10/30/06 - The job so far

Well, it's now 1:35 in the afternoon and I haven't really done anything. I've read a majority of the 5.1 architecture overview and I've set up my computer's taskbar and other stuff the way I like. I have found out that I don't have access to gmail, aim, yahoo messenger, msn or pretty much any other forms of communication. Launchcast and Pandora are both also blocked, so that's a bit of a bummer. I'm going to have to continue to just use my downloaded mp3's to listen to music. I'm not sure when I'm going to be doing something else, so I'm going to go ahead and finish this update in case I'm supposed to be doing something that I haven't been told yet. On a side note, this keyboard is really nice, the keys are very soft.

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10/27/06 - Garage Sale

On Saturday, October 29th, my parents are hosting a garage sale at 6005 Buffalo River Road, North Little Rock AR 72116. If you have questions, you can drop me an email or call me at (five zero one) four one two - seven six three four. The amount of stuff and the range of items we have for sale will astound you. We've got books, toys, bikes, sports equipment, hats and pretty much everything in between. We've got a ton of clothes, board games and kitchenware. We've even got a weight bench with weight price to sell. Basically, my parents haven't gotten rid of anything in 26 years and now that us three sons are grown, we talked them into to selling our stuff. We'll be selling from 7:00 in the morning until 3:00 in the afternoon, or until the last person leaves.

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10/23/06 - The Hogs and the fair

Saturday was a great day. My wonderful Aunt Bev came across a pair of tickets for the Razorback game in Fayetteville and offered them to Cristi and I. Cristi had to work Friday night until 8:00 am on Saturday, and would not have been able to make it. Instead, Chris and I left at about 7:45 Saturday morning and went to the game. I've included a few of the pictures I took with my camera phone since my wife had the camera in her car. I've got to say, I really never would have guess that the Hogs would be sitting at 6-1 at the top of the SEC West and top 15 in the country.

Cristi and I had planned on going to the fair Saturday night, including catching the rodeo at Barton so as soon as Chris and I got back from the game, Cristi and I loaded up and headed to the Fairgrounds. When we got there, we could not believe what we found. First of all, the parking lot that we ALWAYS park in was full to capacity and there was about a 45 minute wait in traffic to get into any of the other lots. On top of that, it looked like it would have taken a good 30 minutes to get through the line for tickets to get into the fair. Needless to say, would have missed the rodeo. After finding out that the lot was full, we had no choice but to decide what to do next. We could either spend in excess of an hour waiting in lines to get into the fair only to wait in more lines to get food (which is the only reason we go to the fair, we both hate the rides and carnival games) and then to top it off, fight the shoulder to shoulder crowds of individuals that I typically don't feel comfortable and/or safe around (this includes gang bangers just as much as country rednecks). Instead, we decided to have dinner at Jason's Deli and hang out with my parents for a few hours. I think we might a good decision, although it looks like it will be another year until i can get my hands on some fried Oreos.

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10/16/06 - Another update so soon

That's right, I've got another update, only days since the last one. It's been a while since I've done this, I'm sitting in my La-Z-Boy watching Monday Night Football on my TV. It's really great, because while I'm watching the game I'm sitting here on the laptop, researching things for our vacation this summer. I'm also able to update my website, research sports tickets (which I'll go into more in a second) and pretty much do whatever I want on the computer.

So, the main reason for this update is for me to gripe big time about certain that I feel strongly about. I'm not sure what the word for it is, but I'm going to use "squatting". People do it with websites, for example: MNF.com, Cavaliers, KCCheifs.com, CD.com and ort.com just to name a few. These people have no use for these URLs except to prey on the uneducated who stumble upon them. For example, I would much rather have had ort.com instead what I have now. Let's be honest, it's easier to remember. The term squatting refers to how these people squat on these websites and just won't get rid of them until I'm sure someone comes along and offers a seven figure purchase price. (I attempted to contact ort.com to purchase the site, but they didn't reply like they were interested)

That's not the main reason for this update. My gripe is in regards to squatting on tickets to major sporting and concert events. As anyone who reads my website knows, Chris and I attend the annual Chiefs and Raiders game in Kansas City. Every year, we try to get tickets as soon as they are released, but they are purchased so fast, there's no way to do it unless you camp out in front of the stadium for days in advance and I bet people still don't get the tickets they want. Instead, we are left to go out to Ebay and try to get a tickets that way. Those tickets are still about 500% the original cost of the ticket, and if we went through other websites such as RazorGator or SoldOut.com we would pay as much as twice that.

The reason it gets to me so bad right now is because of my wife. Since July when she and I went over to Dan's birthday bash, she has been planning a trip for she and I to see the Mavericks play against Lebron James and the Cavaliers in Dallas. She called the week after tickets went on sale, and she couldn't get through. The next time she called, they were sold out...COMPLETELY SOLD OUT...for the game on March 1st. The ticket price is regular around $150 and the best price she could find anywhere (or I could find for that matter) was in the $450 neighborhood. Here's my problem with it. I checked the above mentioned sold out ticket websites as well as many others and there were hundreds of pairs of tickets up for sale. How did these websites get all these tickets? and what does the average person have to do to get a ticket to a good game? I'm sure it is because it's against the Cavs, but still, people should have the opportunity to enjoy the game for the same overpriced ticket cost as all other games. Sorry for the long update. If anyone has any information on reasonably priced tickets to the March 1st game Mavericks vs. Cavaliers, please send me an email.

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10/14/06 - A Celebration

My wife and I decided to have a date this evening. Although we are getting too old to have a typical dinner and movie date, we at least had dinner. Also, we wanted this to be sort of a celebration for my new job at Midland Loan Services. So, for our celebration, we decided to go to Capriccio GrillĀ® Italian Steakhouse located at The Peabody hotel in downtown Little Rock. I don't know what it is about our ability to have at least something go wrong anytime we go out, but this time did not disappoint. Cristi made reservations for 6:00 pm and we made it right on time. As we approached, we noticed that it wasn't very busy. In fact, there was only one other occupied table. Well, guess where we got seated?...right next to the table with the husband/wife and LOUD four year old. That's right, our nice evening out went from exciting to miserable. Luckily, I went ahead and ask our waitress if we could be reseated, and she gave us our choice of seating. She kind of put us on the spot and without really thinking I selected a table a good distance away from the child. The seat I selected just happened to be right next to the entrance and a very high traffic area. The good news is that for some reason, during our meal, the other family left and only 3 couples came in. Apparently, they were having a slow night.

The food was very good. I started with a tomato soup with sausage, onions and a bit of garlic (very tasty). Cristi had a salad of sorts that consisted of mozzarella cheese and red and yellow tomatoes. For our entrees, Cristi ordered a shrimp and pasta dish while I ordered the cannelloni. Both of our dinners were incredible and I have no complaints other than I wish the red pepper sauce on mine was not quite as bold. Also, I wish I would have realized what cannelloni was so I wasn't so surprised when my food arrived. (I was thinking ravioli the whole time, so you can imagine my surprise).

After our meal, we decided to order some dessert and requested to see a menu. Our waiter instead came out with a rack of 10 shot glasses filled with miscellaneous dessert items. We thought at first it was an interesting method of displaying the options without having full sized samples on display. What the waiter then told us was that these were in fact the actual desserts. Sure enough, the items he held were called Dessert Shooters and these large shot glasses were filled with layers of dessert including strawberry shortcake, cheesecake, chocolate mousse, tiramisu (which we got two of) and key lime pie (which Cristi also wanted to get).

It's been a while since I've updated my website (over a month I think), so it's a long update, deal with it. Back to the job. Without released too much information, I'm very excited about the future I might have with this company. I'll be under a 6 month contract at first sort of as a trial period after which I'll hopefully be asked to stay on permanently. The first thing that got me excited about the job is that Midland is a member of ThePNC Financial Services Group and therefore gets off for regular holidays as well as federal holidays (including Columbus day and presidents day among others). On top of that, I will get 80 hours of vacation time, 1 personal day and 8 sick days. The extra leave comes on top of a sizable pay raise as well as some other perks such as Midland offering a pension plan on top of an optional 401k plan. From my understanding, there are several team building exercises where the branch closes early and does something together such as seeing a movie or going to the park. Next Wednesday, they have offered to take me to Gaucho's for lunch as an opportunity to meet some of the other programmers and get familiar with my surroundings. They also require 40 hours of training a year, which they provide and they have a book club of sorts that reviews different programming books. Overall, I don't think I could ask for a better situation for myself and really look forward to what this new job will open up for me.

I think that's all I need to cover, because hopefully, I'll slowly introduce pieces of my new business coming up, which is tentatively going to be called "Raider Lawn care".

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