went to Scotty P's for chicken strips and their skin on french fries. We had a great time and only spent $17 for fresh food.

We had fun waiting for our food. I started a game using the device they give you that vibrates when your order is ready. We took turns pretending like it was something else. Ideas included: a Wii remote, electric shaver, nail trimmers, stun gun, tv remote, a gun, guitar, cell phone. The kids actually did pretty well with it. It buzzed when my son had it so he "lost", but said he won!

Monday, May 11, 2009

NO Donuts?

Sunday morning I had a flashback to the late 80's when I was with BillyV and we stopped by Church's Chicken one day and was told it would be 13 minutes before we could order some chicken, they ran out. WHAT? It was a chicken place.

Well on our way to church I stopped by the local Yummy Donuts for a quick, light breakfast. Didn't want a heavy breakfast that would ruin a Mother's Day lunch. To save time I took orders from my family before pulling up to a front row parking spot. I walked in to see a near empty display case. So much for 2 cinnamon rolls, chocolate donut holes. All they had were kolaches, pretzel dogs, an apple fritter, 10 plain donut holes, a coffee flavored long john and about 12 plain cake donuts.

I ordered 3 kolaches(what the wife wanted), a pretzel dog(daughter ate), an apple fritter(my son chowed, and the remaining donut holes. I got in the truck and asked for the donut holes only to be told there weren't any. I went back in an asked about the donut holes and was told the lady behind me ordered them.

What a rough visit to the donut shop. Not only did I not get what I originally wanted, but didn't get the donut holes I thought I settled for. My wife did share a kolache with me and it was good, but who would have thought a donut shop would run out of donuts by 10:20am on a Sunday. Darn Baptists!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

5 of a Kind

I hosted cards tonight and during one hand a player asked another person who was out what he thought. He said he would probably fold. She then brought more attention to the kind of card she had in her hand and then we had a dilemna pop up. During Texas Hold Em there was a 9 of clubs on the table AND she had a 9 of clubs in her hand. WHAT?????

We suspended play and checked things out. The deck of cards was from Palace Station Hotel and Casinos or I have no idea where that is. Anyway I bought the deck from The Dollar Bee which was going out of sale a few months ago.

After we suspended play we found out that there were 6 nines in the deck. 2 hearts and 2 clubs. For that hand we just refunded the money and laughed about it. Kind of crazy really.

Tonight I broke my adkins diet of no carbs and plan on shifting to more of a Weight Watcher's diet where I will count points. I'm down to 204 and knocking on the door of under 200. Hope I can keep it up!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

I Didn't Love, "I Love You Man"

Took a much needed day off just to rest mentally and emotionally. It has been a rough few months for me professionally. After dropping my daughter off at school I took my truck to have the tires rotated. While waiting I walked to my nearby gym and worked out.

Afterwards I went with a friend to see I Love You Man. Decent storyline, decent actors, soaked with unnecessary profanity. Must have heard 30 "F" words. Awkward at times sitting through it.

I then watched a 2nd movie, Wolverine X Men. I liked this one MUCH better and I've never seen any of the X-Men movies. If I didn't have a tee ball game tonight I would have went with old church friends to see Star Wars.

My son got the game ball tonight. He was 2 for 2 at the plate with one true double. He also caught one ball in the field.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

$60 wipers, REALLY?

No wonder the Big 3 are in trouble. GM feels the need to build a car that requires $30 to replace EACH wiper blade. My wife's car is one year old and the rubber on the wipers are coming apart and do about a half way job so I went on a quest to replace them. First stop, O'Reilly Auto Parts. I bought 2 recommended Bosch wipers and walked about to put them on. I struggled in front of the store so I figured I'd take them home to do the job in private. No luck getting them on. Took em back and even the guy couldn't get them on. Next stop, AutoZone(It's always going to be AutoSHACK to me). They didn't have them.

The next day I drove to the Pontiac dealer and he said $60 plus tax, but he didn't have them in stock. WOW! All it needs is the refill that easily slides in the arm. BUT NO, they don't make it and you have to buy the whole thing. It should be a $10 or less fix and it's not. That night I drove to NAPA and bought 2 wiper blades and paid $45 with tax. They fit and work so now it can rain and my wife will be able to see.

That is ridiculous that replacing wipers on a yearly basis is going to cost me $45. Almost more expensive than buying tires for the car. A thief would slide the rubber out of new ones and and replace them with the olds ones before returning them for a refund. It would take a month or 2 before they realized they'd been had.

Imagine if I wanted some high performance triple blade wipers.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Catching Up

21 days of school left IF we don't close down for the Flu thing like many districts around us have done.

A parent bought me a carb-free lunch today only to accidentally give it to her son's other teacher. My lunch was after hers so I missed out on grilled chicken and veggies. Her lunch....pasta.

Another parent who had a running tab on my team's lunches since January sent us bill that said Paid in Full for teacher appreciation week. I was graced $67 worth. The grade level tab was just over $366. WOW! I joked that I would have eaten a LOT more if I had known that. (:

I dabbled with Facebook for a while. It's not me. I do like taking quizzes, but don't feel the need to tell everyone what I'm doing at various times of the day. Also, my neighbor wanted to know why I didn't accept her as a "friend." Felt kind of like middle school stuff with accepting, rejecting or ignoring friend requests. She then went on to tell us that she broke the 300 friend barrier. Wouldn't that be acquaintance or I at least know your name barrier?

Love that a longshot 50-1 Mine That Bird won the Kentucky Derby.

Thought I was going to have to repair my weed eater until I noticed that the "kill" switch was stuck on kill. "That's why it wouldn't start after 100 pulls."

Of the 21 days left I'll probably take at least 2 off........NICE!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Crunch Time

I teach science and this week the students are taking the state science test. This is their 3rd year of testing, but the first time they will take science. After Thursday testing is over, the teachers will relax and have more fun. Tensions always run pretty high this time of year, but for some reason this year I seem to be closer to the flame. Not having as much fun teaching professionally this year than I had last year. I do have an awesome homeroom with relatively NO issues so that is a welcome blessing compared to what I dealt with last year.

Yesterday I joined my wife in dieting the Atkins way. She just finished her first week and lost 7 pounds. The last 2 weeks I've gone to the gym 11 days out of 14, put in 42 miles and did not lose any weight. So I'll try this along with working out.

The scripture that comes to mind is:
Hebrews 12:11 (New Living Translation)
11 No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.

We went to nasty CiCis pizza last night and were so disappointed compared to our favorite Durkins(kids ate free). Doing Atkins was tough since they have great buttered cinnamon rolls. SO TOUGH!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

One Simple Phone Call

I called the RadioShack credit card people to find out why I had a $42 finance charge when it was 18 months NO interest. I got a nice guy named Miles who was easy to understand and who was very helpful. I purchased my computer and TV in February and in March never remembered opening a bill. I finally called the number on my credit card and my first payment was due THAT day. This guy said something like,"I see the problem, since your first payment was late it automatically took you off the NO interest. I can fix that." After a few moments of silence he came back and said, "I can also take off the $35 late fee as well."

In a matter of 10 minutes I saved $77 that I possibly could not have had an argument or a foot to stand on. I'll hurry up and pay off the balance.

We are moving to pay off debt. And it feels good.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Closing Accounts

I received notification from my GMAC card that my newest statement was available. I called and found out that I had a balance just under $3. I sent in the latest due amount about as quick as I got that bill and thought I had zeroed out the account. The frustrating thing with charge cards is that it appears that they make just as much on late fees and fines as they do charging interest. The reason we transfered the balance anyway was that the initial 0% went to 17.99% and they refused to lower the rate. When I called tonight to get an official payoff without getting another bill for 2 cents or so the lady acted surprised and wanted to know what they could do and asked why I was interested in closing my account. DUH? I talked to them about 6 weeks ago and even told them I'd close the account if they couldn't help us. She then went on to try and sell me the service that pays your bills if you become unemployed. WHAT? I have a $3 balance and she is trying to sell me payment protection services that helps me avoid late fees and such.

I can't wait until we climb out from under the credit card demons. They are evil!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

22 Miles

I tried something new this week. I was committed to going to the gym no matter what. It has really been hard to consistently go in the evenings with tee ball twice a week, gymnastics, church Tuesday and Wednesday. So I did something 3 times this week that I've only done ONCE in my life. I got out of bed at 5am and went to the gym and did cardio. The only day I didn't work out this week was Saturday. Looks like I'll be at the gym 5am Monday morning as well.

Observation: I've come to the conclusion that using profane language is correlated closely to lack of education. The less schooling someone has the more likely they are to use fowl language.

Did you know? I lemon typically will float in water while a lime will typically sink. Their buoyancy mass/volume is close to that of water which has a 1 to 1 ratio. 5 mass grams of water would be equal to 5 mL of water.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Toilet Paper

Early February I was picking up medicine at Walgreens and while I was waiting for the pharmacy I did a little browsing around. That's when I spotted the Scott's 12 pack MEGA rolls for $5.99. That was a great deal so I purchased it knowing that my family normally likes the Scott brand. Well, it didn't take long to realize that the paper might have been a grade below sub-par quality that you'd find at schools or major sporting events. It didn't take long for me to be scorned by my wife for buying such thin paper.

On a positive side these 12 rolls last 2 months. It survived 2 visits from family and 1 visit from friends of the family. I got worried last week when we were down to the last 2 rolls, one in each bathroom. That's when I went ahead and picked up a 9 pack of Charmin at a local grocery store. I did use my 35 cent coupon which was tripled.

Immediately I was back in my wife's graces. Now it feels like I'm using a high thread count hand towel. I no longer have to pull out about 6 feet of paper before using. It is more like using just 2 to 3 squares. I doubt this pack lasts to the end of the month though. It is a nice treat on the tush.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Things I Despise

I really do not like poodles. It is not their fault, it is me. If I saw one out in the street I'd probably run over it if I could. The other thing I really despise and have great disdain for is the Lance Armstrong wanna be bicylcists who take up a full lane on city streets. I'm sure I'll make a life altering decision someday and confuse a bicyclists for a poodle and take them out. Hope not.

Well, my patience was tested today as my son and I went to QT to get drinks. As I pulled into the lot I saw at least 30+ bikes and many middle aged men and a few women dressed in official varying "team" gear. Most of these outfits weren't that flattering for the guys. I decided to fill up before getting drinks. My son says he is going to grow up and ride bikes like them. I quickly said, "NO." It so happened that when I jumped in my truck to leave all of the bicyclists hopped on their bikes and headed out, THE WAY I NEEDED TO GO.

The saving grace for me was that they quickly pulled to the stop light and were going straight. I was able to pull to the left turn lane unabaited.

Like the poodles, it's not their fault. It's just me. It drives me crazy that they can go 20 miles per hour in 45 mph zone. If I was going 20 mph in my truck people would honk, be rude and even give me the finger as they would cuss at me. I'm sure this happens to the bicyclists as well.

Do the bicyclists drive you crazy as well?

Friday, April 10, 2009

Tragic Loss of Life

Wednesday night Nick Adenhart, an Anaheim Angels player, pitched 6 solid scoreless innings against the A's. His best game ever in the big leagues. He was 22 years old and was pitching in his first game of the year and 5th of his short career. His father had flown in from the East Coast to watch his son play. It appears that Nick went out with 3 friends after the game and just after midnight his car was hit by a minivan that ran a red light. 3 people in the car including Nick were killed. The driver of the minivan was also 22 years old and was probably 3 times over the legal blood alcohol limit at the time.

As I read this on ESPN I almost began crying. It brought forth the emotions I experienced last summer when I lost a good friend in a drunk driving crash. Both cases show us how precious life is and how you never know how much time you have. My friend had just finished our last day of school last June and went to celebrate with friends. I still remember the last time I saw her alive that Friday. Just about every day I walk by her room and still want to believe she is still with us.

My emotions are pretty raw on this. I'm very thankful that my thoughtless actions in the past haven't cost any lives. I'm glad I always made it home safely after latenight little league games when my father had too much to drink. I also pray regularly that me and my family never experience such senseless tragedy as well.

I miss my friend and think of her all the time. I'm sure her family does as well.

Working Out

I was so excited Monday night when I finally got to work out. All I really did was put in 4 miles on the treadmill. Since it was Monday I thought I could possibly work out every day this week. No such luck. We are possibly going to list our house and 2 nights this week I painted trim. Add in tee ball practice and a tee ball game and our time gets away pretty quickly. Tomorrow we are having a yardsale so IF I get to the gym it will have to be in the afternoon.

I really do enjoy working out and really want to get back into it.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Free Quarter Pounder with Cheese

On our way to dinner tonight my daughter hands us a coupon for a buy one get one free quarter pounder with cheese from McDonalds. My wife looks at it and I glance over. She reads that it expired March 30th.........1979, WHAT? Yes, it expired 30 years ago.

My son is now using a wallet of mine from when I was 13 years old, do the math. Guess I had left a few coupons in it, one being from a specific McDonalds in St. Louis on Hampton Avenue. It is in good condition and in bright color. The burger really does look like one would right now.

We wondered what someone from McDonalds would do if we took it in and they looked that it expired 30 years ago. It wouldn't be worth getting rid of at this point.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Not Expecting People to Be Nice

I stopped by the post office in hopes of getting 2 stamps for my daughter. Her class had some special project that involved mailing something to a family member. The 24 hour area at the post office is being remodeled and the stamp vending machines were gone. I commented to my daughter that I guess we wouldn't get stamps. That's when the guy who just mailed something asked how many stamps we needed. I told him 2 and when he gave us 2 I tried to pay him and he wouldn't accept.

After that I got my 1/2 price breakfast at Chick Fil A. 2 chicken egg biscuits, 1 4 pack chicken mini and a large diet Coke for $4.99.

Then during the day one of our school parents brought in a bottled diet Coke. She said she hit it on accident rather than the Coke and was told by our office staff that I would be a taker. I tried to give her a dollar and she declined as well.

Most people in general are nice!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

ER Finale

I started watching the original ER cast members back in the early 90s. Back then I sold Jeeps in St. Louis and we closed Thurday nights at 6pm. This allowed me to attend a college and career singles bible study which went from 7 until about 8:30. About the time the series started I met the woman I would marry. She also attended this bible study so we would often close the night with cuddling on the couch while watching ER. I probably stayed consistently with ER until the turn of the century. I outlasted Mark Green and whoever George Clooney played. I probably lost interest for good 5 or 6 years ago.

Right now my wife and I are watching the taped version and I think I'm more interested in going to bed than struggle through and hour or so of ER. So long ER!

Worn Out With 2 Days to Go

I know what you are thinking, "There's just Friday!" Well, yes, but I'm teaching Saturday school this week from 9 til noon. My few moments of reprieve come the rest of Saturday. I'm supposed to be getting tickets to see the Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues. The Blues are fighting for the final playoff spot. I'm trading out a car detail for the tickets.

This has been a busy week. Probably not so bad if we would just come home and get the rest we need. The last 2 nights my son has made visits to our room around and after midnight. Even if I go to bed around midnight I can actually sleep in until 7:30am. I say sleep in, but that includes my wife scrambling to get herself and my son ready from about 5:30am until 6:45am so it is a bid interrupted.

I'm really looking forward to Friday. I always start my day off with a chicken and egg biscuit from Chick Fil A and a large diet Coke. We order out for lunch on Fridays as well and then Friday night after my son's tee ball game we have special friends coming over. We hope they are interested in buying our house.

Have a safe weekend.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Tee Ball and Church

My son has tee ball three times this week, 2 games and one practice. We will be at church 3 times this week as well if you count worship on Sunday. Wednesday night doesn't really count because we drop the kids off for and hour and fifteen minutes while we go eat or hang out at a Wi-Fi hotspot. That leaves Saturday and I've actually got to work our Saturday school session. Maybe the payoff will be Saturday night when I take my wife to see the Stars play the St. Louis Blues. The Blues are a hot team lately.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Watching Tee Ball

Last year I helped coach tee ball, although I think I volunteered myself. I don't think I missed a game and I actually think I was able to attend practices and games more consistently than the coaches who actually received official coaching shirts. That wasn't a problem since last year we were the Cardinals and I had about 5 or 6 Cardinals shirts I could wear. I was always on the field and was very involved in practices as well.

This year we switched teams so our son might be on a team with kids he could possibly go to school with. The practices are much more structured and intense. Keep in mind my son is only 4. My son did say that he didn't like the horseplay and clowning around that was common on last years team. There has been some this year, but not much. The coach's wife is going to be the dugout manager and I did much of that last year.

Tonight we had our first game. Being the new kid on the team my son actually batted 11th out of 12 kids. Last year he batted earlier in the line up. Tonight he played right field twice, first base once and short stop. Last year he was anchored at first base most of the time because he was a good fielder. My son saw 2 pitches tonight and hit both of them. For a 4 year old he seems like such a natural. I don't work with him that much.

Tonight I watched from the stands. I had a tough time not yelling at him when he was not paying attention or when he had his hat on backwards. He caught me off guard on the way home when he said, "I'm bored with tee ball." Great, one game in and I'm fighting his disinterest. He said he likes it when I'm on the field. He also doesn't do as well when he's not involved in every play.

We have practice Thursday and another game Friday so we'll see if his feelings of boredom are short lived.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sunday Finale

I spent about 12 hours overnight with some stomach virus that made me a frequent flier to the bathroom. I was up probably about 10 times trying to settle my stomach. At one point I even broke into a sweat. I left the house on time to make the 9am church service. I had a friend meeting me there so that ruled out staying home to get better. I stopped with the kids at a donut shop and I got a cake donut to put on the volcano. I only ate about 1/2 and held it down.

Church went well and afterwards we went to Durkins Pizza again. I brought another newbie with me and I think they enjoyed it. I was only able to put down 2 pieces as I was still on "alert" stages to my stomach problems. All was well. I came home and washed my truck. I also put a wax on it. My wife got home from her conference around 2pm and I detailed her car as well. Today was SO MUCH nicer than Friday and Saturday. After leaving for a few hours to watch the OU/UNC game I came back home to mow my yard and play with the kids.

I did pretty well with the kids on my own. I'm not the type of dad or husband who would shy away from being alone with my kids.

I do hope I get a better night's sleep tonight.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Monsters Vs. Aliens Experience

My kids let me sleep in today and they were great last night as I hosted cards so I figured that I would treat them and take them to see Monsters Vs. Aliens. At 11:30am I looked online to see the times for the theater by my house. The first movie was at 12:30 and the second one 2:40. I told the kids that they had an hour to clean their rooms and they barely squeeked by on time. I took a $20 from our entertainment envelope and I still had $2 left over from Friday.

I took the kids to the gas station and let them each pick one candy as long as it was close to $1. I showed up at the moves with $19 and change. As I'm standing in line, FREEZING, I hear the lady in front of my order tickets for the 2:05 show. I look up and see that it is on 4 screens and one of them was in 3-D. My son didn't do so well with the Coraline 3-D so I really prompted them to the the regular one. PLUS there was a $3 per ticket surcharge for 3-D. I had planned on having to stand around for 30 minutes or so and got lucky with the 2:05 show. We walked in right as the previews started.

The movie was a good movie for both kids and adults. I had $9 left over. Popcorn or save it and take them to McDonalds? The lines were so long so no popcorn. My biggest temptation came when I went to get a booster seat and the hallway concession was open, fresh popcorn popping and NO LINES. I really wanted it, but passed.

I Lost

I lost at cards tonight, but not by much. I wasn't very lucky at crunch time.

My friend was very agressive and won very much. He won't be invited back.

Folks, we are taling VERY low stakes stuff.

Card Night

It don't get much better than this! I hosted cards tonight. My friendship dynamics is kind of crazy.

One friend from St. Louis.
One friend from my first teaching job.
One friend from my first teaching job at a regular building.
One friend and her husband from my first regular education teaching position.
Two friends from the first church we joined in Texas.

I have somehow alway been the centerpiece for connecting people to play cards. If I only had the drive or commitment to network like this in the business world.

The last time I hosted cards my brother was in town and we were finished by 11pm. Same thing tonight. We MUST be getting old.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Taking it Easy

It hasn't been a tough week at all. I'm feeling pretty good physically and plan on going to the gym on Saturday. I may even mow as well. Friday night I'm hosting a card game and right now I'm watching MIZZOU play Memphis. Right now, Mizzou 421-33 with 3 mins. left in the half. It is a Tiger vs. Tiger game.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Should Have Rested More

If you have surgery that requires you stay off your feet for 24 hours and not exercise or do any heavy lifting for 3 days I advise you follow instructions. Last Monday afternoon I had outpatient surgery and got home around 2:30pm. Tuesday my mom came in from St. Louis and I left around 10am to go and get her. Looking back I realize how I jumped the gun in getting out of the house. In reality I HAD to go pick her up. I did rest most of Tuesday and even passed up an offer to go to the Mavericks basketball game.

Wednesday I went to the movies in the morning and fishing at night. We walked a lot at the first fishing place.

Thursday I again went to the movies in the morning and at night I went out with some friends and my wife to a sports bar to watch basketball and be entertained by poor karaoke singers.

Friday for the third morning in a row I went to the movies. Then after that I went to the same sports bar to watch the Mizzou game and at night my wife and I went shopping at Lowes which required a lot of walking around.

When I came home Friday night I was in pain. I realized that I had kind of overdone it for the week. I got up Saturday morning and drove my mom to the airport and then came home and did NOTHING. Sunday it was church and NOTHING. Monday was work and the pain and discomfort was still there. So Tuesday I stopped by the doctor's office and he said all was well.

Today was one of my best days and I can finally say that I'm feeling like I'm almost out of the woods. If ONLY I had rested more the first 3 days! Doctor knows best.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Kudos to My Wife

We are tinkering around with listing our house for sale in preparation of possibly moving back to Missouri in 2010. Our idea is if we list it in April for 90 days and we happen to sell it we can rent for a year and break away clean under our timeframe instead of hoping our house sells. We are not desperate now so we wouldn't have to take a close offer that would still cost us out of pocket either.

We have started and completed a few projects around the house and yesterday my wife kicked some tail in her efforts.

1. Painted the front door
2. Replaced the malfunctioning front door handle and locks
3. Took down our dining lights, painted and put backk up
4. Painted our guest room(last room to be painted since moving in)
5. Washed window treatment and bedding in guest room
6. Cleaned carpets in 3 bedrooms
7. Washed the hardwood floors
8. Cleaned most of the house as well

She did most of this without any help as I am still recovering from my outpatient surgery from Monday. Seems I over did it this week and still need to take it easy.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Movie Etiquette

Went to the movies yesterday to see The Knowing with Nicolas Cage. Interesting movie to say the least. The previews for other movies were pretty sporadic on who they were targeting as well. Music during the movie was so loud I could see people covering their ears. Loudest I've ever experienced.

Right as the movie started the guy behind us starts unwrapping something and he kept unwrapping for at least 5 minutes. He was so noisy that my mom kind of got ruffled and I asked her if she wanted to move. She just sat up a little and looked over the seat and looked at the guy. The paper rattling stopped.

Near the end of the movie in a slower, most serious part of the movie the starts in again with the paper rattling. I really wanted to stand up and ask the guy to stop. My mom took a candy wrapper from her purse and held it over her head and started scrunching it. The guy stopped again.

I guess when you are in public you never know what to expect. My wife and I had a bad experience watching Bejamin Buttons when some teens kept going in and out of the theater and hopping over their seats as well.

Friday, March 20, 2009


I posted a while back about the limits of the Redbox movie renting system. I still think they need to add a side for returns only so people who are just returning can get in and out quickly.

Recently I visited the Redbox website, , and found a lot of good things about Redbox:

#1 You can go online and find out where the Redbox locations are.
#2 You can search for a movie and it will tell you which Redbox to go to.
#3 You can check out a specific Redbox and see what movies they have.
#4 You can reserve a movie before you go and take away all guess work.
#5 You can return the movies to any Redbox. This would be good for a long distance trip.

So, give Redbox a try. Not quite as many movies as Blockbuster or any other place, but a LOT cheaper.


After day one I am 14-2 in he NCAA tournament bracket. Not too bad.

Went again to the movies today with my mom and my daughter to see Race to Witch Mountain.

We cleaned the garage today and we are still thinking about listing our house in April. We are thinking we could sell it this year and rent for one year and then determine if moving back to Missouri is something we want to do. Easier to move back if we don't have to sell a house.

Actually went out tonight with my wife with a few friends. We watched some bad karoake singers and watched NCAA basketball.

One more free day of spring break.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Fun Day

Went this morning with BillyV and my mom to see Slumdog Millionaire. It was my second time and I enjoyed it just as much this time around. It was a 10:30am show and there were at total of 5 people there.

After lunch we went fishing. IT wasn't until our 4th fishing hole did we finally start catching fish. It was a small pond by my friend CB's house. We fished there for almost 2 hours and catch about 20 extremely small fish. CB caughter one real keeper just as we were leaving.

NCAA the next 4 days. Plan on watching Mizzou Friday with BillyV.


I finally beat my wife in a game of Scrabble last night 314 to 302.

Scrabble has been our game of choice the near 14 years that we have been married. My wife has come a LONG way in the level of her play. When we first started playing she would only focus on what she was doing and wouldn't pay attention when she was setting me up for the Triple bonus plays. Often she would play an S in a wimpy place instead of putting it at the end of a word to create 2 words.

The last few years her level of play has really gotten better and her competitive side has come out. We played enough that I got her the Diamond Anniversary set with the rotating board and black letter tiles for Christmas and she LOVES it.

Now when we play she really takes a long time to play because she is wanting to maximize her points and doesn't want to miss the big play. This kind of makes the game drag and robs me of a little joy when we play. I'm always planning ahead and play quicker. Last night I suggested we get a timer and keep each play to 2 minutes or less. She didn't like the idea. We used to play 2 to 3 games as a setting when we played faster. Now it takes 2 hours to play one game. I brought this up and she says she at least wins more now.

Last night I only won because I told her I could spell pimento with all my letters. She pointed out when I could play it. It so happens it was on a triple tile so I scored 88 points with one play. Without her her help I would have lost again. I told her this was a much needed victory and I could see playing again this week. Now I just got to find the timer.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Doctors and Such

I have a personal doctor that I would see on rare occasions. It was hard to get in when I had a cold so I'd often go to these new E-Care type places. About a month ago I did the same and my bronchitis didn't fully clear so I called Dr. Jones. I got an automated machine that gave his hours: M,T,W, F 5pm until 9pm. Thursday was 2-7pm. Wow, strange hours. When I did contact the office I was informed that he had moved and was no longer taking insurance. The office visit cost $75 and I was not charged for my breathing treatment. He also prescribed an inhaler and even gave me a $20 off coupon. I wonder if I would have gotten better quicker had I went to him first? In the long run I probably was out of pocket $200 by going twice.

Yesterday I had outpatient surgery. I arrived at 1:30 as suggested for my 2pm appointment. I was the only one there and began filling out paper work. I was given a bill to pay, pre-surgery, and was told it was for my deductible and co-pay: $528. I wasn't caught off guard because they called and told me ahead of time. I was taken to my room at 1:40 and was actually sitting in my truck ready to drive myself home by 2:20pm. I just wonder if my portion was $500, what the total bill was for about 20 minutes of surgery time.

Maybe the insurance industry is hurting the economy as well?

Monday, March 16, 2009

I Need a New Cell Phone

Last summer I finally upgrade my old cell phone AND still had to pay a little bit for a refurbished Sony Ericsson 580. It was exciting to get a newer phone. One drawback has been that it turns on in my pocket. Often a ringtone will play or I find that the internet has kicked on showing my the weather for my mom's city. Yes, I am still on her plan. Recently I noticed that the keys are cracking. My friend CB had the same phone and had it replaced. When I called the lady said since it was refurbished it only had a 90 day warranty. AND I didn't have the $6 a month warranty on it so I was out of luck.

The phone still works. My next cheaper upgrade isn't until April 2010. I am finally getting into texting and wouldn't mind a keyboard too. So what do I do? Is there a way to get a phone cheaper without going through AT&T Cingular?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Ah, Spring Break

Had a fun weekend. Went to a sports bar Friday night with a friend to watch Mizzou beat OSU. Saturday I worked out and then went to play cards at a different friend's house. Also watched Mizzou beat Baylor in the title game.

Went to church this morning. We were running late and our son threw a fit at church and I just about left with him, but was glad I didn't. Great sermon about Character Assassins. Go to the media section.

It was awesome out today. I detailed another teacher's Toyota Highlander-$50. I did this one about 4 years ago and it was really pretty easy. Amazing how much easier the dog hairs vacuumed out with my new vacuum. The clouds broke while I was detailing and almost made it warm enough to change into a short sleeve shirt. After the detailing I went and mowed 2 yards for the first time this year-$45.

The detailing and mowing definitely cause my back to tighten up. My knuckles also hurt a little bit. Getting old I guess.

Outpatient surgery on Monday.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Cash Only Please

We officially started our cash only plan. We are going to accelerate paying off debt and if we stick to this plan we will only have a house payment and a car payment by Christmas. Last night I went out with my friend CB to watch Mizzou take on OSU. We had hoped it would be Mizzou and OU. Well, at least CB did. Mizzou had a better chance against OSU. They won.

When it came time to pay I only had $15 and my total bill for drinks was $17.50. I know the servers here and when I gave Leon the $15 and a debit card I said I went over my cash limit and he could charge the extra to my debit card. He came back and had reduced my bill to $10.50 and gave me $4.50 back in change. I wasn't so cheap to keep the money so I tipped it. He took off my last 2 drinks. NICE.

My friend CB couldn't believe it and gave me a bit of a hard time. My defense was that I didn't ask for a deal, I just gave 2 forms of payment.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


It has been a long week. I am tired and crabby. I think I didn't adjust to daylight savings that well. On top of that I have stayed up late each night. Add to that every night we have something going on and when I get home I'm doing lunches, dishes, laundry and so on. Tonight I had to unclog the dishwasher. A dozen or so popcorn kernels had the drain blocked. It works now. Funny thing is my wife ran the dishwasher last night and our current tablets are wrapped in plastic. She left the plastic on.

Spring Break. I do plan on sleeping til 8am or later a few days.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Little Wet

I think we made up for a whole month of drier weather today. I rained a little bit on Tuesday and then stopped before the moon tried to show its waxing self. I awoke about 5am this morning to a little bit of lightning and thunder as the cold front pushed through. It has been raining about 17 hours straight, most of it a heavy rain. Great opportunity to teach a few things in science today: what causes weather, how the hot air moves to cooler places forcing the cold air toward the equator, ground saturation, runoff, erosion and so on.

The cooler, raining weather should make it easy to fall asleep tonight. Time to get out the thick comforter for sure.

2 more days until spring break.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


We have one credit card with a balance and with the new Financial Peace University class we are taking at church our goal is to get out of debt and start saving and paying cash for things. I noticed Sunday that our credit card had increased to 17.99%. We don't pay late and I always pay more than the minimum. So we called about lowering the rate and after talking to 3 different people I was assured that was the best rate possible. Our card is with GMAC and I wonder if they are hurting so bad that they will risk losing someone to a lower rate.

Well, I took one of our offers from New York Life. Since I am a client of theirs I can get 0% til May 2010 with NO FEE for balance transfers. Then it is fixed at 8.99%. With our snowball paying off of debt we play to pay that card off by November of this year and then would only have our house and 1 car we owe on.

My brother may sell me his 1980 CJ-7 for $3000 so I'll have a vehicle to drive when my truck lease is up as well.

Monday, March 09, 2009

I can See Spring Break

For once we are not leaving the state of Texas for spring break. I am having minor surgery Monday and actually look forward to taking it slow for a change. It was another busy weekend. We had something every night last week and then friends came over to spend the night Friday. I went to play cards with this friend. One slice of pizza cost me $10. I gave the host a $20 thinking I'd at least get back $15, but I guess she forgot. With that $10 and the cost of beverages for me and my friend I ended up even on the night.

Saturday we got the yard in shape. My wife weeded and cleaned the beds while I scalped the lawn. At night I went to visit the KVKid at a pastor friend's house. The biggest mistake of the weekend may have been that burger from Burger Island. I ate a burger and some greasy fries about 8pm Saturday night and work up Sunday with stomach cramps and the sweats. It cleared, or left my body, in time for me to go to church.

I wish they timed spring break with daylight savings time. Another busy week ahead. We may go camping this weekend and grandma is coming to town next week!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

No Slowing Down

It has been a busy week with no end in sight. My brother visited last Wednesday and I had 4 straight nights of going out with very little rest. Sunday may have been the best rest I've gotten in a while. Gymnastics Monday night, a financial peace class at Church Tuesday night, I mowed Wednesday night and never made it to take the kids to church, t-ball practice tonight and a visit to McD's for our sponsored school night. We came home and cleaned until about 9pm. We have good friends coming to stay with us for a night. Tomorrow should be fun as the guys will go play cards as the women stay home with the kids and visit. Saturday my wife has a school carnival after noon and another friend from the midwest is visiting for 2 days so we are hooking up with them sometime Saturday evening.

It may very well be Sunday again that I'll get my day of rest. Maybe God's plan of having a day of rest is something we all should heed! After that we have one week before spring break. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.

A friend of mine accused me of becoming "One of those parents" when I told her we had commitments every night this week.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Sorry Grandpa

I want to apologize to my grandpa, post mortem, for thinking he was mean for throwing my mom's paper dolls in the fire when she was a child. She left them out and didn't pick them up. As a parent I faced this crossroad myself today. My wife swept the hardwoods, and like usual, she allowed me the privilege of picking up the pile. In this pile was dust, dirt, small pieces of trash, a kid's sock, 3 paper airplanes and 1 Sonic airplane toy. The paper airplanes were made of paper from a special kit my son got this weekend. You probably see where this is going.

I picked up the airplanes and neatly stacked them. I wondered where I might put them. Then I decided that if it wasn't important enough to pick them up then he wouldn't miss them. In the trash they went along with the broken down Sonic toy. I've actually attempted things like this before, but was foiled when one of the kids see them in the trash.

So, sorry Grandpa, I understand your plight. Although my mom says they were her only toys.

Did you know? The Galileo spent the last decade of his life in prison because he was teaching that the earth wasn't the center of the galaxy and the Pope of the Catholic Church sentenced him to house arrest. He could have been hanged. This was in the 1600's and Pope John Paul offered an official apology in 1984. Nice.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Day of Rest

My brother came into town last Wednesday night. I picked him up at Love Field around 8pm. My kids went cause they really enjoy their uncle. We came back to the house for a little bit and let them unpack. We went to a local place that had open mic night and I got in around 11:30pm.

I took the day off. We went bowling early, drove by Southfork Ranch(they weren't impressed), drove downtown to check out the Grassy Knoll. My brother doesn't see the value in spending $13 to go into the museum. So by 3pm he was ready to hit a West End bar and start drinking beer. We went to the Stars/Blues game and saw a good game, if you are a Blues fan. Blues won 3-1. My friend Bobby went with us and it was his first NHL game. I think he enjoyed watching the people more than the game.

We had a weird day at school with an early release day. So school was 4 hours long. 1 1/2 hrs of that was an assembly. 30 minutes for lunch and another 30 for going to and coming back from specials. That leaves in the best case 2 hours for teaching. Subtract announcements, transition to and from lunch and dismissal we really only had about 1 hour of instruction time. We did not swith classes. The kids really do ask if they still have recess.

Friday night I hosted a poker game and everyone checked out by 11pm. My earliest FOLD every. I had time to blog and facebook after poker.

Pizza for lunch, bowling and then we went for dinner and then to see a band play. Got in after midnight.

Left for airport by 7:40am. No traffic. I went straight to church from there and have spent the rest of the day doing NOTHING.

I don't think I could handle my brother's lifestyle. He's a great guy, but he drinks more beer than water. I think I'm ready to hit the diet trail again after gorging myself this past week.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Journaling My Kids

When my daughter was born I started a journal and wrote to her almost every day. As she got a bit older the number of entries began to diminish. When she was 3 my son was born and I started again, but with 2 kids I quickly faded in my commitment. A few days ago I read her a few entries and she loved it. It really made me want to journal again. It also made me feel like I cheated my son of the same effort.

My thoughts this time is to create a blog for both of them. Not really mentioning their names, but keeping an almost daily journal of what is going on in their lives. This way grandma could keep up as well. I don't think I'd share the site names with anyone other than my mom. I probably wouldn't let anyone comment either. I just was a permanent, CONVENIENT, documentation and record of what is going on in their lives right now that they can read about later.

PLUS, this would most likely be my memory someday. I'd probably print them out each week and start a binder as well.

Anyone else journal to their kids?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Is It The Shoes

There is a shoe place in town called Run On and I've always wanted to go and get fitted, but I knew it would be a little more expensive than what I'm used to. My idea of buying shoes is going to the Reebok outlet and paying abou $100 for 2 pair of shoes.

With $90 birthday money in hand I went to Run On this past Saturday. My friend B met me there and really just observed the process. First they have you walk down and back without shoes on. Then he measured my feet to determine a size. He then put a Brooks on my right foot and a New Balance on my left and had me walk thru the store. The Brooks felt better. He then put a Saucony on my left foot and had me walk again. Still the Brooks.

He then asked if he could box it up and I asked what the price was. $125. OUCH! At least $25 more than I was thinking. With tax I walked out $135 lighter. My dad paid 1/3, my mom paid 1/3 and I paid the rest. The most expensive shoe I had ever purchased.

I did get personalized service. I found out that I have a neutral foot, with a D width. I also found out that I had been purchasing shoes that were too small. I normally buy 8 1/2 to 9 and the guy who assisted me said I was a size 10. I wore the shoes for the first time today to work out.

At least now I wont feel so bad paying $70 for some of the top shoes at Academy Sports or Sports Authority.

069 Update

Pulled up to our drive way after lunch to see our neighbors out talking. My neighbor who went for the ride on the car hood was out as well. He let us know they caught the guy who tried to run him down. It was one of the teens from the party that was busted up. This kid told his parents that his windshield got busted out while he was at the movie theater. He told them that some big guy just jumped them. So his parents called the police and made a report. Ironically the officer who responded was the same one who was in my front yard. When he saw the car with the flashlight sized smash he put 2 and 2 together.

My neighbor pressed charges so we'll see what happened. It also appears one car hit the lamp post and a different one tried to run down my neighbor. The lamp bulb from the post is what his the intoxicated teen in the head as well. I was also told that the 4-5 boys sitting curbside Friday night past midnight all had to wait for parents to come pick them up.


Also today I felt like I was on the SS Minnow because I took a 3 hour nap instead of a 3 hour tour.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Only in the 069

Last night my wife and I were lying around watching Good Will Hunting. Around 11pm she asked what the sound was. She does this often so I dismissed it and said it was probably me coughing or the the dishwasher kicking off. A few seconds later we heared a police car come down the street. It stopped right outside my house.

I quickly put some shorts on and went outside. This is a rough sketch of what happened.

Down the street there was a party going on in the cul de sac. An off duty police officer returned home to find a bunch of teens drinking outside the house next door and in the street. He either called the police or just ran them off. A skirmish somehow took place outside my house. The neighbor across the street came out with his police edition flashlight and watched as a car tried to run over a 17 year old boy. It backed into the kid knocking him flying and the car hit the lamp post in my yard. That's when my neighbor stepped in front of the car and tried to block it from taking off. He flew on the hood as it took off. He held on and smashed the windshield with the flashlight. He fell off and the car sped away.

When I went outside a senior police officer was questioning the teen that had been hit. The kids admitted to drinking and was examined by the fire department-2 trucks and a chief SUV showed up as well as about 5 police cars. 2 firemen examined my neighbor who had a knot on his head and was somewhat scraped up. When he couldn't remember what month it was and he said it was 2008 they insisted on taking him to a hospital.

The dust settled outside my house, but back at the cul de sac the police had 5 boys sitting curbside. At one point I could hear the officer threatening to take them in to the station. This went on until about 12:30AM. I imagine a few parents had to come and pick them up.

I just want to know what really happened. Someone is riding around with a dented rear bumper and a busted windshield. AND this person could face attempted vehicular manslaughter chargers. I'm not sure I'd ever be jumping on the hood of a moving car.


Sunday, February 08, 2009

First Week In February

This is the 2nd year in a row that I've come up with a pretty hefty illness involving my sinuses during February. Last year is was sinusitis that really knocked me silly. This time it is acute bronchitis. I do think My son started with this about 10 days ago which he passed on to my wife. Now I've got it. I went to the MinuteClinic at CVS this morning and was diagnosed. I was given an antibiotic although it appears antibiotics rarely help. We'll see. I didn't fall asleep until about 4am this morning. I was given the okay to go to work with the condition that I wash my hands often, which I do anyway. We'll see if I make a full 5 day work week.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

It's Only a $1

I took my son to McD's today and ordered him a kids meal and I ordered the #13, a fish fillet meal. I grabbed our cups and filled our drinks as they put together our order. I saw a kids meal on a tray with a chicken club sandwich sitting beside it. I sat there for a few minutes waiting for managerial help and finally one of the managers made eye contact. I told him I asked for a fish meal, not a chicken club. He took the chicken sandwich and slid it back in the ready food area and said he'd bring out the fish sandwich.

After he gave me the sandwich I investigated that I actually got overcharged $1. My dilemna was whether to try to explain that they owed me a dollar, ask for an ice cream off the dollar menu, or to just let it go.

I sat there and figured it wasn't worth the hassle. It made up for Wednesday night at Chick Fil A when we were given an extra 6 piece nugget box in one of the kids meals. That was about a $3 gift IN our favor that time.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Down with the Sickness

I am doing my best to avoid getting sick. My son missed 2 days last week. My whole family missed church on Sunday. My daughter is actually do okay. I just came home Tuesday night feeling it a little bit. Took some Sudafed and ended being wide awake about 1am this morning. My best sleep came between 6:45am and 7:15am. I did okay today, but was a little bit irritable. I did boost my fruit and juice intake today.

Giving my testimony tomorrow night at a men's basketball devotional. Maybe I'll post it tomorrow.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Selling Jesus

A while back I compared having Christ in my life as a valuable assett that I should be trying to sell to everyone else. At my home church in St. Louis I got pretty excited about designing t-shirts that we could wear that would draw attention and basically make people read a small bible verse and possibly engage someone into conversation. I thought we should approach life as selling Jesus all the time. We have the bible as our sales tool and the Holy Spirit as our guide.

I was pretty excited about today's message at Hope Fellowship. The following is the introduction piece I posted on my Cravetheword blog.

Jesus For Sale
Imaging selling the best product ever made. No defects, no competition, beyond a lifetime of guarantees. That would be Jesus. Today's sermon at Hope Fellowship ( was the first installment over Jesus For Sale. The following are the outline notes to the sermon.

Matthew 5:13-16Salt and Light
13"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.14"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

I salt just about everything I eat, even without tasting it. You can definitely tell the difference between the regular Morton's table salt and that low sodium Accent 60% less sodium substitute. Why bother. I think the same can be said about a Christ follower who goes to church on Sundays and really doesn't commit to developing that relationship and growing deeper in faith. This person is like the Accent salt substitute that can really turn some people off. I think vs. 14-16 basically say if you have Christ in your life don't hide it. Let everyone see how your life has changed and let it attract others to Christ as well. And a final note: Your relationship with Christ should produce good deeds, not good deeds proving that you are a Christ follower.

I'm really excited to be a part of this church. Every message is applicable in my life. There is never a condemning or guilted message. We found out today that when our new expansion opens in 2 months we will go from having 4 services with a seating capacity of 400 to having two services with seating for 1000. This eliminates that nice option of going on a Saturday night and sleeping in on a Sunday, but it will be a lot easier to recruit the people necessary to make thing run so smoothly.

Saturday, January 31, 2009


I was off Wednesday for the icy weather. I worked Thursday and had to take off Friday since my son was on day 2 of a fever. I ended up going by RadioShack and purchased a 32 inch Samsung LCD and since they had 0% financing for 18 months I decided it was time to get a new laptop as well. Our Toshiba is over 5 years old and slow as molasses.

I spent about 3 hours Friday doing TV duty. I had 2 small tvs in my room that went to the garage. The 27 inch from the living room moved to the bedroom. The 32 inch Samsung is now king of the living room. Took a while reconnecting to DishNetwork. Their support staff was great!

Detailed a car today in near 70 degree weather. Tonight I got the laptop going and after about an hour I had the wireless internet going too!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Day Off

This is officially our 2nd day off of the year due to inclement weather. On December 16th our district was out while I was at 5th grade camp. So this is officially my first day off.

Yesterday we released kids 45 minutes early in order to beat the freeze. It was nice to get to the gym at 4pm right as the kids club opened. I walked 2 miles and then was invited to play basketball. I went to bed last night knowing that we would at least have a delayed start. The rain turned into ice just after 10pm last night with the worst of it to hit just after midnight. My wife's district called the day about 11pm last night so I went to bed knowing I could sleep in and figured we'd have the day off.

I slept until 10am this morning.....nice. I definitely want to use this day. It is already 1pm and so far I've washed our sheets, we've cleaned the bathroom thoroughly(mostly wife), I did dishes and cleaned the fridge. One goal of today is to return stuff to about 5 stores. That is dead money right now. We'll hit the gym at 4pm and then head off to church around 6pm. For now on Wednesday nights my wife and I go have dinner alone while the kids are at church.

Right now it is sunny and the streets have cleared already. Not like getting a day off up north where you might be snowed or iced in all day.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Letter

After returning from our Christmas break visiting family in St. Louis I really felt the need to write my dad a letter letting him know how much he means to me. He's 67, lives alone, has been retired from working at a GM factory for 16 years and a few years ago he had a liver scare and quit drinking. Well, last Spring his younger brother was arrested on a cold case and he's slipped back into the drinking habit. He's been given a decent bill of health so I guess that with the stress of what is happening to his brother pushed him to drink again.

One day last week I awoke about 3am to use the restroom. I couldn't get back to sleep so about 3:30 I decided to hammer out a letter on the computer. I finished about 5am. I saved it and edited it a few times and finally last Friday I sent it.

Tonight he called me telling me that he got it. He said he cried a lot and really felt appreciated. He said he had a good day. My neice, his granddaughter, had minor surgery today and that went well too. This on top of possible news that his brother is innocent and should be released pretty soon.

We also had an early release day. I walked 2 miles on the treadmill and played basketball. Overall a good day for me too!

He Said What?

"I don't think it would be good for you and your family to attend church here any more....."

2 weekends ago my wife and I attended a membership workshop at Hope Fellowship, a church we have been attending since October . During the meeting the pastor shared what he feels lots of people go through when they are hunting for a church. He described it like a business life cycle where things are good and eventually peak. When the honeymoon period wears off it is normal to find certain flaws in a church whether it be the pastor, the people, the parking or something else. He said many people then leave the church in hopes to find that spark again. Well my wife and I discussed it and it made us wonder if that is what we did when we decided to leave our last church home. Even though we sought spiritual counsel from a well respected friend and former pastor, Bro Bill. Even though we prayed about it and read scriptures. Even though we had a gnawing feeling for about 6 months which made it hard to invite friends.

That said, our decision to leave was reaffirmed this weekend. I met up with about 10 friends which I met at this church. We all attended an intense "To Your Health" training together last Feb-April. Ironically of the 11 people who attended this seminar only 2 are still attending this church. I arrived at the get together on time and had about 20 minutes to talk to the host. She came right out and talked about how she is ready to leave the church. She also said she knew why we left which she was told by the pastor and it was pretty accurate, which surprised me. Her final straw was a bit different than ours, but really fits into the mold of why we left.

She shared that her friend was asked not to come back to the church A. It seems this lady and her husband visited a church B of someone who had left church A to start his own church B. This friend attended a New Year's Ever service of this new church B. This group had been meeting in a home and on Jan 1st they met corporately in a business warehouse. This lady really loved the worship experience and has decided to attend the new church B on Sundays. Since church B didn't offer any kids programs on Wednesday nights she brought her 4 kids to the Wednesday programs of church A. A program they have been involved with for about a year. This is when the pastor suggested that it would be best if they didn't come on Wednesday nights because it could disrupt the harmony of church A if people began asking why they weren't coming on Sundays.

Really? He said that? Basically saying I know that you are a new Christian who just got baptized with your whole family and you've been in the Jehovah Witness church since childhood and you are just coming to know Christ and develop that relationship. Your kids really need Jesus, BUT not at our church. How is this a Christ like action?

I am so glad we left when we did. It was really hard not to talk about why 9 of the 11 of us left this church within the last year. It is also hard not to talk to a special friend who is still there and enlighten him to the spiritual abuse that is going on at this church.

Now we just have to decide if we are ready to become members at Hope Fellowship. We have truly enjoyed worshipping there. We found out that they are affiliated with the Assemblies of God church and one of the doctrine I'm not sure about is the speaking in tongues upon receiving the Holy Spirit. We haven't experienced it there nor has a friend of mine who has attended for 2 years Must not be a non-negotiable. Can I take an online course for this?