10/31/08 - NKOTB Part 2

This post is a follow up to the original post where I began reviewing New Kid's On The Block newest album, The Block. There will be one more following this to finish off the album. With that said, enjoy the review of the next 6 tracks.

Track 5 is called "2 in the morning" and has some very interesting lyrics. These are two of my favorites, "You know I like it when you've got your back to me, but not when you're mad at me" and "Gotta know if you're mad at me before Grey's Anatomy because we could drag this out all night." The main idea from what I can gather is that they are arguing a lot and the guy is basically fed up with it. It sounds like the guy tries everything to get stuff resolved but the girl just doesn't want to have anything to do with it.

Similar to Track 3, Track 6 is called "Grown Man" and features the Pussycat Dolls. The song basically sucks, but a portion of the chorus is worth putting here for your reading pleasure. "[PCD]Tell me what you want, [NKOTB]I'm gunna give you so grown man (8x)"....again....creepy.

Track 7....LOVE IT. It's called Dirty Dancing, before I go on, I want to specify that I like this song as well for the beat and music...not so much the words. The basic premise of the song is that dude is out in the club, getting his dance on and then decides to hook up with "shorty" even though his "baby" is in bed at home and she's been "blowing up his phone". I do enjoy the part in the song where he compliments the hoochy's "big ol' thighs", and explains that it's getting hotter than "The Block in the summertime". In all honesty, I wish I had the space to post all the lyrics of this song...they are classic.

Track 8 - Sexify My Love...what does that even mean? I've listened to the song several times and I still don't get it. Besides that the song sucks. Well, I decided to actually look up and read the lyrics and I now understand it. They want to "do it like a pro", "out in public", "on the hood of [his] car", and "try every position [they] can dream of". Alright, I still don't get the title, but still that is about as classy as it gets.

Track 9 is Twisted and it is about a chick who is pretty much crazy. Apparently she thinks that cuts and bruises hurt, but she likes that anyways and she also likes the screws and tattoos (what?). So then NKOTB claims that they want to help out and so they ask where it hurts so they can kiss it. They also offer their services in this most romantic exchange "You need me to come and twist for ya, I'll come and twist for ya, I'll even clean it for ya, I'll hurt ya if you like it and then I'll twist it for ya". What girl would not want something like that.

I was really looking forward to listening to Track 10 when I found out that it featured New Edition. What a huge let down. With the name Full Service, I assumed it would have some pretty sexual undertones which I expected from a New Edition song, but the analogies were really a stretch. He mentions filling up her tank because he's got the premium, but then talks about cleaning up after her if she spills her drink and claims he will bring the rain and thunder. I think they probably started out with a really good idea and then got bored and just put in a bunch of other stuff they thought people would enjoy.


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10/28/08 - Bad news from McDonald's

I decided I wanted to McDonald's for lunch this afternoon thinking I could get a really big meal for pretty cheap. I ordered my usual meal which includes a small fry and 2 double cheeseburgers (no mustard or ketchup, add Mac Sauce). The total came out to be $3.77 when it should have been $3 and some change (for tax).

I immediately asked the guy what was up because this is not the first time this has happened to me. When you order a breakfast value meal, they automatically "upsize" you to the soft drink price even if you specifically say, "I want the coffee". I've had to correct them three times now in the last couple months.

His response was something along the lines of, no that's right as if I had failed elementary algebra. Then he looked at it again after I insisted that something seemed incorrect at which point he remembered (I honestly believe he had forgotten) that they had raised prices a few days earlier.

So now, you can no longer get a double cheeseburger for $1. You can get a double HAMburger for $1 and then add cheese for $.30. There were several other items he said they raised the price on, but I don't care about any of the others. I was just sad they raised the prices. I guess I will be fine with not having cheese on my modified Big Mac.

The story does end well though because after I got my food, on the way to sitting down at a table, I noticed a fairly small sign, about half the size of a sheet of notebook paper that said "All day Tuesday, Free Small Iced Mocha". Since it was Tuesday, I was interested to know if they had just forgotten to take down the sign from weeks previous, or if they were really going to honor the freebie.

The problem was that I knew I didn't like the coffee drinks. I'm cheap though, so if it's free, more than likely I will get it. Sure enough, after I ate, I went to the counter and asked if it was in fact Tuesday. The guy looked at my like I was an idiot and basically said that he wasn't really sure (personally, I thought that was pretty funny). At that point, I just came out and said that I wanted the free iced mocha on the sign at which point he had to call over a manager and ask her what they were giving away for free. Eventually, it was all worked out and sure enough, I walked out of there with a free small iced mocha. I drank the whole thing, and realized that for a free coffee drink, it wasn't too bad. In fact, if I had only eaten the reddi-whip from off the top of the drink, I would have been happy.

That's my story, they charged me an extra $.60 that I wasn't expecting, but I got a free coffee drink that I wasn't expecting. Unfortunately, I can eat other places and get just as much food for cheaper (see: Wendy's dollar menu) so it might be a while before I go back to McDonald's.


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- Everyone laugh at DJ

This is something that I should probably keep to myself as I could get made fun of quite a bit for even stating what I'm about to, but here it is. I really enjoy the most recent New Kids on the Block album.

I feel better already, I think I can go through with a detailed review. First of all, it is called The Block. I'm not sure where their true purpose is with that name, but it comes across as them trying to be "hard" which is something that NKOTB will never be able to pull off, especially since they couldn't do it 20 years ago when they were all still considered "hip" as the kids were saying back then.

I had originally planned to only hit on a few of the tracks of this album, but as I started going through each song (all 17 of them), I realized that they each deserve their own entry. The problem with this is that it makes for a very long post. I am going to split it up into 3 different posts, and hopefully everyone enjoys them, because they are going up anyways.

A friend of mine when she first told me about the most recent single released to the radio (Single w/ Ne-Yo) summed it up with one word when it comes to most of these songs: Creepy. These guys are just about 40 years old, yet they are singing to an audience who probably weren't even born when they first hit it big back in the day. This one word summary is a little misleading because it doesn't change the fact that I really enjoy the music of most of the songs.

Track 1 on the album is called "Click Click Click" and is my second favorite song. This is also one of two songs that refer to taking pictures and/or video of different activities that might be going on. This one is much more "romantic" however as they are referring to more of a mental image of what is going on. In all honesty, it isn't so much the content of this song as the actual music that I enjoy. They could simple sing "blah, blah, blah" and it would still be as enjoyable for me.

Track 2 is the one I mentioned earlier which is actually on Ne-Yo's album (Year of the Gentleman) without NKOTB. I really liked the song the first few times I heard it, but it isn't one of my favorites. Considering that I think most of the guys in the group are married and with kids, this is the first of many that seem a little out of place. The song could be summed up in a 15 second track by simply saying "Hey, if you don't have anybody with you tonight, I'll hang out with you for a little while, at least until the song that is playing ends." As far as pick-up lines go, I would have to say this song takes the cake.

Track 3 talks about how they are all grown up. The song features Lady Gaga, whoever that is, and during the course of the song they go back and forth talking about how grown up they are. "With a body like that you've got a grown man ready to blow." Yes, that is actually one of the lines they use...creepy.

Track 4 is Summertime which is currently my ring tone. It is my favorite song on the album and actually reminds me of LFO's "Girls of Summer" in which LFO uses the line "New Kids on the Block had a bunch of hits, chinese food makes me sick"...if that is not lyrical genius, I don't know what is. Anyways, this song is basically just a feel good summer song about finding love and then losing it when the two parties have to move away at the end of summer, leaving the boy distraught and looking forward to next year.


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10/27/08 - Come on Subway...Really?

So after churchon Sunday, I was craving Subway really bad. What I was really looking forward to was a Pizza Sub, but going in, I knew I was going to have problems because it is not on the $5 sub list, and I don't want to spend more than I have to.

A 6" Pizza Sub costs $3.69. To make it a foot long, you add $2.50 for a total cost of $6.19. This of course is $1.19 more than the list of $5 subs which includes Meatball Marinara and the new Chicken Pizziola. I had come up with several thoughts on how to get my Pizza Sub, so here is what happened.

1) I asked if the Pizza Sub was on the $5 menu in hopes that it had made it on since the last time I made it to Subway....no deal.
2) I asked if I could order a Meatball Marinara and just replace the meatballs with pepperoni (the meatballs vs. pepperoni being the ONLY difference between the two subs). They said that that would constitute some sort of replacement fee....no deal.
3) She said I could get a Chicken Pizziola, so I asked if I could get the Chicken Pizziola and just leave off the chicken, since the only difference between the two is that the new sub is a Pizza Sub plus chicken. She said that she could not do that....no deal.

Now, let me get this straight, I can almost understand the replacement thing, but you can't tell me that one of those meats they offer is so much more expensive than another that they have to charge to cover costs. But the last scenario is RIDICULOUS. I was going to have to pay an EXTRA $1.19 to get less food. I was willing to pay the price for the Chicken Pizziola and only get a half of the total meat, which if you double your meat is an additional couple dollars.

I am positive that at least one of the guys that works for Subway corporate offices took a math class in college. At the very least, they took Intro to Algebra or something. And yet, they have rules in place that prevented me from saving them money. It might be one of the stupidest things I've ever encountered.

I will say this, the Chicken Pizziola is one of the best sandwiches I've ever had, and unfortunately, it is only on the $5 menu for a limited time which means that this was probably the one and only time I'll ever order it. But come on Subway...let's put the 2nd cheapest sub you can order (2nd only to the veggie sub) on the $5 menu...it just makes sense.


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10/26/08 - ALS Basketball

I am not going to verify that this will stay updated, because I am not kept updated with changes in the schedule. As I find things out though, I will do what I can. The calendar is publicly available on Google Calendar, so if you use that, you can add it by doing a search for ALS Basketball (at least that should bring it up). Or, you could skip that step and simply click the +Google Calendar link at the bottom right of the calendar below.


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- Makenna is a Raiders Fan

Unfortunately, Makenna was born into an era where the Raiders are pretty much the laughingstock of the NFL. Razorback football isn't looking all that great either, but that is another post. As most everyone knows, I have been a Raiders fan since birth, thanks to my father who has been a Raiders fan since way back in the day. For an early Christmas present, Cristi's mom got Makenna a couple of Raiders outfits. We got them early because by Christmas, the Raiders will be done and we couldn't wear them on game days.

With that introduction, I have included several pictures with the most adorable Raiders fan you will ever see.

We were trying to hold up the #1 finger, but it didn't quite work...apparently she knew better.

I don't know what could be any cuter than this.

The picture on the left you see is how she feels when the Raiders win, and of course on the right is what she has been doing mostly this year.

I couldn't leave out her love for the Razorbacks. The picture on the right cracks me up. It looks like she is trying to pose and do her model thing.

This is when Cristi found out that she had outgrown her bouncy seat. She is supposed to be laying down, but she refused to and decided she wanted to situp even though that put the toys all up in her grill. She just looks like a doll sitting on the couch, and oh my goodness, if she were any cuter sitting on the beach, I think it would be a crime.


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10/25/08 - Jumperoo Review

It's been a while since I've done a product review, and the most recent purchase that has been worth every penny is the Fisher-Price Rainforest Jumperoo.

At first, I was a little leery about getting this simply because she didn't seem to jump too much in her Exersaucer. I knew that my parent's had an old style jumperoo that you hung from the doorway, and so I thought it would be a good idea to borrow that and see if Makenna enjoyed jumping around. Well, before we had a chance to do that, we made it over to Baby Depot to look at high chairs so we decided to let her try out the jumperoos that were there.

SHE LOVED IT!!! Since her feet were just a bit off the ground, she couldn't jump on her own so I leaned over and bounced it for her and she thought it was the funniest thing in the world. Needless to say, I decided immediately that we would go ahead and get it.

Over the next couple days we priced it at several different stores and finally decided that it was cheapest to get it online from Amazon.com. A few days later we got it, I put it together and you can see in the video below the results. A few weeks ago she sat in that thing for 30 minutes straight taking about a 30 second break every five minutes or so. How she had that much energy is beyond me.

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10/24/08 - Airlines again, I spent some money, and new blogs

Real quick, I have another gripe about airlines. My wife on the return trip had to check her bags at the curb for reason I won't get into (they were valid, no gripes there). Well, it costs $3 a bag to check curbside which is confusing because to me that is not really a "premium" service they provide. On top of that, although she flew the same airline, it cost an extra $10 to check her bags (not counting the 6 for using curbside.) Her first bag was free vs the $15 and her second bag was $50 vs the $25 for the first flight. All told, for her to take the stuff with her, it was a total of $96. Considering her plane ticket was I believe was less than $300, that just doesn't add up.

Last night, my wife and I bought a new laptop. I'm not going to go into details, because I don't have the time to look up all the specifics. I have been wanting a new laptop for quite some time, and Cristi has mentioned several times how nice it would be, so as part of my birthday and her birthday (in a couple of days), as well as just because, we went ahead and got one. Since we've been doing the envelope system suggested by Dave Ramsey, our Extra envelope has grown quite a bit. With that envelope, a few gift cards left over still from last Christmas, and some of Cristi's Birthday money, we basically got the laptop for free. Which makes it even better.

Also, I wanted to mention two new blogs that have recently started up. The first, which I have been meaning to mention for a while now is Nash's Mom blog. Nash is the son of a very good friend of mine, and therefore, Nash's mom is as well. Since Makenna and Nash are about 2 months apart in age, I'm pretty sure they will grow up to be pretty good friends. The other blog is the one that my wife just started. Her blog will be basically her every day experiences with Makenna. She has already put up more pictures than I have so she might be a better resource for Makenna pictures than mine. I will have links to both of their websites in the side bar to the right.

On an unrelated note altogether, I just realized that Google removed their referral program so no longer do I make money (or am capable of) referring others to the Google Pack which had quite a bit of good software in it, or Firefox which made me around $15 over the course of the last 2 years. I'm going to miss that revenue, but I guess I will make do.


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10/20/08 - McCafe :(

I was pretty excited when I found out that the McDonald's down the road from my house (the same McD's that I worked at), was going to become a McCafe. Basically, it just means that they would renovate the insides, making it look "coffee shop fancy" and then starting selling premium coffee products. I have been known to enjoy a Starbucks or two; although not in quite some time, so I thought that discounted similar products would be nice. Plus, I am addicted to the McGriddles.

About a week ago, we got some coupons for a free McCafe coffee, free sandwich with purchase of coffee and a few others. I will say this, I should have known I was going to be unhappy with the results, because the last three times I've ordered a sandwich and coffee, the coffee has tasted like it has been sitting out for 3 days. It has the most bitter flavor of any coffee I've ever had.

The first try I ordered an iced Mocha. Now, when I was working there, they offered iced coffees, with flavoring, they just didn't have chocolate you could add. Why this did not ring a bell to me, I'm not sure because the resulting Iced Mocha was just as bad as the previous Iced Vanilla Coffee I had. This morning, I went back to get a McGriddle free of charge with purchase of a coffee so I went with the Hot version of the Mocha and was amazed to find out that it was just as bad as the iced version...only hot. To top it off, for some reason, it has left a film over my teeth and I can't get the taste out of my mouth.

Needless to say, I won't be having too many more of the coffee drinks from McDonald's, and that makes me sad.



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10/15/08 - Weight gain here we come

As I believe i mentioned previously, we had some lab work done on Makenna to make sure there was nothing else wrong with her, other than having her dad's metabolism. All the initial tests came back looking good, but yesterday they got the results back from the urine culture they took and found a bacteria. This is not a big deal at all, she just has a UTI (urinary tract infection) which according to one of the doctor's Cristi works with is very common in failure to thrive babies (which makenna was "diagnosed" as since she does have a high metabolism). It is pretty much a sure thing that once we get this bacteria taken care of we'll be able to see weight gain again. This should keep Dr. Choate happy, as well as take some stress off Cristi. As for me, as long as Makenna is happy, dad's happy.


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10/14/08 - Airlines and airports

Cristi and Makenna flew out of Little Rock Airport yesterday morning to spend the week with Cristi's mom in Florida. I was reminded why I hate the entire airline industry during the entire process.

First, ticket purchases. Granted, her mom was wonderful enough to buy the plane ticket for us, but in general, I have a problem with the business model. Why are they non-refundable, transferrable all that jazz? When you buy a ticket to watch the Razorbacks, they don't care who eventually sits in that seat, if anyone sits there at all. Airlines, though, insist that if you buy the ticket, you are the only person that can sit there. They get there money no matter what, what should they care? Don't tell me it is for security, because the security checkpoint verifies that the person going through is not a terrorist (more on this later) regardless of the name on the plane ticket. Here is where it gets worse. It is my understanding that EVERY plane is intentionally overbooked with the assumption that a couple people will either forget their flight, or just miss it for one reason or another. This happened to Cristi on her second flight yesterday (where she was actually bumped to first class, a nice little perk, but still doesn't make up for everything else). So, the airlines overbook on purpose, and then force people to either pay another fee to cancel/transfer, and then it's possible you might get bumped from a flight because they sold too many tickets (this happened on three of the four flights I was on during the New York trip.)

Second issue. The airlines have a 50 pound limit on luggage. That's fine, I can kind of understand that for safety reasons for people loading the luggage and as my wife mentioned, possibly due to flight weight and fuel usage (but don't tell me a bag 5 pounds over is going to cost the $50 fee for an oversized bag). So before we left, I weighed each of her bags and made sure they were underweight. To reach this weight however, I had to remove some of her toiletries and without thinking about it, put it in her carry on because she had some extra room in there. When we checked in, the attendant walked over and picked up each bag seperately and then told us to take them to the scan place. You are going to tell me that this lady who might have weighted 120 pounds can tell the difference between a 45 pound bag (which is about what her's weighed) and a 55 pound overweight bag? That upset me that I went to so much trouble to fit into the airlines policy, and then they don't enforce it.

Third issue. She checked two bags, that cost us forty friggin dollars. For smaller bags, it would be cheaper to ship the things overnight then check them with the airline. Not to mention, you have a better chance of not having your luggage lost, broken, scuffed or broken by shipping it. I don't know who thought it was a good idea to add the luggage fee, but regardless of the fact the airlines are making money hand over fist, it upsets me greatly because there are no other options. Overnight or weekend trips for a guy can fit in a carry on (with one exception, more on this later) but most females require more than will fit in a carry on and therefore it is almost required they check one bag.

Fourth issue. Clear is a new "feature" airports offer to bypass the security lines. You can pay a yearly fee (I think it's like $50 a year or something), and this allows you to scan your little credit card looking thing, a fingerprint or something and you can go straight to the metal detectors and skip the whole checkpoint line. This means that because of the terrorist fear (again, more on this later), this company, regardless of who they are owned by (airline, airport...whatever) are making money on the sensationalized fear that main stream media has plugged into the average American.

Fifth issue. After Cristi got through the first checkpoint, I went ahead and left since there was nothing more that I could do. When I got to the truck, I checked my parking ticket and realized that I was at 59 mintues so instead of sitting in my car and waiting for cristi to call and let me know she got to the gate, I went to the parking attendant and paid. It cost $2 for one hour of parking. I understand why they do it, obviously to make money, but I feel that that is a bit excessive and somewhat taking advantage of people. Most people who are flying are businessmen and they have to park their cars overnight and stuff like that, but there is also a percentage of people who are dropping off or picking up a loved one. If you want to escort them to the gate, or pick them up at the gate (or at least to the security checkpoint since no one is allowed near the gates because that could cause the country to be blown up) you have to park and pay. I feel the airport is taking advantage of this. I don't like it.

Sixth issue. As I mentioned, I went ahead and left once Cristi got past the first (of several) security checkpoints. I had just gotten on the interstate when she calls and asks if I am still there. I say no and she says, oh...then nevermind. I asked what was going on and she reminded me that I had put...GASP...liquids in her carryon when I moved over the toiletry items. They were, among others, baby bug spray, baby sunscreen, baby lotion and baby shampoo. The bug spray and sun screen were in a 8oz container, no way can this be allowed on an airplane. The other two were in 4oz. bottles...HEAVENS NO...not 4oz. Anything larger than 3.5oz is considered suspect and must be confiscated. I do not blame the people making the decisions that local airports, I do blame the rules in general and the people making these rules. What is frustrating is simply the fact that it will cost us probably $15-$20 to repurchase the items that they took...a small price to pay for the knowledge of knowing the plane won't blow up, but I don't see it that way.

Here's why. The reason, from my understanding, that liquids aren't allowed is because a while back there was a suspected terrorist that had a gatorade bottle filled with a liquid that might have been explosive. I don't think anything was every proven that it was in fact going to be used as a bomb. Right after that, you were not allowed to have ANY liquids in carry-on. They then changed that to be only liquids that fit in a 3.5oz container or smaller and they all must fit in a quart size bag. Give me a break. I don't have any desire to carry explosive materials on a plane, but even I can figure out that those rules means that I can basically carry a quart of any liquid on a plane, as long as they are in seperate small bottles. I can also figure out that if I have 10 friends fly with me, I can get 10 quarts of any liquid on the plane. The rule sucks, there are too many ways around it, and besides that, your bags are "randomly" tested for explosives and if you looked suspect or your luggage looked suspect, you would "randomly" be tested. They need to remove the liquid ban now.

It is because of this rule, it is virtually impossible to travel for more than a day or two without having to check baggage. I don't think you can find shave gel in containers smaller than 3.5oz. If you are on a business trip, how are you supposed to shave? Besides that, you have to have a razor...oh yeah, that's not allowed on a plane either. Were you considering that you might need to file back a nail or cut your nails...forget that, you can't take a file or nail clippers either. That has to be checked in with the airlines, which means you are going to have to pay their checked baggage fee. (except Southwest....they don't have these fees....yet).

Here's another thing, when we went to New York, Chris and Geoffrey both had containers of toothpaste larger than 3.5oz....they never said a word to them. If the rules are going to be there....for crying out loud, actually stick with them.

Another reason. After the 9/11 attack, security got locked down on airlines and airports. Why would a terrorist group even consider going this route again? They knew we would start watching closer. By adding all the security, I truly feel like they have taken away some of my freedoms. That makes me sick because basically (it's a cliche, I know)...the terrorist have won.

Seventh Issue. I got sidetracked, but there is one more reason. Again, related to the above security checkpoint, you can't take in food or drinks (with the exception of baby food and medicine...which seriously, if you are a terrorist, you know these rules, they are TOO EASY to get around). So if you have a long layover, running late and need to eat before or between a flight...you have to buy the food in the airport. Guess what, those places jack up their prices through the roof. Cristi got a sub from Quizno's yesterday and since she was in a hurry, she didn't realize until after she had paid that she dropped $10 for a sub. A sub that would normally cost about $5 and some change in a normal Quizno's. I know that Burger King is the same way. You pay an extra 3 or 4 dollars in an airport BK than what you would at the BK around the corner from your house. I understand companies need to make a profit, but I believe the term for that is price gouging.

Summary: Wow, I didn't realize this post was going to be so long, but apparently I have serious issues with the whole system. Outside of not flying (which I don't do enough to make a difference to the airlines or the system), there is nothing I can really do. It just makes me sick that if you are traveling a long distance, this is basically the only way to go. Because of this, you don't have choices in the grand scheme of things. I guess you could just buy your own plane and build an airfield in your backyard (see: John Travolta) but that doesn't fit in most people's budget. I wish I could say I feel better after typing all this, but I don't, it still make me sick. And it's going to cost another $40 to check the same luggage coming back home, so I'm already upset about that. Not to mention the parking for when I go pick them up at the airport.


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10/10/08 - Bosco's, Makenna, and being single

First, I will start with one of the most amazing meals I've had. I have eaten at many nice restaurants including Ashley's at the Captial, Capriccio's at the Peabody (of course, only you Arkansans can appreciate those), and the nicest being N9ne Steakhouse at the Palm's Casino in Las Vegas. We were given a a very large gift certificate as an anniversary present so we decided to give it a try. It was incredible. That is beside the point (I only mention that because I always feel fancy talking about). Wednesday, I had a meal that went above and beyond any local cuisine I have had. We ate at Bosco's down at the River Market.

If you are offended by the consumption of alcohol, please read my disclaimer at the bottom of this post. Bosco's is well known for their in house brewing of their own beers. I've had local Diamond Bear before and that was the only time, I thought it was horrible. I somewhat expected the same from Bosco's, but I went ahead and gave it a shot. I started with the Boscos Famous Flaming Stone Beer and was BLOWN AWAY with it's very cool, mild flavor. It was perfectly chilled and I will go out on a limb and say it was the best beer I've ever had. That was not the entire story though. The meal went above and beyond my expectations. First, I was expecting very high prices (which if we had ordered steak, we were looking at 30 a plate). Instead, I ordered an Angus Steak Sandwich which is a 10oz. Ribeye on sourdough bread topped with Tabasco seasoned fried onions. Served with the best side of unseasoned fries I've ever had (I think they beat Burger King). Cristi got a pizza of some sort and ate it before I had a chance to try it. With my meal I also ordered another beer, this time I went with the Isle of Skye Scottish Ale and was greeted with a very dark beer that concerned me as I typically shy away from very dark drinks. There was virtually no bitterness, yet nearly twice the flavors my frist drink offered. I preferred the Flaming Stone Beer, but would not turn down the Scottish Ale again at all.

That pretty much sums up the meal. I wish our waiter would have been a bit more diligent as it took the manager coming by before we got silverware, it took nearly five minutes to get a refill every time Cristi emptied her Dr. Pepper and he forgot my second beer order on multiple occassions it appeared. All said and done, we both had an amazing meal, I had some great drinks and still spent right at about $40. The environment is very classy, with excellent lighting and atmosphere. I will definitely be going back.

Now, on to a quick Makenna update. I do have pictures that I need to get up here, but as is typical, I haven't taken the time to do it. But, the news of the moment is that she is currently eating her food great. She doesn't eat quite as much as most books and articles claim she should, but we have already realized that she is kind of making up her own rules as she gets older. Unfortunately, she has not gained any weight since her 6 month appointment about four weeks ago. We are not sure what to do as she behaves just like any other 6 month old should, she just doesn't weigh as much. If she hasn't gained in the next couple of weeks, we might have some tests done to see if she might have some sort of metabolic malfunction (I don't think that is the right medical term).

Some fun news though is that she is "half-way" crawling/scooting. Half-way in that only one leg has figured out what it should do. She can push herself off the ground on to her hands and knees for a short period of time, but then she lays back down, pulls her left leg up, plants and then pushes off. Of course, the result of this is the same as a cricket with an injured leg...they just kind of go in circles. Two nights ago, I laid her on her stomach and just watched her, in about a 10 minute span, she made a rotation and a half. She still doesn't really have the hang of rolling from back to stomach, but she is AWESOME at going from back to side.

As for being single, I am really looking forward to next week. I am going to miss Makenna really bad, and my wife too, but they are going to be in Florida for a week visiting Cristi's mom. I'm a little nervous, not being able to be there to help keep up with all of Makenna's stuff, I just don't want Cristi to get stressed out or anything. My plan is that on Monday, play video games (off work for Columbus Day), Tue. and Wed., go to work, come home and play video games, thursday call in sick and play video games, the rest of the week...play video games. Other than that, I don't really have plans. I figure eating will be necessary, but sleeping might be optional. Sadly, Gears of War 2 doesn't come out until November, otherwise, I know my above schedule would work out.

**DISCLAIMER: I am sure that many of my readers know that I drink alcohol. Although my younger days are regretfully full of nights that I don't remember due to the effects of beer, I have matured to the point that drinking in excess is not on my list of things to do for many reasons. I do however have no problems with drinking on occassion and in moderation. I feel that the complexity of many beers are comparable to wine (although I have never enjoyed the few wines I have sampled) and therefore enjoy trying new beers when I have the opportunity. My only argument against drinking at all is that I am aware of the verse in the Bible (or passage) that states that we should not be stumbling blocks for others. For this reason, I typically only drink when it is my wife and I, and I NEVER drive a vehicle no matter how much I have to drink.


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10/7/08 - I am not a mechanic

We got the car back from the shop as I believe I mentioned earlier. What I don't know if I mentioned is that not longer after I got it back, I tried to roll down the passenger window. Well, it would not roll down at all, wasn't even trying. So I immediately figured that while they were in messing with the driver side door, they accidentally flipped something that screwed up the other side. I wasn't too upset about it, except for the fact that we had to go out of our way to get the car back up there for them to check it out.

Well, we dropped it off this morning, and before I could get on the interstate, they called me up and said they had fixed the car...the Window Lock was on and it was preventing the passenger window from rolling down. That was it. They didn't "break" it, but they did manage to flip a switch that I had never messed with before. On top of that, I always thought that the window lock was to prevent people other than the driver from rolling down a window. For example, if the window lock is on, the passenger would not be able to roll it down, but the driver still had full control of the window position. I was wrong. The point is, I'm still going to be using Kittle's as the mechanic of choice for now, but it was a pretty iffy situation there for a while.

That, my friends, is why I am not a mechanic, and do not work on cars at all.


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10/3/08 - Grand Slam....mechanics suck

So last night, I hit my first ever softball home run. I had a few in little league, but nothing since I was about 13 years old. I have had my fair share of in the park sprints around the bases, but never one that cleared the fence. What made this one even more special is that the bases were loaded making it my first ever grand slam at any age. My wife and beautiful baby girl were also in attendance, so they got to see it. I know there are plenty of people out there who think of this is a routine occurrence, but for now, I'm am just ecstatic about the whole thing.

Mechanics, or any shop that repairs things, frustrate me to no end. I still have hope that the shop I took my trimmer to is going to do me right and actually get it done by the end of the day. I dropped it off first thing on Monday morning, they said they were about 3 days behind, and it should easily be done by Friday when I said I needed to have it. I just called and he said there is still a chance it will get done this afternoon.

As I mentioned the other day, I took my car in to get the driver side window fixed. Well, it wound up costing about $120 for parts and about the same for labor. Then you add in the disposal fees, taxes, and all sorts of other things and it was a little over $260. When I got in the car to drive home the first thing I noticed was that they managed to put a massive scratch in the tinting on the window. It is very noticeable, and I would have definitely seen it before. The thing is, I wrote that off because I thought it was possible they mananged to scratch it up when they were prying open the door to get to the motors and stuff...no big deal. This morning, I went to pull out of my driveway and since the windows were foggy, I needed to roll down my windows to see...well, the driver side works, but now, my passenger window magically quit working. I will be giving them a call this afternoon and giving them a piece of my mind (in a very polite, respectful tone). We'll see how that works out. I've had pretty good luck getting things taken care of in regards to these type situations.

Played basketball last night full court for the first time in maybe 2 years. Amazingly, I still have my shot, what is not surprising though is the fact that I am bad out of shape. Every joint, muscle and tendon on my body is sore from just 2 hours of playing.
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10/1/08 - Amazon, Google Ads...and all day stuff

Well, since I recieved a poor response in regards to my last post, and apparently there are A LOT more people who enjoy keeping up with my life, I'm going to give you what you want. I have some stuff to start with, but I'm going to leave this window open all day, and basically just anything I think of, as off the wall as it might be, I'll throw it out there. This means it will be a long post, but it should make for some fairly interesting reading.

First of all, I don't have access to who is buying stuff, but whoever is using my Amazon link to buy things, I GREATLY appreciate it. I've got a pretty good idea who bought CoredDraw, but the 10mp camera and the DVD recorder are beyond me. I'm not looking for names, just wanted to say thanks. (there was also a book, and he already told me he bought that...thanks dude, by the way, if you are reading this, I have no idea what your email address is).

Also, wanted to remind people of the Google Ads at the bottom of each post. If it looks like it might be possibly interesting, don't hesitate to click on it. I get about $.02 a click, but even I have found that some of the links are pretty informative (although I admit, most of the stuff is crap).

So to start off the day, I found out how much the car is going to cost, around $250. That is dumb to me, but of course I'm not a mechanic. I found out a while back that most shops do not charge by how long it takes them. There apparently is a large reference book that contains virtually any type of work that can be done to a vehicle and as a standard, shows how long that job should take. This might be a myth, but I would believe it. The part I would imagine could probably be bought for a little under $100. If I had access to the tools I needed and a general understanding of the workings of a power window, I betcha I could get the job done in a little over an hour. My guess is that the "book" says it should take 2-2.5 hours and that is what i get charged, regardless of how long it takes them. On the other hand though, if they totally screw it up and it takes them 4 hours, I think they still only charge what the book says. I've run into this a few times before, I'd like to hear from a mechanic if this is accurate or not. We should get the car back this afternoon.

I drink coffee. Apparently, I drink a lot of coffee. I have a pretty good sized travel mug here at work and I usually drink two mugs full of strong coffee (brewed with two packs instead of just one). The problem is that I first fill it about 1/4 full of ice which waters down the coffee. Basically, I would say it equals out to a "slightly" stronger coffee than average. When we ate at IHOP (International House of Pancakes <-- for the aussie) I ordered coffee to drink (which was ridiculous at nearly $2...that's another rant) and began filling cup after cup. After about my 4th or 5th one, Cristi commented about how much I drink. Since the cups at IHOP are so small, even after the 6th cup, I didn't feel like I had as much as I do at work. Also, since I cool down my coffee to only "warm", I have a tendency to chug my coffee which cristi's grandmother found amusing.

Why is Christmas stuff out? At Target the other day, we went to look at a costume for Makenna (more on that in a second), and on the aisle adjacent to the costumes is a fairly sizable collection of Christmas decorations. I would say they were for Halloween, but last I checked Santa, the color red, and wreaths are not for decorating the any holiday before the month of December.

Makenna is going to be a pumpkin for her first Halloween. I have saved her years of embarassment by making sure that it is simply a onesie as opposed to the large, over the top, fluffy "sacks" that are so popular with parent's who think their children will thank them in years to come for dressing them up to look like an Anne Geddes photo shoot from hell. (no offense to those who will be dressing their children in one of the above mentioned "sacks", but seriously, just look at the kid in the picture in the link above...they don't enjoy it)

I have been listening to Aerosmith quite a bit recently. I don't remember what it was, but I was like...ya know what...I want to listen to some of their stuff. Not long after that, Rock Band: Aerosmith edition came out. I was a little disappointed with the song selection on the game, but it was still fun to play. I beat it fairly easily, but have continued listening. I'm actually listening to "Walk This Way" right now. I also have Amazing, and Crazy among others that I am really enjoying.

The day has gone by faster than I realized. I've been hard at work, formatting a tab control I've written for our project. It is pretty snazzy if I do say so myself. there are many bugs to work out, but I'm excited with the way it's coming along. We have to write our own version of this because we are not allowed to use open source code...long story, don't ask...(as if you cared).

I want to start running. Roxane posted about how she is considering running a 5k pretty soon. My cousin has been preparing for a 5k for quite some time, and Kelly, another friend of mine apparently has run several 5k races (I would link to her, but her blog is blocked her at work so I don't have the url). What's funny is that I did not even know she ran, the internet is a wonderful thing. My problem is that as much as I love running, and I really do love running, I only like to run when I'm in shape and can actually run for more than a few hundred yards before having to walk for a spell. Of course, you can see the infinite loop we have here, I only want to run when I'm good, but to get good, I have to run when I'm not good. It does make me feel really good after a good hard run, and the weather right now would be perfect for it. Who am I kidding...I'm pretty much too lazy/busy right now to add anything else to my plate. I will say this, it would do my dog some good to get out and run a little bit. In fact, he is probably as out of shape as I am so it would be interesting to see which one of us starts slowing down first.

The day is coming to an end, makenna is sitting in my lap as I type this out. she is fascinated with licking the back of my hand as i type. i'm not sure what she thinks she is doing. hopefully this has make some people happy that i have updated with a big post of nothing instead of a small post of nothing.

I love my daugther.


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