Tuesday, August 31, 2004

FORE!!!

There's a new invention out there that maybe some of you have heard about and it really would have been nice if you'd have told me about it before yesterday. It seems that there's this stuff that you can put on your face and neck and arms...I think it's called sunscreen.

Yeah, Joe the dumbass (that's me) played golf yesterday (on company time, no less) in a scramble tournament being put on by one of our clients. It was a real cool course even though it was about 35 minutes from my house. And, the best part was that our team came in second place for the "B" flight (don't ask, I'm not smart enough to explain how that works). To reward our efforts we each received a cool little trophy a golf towel and, best of all, a dozen Titleist Pro V1 golf balls. The only bad thing is that I don't feel like I'll actually be able to use those golf balls because I'll feel guilty hitting them in the woods. If you click on the link, you'll see that the MSRP for said 12 golf balls is $56! That's just plain crazy!

But anyway, I had a great time with my co-workers and client. Got a pretty decent picture of the four of us and, for once, I'm actually not totally embarrassed by how I look in it. My weight loss efforts are still pretty good, although the pace at which I was losing weight has definitely slowed down. If I believe the scale this morning, I'm down about 36 pounds. I REALLY want to lose another 9 pounds to hit my first major goal. I've got it within my sights, but it's a matter of getting to it.

Despite riding carts yesterday, I still got a lot of exercise because the course was so hilly and we could only have carts in certain areas. Lately, I prefer walking the courses, but sometimes you just can't do it.

Last night after I got home, I put the kids to bed and ran to Olive Garden to get K some Black Tie Mousse Cake for dessert. I have to say, it was the fastest run for dessert to a full-service restaurant that I've ever made. The restaurant is about 5-7 minutes away and I swear my whole trip didn't take more than 15 minutes. (These are the things you get impressed by as you get older. OK...maybe you don't, but I do!)

OK...I've blabbed long enough for this morning and really need to get some work done. (Yes, I logged off from our corporate VPN just so I could post this entry.)

I hope everyone has a great Tuesday!

Until Next Time...

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Friday, August 27, 2004

Work Shmerk

I would've posted this morning, but I can't since as of a couple of days ago they've implemented a much stricter Web access policy, including monitoring and logging your Web activity. I found this out when I tried to go out to the Sports Guy's World out at ESPN.com and got a big ol' warning page with my company logo on it saying that site is restricted during work hours. Yip-fucking-pee.

Throw into the monitoring and logging thing and I've decided to just avoid the Web as much as possible. Sure, I still go out to MSNBC to check the corporate stock quote and I'll check my Yahoo e-mail once or twice a day, but that's about it.

I'd mentioned a while back that I was going to avoid blogging at work anyway, but now I'm definitely going to minimize the Web activity.

The good thing about working from home is I can disconnect from our VPN and go wherever the hell I want should the urge strike me.

Other stuff
Today, I managed to get a few basketball games in over my lunch hours (yeah...I said hours...as in two...what's it to ya?). Got some good running in, but also have some shin splints and a deep bruise on my right bicep courtesy of an opponent's shoulder.

Tonight, I took J over to Sports Clips to get his hair cut and for the first time ever, I didn't have to hold his hand! I was very pleased and proud. I've started getting my hair cut there too because it's a) cheaper and b) has TVs with sports on at each station. The only negative is they only have one satellite receiver for all of the TVs (about 8). So when I went to get my hair cut last week, I was stuck watching NASCAR when I really wanted to be watching the golf tournament. Now, I don't have anything against NASCAR. In fact, I'd love to go check out a race at the Kansas Speedway. But on TV, it just doesn't do much for me. (I'm sure it being on TV has more than a little bit to do with them being a corporate sponsor of one of the cars.)

Tomorrow, K has her first soccer game as they move up to 6-on-6. Unfortunately, they play two fields at a time and K only has 12 girls total on her team. If you do the math (and I'm confident you can), that equals no breaks for anyone other than the quarter breaks. Fortunately, tomorrow, it's only supposed to get up in the 70s after tonight's storms. I hope the weather guy is right.

On another sports topic, I really need to start preparing for next week's fantasy football draft, which I'll be attending if we haven't had a kid yet. I noticed that Buddha is having his draft tonight. I'm eager to hear how that worked out for him.

That's about all I've got...oh yeah...I've added a couple of other blogs to my BlogRoll...go check out No Damn Three Putts if you like golf and also Outta My Mind (a friend of Doc's). Go on over and check 'em out.

One other note on my BlogRoll...the list is supposed to be in order of the most recently updated. However, some of them don't register that way, so they always sink to the bottom. I can assure you that Doc, Dan, Keith (Outta My Mind), and Suburban Bliss all update fairly regularly.

OK...whew...that was one of my longer recent posts and I'm not ashamed to say that I'm a bit winded.

Have a great night!


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Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Random Updates

Hey guys...just a few updates from me tonight.

First and foremost, head on over to Doc's place and say hey. Doc had an unfortunate and rather severe run-in with some hedgeclippers over the weekend. He's doing fine, but it never hurts to hear from a few new readers. Trust me on this.

I went to New York and back on Monday for a client meeting. That made for a very long day. As I was pulling into the driveway the tornado sirens were going off, so we ended up having a late night with the kids as we waited for the more severe storms to pass through.

Oh yeah, last weekend we finished putting a new self-adhesive tile floor down in our kitchen. It looks WAY better than the old one. Very happy with that project.

As for the pregnancy, K's blood pressure is getting up there...I'm betting we have the baby by the end of the weekend.

So what's new with you?

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Sunday, August 22, 2004

Sir?

Just a quick Sunday evening post...we went to my favorite pizza place today. As we were leaving, I noticed that one of the college kids that had originally sat down at the table next to my family of 5-1/2 had left his sunglasses sitting there.

Being the good samaritan that I am, I took them over to their table.

The kid...being appreciative...said, "Thank you, sir."

I'm too young to be "sir" dammit!

I call my buddies at work "sir" but it's in jest and we're all peers. This kid really thought I was some old guy.

Sigh.

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OK...that's enough of that self-pity. It's time for dinner! My barbecue roast is just about finished so I'm logging off and heading inside.

Have a good night everyone!

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Thursday, August 19, 2004

Bears & Beers

OK...I couldn't help but link to this today.

Carry on.

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Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Slow Is Me

Yep...I've not been the most productive worker bee this week. I've mentioned in the past how much more productive I am when I work from home. I'm quickly learning that I can slack just as much here as I do at the office...maybe even more!

I really need to adjust my attitude about my current job as I wait to find out about the new one. This is driving me crazy!

I really do like the work I'm doing, it's just that I wish I was making more money.

So, tomorrow, I've decided I'm going to actually work at the office tomorrow afternoon. (Can't in the morning because of K's doctor's appointment.) I've got a bunch of calls to make and even with the new home office line, it's just easier to make calls from the office so I don't have to use the long distance calling card code every freaking time here at home.

So here are my work goals for the next two days:

Finish at least three "worksheets" (to avoid going into specifics)
Call at least 20 clients for references (don't have to actually get the references just have to talk to them and/or leave a message)
Find a way to export a database of all of the clients I've had contact with over the past few years
Update three PowerPoint presentations to reflect corporate changes

If I can get all of that done, I'll stop feeling bad about slacking today. (Today was definitely the worst of the week.)

Bear in mind that I'm supposed to be working from 8 or 8:30 until 5:00. Here's what I did instead.

8:00-9:00 - Run errands to Lowe's, the drug store and grocery store
9:00-9:20 - Log on to work, realize I've only received one non-critical e-mail and no voicemail messages or attempted calls
9:20-9:55 - Go to bank to close on home equity loan
9:55-11:15 - Actually worked a little, but mostly surfed some blogs and new sites
11:15-11:25 - Run to McD's to get lunch for wife and kids
11:25-1:00 - Go to gym and play basketball
1:00-1:30 - Stop by Chipotle for lunch on my way home
1:30-1:50 - Eat lunch and re-check e-mails and voicemails...nothing happening there.
1:50-2:05 - Shower and change clothes
2:05-5:10 - Talked to a couple of clients, responded to a couple of e-mails and started on one of said worksheets above and surfed the Web -- all while watching TV

After that, we went to IHOP for dinner and then I took all three kids to walk my bike to the nearby bike store to get new tubes put in the tires and just get it checked out overall. My wife and neighbors thought I was crazy for making that trek with my K on roller blades, J on his little bike with training wheels and pulling L in the wagon (while pushing my bike). Fortunately, I left the bike there to be worked on, so the 7 block walk back was a lot easier.

When I came back down to my office tonight, I'd really planned on getting started on those worksheets...obviously, I chose to blog instead. There's a possibility that it could happen...ok, maybe not.

Until Next Time...

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Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Back to School

Today was K's first day back at school...I'd post a pic, but it turned out REAL fuzzy (still getting used to the camera settings). She only had a 1/2 day, but full days start tomorrow.

Tonight was also her first soccer practice and we realized she's outgrown her soccer shoes, so I need to go get her new ones before Thursday's practice. After practice, we came home for a quick dinner and I took the kids to the swimming pool for about an hour. They needed to cool off anyway after being at soccer practice. And, before heading home, we stopped at Sonic for some frozen treats.

Let's see...what else?

Oh yeah...this morning I was working downstairs and my wife K asked me to come upstairs for a minute. As soon as she said it, I knew something was up. So I get up the stairs and walk into the kitchen to see that she's laid down a whole box of self-adhesive tiles on the kitchen floor. We'd planned on doing it, but there was no turning back now.

There's something you need to know about K & me. She is very much the handy person in this house. I have no skills when it comes to building and/or fixing things or household projects in general. I never learned those skills as a kid and have no interest in attaining them now as an adult. I'd just as soon pay someone to do the work. That being said, K is very much into doing this stuff...even when she's 32 weeks pregnant.

So don't go giving me a hard time for this...it was her idea and she never even gives me a chance to talk her out of it.

By the end of the day, she'd laid down six boxes of tile and it looks like we need another 5 or 6. I'll go buy them in the morning before work and if she doesn't feel up to it, then I'll see if my dad wants to come up and help me finish the job this weekend.

I can say, though, that the part that is done looks really cool. It's SO much better than what we had before and so much cheaper than having someone else do it.

I'll post some pics tomorrow (hopefully).

Until Next Time...

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Monday, August 16, 2004


K (in Joe's Crab Shack t-shirt) playing her new Barbie computer game. Posted by Hello

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L&J in their Joe's Crab Shack t-shirts and the top of K's head. Posted by Hello

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K&J (tie-dye) at Godfather's with friends on last day before school starts. Posted by Hello

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Sunday, August 15, 2004


Little man J Posted by Hello

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My New Drink Of Choice Posted by Hello

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Say "Cheese!"

Yep...I finally got a digital camera. I wasn't planning on it when I went into Best Buy today, but there it was...the Gateway DC-M42. For $129, it has 3x optical zoom and 4.1 megapixel resolution. I'd been planning on getting one of the Kodak cameras, but I just couldn't pass this up. I ended up getting a 256 MB card to boot.

I will say one thing and that this camera is a major battery hog. I burned through 2 brand new AA batteries in just a couple of hours of non-constant use. I'll have to see how the rechargeables do once they get their full charge.

Now all I have to do is figure out how to get the pictures onto my blog or if I have to pay for that feature.

Other than that, it's been a weekend of getting things done before the baby gets here. Yesterday, I cut down a tree branch, dug up the front yard where an old tree had been and see if I could find the roots to kill the damn saplings that keep sprouting up, weed-whacked the front yard, did the dishes a little laundery and then today ran a bunch of stuff out to Goodwill.

How was your weekend?

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Wednesday, August 11, 2004

What Celebrity Do You Look Like?

Today, I stopped by Chipotle to grab some lunch on my way back from playing some pathetic basketball at the gym. As I was standing in line, I noticed a woman with her kids kinda, sorta staring at me. So I started thinking maybe I should know her or something, so I kept looking back at her.

As I got closer, she tells me that I look just like...brace yourselves...Kenneth Branagh. Personally? I just don't get it. I'd never guess that one in a million years. Maybe it's because I was still hot and sweaty and my hair was doing this funky straight down slightly curly thing...I don't know.

Now, in my younger (read: skinnier) years, my cousin's husband always said I looked like Dallas Cowboys quarterback, Troy Aikman. I can kinda see that one, but again not really. (Said cousin's husband, in fact, looked a little bit like country singer Randy Travis back then...thankfully, he doesn't now.)

Sadly, in more recent years, the most common celebrity comparison I've had to endure is Andy Richter...Conan O'Brien's former sidekick. Fortunately, with the recent weight loss, I'm hoping those similiarities are diminishing.

Which brings me to the question in today's title...Which celebrity do you look like? Be sure to leave it in the comments and if you have friends who look like someone famous, please send the link to today's post on to them so they can respond.

And with that, I'm off to go play with the kids!

Until Next Time...

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Monday, August 09, 2004

ESPN "Classic"

For those of you who don't care about sports or ESPN, you can probably skip this first section. And to you, I would also add, "What the heck's wrong with you???" (No, no, honey...I don't mean you.)

Starting last night, ESPN has been bringing back some of its former SportsCenter anchors to do the "late" SportsCenter at 10 p.m. CT. They also brought back some early 80s style graphics and set design which are just butt ugly.

First up last night was current Late Late Show host Craig Kilborn aka Craigers partnering with longtime ESPN veteran Dan Patrick...still one of my favorites. For those who don't watch SportsCenter and are curious as to what Dan Patrick looks like...just check out a bag of Kingsford charcoal the next time you're at the grocery store...the guy on there is a dead ringer for Dan Patrick.

I digress...now, I used to enjoy watching Kilborn on SportsCenter...not as much as Keith Olbermann (who will be on later this week), but he was the frat boy of the show. Even though I was never in a fraternity, I could still identify fairly well with the guy.

His return last night gave me some insight as how tough it must be to stay sharp in the world of sports broadcasting. He was all over the place with his highlights, had several vocal missteps in his delivery...the best parts of the show were when he was just bantering back and forth with Dan Patrick.

Nevertheless, it was fun to see Craig back at the ESPN anchor desk, but I'd rather see him on The Late Late Show these days.

Tonight, it was current Yankees broadcaster and former ESPN boxing expert/SportsCenter anchor, Charley Steiner along with Bob Ley.

I always respected Bob Ley for his no-nonsense delivery style, yet was never dry. I was still entertained...again, not as much as I was by Patrick or Olbermann or Kilborn, but I could rely on Ley to put on a good show.

Steiner, on the other hand, could be no-nonsense, but liked to have fun once in a while too. The problem for him, though, was he was trying NOT to crack up half the time. As they were previewing tonight's show on last night's SportsCenter, they kept showing clips of Steiner when he'd start laughing and never could regain his composure. According to Patrick, Steiner had certain buttons that you could push as his co-anchor and you'd know he'd lose it which was quite entertaining in and of itself. (Can anyone tell me the origin of "in and of itself"?)

Well, tonight was no exception as Steiner was cracking up a couple of times, but nothing too out of control. This was his first SportsCenter in three years and I thought he did a markedly better job than Kilborn...probably due to his day-to-day routine with the Yankees.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure who's going to be on tomorrow night, but as soon as I find out, I'll be sure to let you know.

Back to regularly scheduled blogging...
Today, was the typical Monday at work...nothing too exciting. I have a fairly sizeable project that I've been dragging my feet on lately that I need to wrap up by the end of this week. It's basically a lot of writing and editing, which I'm usually fairly good at when I'm motivated. Clearly, right now, I am not.

I sent a follow-up e-mail to the Arizona company to check the status of their hiring process and found out they're in the middle of some planning sessions where they'll really identify their sales needs. She said she should have a better idea in 2-4 weeks.

Knock on wood...but this could work out pretty well for me, if they decide to hire me. If the pregnancy goes as expected, we'll have the baby in two weeks. I'll take a week off and go back to work, most likely, in four weeks from now. If they decide to make the offer 4-5 weeks from now, that means I could give two or three weeks notice, which will make the baby about a month old, and I'd feel a lot more comfortable about having to be in Arizona for training for any significant amount of time.

Back to the point, though, I'm having a hard time staying focused at work. I'll be getting a new phone line in our home office next week, and I expect to be working from home a lot more then. I think I'll be able to better focus on stuff then. At least I hope so.

Tomorrow morning, weather permitting, I'm going to try to get 9 holes of golf in before work. I'm meeting one of my co-workers at his country club's "executive" course at 6:15.

Maybe that'll get me motivated...at least to play more golf.

That's all I've got for now.

Until Next Time...

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Saturday, August 07, 2004

Dinner & A Movie

Happy Saturday Night everyone!

K & I actually had a date tonight...and may I say it was a good one. A great way, in fact, to end a great day.

This morning, the whole crew headed down to Lake Pomona, KS where my folks have a small cabin near the lake along with a couple of boats. Today, we took the pontoon boat out and tested out the three-seater raft that we got for them late last year. Fortunately, because the twins are small, L was able to sit in front of me in my seat, so all four of us rode the raft at once.

The kids (and I for that matter) had an absolute blast. And K had fun just seeing the looks on their faces as we raced through the water and bounced up and down on the wake from the boat.

As for the date itself, I made reservations at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse for dinner the other day. We'd been there once before and fell in love with the place. I'm happy to say that they did not disappoint us on the return. I opted for the lobster bisque and their filet while K got a caesar salad and the petite filet. YUM-MY!!! It's pricey for sure, but every once in a while it's an excellent way to treat yourself and the service from the valet to the host to the waiter to the water guy was impeccable.

After dinner, we ran by the theater to buy our tickets for The Bourne Supremacy and bounced over to Borders to check out some books and CDs...didn't buy anything because we ran out of time, but I may go back tomorrow.

The Bourne Supremacy was very good. One thing I noticed about 45 minutes into the movie is that Matt Damon really didn't have many lines. In fact, I'd be surprised if he had 15-20 minutes of dialogue in the ENTIRE MOVIE. There really wasn't that much dialogue overall, now that I think about it, but the movie worked well without it.

If you saw the first one and liked it, then you'll probably like the sequel. (In my humble opinion, Julia Stiles was far underutilized and overdressed...but that's just me.)

So how was your Saturday?

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Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Joe's KC Restaurant Review: The Beginning

In case you hadn't noticed, I tend to eat out quite a bit. After much deliberation, I've decided that I could provide a useful community service to my readers...at least those who visit KC (or other cities that I might visit and write subsequent restaurant reviews for). I'm even hoping that the good people over at kcbloggers.com will post some of these, since most of the people over there are in Kansas City.

I will admit that there's going to be a heavy Johnson County bias here, primarily because that's where I live and work and I don't get over to Missouri as often as I'd like...but I'll include those too.

So, without further ado, here's my first review.

Michael Forbes' Grill
Yesterday afternoon, Don, Dan, Andy and I met up over at Michael Forbes Grill for lunch. MFG is located just east of Nall on 95th Street and was not busy at all when the three of us showed up at 12:15. (OK...those three were there at 12:15...I was 5 minutes late.)

(Now one thing you should know about me is that I don't order appetizers very often, so you're most likely not going to get reviews of those.)

Don opted for the daily special of a pan-seared chicken breast sandwich with swiss, mushrooms, bacon and honey mustard on the side and a side of their fries. “It was good,” says Don. “The fries were weird, though because it was just three big pieces of potato. Looked like they cut potatoes into quarters length wise and fried them up. Wasn't bad, but not as good as regular fries.”

Dan chose the fish tacos and raved about them, while Andy opted for the Thai Chop salad, which basically looked like a giant porcupine when they brought it out. Andy was not impressed with it and said he wouldn’t ever try that again and advised us to do the same.

As for me, I chose the salmon club which is served in pita bread. The sandwich was good overall, though the salmon was a bit dry. I’d definitely try it again, though. For the side item, I went with the black beans and I was not impressed. There was a slightly odd taste about them that I just didn’t care for.

Overall, the service was pretty good. Of course, with only about five other groups in the whole restaurant, it should’ve been. Our waiter kept our drinks refilled and was cool about splitting up the check.

As for the cost, it was mid-range…anywhere from $9 to about $13 for our lunch items, not including drinks.

I haven’t decided on a rating system yet, but it will be five of something. I’ll open that up to suggestions. But on a scale of 1 to 5, I’ll give Michael Forbes’ Grill a 3-1/2. The food was pretty good, I think some of their offerings are a little pricier than they should’ve been, but I like the overall atmosphere of the place.

Michael Forbes’ Grill Rating: 3-1/2

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Sunday, August 01, 2004

Recovery

Happy Sunday everyone! I hope your weekend's been a good one.

Mine's been spent lying around on my ass all weekend, slowly recovering from my "procedure" on Friday.

It was definitely not a fun time and I'm still a little sore, despite plenty of Tylenol and ice this weekend. I won't, however, even pretend that it was anything compared to what my wife will be going through with her c-section in a month or so (hopefully). I can't even imagine what "normal" childbirth must be like for a woman.

That being said, I won't be doing a lot of running around anytime soon and I'm DEFINITELY not going to play any basketball with my friend, Don.

Other Stuff
Earlier this week, after the interview, I went to Utah for a couple of days for work. While there, we headed up to Park City, which was very cool. One of the things we did was a downhill sled ride that was basically a plastic sled on metal runners with wheels going down a fairly smooth, cement track with lots of twists, turns and drops and only moderately high walls to keep you from leaving the track.

Now, while they did keep me from leaving the track, they did not keep me from falling off the sled. I got to going a little too fast a couple of times and ended up wiping out and sliding down said cement track for a good 15-20 feet. As a result, I now have two pretty good size scabs on either arm right about the elbow. Even with the minor injury, though, I strongly recommend trying it out if you ever find yourself in Park City.

That's pretty much all I have for you today...sorry the posting has been so infrequent. I'm going to try to do better in the coming weeks.

Have a good one all!

Until Next Time...

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