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June 30th, 2006 at 09:39 am

It did not sound like that but , well let me take my time and tell the story right. I got a roast beef club sandwich on white bread with no cheese (that costs extra) with lettuce tomatoes pickles and mayonaisse for lunch...like I said in the post before. The nice man that is very hard to understand stuck a little extra beef on it with a wink and a nod. His company lost their contract so they are done in a week, I assume that he is getting rid of the inventory in his own way, and I am thankful. He carefully stacked the roast beef, roast turkey, and bacon and then asked 'Blauftome?' ( Anyone who has ever seen the movie quick change should get the humor) I asked him to repeat, which he did and I still do not speak ummm whateverian but the second time he waved his hand over the bountiful spread of toppings in front of him.

I knew what he meant now and said lettuce tomatoes and pickles please. I wondered if what I said sounded like 'blauftome por favor' to him, but he placed a pair of perfectly sliced tomatoes with precision onto the slabs of meat, and loaded so many halves of pickle chips that I was not sure how I was going to fit the mammoth sandwich into my mouth. He stuck the top on, smooshed it down, put two of those fancy little toothpick things with the colored plastic on the back in it, and cut it in half. His knife went right between the toothpicks thereby creating two identical halves of a marvelous sandwich, each held together by a wooden arrow with yellow flights...

I proudly carried my heavy little sandwich back to my walled bastion (cubicle, fine) While I loaded the image on the computer under my desk, I opened the container and basked in the glory of the mighty sandwich. A smile crept slowly across my face, and before long I could feel the muscles around my eyes tensing up, so I knew it was a big smile. I rammed a straw into the lid of my drink in such a way that would have made Bram Stoker proud. The sandwich expanded slightly as I removed the wooden stake the was holding it all down. Actually it was nailed to the bottom of the take out container, probably to keep it from shifting as I walked back to my desk.

You know how grass shows its resiliency by slowly going back in place if you step on it? That is what my sandwich was doing once I removed it from the container. I held on tight and took a bite. The bacon tasted sooooo good, that I, remember that I am a carnivore to the extreme, for one brief moment, forgot that I had beef on my sandwich. Then I tasted the beef, and the turkey, oh man this was a great sandwich. I took a second, even more scrumptious bite. The tomatoes slid slightly under the weight of all of the meat stacked on top of them. I had to shift the angle that I held the half of sandwich in my hand to keep the tomatoes from slipping completely out, perhaps I should have allowed this to happen, for what happened next may have been avoided if I did.

I picked up the sandwich, raising it back toward my mouth for another delicious taste. The tomato in the back near my pinkies, gave way, causing a chain reaction that started with the meat shifting quickly down and ended with the mayonnaise soaked bread tearing in half, spilling the contents of one half on my lunch into the styrofoam container below. I was left holding the other tomato and a fistful of pickles and lettuce, staring down at a pile of meat in disbelief. I licked the pickle juice and mayonnaise from my fingers and thought to myself, 'My sandwich just exploded, wtf?' I began looking for a fork to finish my lunch, but alas I still had another half to enjoy. It would appear that while I was eating the first half, the second half was succumbing to the same soggy bread syndrome, because I only got one bite of this half before Boom!, it exploded like the first half. I resorted to stabbing the remnants of the inards of my sandwich with the little wooden arrows to finish my lunch. It was still rather tasty...

Lunch special

June 30th, 2006 at 08:55 am

We ate burgers last night for dinner that we did not have to pay for courtesy of my parents. This was great except that there is no leftovers for my lunch. I went to the cafeteria for the second time this week. Free dinner is worth $3.40 for lunch the following day. Anyway I just get the special when I go because it is cheaper. So today I get a roast beef club sandwich. One of the guys that I work with pays $4.45 for a chicken wrap and a small order of fries and then another $1.19 for a water (don't get me started). He noted that he paid $4.75 for the club that I have today when he got one on Tuesday. You know what I had on Tuesday? A chicken wrap with medium fries and a drink for $3.95! Yes this is one of the guys that went to the BBQ joint on the day that our comopany had the free BBQ lunch.

Looking through my junk.

June 21st, 2006 at 09:56 am

My wife will be happy to know that if and when I ever get some of my miniatures painted, I have a good use for a lot of the junk that has been in several boxes since we moved. I have assorted electronics, tools, hardware, knick knacks, etc. that I can visualize as really nice props for the bases of the miniatures. The bigger warjacks Or Helljacks as the Cryx (undead) call them, are supposed to be 15 feet tall.

So I think a few old discharged capacitors would look like vats or storage tanks compared to them. I can put some cheap paint on them a little thick and let it glob and run to look like vats of evil necrotic goo or something. I plan to use up a lot of the little pieces of junk, I have small wires that will be able to string the vats together or act as a sort of fence.

I am sure that my wife will be happy to see that junk, ummm, I mean stuff finally get used for something. I need to get some pictures of the Star Wars cards to get them up for sale on Ebay. I need to buy a few paint brushes and if I can use ebay money that would be a bonus.

Converted friend...or not

June 20th, 2006 at 10:26 am

I mentioned my friend, the one who does not understand why I would wait to find the Bane Thralls at a good price on Ebay if I had the money to buy them now. So the other day I am talking to him, he asks how my quest for finding the 'best deal' is going. I explained that I did not expect to find great deals on all of the pieces that I want for the game so soon, and how I am now also interested in starter sets or even better partially painted sets for my Nephews for Christmas. That way they can play while we paint some of the pieces. One of my Nephews , oh ok both are lazy and instant gratification seekers.

They would be overwhlmed and lose interest quickly if they had to spend time painting before they could play. However I think they would both enjoy being able to come to my house and paint with me and we could play with the rest of their sets while the primer or paint dries. I will keep casually looking for some great starter sets that are at great prices for them. So my friend hears this and says 'you mean people auction of their painted minis?' The thought had never occured to him; he is after all one of those guys who never gets rid of anything. So at the end of the conversation he says maybe he will have to check Ebay and see what kind of models are out there for sale.

I, of course feel as if I have finally reached him. Here is a man, without a budget who spends what he wants when he wants and he has agreed that maybe I am onto something. He calls back in twenty minutes and tells me to get online. He sends me an instant message of a link to a painted unit of minis. The unit would cost $30 in a hobby shop, maybe $25 with shipping online and I have seen them go for $20-$22 on ebay new. He is happy to tell me that he is the current winning bidder at $90 and says he has been meaning to get a set of these guys for his alternate army configuration, but thought it would be too hard to paint them so he did not buy them. Now thanks to me, he has found that his laziness can be counteracted by simply overpaying for pre-painted miniatures! I am sorry that I mentioned Ebay to him, but I am sure the guy seling the models is not!!

Games night was a frugal blast

June 17th, 2006 at 07:56 pm

We had games night, more than one friend showed up, and one friend even brought one friend. My Brother showed up with his wife and four kids in the middle of the first game. We have a friend who is like our dealer, he has a lot of great games and brings them with him to supply our gaming addiction. He even brought over a few of his warmachine models and some supplies and I got to glue a few of my dudes together while we played!! Thanx a bunch, I had a lot of fun checking out your brushes and talking to you about painting strategies and such.

Anyway once the clan was there, we switched to a more party type of game, werewolves. Just write villager on a bunch of index cards, seer on one and werewolf on two. Everyone chooses a card, then the game director has them close their eyes. He asks only the werewolves to open their eyes and to choose their first victim. Then the wolves close their eyes and the seer opens his or hers. The seer chooses a person and the director nods if they are a werewolf or not if they are not.

The director, in this case by the way, our director did a great job of playing the part and making it fun and keeping everyone interested, then tells you who was found dead the next sunrise and the villagers pick one among them to destroy, assuming to be ridding the village of a werewolf. The seer can of course identify themselves as such and say I know this person is a wolf, but the remaining wolf will surely feast upon the seer the next night. This continues until both wolves are slain or the wolves equal the number of villagers.

We played through this several times with my wife being one of the greatest werewolves ever. The kids had a blast and I am sure that Josh, our director enjoyed himself quite well, too. Next we played a new game that I received for my birthday recently called fact or crap. Someone reads a statement from a question card and everyone put down a fact or crap card. If you answer correctly you take a token , if not, you lose one. The first person to answer plays for two tokens. The game was fun, I won...heh, and for snacks we had salsa left over from the tupperware party before the games, and a few sliced apples.

A great time was had without great expense. We usually make it through more than just two boardgames, but we spent a while playing wearwolves, and it was worth it. In fact my Brother brought a great old game called Stocks and Bonds with him that we did not even get to play. We found the game a long time ago in our parents games closet, and it appeared to have never been played. The stock certificates were perfectly flat and all. The game is copyright 1960 something and my Brother, his wife, her sisters, our friends, and I have played it countless times since discovering it. Maybe next month...

Taco Construction Set

June 13th, 2006 at 07:17 am

I love to eat tacos with my children. My cute little girl starts eating hers right in the middle, so I broke it in half and told her to eat each half from the end that is not dripping. My son complains and will not touch his until he visually confirms that you have put hot sauce and barbeque sauce on his. He eats his then splits one with his sister. These are soft tacos made on eight inch tortillas and filled with beef, tomatos, and cheese. He then split another with me and took the last bite of hers as well.

So today at work I have *dun dun duuuuuuun* TACO CONSTRUCTION SET. I have a container of meat, one with cheese, and another with sauce. I also procurred not one but two shells for my taco constructing pleasure. It is the little things in life that really matter.

More friends with no financial priorities.

June 12th, 2006 at 07:02 am

Ok, so I have mentioned that I have gotten into a new hobby. I am buying and soon hope to be painting Warmachine models. I plan to actually play the game, not just collect and paint, but painting is a long and hopefully fun part of the hobby. My wife disagrees in fact, she says that all that it is going to do is aggitate me. 'You are going to make a mistake, and then scream and swear' What the $%&@@! is she thinking?

So I am talking to my friend, the man who has been trying to get me to play this game with him for over a year now. He has spent a lot of money on the little pewter dudes, paints, and materials. His work looks good and he enjoys it, but the point of tying him into this rant is that he is just throwing his money at his hobby. We were talking about a particular unit of undead goodness called the Bane Thralls.

They come either 2 in a 'blister' pack or six in a boxed set. I received a blister of them for my birthday from a friend who happened to have them in his comic book shop and wanted to clear the space as he only had 2 Warmachine items in stock. My friend has the box set and is in the process of painting them now. Like any smart game maker, Privateer Press, the maker of Warmachine, has a system where you can play the 6 member unit or you can add troppers up to a total of 10. Obviously they want to make money. In theory you can not play the unit without the leader, which only comes in the box set, thereby increasing the cost of said box to slightly more than that of 3 blisters.

I was discussing how I was looking to pick up a boxed set on Ebay because they are $30 or so new, and I did not want to spend that much. We also discussed how he is using more expensive paints than I have, and his defense when I said I will stick to the standard paints as I can not justify the increased cost was that they are nearly the same price. The paints that he is buying are over $3 a bottle. The ones that I am using (I only need to buy 3 or 4 colors to paint 2 different schemed armies because I was given an ample set of them for my birthday- thanx!) are $2.75 per. I have say 16 colors and need a different blue, a brighter red and some metals like gold and steel. He has about 30 bottles or more and said he had all the colors that I would need to paint one of my two factions.

The conversation drifted to the rules of the game and setting up a time to play, and then moved to our next games night. Games night leads to poker night and I, feeling proud, advised him that I had won $50 the night before in less than an hour of incredible luck on an online site. His response was what spurred the recent rash of financial priority posts. He said 'there is your box of Bane Thralls, right there.' He expressed a sense that I was silly for waiting until I could get them at a good price when I just said that I had the money to pay retail for them already. I am pretty much flat out refusing to pay anything more than half price for the miniatures simply based on principle.

People have a very hard time with this concept. I have enough of the minis to spend a lot of time painting them, seeing as how I will be painting in short shift at night after the children are asleep. I have enough to be able to field a small army from two different factions once I assemble a few of the guys I got in a starter set from ebay ($18 including shipping, retail price on the box is $39.99) meaning I can play with someone who does not own a set. My Nephews already want to come over and check the game out, and of course my four year old wants to play, help build/paint, learn the rules. It is not like ok I have a lot of guys but if I don't have this one model I can not play, so why would I pay full price if I can wait patiently for a good deal, or my next birthday to get more?

Kids say the cutest things.

June 11th, 2006 at 05:53 pm

This afternoon, while my wife was nursing the youngest, I got to spend some quality time on the floor playing with the elder of my children. After the little guy was done drinking, they too came out to join us. My wife was on the couch reading and I was on the floor still. My oldest son, who is four years old, sems to really like the song from Church where the Pastor says 'in peace, in peace let us pray to the' and then the congregation joins in singing 'Lord have mercy, Christ have Mercy, Lord have Mer-er-cy.'

He even adds that extra mer-er-part and all! I think he likes it because I always sing it really deep. Anyway he is singing 'Lord of Mercy, Lord of mercy...' (have mercy, of mercy...he's four!) Then he looks at me and with a straight face he says 'that is the song the ice cream trucks in Israel play.' Naturally I am cracking up, so he starts laughing, but he was serious when he said it. One of the Pastors recently toured Israel so he heard him as well as my wife and I talking briefly about it, but other than that I don't think he knows much about Israel.

Failed, sort of

June 9th, 2006 at 12:07 pm

I had to buy a drink from a vending machine yesterday at the pool. My wife brought a wonderful homemade lemonade drink that for reasons unknown had fermented and was so strong that it would spit the seeds at you if you tried to take a sip. Rather than dehydrate, I decided to give in and make a vending machine purchase. The water from the fountains does not meet my requirements of water quality, so I am not drinking it. But I technically have not failed my goal for the month.

I gave the money to my wife, so she failed!! Of course she did not have a no vending machine goal to fail, but I will try to keep her in check for the rest of the month.

So far so good for June

June 6th, 2006 at 12:27 pm

I realize that it is only the 6th 6-6-6 but I have not bought anything from a vending machine yet this month. I was surely tempted today, as I was hungry and they had a chocholate covered payday bar in the machine. I am on my way to the grocery stores today and hope to stay under budget. I have also been doing a lot of swimming this month already which keeps me in shape. It is free to go to the pool, but the extra showers to get the chlorine off the kids and out of our hair, is not.

Today 6/6/6 reminds me...

June 6th, 2006 at 10:52 am

Have all of the Hollywood writer's run out of ideas?

Today, with its catchy date of 6/6/6 marks the release of the remake of the Omen. I assume this one was done solely for the use of the date, however the rest of the remakes made in the last few years do not have that excuse. Don't get me wrong, there are movies out there just dying to be remade with the new technology that we have today.

Logan's Run would be a spectacular movie with the CGI animation available. Krull, The Never Ending Story, The Dark Crystal, Legend, lots of movies like that which when you see them today are obviously not quite up to par visually, but where top of the line back in the day. These movies could be great with some enhancements, better special effects, killer new soundtracks, but what movies do they remake?

The Longest Yard, while I have to admit that the original sure was funny and had some classic movie moments and lines, benefitted how from the new technology available? Posiedon, again the original was a great movie, but I saw a lot of the water sequences already when I saw Titanic...which was 3 hours I will never get back in itself. Ocean's Eleven, couldn't they have had those same stars copy the heist from the Original? George Clooney could have been Danny Ocean Junior or something. I do have to admit that I like the remakes for one reason. When my Nephews talk about some movie that just came out, I can talk to them about it as if I saw it too, because I did, fifteen or twenty years ago!

Then there are the movies that are not remakes but whose titles are misleading. My wife would be the first to say I,Robot. Great Movie, Will Smith was great, the animation rocked, the story was good, but was way too loosely based on Asimov's great work to share its name. I could have been called NS5 and I would have loved it, and not have had to hear my wife complain about the poor use of the title.
Godzilla, in which Matthew Broderick did a superb job of acting, would have been better off with a different title. All of the criticism the movie received were by fans of the old Tokyo destruction, monster movies complaining about the changes they made. If you want to take libeties in making these slight differences, use a different title. Can't anyone write something original anymore?

Pizza problem

June 6th, 2006 at 08:07 am

So we decided to order a pizza at the pool yesterday. My Mother had sent some money for just such a day. THe sun was shinning, but the breeze was chilly. The water felt warm because of this but it was cold when you got out. Birds were softly chirping in the treeline off in the distance. A group of children were giggling while playing on the playground equipment behind me, and clouds, shaped like Goofy and Pluto were in the sky...right next to the Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck clouds. (got you!) I took out my phone, and noticed that the battery was dead.

One of the kids behind me screamed loudly and chased away a few of the birds, but I did not falter. I used the lifegaurd's phone and called the pizza place and the man asks for the address. I tell him it is not an address but the pool and clubhouse and give him the name of the street. The street is three blocks long and at the end of it, the pool is on the right. The man says but you do not know the address. I repeat the name of the street and tell him the pool is at the end of the road.

'But you do not know the street?' He asks in his best I do not understand English voice.

'umm yeah,' and I repeat the name of the street for the third time. I can tell by his reaction that he still does not understand. I start over and tell him the name of the subdivision, then the street and finally the pool is at the end of the street.

'Hold on let me let you talk to the driver.' Mickey Mouse is laughing a little and the birds that left were replaced by different birds, with irritating calls that do not sing cute little jingles.

The driver gets on and says, 'yeah what's the address?'

I explain to him the same as I did to the first guy and he asks, you guess it, 'You don't know the street address?'

Donald duck points at me and chuckles. I repeat again the directions and this time the driver gets it. He says it will be 40 minutes. I am a bit hungry but I will live that long. The kids for some reason want to get into the freezing cold pool, so I join them.

I joined them in the pool up until I was standing knee high and the wind blew strongly, sending chills over my entire body. The lifeguards were throwing a ball across the pool, because no one was in it. This is one week removed from tempratures in the 90s for a few consecutive days. My eldest played with a basketball with the lifeguards and thought it was funny to make them fish it out of the pool.

My daughter dipped her feet in the water and poured with her measure up cups. They had fun for a while and then my wife started. Oh she started and I think Mickey and Donald were egging her on.

'How long ago did you call for the pizza?' 'When is the pizza coming?' 'I sure am hungry!'

I think at one point the Mickey cloud rubbed his belly and put his hands to his mouth the way they would have indicated hunger in an old silent film. He crawled on his hands and knees and Donald mouthed the words, 'no pizza for you!'

I sat back down under the umbrella and since the kids were obviously hungry we got them a small snack and let them drink a little of the juice that we brought. The children playing behind me started chasing each other, causing the youngest of them to yell, no shreik wildly. There is a nerve in most adults that is sensative to this high pitched sound. It causes our necks to crouch down like a turtle's trying to get into our shell, our fingers and our teeth to clench, and our eyes to wince.

The birds started chirping one of the annoyingly catchy tunes from one of those annoying kids shows, that I will nt be able to get out of my head for weeks, and the kids, well, the kids who were not shreiking were singing along. I looked to the sky, where the Mickey and Donald clouds had completely obscurred the sun, and they were dancing to the song. Just as the shreiking, singing and dancing were reaching their climax, the pizza man got out of his car.

'That better be our pizza!!' my wife yelled stopping the man in his tracks. I paid for the pies, took them to the table, smiled and the still screaming kids, nodded and the chirping birds, and held up a piece of pepperoni and sausage pizza as if saluting Mickey and his fine feathered friend. The sun came back out. The kids crammed into their SUV. The birds left and the clouds, even the ones shaped like Goofy and Pluto disapated. I ate my pizza, smiled at my victory, then froze my ass off in that ice cold water for fifteen minutes before the lifeguards announced that it was time to go.

Secondary goal achieved

June 5th, 2006 at 08:06 am

A secondary goal of mine has been to set up an automatic withdrawal from checking account to ING Account, and we finally got around to getting that started. Every month we will be saving, even if it is not much. You feel like you accomplished something great when you finally get around to doing somethign that have have been wanting to do for a while.

1 friend at a time

June 2nd, 2006 at 07:08 pm

It appears as if when we invite guests over say twice a month, once for poker and once for board games, only 1 friend at a time shows up. I am not sure if they call each other or draw straws to see who is going to show, but most times something comes up. A few rare instances have occured where a friend or two and my Brother come over, but not very often. Tonight one guy's wife broke her foot, another couple went to the drive in, one guy has been sick most of the week, and no word on my Brother or the other guy.

Commercial problems

June 2nd, 2006 at 07:03 am

Have you seen the commercial where the lady goes shopping then hides all of her purchases in the under the floor compartments. It is supposed to advertise how useful those compartments are, but it leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth. I know people who do things like this. It is called lying. From my Dad's friend who would buy new tools, and put them staight in his tool box so his wife would not know that he bought them, to the girl who buys new clothes and cuts off the tags before she gets home. She slips them into the wash or into the back of her closet, then pulls them out and lies, by saying things like I wonder if this dress fits me, or I think this is back in style now and puts it into the rotation.

I work with a guy who has a lot of music CDs, and he does it too, he buys new ones opens them outside the store and slips them in with the ones he swaps out in his car. He will have say 20 CDs in the car, then bring in 24 and swap them out, so that his girlfriend doesn't get mad at him for spending money on his music addiction, while they are struggling to pay off their student loans, and make their car payment each month. Several guys stop at a bar and pay higher prices for a few beers before they head home so that their wives or girlfriends do not know that they spent money on alcohol. A girl at work has recently discussed how she said she was taking the dog to the park for a walk and went to a pampered Chef party. She had her purchases shipped to her friend, so that they could smuggle them in while her husband was at work.

More than likely he would be at the bar preparing to smuggle in three draft beers while she brought in new cookie sheets and a cake decorator and mixed them in with her other baking equipment so that he will never know. Her evil plan was carried further by her receiving an order of Avon products and telling her husband that they were for the friends that helped her smuggle the baking items. She told her husband that she let her friend have the Avon delivered here and she will take it to her friend at work, so that her friend's Significant other would not know because he gets mad at how much she spends on beauty products. Once her husband told her that he thinks that is wrong for her friend to sneak the Avon in and left the room, she took out the lipstick, eye shadow, and perfume that she bought for herself and set the rest of the products on the table to take to work.

I have to wonder how strong are the relationships that these people ar in. If I wanted something that my wife felt was in excess or over the budget, I would try to compromise. Or I would go over the budget with her, maybe clearing funds for my purchase, but more than likely agreeing that the purchase would not be made until perhaps a later date when it is more financially feasible. The only things that I ever buy and sneak into the house are the clothes that I buy for her from the clearance rack, and store until the next Holiday or the next milestone that she hits to help her celebrate. For instance she recently got back into her prepregnancy size, so I gave her a skirt that I had purchased way back when she first got pregnant.

Another question that I have is how do these people have room to store all of this stuff. Our kitchen is just about packed, so if she got a few items I would think myself blind if all of the sudden the cabinets are fuller and I did not notice. I also, along with the kids, empty the dishwasher and would notice a new bowl or measuring cup in there. She does not know each and every tool that I have in the garage, but she would notice if all of the sudden, the tools do not all fit in the tool box, or I am getting rid of some screw drivers on a whim because I just do not need them all. That commercial reminds me of these people, and how the foundations of a relationship are represented, even through the media as not quite what they should be. I don't think any marriage will ever break up because he bought a CD or she bought a baster, however lying is the grounds for quite a few breakups and divorces.

Is it free?

June 2nd, 2006 at 06:27 am

That is my slogan a lot of times. One of my friends is telling me all about this great club sandwich that he got from the cafeteria. It had roast beef and bacon and turkey. It was *reaches hand over cubicle wall with index finger and thumb outstretched* this thick and eight inches long. Came with a pickle and fries. He went on still until I asked. Yeah John sounds great...but was it free.

This usually gets the answer well it was only...which I cut off with 'if it isn't free, or at least less than this can of tuna or peanut butter sandwich i have, I will have to pass.' I am sure they all think I am living in poverty thanks to these comments. And in some of their minds I am. I do not even have cable. Most of the guys I work with are like 'what do you do at night if you aren't watching TV?'

I talk to my wife, spend time with my kids, you know family stuff. I give some of them credit, their kids are older and TV time is family time. Some of them also do the family thing until their kids go to bed then they sit on couch and watch TV. And some nights my wife is tired and goes to bed early. On those nights I write or play online poker (I started with $20 and am up to over $700 plus I have a lot of free stuff as well.). I watch a few shows that I do not need cable for. I have cable modem, because my wife and I prioritized high speed internet above TV shows. Anything on ESPN I can get updates on ESPN.com.

I can not seem to get through to these guys that I have my priorities a little different. Even a great deal on a sandwich is not as frugal as my eating leftovers from last night's dinner. An $8 buffet, even if they serve salmon and filet mignon, is still $8, and out of my lunch budget. Of course these are the same guys that passed on free pork BBQ to go to a BBQ joint. One guy paid $375 for a video card and memory chip to upgrade his computer. Was all excited because they would cost $450 so he could not pass on the deal. He sold his other memory chip to another guy here for $20 because he did not have any more open slots. His old video card is twice as powerful as what I am running and when I asked what games or programs he was running that taxed his old card, he responded with how well that card ran. He had no troubles at all. So why did he buy a new one??

Sure my card is 2 years old and was the low end when I bought it. But nothing that I run pushes beyond its limits. I actually have 2 more open memory slots in my computer, but again microsoft Word is only writing as fast I can can type, so adding memory will not make my stories write themselves. My computers are connected to a switch box so I can share one keyboard and monitor. I have had several offers for 17 inch monitors for $50 or $75. That is a great deal on a monitor, but then I'd have to put it somewhere. My wife and I could play games together again if we could both be on the PC at the same time, but we don't. I may never understand why some people do not see things for what they really are.

Corporate Pyramid's are square

June 1st, 2006 at 12:33 pm

It seems to me that most companies in the World are having the same problem. Their structure, whic hused to be a pyramid, with lots of blue collar workers athe the bottom, a support staff above them, managers and second level managers, al lthe way up to the CEO. Now days companies have 47 senior vice presidents each with an assistant sometimes two, a team of project officers or sub managers and all together you end up with just as many managerial jobs as their are jobs at the bottom level.

Perhaps this is why the hard working people in the middle and lower teirs of the square feel the pressure. Al of those vice presidents drive company cars and get well paid, so the company has to claim they can not afford to give raises to the lower levels. Regional managers of the profitable areas are probably getting five digit bonuses, but the people that are actually working to make that region profitable, are getting passed over again for a raise this year. I worked at a retail store like that. The bonus for the department lead (my position) was put on hold. I could earn feasibly $1000 per quarter. The assistant store managers and Store maangercould realistically earn three times that amount, but their bonus was not frozen. If the departments are not profitable, the maangers get no bonus. If we are profitable, we get shafted, but the managers still get their bonuses?!? The regional managers earned substantially more of a bonus if a certain percentage of their stores met goals, the same goals that the department heads were not getting bonuses to attain. I was making a whopping $8 an hour. Store manager $1083 per Week, who needed that bonus more?? Who had more incentive to earn it? Who sat on conference calls and attended meetings while still earning their bonus because my peers and I were running the floor, selling merchandise, redoing the layouts of the merchandise, and smiling all day?

Trading Hobbies.

June 1st, 2006 at 11:54 am

I am sure you all know or are the type of person who gets into a hobby, spends a little or a lot of money, invests some time and then puts it away and finds a new hobby. Back when I was in college, the Star Wars Card Game came out. You could collect the cards and play a table top game. I got a few of my friends interested in the game bought the cards by the box and then the case and even sold some at the flea market. I held on to a decent sized collection of cards, packs a few unopened boxes and 1 whole case of the first series called the premiere limited edition starter decks.

Recently I have gained an interest in a miniature game called War Machine from Privateer Press.

That is the Reaper. The jack hammer looking thing in place of its left forearm, with the blade on it is called a Helldriver. Who doesn't want a model of a Reaper to use it's Helldriver on their enemies, I ask you. Anyway that Reaper is around $20 retail and I hope to find one on Ebay eventually a bit cheaper. This brings me to my point. I have, much to the enjoyment and surprise of my wife, decided to sell the star wars cards on ebay in order to finance my War Machine Army. So instead of taking up another expensive hobby, I will trade hobbies. I have quite a lot of the cards, and if I am lucky I can even make a profit seeing as how I have been a good boy and only buying the War Machine models that I am truly getting a great deal on. I even passed on my beloved Reaper because I am holding out for a great deal.

I am going to keep enough of the cards to make a few decks for each the light and dark sides of the force. This is partly because it is Star Wars, and partly because my Son wants to learn to play the game. He is also an avid Star Wars fan, making it easier for me to come to terms with his mother/my wife on keeping a few.

While she is happy about freeing the space from the Star Wars cards. She is not too happy that the models, unless won on Ebay already painted, come unassembled and unpainted. This means I need to have space where the kids can not get to them while I construct (only a few pieces), primer, and paint them. I will also need to buy some paints and supplies, but I will play with the models in their ever so bland pewterness until I get a good deal on some paint, too. The models are small and the box containing all of those cards well boxes, are quite large. I have a large moving box a medium sized box, and some assorted loose cards to sort. I have been pretty good with hobbies, as far as not getting into too many and not forgeting all about them after I start.

Spend less Goal for June

June 1st, 2006 at 11:40 am

My goal for June is to not buy anything from a vending machine. No soda, no chips. In May I bought one bottle of coke and four bags of chips. I have been drinking water and take homemade snacks. If I get hungry I will make a pack of ramen noodles that I have in my desk instead of buying chips. The chips are Herr's salt and pepper variety and they are very good. But they are not as cheap as the ramen noodles, so no more chips.

More energy saving light bulbs

June 1st, 2006 at 06:24 am

I bought another pack of 4 of those 13 watt flourescent bulbs at BJs with a $4 instant rebate, making them less than $1.50 each. I installed two of them in the ceiling fan in my room. I only had one out of 4 of the 60 watt bulbs working in that light before. THis gives me twice as much light for less than twice the power. I used a third to replace a 60 watt bulb in the hallway between the kids rooms and the secondary bathroom. My Son at only 4 years old knows that we should use this light instead of turning on the bathroom light which uses 2 (I loosened 2 of the four) of those mini sun bulbs at 60 watts each.

We would not expect guests to leave the door open while using the potty, so I loosened half the bulbs to save energy from our guests' bathroom usage as well.
My little genius tells me that the hallway light is only one bulbs and the bathroom light uses two, so if he uses the hall light instead taht leaves more money for milk. I am very proud of him and his understanding of money concepts. Using a 13 watt bulb increases the savings even more. I have one more bulb to decide where I want to use it. The lights in the kids rooms are rarely used as they are sleeping when it is dark and playing when the sun brightens their rooms for free. The living room already has flourescents, and the itchen has the long flourescent tubes,leaving me pretty much the seldom used light in the laundry room as my only option.

Pool Question

June 1st, 2006 at 06:12 am

I see this at the community pool every summer. Either a family or a mother with a child or two will show up. They will take off outclothes, put on sunscreen, find a nice place to site and then go in the water. If it is a family sometimes one parent will swim with the kids and the other will sit on a lounge chair in the sun with a book or magazine. The kids will splash and jump and float with a noodle or those arm floatie things, and they are having a great time.

Then less than half an hour after they walked through the gate, the parent or parents are ushering the children back to where they set their stuff, and will assist them in drying off, putting on their outer clothes and they will leave. I do not understand why they are going through that much trouble for so little time actually in the water. The families that then walk home, maybe I see it as a family walk with a short session in the pool as a bonus. THe families that then pack into their SUV and drive home, which since they live in the community is less then half a mile or so for even the furthest homes from the pool. Probably takes them longer to get the kids in their suits and gather the floatie toys and towel, pack them in the SUV and drive to the pool then they actually spend in the water.

If we have less than an hour of available time we go out in the yard and tell the kids we can play outside but we can not go to the pool because there is not enough time. I do not understand these people at all. I am not even going to get into the wasted gas driving to the pool, but I do not know what they are doing that means they have to leave the pool so soon. The same people do this two or three times a week in the summer. We will be at the pool on a Saturday for hours and I mean hours. We go after nap time, pack afternoon snack, supper, and bedtime snack too. We go home shower off the chlorine and the kids read and go straight to bed. We love when the pool opens because now we know that our children are getting plenty of exercise. In the winter they get cabin fever, so we want them to be out as much as possible the rest of the year.

Thank You to all Veterans

May 30th, 2006 at 11:35 am

I salute the veterans who serve/served their country. Thank you for your service!


May 29th, 2006 at 05:22 am

Well I am at work today, so I am not enjoying a long weekend like many others here in America, but I did enjoy my weekend. We had lots of sun, too much sun for my wife in fact ( THe Mickey Mouse and Donald duck shaped clouds were few and far between!), but the kids got to bike to the pool on both Saturday and Sunday, and all enjoyed it very much. The youngest tried to lean down out of your arms to get into the frigid water!! I tried to tell him that he can not swim and will drown, but he can not talk either so I do not think he cared about what I was saying, as long as I put him in the water. The oldest was soon back to near his comfort level of last year.

He still will not try swimming without a nodle yet, which he was able to do remarkably well as a three year old last year. Jumping into the water with said noodle, he is doing again, and he let me throw him up in the air with a float ring (tube) but not the noodle, probbly because the water was a little cold... I am sure I will be tossing him and his sister again in no time. As for that cold water, we had a lot of rain and even hail the night before the pool opened. All of that ice cooled down my pool, not fair!

Lost - What did the others do with Walt?

May 26th, 2006 at 10:58 am

I think that the others, knowing that Walt is a 'very special boy' had him draw pictures of cows, so that they could eat steak. Wink Do you think the others are from the Dharma Initiative, or not? When they were going to take Claire's baby, they definately had a lot of labcoats and the like, not to mention the equipment needed.

Do you think Desmond's girlfriend's Dad has anything to do with the Dharma Initiative? He has the money and she was certainly looking for a geomagnetic anomaly. Perhaps she knows of the project but he never told her where it is. Perhaps her Mother is one of the others, (mother-other, heh)and she is looking for her or she turned up missing years ago last known to have been at one of the stations on the Island. If Jack was going to meet a hearse at the airport to take his father straight to his burial and Sayid also was traveling with his friend's body, where are those bodies? Could the Island, yes the Island that cured Locke's wheelchair dependancy, also cure Jack's father, Sayid's friend, Boone, Shannon, Anna Lucia, Libby, Scott (or was it Steve Smile) and anyone else that did not survive of their death?

Beautiful weather

May 26th, 2006 at 10:04 am

I love it in the late spring and early summer, when it is not super hot yet, but also sunny and pretty. I can get the kids outside and let them run amok. This sure beats having them run amok in my house or having them be couch potatoes. My son is actulay fast enough now that if we run in a parking lot or on the sidewalk while he is holding my hand, I can not longer walk fast to stay side by side with him.

I have to actually break into a job to keep up now. My daughter is more likely to fall down if she tries to run fast, but that doesn't stop her. They both enjoy riding their bikes and my son is actually very good at it. He still has training wheels on but he is capable of riding even up the slight hills to get to the playground and the pool. My daughter is actually riding a tricycle, and she is sooo cute with her little helmet on saying, 'pedal, pedal, pedal' while I help her go. I would push her and say 'pedal, you have to pedal..pedal keep pedaling.' so now she says 'pedal pedal pedal.' herself. Smile Did I mention how cute she is?

I love summer!!


May 25th, 2006 at 10:38 am

Ok so I admit that I watch every new episode of lost. Unfortunately for some reason this season that meant I watched about 2 out 3 weeks and then skipped a few more weeks of reruns. Was it just me or did they add more commercials this season as well as less new episodes. All of that aside exactly what happened last night? Michael admits to killing Libby who gave her dead husband's boat to Desmond who crashed on the Island trying to impress his ex-girlfriend and then he forgot to push the button on time because he was killing the man who turned Sayid into a torturer, which in turn caused the plane to crash ultimately leading to Libby's death and most likely as we are to believe Desmond's as well, only to have some Russian guys in the antarctic call Desmond's ex girlfriend to tell her that they found it, and Hugo did not freak out and beat Michael down. He beat Sawyer's ass because Sawyer said he was crazy but did nothing to Michael for killing his crazy girlfriend.

Man that sounds cool when I say it all like that doesn't it. But to break it down, if Desmond destroyed the geomagnetic thingy hidden in the Island, will Rose's cancer come back? If it hurled the door with the word quarantine written on it that far away, how did Charlie survive? How come Jin always shrugs his shoulders just right if he isn't supposed to know what his wife is saying in English? If the Russian dudes at the end can detect the geomagnetic anomaly, don't you think the CIA, NASA or some other organization can as well? Were Anna Lucia and Libby killed off because the actresses were busted for drunk driving? When will Hurley lose a little weight from living on the Island in the sun with all the walking he does? I like how Claire seems to have fogotten all of Charlie's faults so quickly, like he tried to kill her baby and all, but now she is kissing him.

I liked that the big pile of notebooks that the Pearl station was supposed to be sending to HQ that was just building up in the jungle, pretty funny. I think Lock and Echo would have most likely checked out the other station better though. Shouldn't Desmond have told Lock that he already let the timer go to zero though considering they went through the whole ordeal of locking out echo to do something that has already been done... wierd. I understand that Desmond put the code in last time but the scary things that he saw and the way the ground shook, he could have told Lock.

Couldn't Sayid have done some tracing on the computer to find out what it did as far as if it sends data and where to. He surely could have been able to figure out how to get some data from those data tapes that are always turning in the background. At the very least Sayid could have rigged up the UV lights that would have illuminated the secret hidden map. If the Kurgan (Clancy Brown - the actor that played Desmond's partner in the hatch was the Kurgan from the movie the Highlander) knew where the other hatches were located to put them on the map, don't you think he would have checked them out at some point? And what is the deal with the statue with 4 toes?? And more importantly why were the washer and dryer newer than everything else in the hatch? Also why do they drop enough food to feed 40 survivers if there are only supposed to be 2 people in the hatch. The most important thing that they need is sunscreen, especially now without the cancer curing magnet.

Update- I think the washer and dryer are so new because the manufacturer paid the producers of the show to advertise their newest model. Smile

More Money than Brains

May 25th, 2006 at 09:47 am

My parents used that expresion a lot and I see where it comes in handy. There are many times when I see someone who fits the description but I have found the epitomy of the phrase today. Today was free BBQ lunch day at work. I got a BBQ sandwich...for free, exactly as it sounds. Now a few of the other guys on my team decided to forego the free lunch and go out to a restaurant. This in itself is a little silly but their choice in eating establishments leaves one wondering WTF...they went to a BBQ joint to get sandwiches!

I walked outside, the sun was shining the people whose paths I crossed were all smiling and the few clouds that I saw in the sky were, you guessed it shaped just like Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. Mickey was waving and Donald was dancing to the fiddle music that the caterer's fiddler was playing. I smiled broadly as I made myself a big fat pork BBQ sandwich and also added some baked beans and a bag of potato chips as well. Oh, I heard the birds chirping and they never changed their perfect little harmony that went with the fiddle music at all. No rain on my parade today, no ridiculing from Mickey and Donald, no this was my day for a change. Now those other guys, I am sure if they looked skyward as they ate their not so free lunches, they would have seen the evil Mickey cloud laughing his cumulous ass off while Donald showed them a finger and slapped his knee with his other hand. As far as I know it may even be raining on them as they try to get back here.

I did it!! I made it under budget!

May 24th, 2006 at 08:05 am

I was able to get everythng on my list at BJs, the grocery store, and get gas, without going over my budget. I would not be so happy about this but I have been over budget for the last five or six weeks in a row. I even bought the rose and a few small things that were not on the list. Now if I can keep it up for a few weeks, it would be great.

I did nothing wrong...I swear

May 24th, 2006 at 07:53 am

I am at the grocery store yesterday, and I bought my wife a very beautiful long-stemmed rose. Usually I get a bunch of carnations or a spray rose but this time the long-stemmed rose was a little cheaper and besides the carnations are still in the tupperware vase thing from last time. I put the rose in the cart, and continue shopping. This of course is done because I needed 1 onion not a BJs sized bag of onions, pasta is cheaper at the grocery stores than at BJs, as is some fruit and I could not find popcorn for my air popper at BJs.

I am at the checkout line, getting a lot of looks from the females around me, who were no doubt a little jealous, or at the least wishing that their significant others would get them a rose like that. I man walks up to me and says 'You must have messed up,too!' He had one of the pre-packaged bunches in his basket and was obviously kidding. The females got a chuckle out of this, and it turns out it was not a random man making the comment, but a co-worker of mine. I cannot speak for him, but I do not get flowers when I need forgiveness, well I might but I haven't used flowers as a substitute for an apology.

I buy flowers because I like the smile that I get when I hand them to my wife. It doesn't hurt that my kids are also very cute. My daughter sees the flowers and grins. 'Daddy bought flowers!' She yells, foiling any attempt I may have planned to surprise her Mom with the pretty plants. My Son, it trying to figure out what the flowers are for like most people. 'Why did you buy flowers at the store Daddy?' he inquires. I am not certain that he excepts my answer when I reply, 'I got beautiful flowers for my beautiful wife.' Flowers have special powers over females it seems.

There was a pair of high school girls with a video camera in the parking lot that approached me as I was returning to my car. They claimed to be doing a school project and wanted to ask me a few questions. I replied that I was already late for dinner as I had to stop for groceries and would be unable to give them my time. The girls were ok with that answer and I heard one say report to the others in the group that did not walk closer that 'the cute guy with the rose is in a hurry.' If I were not carrying the flower, she would most likely have said, 'that rude guy wouldn't stop!' Ahhhh, the power of the rose.

weekly trip to BJs

May 23rd, 2006 at 06:58 am

I am going on my weekly trip to BJs again today after work. The weekly trip occurs when we run out or are on the verge of running out of milk. I get 4 gallons of the yummy goodness, eggs, cheese, bread (bread is cheaper at Aldi's but I only go to aldi's once a month since I work in the other direction now), and fruit every week. The fruit is bananas and either apples or oranges, and frozen blueberries, for yogurt making.

Most weeks I get potatoes, again Aldi's has the potatoes cheaper, but the ones at BJs are much bigger and nicer and I get there more often. Peanut butter and beef if I get it marked down. I only buy beef if it is marked down because beef is much more expensive the last two years than it had been prior. This week I will get the ingredients required for our ice cream maker. The kids like to watch it go and we have much more control over what is in our ice cream, in addition to the savings.

I do much better at sticking to only things on the list or things that we will eventually need that have a coupon or instant rebate. I like to stock up on detergent and dish washing stuff when it is at a great price. I used to way overspend there because they always had something that I wanted to try on sale or a movie that I wanted to see. My problem is that I am given a budget goal and then a list of items to buy that add up to more than the budget!!

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