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.