Sunday, May 30, 2004

Movie Weekend

I love three day weekends!!!

Normally, it'd be Sunday night and I'd be lamenting the start of a new work week...but not tonight!

Nope...tonight I'm sitting here watching Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle with my wife. It's thoroughly cheesy, but good for a few laughs nonetheless. And there are a ton of cameos too...John Cleese has a small role, Matt LeBlanc, Pink and Shia Laboeuf (the guy from Disney's Holes movie and the last Project Greenlight film, The Battle of Shaker Heights) are all in the movie.

Last night, the whole family went to see Shrek 2. I know I've heard some people say it wasn't as good as the first, but I got some good chuckles out of it. If you've seen it, shoot me an e-mail to tell me your favorite part.

On Friday night, I hit Blockbuster and rented Stuck On You and The Cooler.

So far, I've only watched Stuck On You. It had it's funny parts, but it certainly wasn't the Farrelly Brothers best effort. That'd be hard to do with a PG-13 rating anyway.

I'm looking forward to watching The Cooler, but haven't had a chance to just yet.

So that's been my weekend...how's yours been?

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Thursday, May 27, 2004

TGIAF!

It's almost Friday folks, so let's see what kind of wisdom I can impart on the few readers I have left.

...

Hmmm...

OK...screw the wisdom. I think I'll just throw out a few random things that have happened lately.

There seems to be a trend of brushes with celebrities amongst me and my coworkers.

As I've mentioned previously, I sat across from Drew Bledsoe a month or so ago on a flight and then, last week, Steve Garvey sat in front of me on a flight to Salt Lake City.

The trend continued this week, as I saw Pete Rose in the gate area when we got off of our plane in LaGuardia. Then, I found out that one of my coworkers was on the same flight as John Mayer. He actually got to talk to him for about 20 minutes as they waited for luggage and I'm pleased to report that he was a very nice, down-to-earth guy.

As for the rest of the week in NYC, I worked my ass off and did about 12 presentations over the course of 2-1/2 days. By the time the evenings rolled around, I was pretty beat. I didn't even make it to much of our party at the ESPN Zone in Times Square because a client dinner ran long.

Because our conference did end at noon yesterday and my flight wasn't until 6:30, I did have a few hours to kill, so a buddy from work and I decided to go check out Central Park and just walk around since neither of us had ever been there. We entered the park at 59th St and finally left about two hours later at 86th St. I figure we walked about three to four miles.

Our flight ended up not boarding until almost 8:00 and we sat on the runway for about 45 minutes before we could take off. Because we were waiting for so long, I did pick up a new book by Stuart Woods called Capital Crimes. I actually managed to finish all 300+ pages by the time our plane landed in KC.

Today was just another day at work, so there's nothing interesting to report there.

If I don't post again before the weekend, I want to wish everyone a safe and fun Memorial Day weekend!

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Saturday, May 22, 2004

100 Things About Me (Part 2)

Sorry for the delay...here's 51-100...hopefully, I won't repeat any of the first 50.

51. When I was a little kid, former Vice President Spiro Agnew gave up his seat on an airplane so that our family could sit together.
52. I love Indian food.
53. I'm not sure what kind of Indian food is good for me on my diet.
54. I love to play basketball even though I suck at it.
55. Tiger Woods is my favorite golfer...John Daly is a close second.
56. I love wrestling around on the floor with my kids.
57. I sometimes yell at my kids when I know I shouldn't.
58. Other than that, I'm usually a very laid back person.
59. I'm an Aquarius.
60. My wife's a Taurus.
61. I have no idea what that means.
62. I love Italian food.
63. Who am I kidding? I love almost all food.
64. I kick ass at Wheel of Fortune.
65. I love to play games of any kind.
66. Monopoly is my favorite game of all times.
67. My favorite properties are the railroads and Boardwalk & Park Place.
68. I come from a family of teachers.
69. My mom, my maternal grandma, all four of my paternal aunts, five or six of my cousins, and several great aunts were all teachers.
70. My wife was a teacher before she decided to stay home with our kids.
71. I'm very competitive.
72. I am NOT one of thos pushy parents who tries to live life through their kids' athletic endeavors.
73. If they're happy, that's great. If they aren't, they don't have to play (except to complete our obligation for that season).
74. I love the movie, Fletch.
75. The Usual Suspects is probably my all-time favorite movie.
76. In the 1976 presidential election, I "voted" for Jimmy Carter over Gerald Ford in the Weekly Reader poll, because cause Carter was smiling and Ford wasn't.
77. I took four years of French in high school and another two in college.
78. I stopped taking French because I didn't want to take a French literature course.
79. My roommate in my freshman year in college, somehow managed to get a 0.6 GPA during his first semester there.
80. He never graduated (from there, anyway).
81. I left my last company after having my 6th boss in 15 months.
82. I've only been in six major league ballparks (Kauffman, Memorial Stadium, Camden Yards, the Metrodome, Fenway Park and Wrigley Field).
83. I've been to one minor league ballpark...in Las Vegas.
84. On that same trip, I won $1,000 on a Wheel of Fortune slot machine right before we left.
85. My favorite casino games are Pai Gow Poker, Blackjack, Spanish 21, Let It Ride and Video Poker.
86. I've never been able to remember how to play craps.
87. In 48 hours, I'll be in New York City.
88. The last one will have absolutely no meaning to anyone after this week.
89. I graduated from high school in 1989.
90. I do most of the laundry and dishes at our house.
91. I'm supposed to feed the cat every day, but forget a lot.
92. In high school and college, I always had more girl friends than guy friends.
93. My wife says I'm a big flirt.
94. I'd probably have to agree with her.
95. I met my wife at a nightclub in college.
96. She knew who I was when she saw me, but I didn't know her.
97. Apparently, she'd tried flirting with me where I worked, but I didn't notice as I was flirting with other girls.
98. My college job was one of the best (read: easiest/fun) jobs ever.
99. I gave up a great part-time job with the Wizards and Chiefs to spend more time with my family.
100. I don't regret that decision one bit.

And, in the words of Porky Pig...Th-th-th-th-th-that's all folks!

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Thursday, May 20, 2004

100 Things About Me (Part 1)

Yeah, yeah, so I'm a copycat. So what?! Dan did it over at his place today and I decided it was about time that I did the same.

So...without further ado...Here are:

100 Things About Me
1. I've lived my entire life in the state of Kansas.
2. When I was a kid, I always assumed I'd live in Baltimore or somewhere "back east."
3. It's because I loved the Baltimore Orioles.
4. I'm still an Orioles fan, but am also a big KC Royals fan.
5. My mom's from Baltimore...hence my attraction to that city.
6. I have three kids right now and a fourth on the way.
7. Two of my kids are twins...they are a boy (J) and a girl (L).
8. People still ask me if they're identical AFTER I've told them that.
9. I lived in the same house for my entire childhood until I left for college.
10. My wife lived in at least 5 or 6 different houses during her childhood.
11. She still gets the urge to move every few years.
12. I like to go bowling.
13. I'm pretty good at it, but not as good as my friend, Don.
14. My high score ever was a 289.
15. My low score ever was a 1 in about second grade. (This is before they had bumpers.)
16. I'm a huge music fan.
17. My favorite band of all time is JACKOPIERCE.
18. My favorite record label is AWARE.
19. I love golf.
20. I'm not that great at it.
21. My favorite author is Brad Meltzer.
22. I've always enjoyed reading.
23. My mom is a school librarian.
24. I worked at the public library in high school.
25. While there, I dressed up in a very hot (read: sweaty) kangaroo costume to be the library mascot.
26. I've worked at three restaurants: Village Inn, Red Lobster and Bennigan's.
27. My favorite pizza place is Papa Keno's.
28. My favorite slice is a pesto slice with chicken and black olive.
29. My favorite slice used to be sausage, shrimp and black olive, but they stopped offering shrimp as a topping.
30. I was in the county spelling bee four times as a kid.
31. My best finish was 2nd place.
32. That year, I missed pinata.
33. I was pissed because I didn't think foreign words with accent marks should be allowed.
34. Before I missed pinata, I was given the word I'd gone out on the year before.
35. The word was sorghum.
36. I hope this is the lowpoint of my 100 Things About Me list.
37. I've been to 37 of the 50 states (38 including DC).
38. I've only been out of the U.S. once.
39. It was about two months ago.
40. I own about 120 CDs.
41. I've been blogging for about 6 months.
42. I'm currently trying to lose about 40-50 pounds.
43. I've lost about 10 so far.
44. I've decided this post will only include the first 50 things about me.
45. My favorite baseball player ever is Brooks Robinson, former 3rd baseman for the Orioles in the late 50s, 60s and 70s.
46. I got his autograph on Brooks Robinson Hall of Fame night at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore.
47. I love to gamble.
48. To the point where I don't completely trust myself in a casino.
49. I like watching the World Poker Tour on the Travel Channel.
50. And Celebrity Poker Showdown on Bravo.

To be continued...

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Bye Bye Briscoe

Yep...for those fans of the original Law & Order TV show, Jerry Orbach, aka Detective Lennie Briscoe, made his farewell appearance tonight as his character retired from the job. L&O is one of those shows that I'll stop and watch just about any time it's on and his character is one of the main reasons.

Rumor has it that he may appear occasionally on another upcoming L&O spinoff series, but I don't think anything's been finalized.

So Long Salt Lake City
We wrapped up two LONG days of training yesterday and I got home late last night from Salt Lake City. The weather there was supposedly beautiful, but we didn't leave the hotel at all until we got our cab to the airport yesterday and it wasn't until 8:30 or so the night before. Needless to say we didn't get to enjoy much free time there. I will say, though, that the meeting itself was pretty good.

Hello New York
That's where I'm heading THIS weekend. I'll be in NYC from this Sunday night until Wednesday night. I'm hoping to get a little free time while I'm there. One highlight will be a corporate party at the ESPN Zone in Times Square. I'm definitely looking forward to that. I think I'll have to forego my diet that night so I can get some of the berry shortcake they have there...yummy stuff.

Fumblin', Rumblin', Stumblin'!
That's the best way to describe my style of basketball play at the gym today. Unfortunately, there was more fumblin' and stumblin' than actual rumblin'.

I only had one decent fast break layup and an ugly 3-point bank shot. And I really did stumble resulting in a skinned knee. Not good times. But, the most important thing is I got some exercise so I'm happy.

Speaking of "good times," I'm pleased to report that Bill Simmons, my favorite sports columnist ever, has left his writing gig with Jimmy Kimmell Live to start writing more for ESPN.com and some other mysterious ESPN-related gig. I'm thrilled that he'll be appearing more often!

Kudos to The Big Unit
There are many crude jokes to be made here, so please feel free to leave your own in the comments.

But a big congrats go to Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Randy Johnson who became the oldest pitcher to pitch a perfect game yesterday. He was a full three years older than the previous person with that distinction.

Have a good one all!

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Monday, May 17, 2004

Four Freaking Days!

I can't believe how remiss I have been in adding new posts lately.

Work's been kicking my ass, but that's no excuse. It kicks everyone's ass, doesn't it?

So let's see...what have I been up to?

I think Don and Dan have forgiven me for the baseball game fiasco, so that's good.

I got new shelves put up in our garage yesterday and it's a little cleaner, so that's good.

There's still not enough room for both of our cars, so that's bad.

I bought Tiger Woods 2004 by EA Sports for the PC last night, so that's good.

I'm not very good at it, so that's bad.

I had to leave town today, so I didn't even get to spend the whole weekend with my family, so that's bad.

Sat behind former LA Dodger first baseman, Steve Garvey, on the flight to Salt Lake City tonight, so that's kinda cool.

Played in the back yard with the kids this afternoon, so that's good.

It was only for about 20 minutes, so that's not so good.

I have my alarm set for 5:55 Mountain Time so I can go work out before breakfast and an all day meeting tomorrow, so that's good.

It is now midnight MT, so that's not so good.

I can't think of anything else off the top of my head that fits the above categories. I think I'll stop now, so I'm pretty sure you'll all think that's good.

Odd Music Merchandising
One last thing...I mentioned that I bought the 2004 version of Tiger Woods golf from EA Sports. I happened to buy it at Best Buy and, while I was there, I browsed the endcaps of the music section.

It was there that I saw what could quite possibly be the most unusual side-by-side display of two CDs that I may ever see.

The Wu-Tang Clan sitting right next to the soundtrack from The Sound of Music. Is it just me or is that just plain strange???

Until Next Time...

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Wednesday, May 12, 2004

There's No Blogging In Baseball!

Before I reveal the results of our sonogram and the gender of our unborn child, I need to publicly apologize to my friends, Dan and Don.

You see...earlier today, Dan posted the following:

Well, the Brewers had a few chances, but after the 13th inning Will was asleep as was I, so we went to bed. And is always the case, the Brewers decided to win the game in the 14th inning on a three-run homer, so I missed all of the excitement. That figures, and that’s why I never leave a game early.

Dan went on to mention that he was going to today's Royals game. I was fortunate enough to tag along with Dan and Don and we all piled into Don's car.

We drank beer and played washers in the parking lot before the game and got to our seats just in time to see the Royals' Carlos Beltran hit a solo home run in the bottom of the 1st.

For those of you who don't follow baseball, the Royals were playing the Toronto Blue Jays today. Historically, the games between these two teams have been pretty short...usually under 2-1/2 hours. Today's game started at 1:10. I had to leave for home by 4:40 so we could avoid rush hour traffic and I could pick up daughter K from Girl Scouts and get her to her softball game on time.

(Do you not see where I'm going with this???)

The Royals were down 3-2 at the end of 8 innings and it was 4:45, so I had to apologize profusely to Dan and Don when I told them we had to get going. As we were listening to the end of the game on the radio while driving home, Dan assured me that they would pull over and kick my ass if the Royals came back and won the game.

Well...the Royals came back and won the game with a 2 RBI double from Mike Sweeney with two outs in the bottom of the 9th.

They didn't pull over, so Dan just beat me up while Don kept driving.

So this is why Dan never leaves a game early and why I am forever destined to drive myself to all future ballgame outings with Don & Dan.

And the baby's gender is....
So now that I've apologized in this semi-public forum to Don and Dan, I thought I'd let you all know that we found out yesterday that we'll be adding another little girl to our family this fall.

As my fellow softball coach told me, I am now in need of my regular job to pay our regular bills, a college fund job to pay for our four kids' college educations and a wedding fund to pay for three daughters' weddings. Sheesh!

Needless to say, though, we're very happy to get this little tidbit of information. Now we just have to settle on a name.

Any suggestions? Leave them in the comments!

OK...I really have to go do some more work now that I didn't get done because I went to the ball game today.

Have a good night!

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Monday, May 10, 2004

Where Ya Been?!

Oh...wait...it was ME that was gone...so sorry!

When Last We Met...
Your neighborhood blogger, Joe, had just returned home from DC on Friday. I think I pretty much covered Friday, so we'll lead off with Saturday (but not too much boring detail, I promise...oh, wait...too late). :)

Saturday was Soccer Saturday for K and I decided to brave it alone and give my wife (also K) a chance to rest so I took J & L with me too. (Yes, that's J, K & L.)

So, anyway, after soccer, we headed out so I could get a Mother's Day card for my mom and a gift for my wife...more on this later.

We were also fortunate enough that the girl across the street was home from college for the weekend and was willing to babysit. Can you say, "Fan-fucking-tastic!"? It's been about two months since we've had a sitter and we've been going a little nuts, so we headed out to Olive Garden for dinner. (They told us it would be a 40 minute wait and then, 15 minutes later, we were at our table. That NEVER happens!) Then we went to see Man on Fire with Denzel Washington and Christopher Walken (not nearly a big enough part for him). Anyway, it was an enjoyable movie and just a great evening overall.

Mother's Day
So, earlier (like two seconds ago), I mentioned that I took all the kids with me as I searched for a Mother's Day present for my wife. The kids were only up for one stop, though, so it was off to that little french boutique, Target.

Sadly, they had a sucky selection, so I took the kids home and headed to the mall on my own. I went to three...count 'em THREE fairly major department stores and only ONE of them carried any kind of selection at all, but still not much of one!

So what, pray tell, was I searching so diligently for???

MATERNITY CLOTHES

Yep! Ol' Joe (and don't forget wife, K) is expecting Kiddo Numero Four! In fact, we have a sonogram tomorrow to find out what we're having. :) Due date is mid-October, which means we'll probably have our new addition by early September.

So now that you know, can anyone tell me a really good place to find maternity clothes for my wife?! Target had a small maternity selection, but not ONE pair of maternity shorts for sale! It's freaking summer, people!!! And neither Dillard's, nor The Jones Store had any maternity clothes at all. (I didn't hit Nordstrom's, but didn't figure I could afford it anyway.) So, I ended up getting her some things from Jacque Penney's (what's with all the French places???) and, luckily for me, she really liked them!

As for the rest of Mother's Day, we headed off to my parent's lakehouse (not as glamourous as it sounds) and had lunch with my mom, dad, sister, my grandma and one of my aunts. The kids have a blast going out there, but were slightly disappointed they couldn't go out on dad's boat. There's still all summer, though.

All in all, it was a pretty good Mother's Day.

Ass-kicking Monday
And I don't mean that in a good way. I was supposed to take a training class today, but only made it through the first half before I got pulled away to finish a client project that ended up taking from about 11:00 all the way through the end of the day. I didn't even get to eat lunch.

But, I figured if work kicked my ass, I might as well kick my ass a little bit as well, so I hit the gym after the kids went to bed.

And that, my friends in the blogging world, has been my last 72 hours.

What's new with you?!

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Friday, May 07, 2004

DC Redux

I'm not completely sure what "redux" means and I'm too lazy to look it up in the dictionary, but I think it means recap...that's what I was going for anyway.

When last we met, your hero (read: me) was quickly running out of battery life on his laptop. Fortunately, my co-worker called in the nick of time and I was able to kill the rest of the morning working wirelessly from his room and was able to plug in...actually got a fair amount done.

It was pretty much downhill from there as most of the rest of Wednesday and all day Thursday were spent on my feet at the DC Convention Center.

About 15 of us did go out to dinner on Wednesday at a cool place called Old Ebbit's, which is supposedly the oldest bar in Washington. The food was good and so was the wine (which one of my co-workers ordered three bottles of, with the cheapest being about $100). Let's just say I'm glad I didn't have to pick up that tab.

The other kind of cool thing at the conference was one of the booths had ">Sarah Ellerby, a professional pool player, at their booth and would play a game of 9-ball against you. One of my co-workers actually beat her in one game. I, however, got my proverbial ass kicked (as opposed to my regular ass). She took the break (which I thought was a ripoff, I mean, she couldn't spot me the break?!) and should have run the table but she missed a shot (and I'm pretty sure she intentionally missed) and I screwed up my one chance. That said, though, she was really nice and is now my favorite women's pool player.

Last night, we went out to a couple of bars and had a few drinks and played a little pool...nothing real exciting, but we had fun.

Today, I was smart about planning my travel home and didn't schedule a flight too early, which meant I could take my time getting going this morning. Finally got home around 3 this afternoon, did a little more work, watched a little golf on TV and then grilled some pork sirloins for dinner that turned out to be quite tasty.

So that's been my day...wha did you do???

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Wednesday, May 05, 2004

T-Minus 24 Minutes...

Until my laptop battery wears out.

Yep, I'm blogging from the comfort of the lobby of one of the DC Marriott hotels.

This is the problem with arriving so early to a city. It's before 10:00 here and, of course, my room isn't ready yet. (I didn't expect it to be either.)

I've been worried about this trip for a week now since our CEO is going to be at this conference. I kept worrying that I was going to have flight problems and not get here in time for the show where they are supposed to use my laptop for one of the stations. That wouldn't be good.

Angels Softball
K's team played their first game last night and overall I was very pleased. They still don't have the coordination yet and we're still working on the basics.

From a proud papa perspective, though, K had a great game. She got 4 hits in 4 at bats including one that was a hard liner (by 7-year-old standards) that went right through the infield about halfway out to the outfield. She also had a put-out at 3rd when she was playing shortstop.

All in all, it was a fun night, albeit a late one. With softball not ending until 8:45 or so, we still had to get home, get her cleaned up and all the kids into bed. I still had to pack, do some laundry and run to the store before I could go to bed.

Anyway...I finally hit the sack around 12:30 and got up at 4:00 so I could make my 6:00 flight. (So much for the arriving two hours before your flight theory.)

That's all I've got...or at least all my battery has, anyway.

Have a great day all!

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Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Just Like The Energizer Bunny

I've been going and going and going...

It was one HELL of a busy weekend that carried into Monday. I never thought I'd be as happy to go into the office as I was this afternoon.

Saturday started out with a soccer game for K that wasn't even close. Her team just dominated the other team. K played goalie for two different stints during the game and didn't touch the ball once. She did managed to score a goal though and had an assist. Another girl on her team was, as Dan Patrick says, "En Fuego." I swear she scored 10 goals. It was pretty amazing.

That night we all went out to dinner at Copeland's, a New Orleans style restaurant, and the kids were very well behaved. We'd been hoping to get a sitter, but couldn't find one at the last minute, so we decided it would probably be cheaper to take them with us. I'm so glad we did. My wife got the steak she'd been craving and I tried a slightly healthier entree than I usually get there which proved quite tasty. Now, the menu says there was a "touch of garlic butter." Methinks there was a bit more than that, but my conscience is going with what the menu said.

Sunday was spent making last-minute preparations for our new carpet to be installed today. After tearing the old carpet and pad out of the dining room and pulling up the remaining staples, my wife commented how she wished we could paint the room.

Now, since we're getting new carpet, I'd like to keep it looking that way. So I....being the smart guy that I am...offered to go get the paint. Bear in mind that this was about 7:30 at night and I still had the entire family room carpet and pad to pull up, not to mention the laminate wood tiles that covered about 15% of the family room (and by covered I mean glued down). And, oh yeah, we'd already moved all of the furniture out of both rooms by that point.

We were up til almost 2 a.m. prepping the floor and painting the dining room. We were both dog tired and I still had to get up early enough to finish pulling up staples and pull the carpet and pad off the stairs.

(Oh yeah...I forgot to mention that I also took K and one of her friends swimming for two hours...that didn't make me any less tired.)

Fortunately, though, it all paid off and we have brand new carpet in our family room, dining room and staircase which we desperately needed. And now I get to enjoy the smell of new carpet when I come downstairs.

Blogroll Update
I mentioned a few weeks ago that Dan celebrated the arrival of his son. Will. Well...Dan took a week or so off from blogging and I've been meaning to encourage you all to swing by Dan's place to see the newer, softer side of Dan.

Joe's Travel Log O' The Week
Back to the focus of this blog (read: me), I'm hitting the road AGAIN this week. This time I'm off to DC. Thanks to Chris for some suggestions on things to do in DC with some spare time.

The bad thing about this trip is that I have a 6 a.m. flight on Wednesday morning and, despite the fact that my trade show ends Thursday, I can't get a flight home until Friday morning. It's going to be a LONG couple of days.

The good thing, though, is that in exchange for that 6 a.m. flight, I'll get to still be here tomorrow night for K's first softball game of the season. I'm supposed to be the assistant coact, but with all of my travels, I've only made it to two out of six practices and none of the batting cage sessions. My track record is less than stellar so far, but I hope to make it up to her over the next couple of months.

Alright...that's all I've got for now.

G'night.

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