Thursday, August 31, 2006
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
On a different note, I have to go to Seattle in a couple of weeks (just found out yesterday). so I go online to get airline tickets. So, flights coming in on Sept 10th & 12th were about $1000. Flights coming in on the 11th (yes, the 11th) were only $500. So guess what...I'm coming back on the 11th - the 5th anniversary. Across the country. Scary, huh? Soooooo, in light of that, please take this opportunity to tell me things you want to make sure I know, and if there is anything I have that you want, should I not make it back, let me know now so i can arrange for you to have it. ;) Of course, if i do make it back, then...you don't get my stuff...but I'll have a good idea of what to get you for Christmas. :) hehehe
Monday, August 28, 2006
Sunday, August 27, 2006
Now keep in mind I usually sit right at the gate (with the agent) because I like to eavesdrop on everything going on. Not only was watching all those people amusing, but listening to some of the things said were equally hilarious! There was one flight to Knoxville that boarded at 6:30p – then they had to deplane at 7:30p (yes, they could have been in Knoxville by then – especially seeing as how it is only 40 minutes to the TRI). This delay was due to the AC not working. Well, one guy started yelling at the counter girl when he got off. “We have been on that plane with no AC sweating and being miserable, and you now deplane us after an hour? If there was a baby in a car for that long outside the parents would be arrested and put in jail. I can’t believe this!!”
The agent looked up at him when she heard this. “Were there any babies on board?” she asked this in a very sincere and concerned voice.
“No,” said the man, “it’s the principal.”
“Sir, we’re doing everything we can to fix your plane. I’m sorry you’re sweating.” She said.
I heard this and laughed out loud and they both looked at me and I just shook my head and smiled. The guy looked at me and then the gate girl and walked off in a huff. The gate girl tuned and gave me a big smile. ;) Seems now, I am on the good side.
After that, not 10 minutes later, a woman comes up to the counter and asks, “Ma’am, can I get my bag? Since I gate checked it and we’re going to be out here a while, I need to get some stuff out of it to pass the time.”
Nice request, I thought to myself – much nicer than the last guy that was up here.
“Sure, not a problem”, said the gate girl. “what’s your tag number?”
This is where it gets amusing…this is the honest to goodness conversation…I wrote it down word for word when I heard where it was going.
The woman answered, “Well, when I gate checked my bag, they didn’t give me a tag. Is that a problem?”
“Really? Well, that is odd. OK. What’s it look like?”
“Ummmm, well…it’s black, has 2 zippers on it with a handle and is about this big.”, which her hand gestures played out about the size of a small microwave. I couldn’t make this stuff up...
The gate agent just looked at her and again I laughed out loud-hard. They looked at me and I think I gave the gate girl some extra courage because she realized that other people had heard this and were thinking what she was thinking.
“Are you serious?” the gate girl asked. “You’re kidding right?”
“Yes, I am serious. I know it looks like every other bag here, but I can go out there and get it. I know what it looks like.”
“No, you can’t go out there. We’re not going to go digging through all the bags to try to find yours and it doesn’t even have a ticket.”
“Yes, but that should make it easier to find. It’s probably the only one without a pink ticket on it.”
“Ma’am. Go sit down and wait for your reboarding. I don’t have time for this.”
I was laughing so hard. I know it was rude of me, but it was sooooo funny. Other people started laughing too, when I broke the ice with my laughter. I had to have a break from the clinically insane, so I walked up to BK and got some food. I returned at about 8:15 and all the Knoxville people are still standing at the gate. I mean, this is 45 minutes later! And, there are plenty of seats to sit in (one of which I take, next to the gate of course). And they finally did a last call for Allentown – those poor people would be able to sit in one place for a while…hahahaha. At this point, I’m ready to stay in Atlanta.
At 8:45, my flight was delayed to 9:52p. Whatever. But get this, gate D34 makes an announcement. “Ladies and Gentlemen in the D34 gate area. We are going to do something a little different tonight. We are going to board flight XXXX to Dayton Ohio and flight XXXX to Portland Maine at the same time. So, please pay attention to which plane you are getting on when you go through the gate.” That is what he said! Talk about mass confusion…
Then I go to Starbucks and get my trusty grande marble mocha macchiato and enjoyed it tremendously. Yummy! At this point, I’m hoping the go ahead and cancel the flight so I can get to bed. They make an announcement at 9:30 saying they have a plane on the way from Huntsville for us and we should be leaving soon. At 10:15 they tell us it’s time to board so we can go home. They make a few final adjustments and the place takes off at 10:30. When we arrive, I see what the hold up was. RACE Weekend! There were at least 50 planes on the tarmac and about 10 or so were big ones. It was the busiest I have ever seen.
Saturday, August 26, 2006
First - I get here Weds and come to the event and register say hey to some people I hadn't seen in a while (ummmm...like in a week since St Louis) and go through the rigamaroll (which included me giving a one and a half hour workshop to other members there – I knew I was going to speak but thought I was only going to speak for 20 minutes – and to my surprise it was 1.5 hours – it went really well though and I got a lot of great feedback, which was encouraging) then it comes down to the dinner and award show of the evening...and guess what? Yes...if you guessed that I won an award you would be correct. ;) A total surprise to me. I won the "most outstanding member award". Very cool. Pics and all - I think it'll even be in an upcoming magazine issue. Anyway, I can get pics of it and post it later. After that, I got invited to a VIP party in the suites and had quite a bit of fun. After hanging there for a while I decided to go to bed – around 1 or so.
Thursday was a little different. I got up for breakfast and then had to help set up for the expo (for our software). The expo went extremely well and was lots of fun. After that there was lunch and the rest of the conference. At the end of the day, we went out to Ditka’s, a restaurant by none other than Mike Ditka. And yes, he was there! He was pretty cool, but I didn’t get a pic with him. Bummer. There were a couple other players there but honestly I don’t know who they were, one named Dent and McMichael, I think. Anyway…Bears football – I don’t keep up with it much. After dinner we went to a club called “Level” – which was pretty awesome – right up the street from Syn (another good one). We hung out there until about 2 or so and then walked back to the hotel.
Friday (today) – got up, breakfast, conference, nothing big. After lunch, had free time and we went to Bubba Gump at the pier to eat. Then came back and changed and a bunch of us went to a really good pizza place in old town and then went to second city to see “War!”, which was pretty funny. I was pretty worn out after that and decided to come back and blog about it all since I have to return tomorrow and won’t get a chance to blog again until Sunday or Monday. So I hope you enjoy some of the pics – it was a good time… ;) I love Chicago.
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
- It's always nice to get a new suit
- the house will be built in a week or so no matter what you do
and lastly something by some guy named Dostoevsky (hehe)
- The second half of a man's life is made up of nothing but the habits he has
acquired during the first half.
So now I'm wondering if I'm still in the first half or starting the 2nd...
Oh well...I'm off to Chicago in the morn', I'll post some more later.
And 3 days into this 33rd year of life, I have had one mediocre day, one awesome day and one suck day.
Sunday, August 20, 2006
alright - for my birthday: I ran 4 miles, mowed 2 acres, prepared a presentaion, put the top on my jeep AND decided to let you vote on which MX kit I race in and which one I practice in...
Please vote - SuperHero or SuperVillian ;)
And who knows...maybe tomorrow I'll post a pic of my new CK suit too...hahahahaha
Friday, August 18, 2006
OK – enough, I’ll leave you alone…hahahaha ;)
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
I got here Sunday morning and only had an hour or so before things got started. This Ford GT was the first thing I saw when I arrived. It had just been valet parked. Yes I touched it. My fingerprints are on the car and I must say it felt good ;) I reconnected with a bunch of people I haven’t seen in a while which was fun and hung out some. Actually, let me start from the beginning and give a more detail. On the plane from Atlanta, I rode up with one of the reps I know that I haven’t seen in a year or two. Jennifer worked for another company the last time I saw her and she’s still in the industry and we caught up with each other and she invited me to their party they were throwing on Monday night. I go through the paces on Sunday, getting my Starbuck’s and saying hey to everyone and letting them know I was here. Haahaha Had a nice little reception on Sunday night, until about midnight, came up to the room and went to bed. Good Day, Good Night.
Monday – woke up at 6 ready to go. Went to some sessions and learned some things – the small group I was in was by far the best of the show (we all gelled within 20 minutes and it was over after that…hahah) – everyone commented on us and we all got on together really well. The Manf’s were eager to come to us and even the other small groups kept coming to our room to tell us to hold it down, they couldn’t hear because we were so loud. I’ll give you some insight into the members of the group and the dynamics…I mean really this group was soooooo much fun. When I describe these people to you, I am not kidding nor embellishing (I know I do that sometimes – but seriously…we became known to everyone as “the” group. We were so cool and fun we didn’t even need a name to describe us.) I need to say this, there were about 1200 people attending this conference and the 15 of us were all the “I” people in personality speak, or ENF’s whatever…. Anyway, here’s the breakdown of the group.
Auggie – An older Japanese man who was very Pat Morita-esque, except with hair. “Wax on, Wax off”
Brad – he was the token Canadian (think john candy, only the 150lb version)
Dino – I swear he looked and acted like Wayne Brady. No Lie.
Joseph – Again No Lie – he was an exact copy of Jim J Bullock. This guy was hilarious!
Alex & David – They were straight out of The Sopranos. No Joke – NYC and Jersey, the look, the accents – and they played it up too.
Preston – Warren Sapp without hair, and the wittiest consistent comebacks (with the exception of one by George) to Joseph “don’t call me joe”.
George – Think Jason Alexander as George Costanza. No joke.
Bernard – The evil corporate guy (seriously, a big dog from a seriously big company) that everyone picked on – and he ate it up and threw it around too (in a fun way).
Me – heh heh
And a couple of girls who stayed quiet most of the time – but laughed really hard.
This is really the makeup of the group – and I so wish I could type and tell the stories on here but I don’t have enough time and it’s almost a “had to be there” thing.
Monday wound up being pretty good. I ran into some other people who invited me to dinner and another party (3 things so far Monday night) and I said, sure I’ll go. Dinner was OK – the conversations were good. I can honestly say, I know all those people at dinner – I think every one of them I sat with told me their life stories and situations etc. I was like the bartender who hears it all…and oh my…I don’t want to put that stuff on here. So I go back to the hotel (I so wish I had more pictures) went to a party and hung out a while and then went to another one (Jennifer’s company) and closed it down [ the bartender at the party was a woman who looked like Tracy Lawrence with blond hair and there was another woman there who was so drunk, she started putting on her lipstick and it was all around her mouth – it was the funniest/saddest thing I had ever seen. And then we all went to the bar and hung out (and more life stories…no joke). In bed at 3a.
Tuesday was fun. Hung out with the group (see don’t even need a name). I just went walking around. I saw Colin Quinn and hung out with him for a bit, me and Syya got a picture with him. We brought back some “remote control” memories for him and he got a big kick out of that. And at the show, Leilani was there (race care driver) and I got a pic with her and got a pic with a couple of ram cheerleaders. Yesterday was also the big award party so I went to that and had a really good time, me some new people but hung out with my Canadian amigos and amigas. There was a fun after party and then we all got private invites to a party on the top floor (very swank – all big people there – good time) – closed it down and then about 6 of us went to the Canadians suite and hung out until about 3:30a. I am so tired it’s not even funny.
This morning they called and woke me up and I got to "the" group to hang and was about an hour late and got a full rousing applause when I came in. Seems I missed most of the morning session. Too funny. ;) hahahaha they missed me – they actually called to wake me up. It was neat. Then the big lunch reception and tonight I’m going to the game in the suites before I leave tomorrow.
I know this is long and not really too detailed, but it was a good time and oh yeah, I did get a lot of stuff done for work…not all play – a trip well worth it.
Saturday, August 12, 2006
Then friday came around...blah blah blah - dad installed some doors, I went to the Dr., went to NC to get ready for the race.
And Today (this morning actually) I ran in the "climb" 5K. I finished in 28 minutes (in rain - i have pictures I may post later). not bad. Roughly a 9 minute mile the whole way...which is crazy...you really should see this hill - i ran up it the whole way. I think the fastest time in the race was at 20 minutes. It's a hard run. Anyway, Lisa was upset she didn't run in it and after the race decided she wanted to try...so, I ran another 5K. Yes, I ran it again. Insane. So I actually ran a 10K today. And I feel pretty good still. What's funny is that after the race we went swimming for a couple of hours and thenwent back to grandma's house. After a bit I decided to bike for about half a mile too, just so I could get in my own little triathalon. hahahaha
Luke ran the fun run which was on a trail through the woods (a cross country track). He started off a little fast in the rain and fell and scraped his arm up pretty good, then got up and started running again and finished the race (he got 4th). i was pretty proud.
Anyway, I am back home, packing for my trip tomorrow. My flight leaves at 8AM and I will be in St Louis this week, I know one night I have suite tickets to a ballgame in the new stadium, but not sure what else I'll do. I'll keep y'all posted, as always. heheh.
Thursday, August 10, 2006
That's the into to one of Drivin' & Cryin' s songs off their Smoke CD. They are in concert tonight and I am going to be there. I am pretty pumped. I'm actually going to be helping a group of people raise money - so I'm kinda going to be working. But - I still get to see the show. Ahhhh yeah. I'm pretty pumped about it. The last time I saw them was in 1991 on the "Fly Me Courageous World Tour". They've had some new stuff out since then (like CD above for one) that I've always thought would sound really cool live. Anyway, I'm going to get pics, etc. and post them on here tomorrow for ya. Only thing is, it's kinda drizzlin' right now, so I hope it doesn't rain out...I will be bummed about it if it does.
And...for those of you who have yet to donate...I am still running Sat morning rain or shine in the climb (uphill 5k) in NC. I've raised some fundage, but would love to get more. Remember it is for a good cause (sending underpriveledged kids to camp)...hello. And I will be running for Team ION. I'm a bit excited about that too...I saw the new "team" shirt yesterday and I must say it looks AWESOME! (of course I did help john a little on the design...hehehe). So - I'm hoping to get one soon.
Last but not least...i went longboarding last night at a local park that has some great longboarding hills. Who knew? There were about 5 of us there riding and having a good time...the closest thing to surfing away from the coast...so fun.
OK - so that wasn't the last thing...we watched last comic standing last night and saw Josh win. He's funny...but the self-deprecating stuff gets old. I hate to say it but I wonder if people voted for him to win because of his disability..i know, i know...but seriously...think about it. And after that was a show "america's got talent". Now the opening act was pretty amazing, this magician was awesome. Very David Copperfieldey. Impressive. For those of you who don't know, I used to do magic myself, quite a bit and I was pretty good at it too. I pretty much gave it up after college. I still have some stuff and know how to do it, and I must say, the guy last night was really good...very quick - impressive. There was one judge (piers, i think) who totally got personal on an act which was a bit mean. I understood where he was coming from but he didn't need to get nasty about it - this couple, who do a quick change act, had different outfits instead of different "tricks". The judge's arguement was about them doing the same "changes" and not something new. And he asked if they were dumb or deaf, since they didn't understand what he had asked for. He made the girl cry, but I think he would have made his point much better if he would have articulated what he meant first instead of calling them names. he did articulate what he meant, but it was too late. Anyway, the show sucks and I probably won't watch it again. I mean...how many of these types of shows can there be? And when David Hasselhoff is a judge and Regis Philbin is the host...it's just weird.
Sunday, August 06, 2006
Also went MotoXing at the track again today. Me and Chris went and rode a few hours. i was getting one big jump really good - and to quote Chris - "it was at least 20 feet in the air." Of course I think he was making me feel good about it. I really think it was only about 6 feet or so, but I got it laid out to the side some so I know it was at least 5 feet. I think the next time out there, I'll own the track...hahahahaha. Of course the more weight I lose, the higher/faster I can go. ;)
And - BIG news - I broke 200 with a pic to prove it. Yes. 199. I am pretty happy about it. And just in time too. I've got a race this coming Saturday and less weight means better results. I ran about 4 miles on Friday night and again on Saturday morning. I'm ready for this 5k climb. I hope I do well. The best I've done at it was 3rd in my bracket...so we'll see how it goes. I am going to be running for TEAM ION which is cool. Just to tell you a little about it, TEAM ION sponsors people who do runs, etc. in order to help raise money for under priveledged kids to go to summer camp. The kids can then experince things that they normally wouldn't be able to. It takes $250 to send a kid - so with one week to go - I'm asking for your support to help send a kid to camp. Just email me or commit an amount in the comments and myself (or johnnyT) will followup with you on your donation. All tax-deductible too. Ahhh Yeah!
Well...I'm going to get off here...
I'd also like to give a shout-out to baby Jesus, or Jesu, as our brothers down south say...
Thursday, August 03, 2006
No just kiding....hahahaha it is actually doing MUCH better. I went to the doctor yesterday for a checkup and she said that my eye has regenerated awesomely. It's doing much better than she expected. "Of course it is," I told her. "I do have superpowers, you know. I used to think it was flight, but I have since figured out it is cell regeneration." hahahahahahah
Anyway, I should have all the sight back by this weekend and I have my next appointment scheduled for Sept. Now, to answer Beth, I will be able to wear contacts again, but not until after my next appointment. So...I'm not sure if that means no MXing...or just MXing with glasses (what a dork I am). Anyway - I should be good. Thanks to all for prayers, etc. i appreciate it.
Now, I get up this morning a little early to help a friend of mine (Ethan) who is running for office. I told him i would campaign for him a little etc. So I don the T-Shirt and head out to a local Elem School ready to encourage the voters to vote for him. Well, I did just that. i encouraged all 20 that I saw this morning. What was really funny is that a couple of girls came up to me (noticing the Ethan shirt - this very well could have been the first time they ever voted - they looked about 18-20) and said "We voted for Ethan. We really hope he wins."
"Great." I said, "I know he really appreciates your support. He'll do a great job. Do you know him?"
"No, we don't know him. We saw him out one day campaigning and he is so cute we decided to vote for him."
Yes...that is what they said. Ethan was so cute so he got their vote. I found this hilarious and tried not to laugh in their faces, and said "Well. Any vote's a good one. And just so you two know...he will do a good job anyway so you can rest easy about your vote."
Well, after this I called Ethan and told him and he had a good laugh about it. He really should have done some TV ads. Just imagine the landslide (you should see the people running against him...hahahahahah) Seriously - he will do good.
And Ed came by too. He's running for Senate and I think he has a pretty good chance, although Bob seems to be the front runner. He said hey and was happy to get his pic on the blog (seems he's a big fan of it - hahaha no, not really. just kidding).
I've got a meeting in a little bit so I have to get ready for that, but did want to give a shoutout to my birthday girl. We're celebrating her bday today (even though it was really tuesday).
Time to get off here now, I'll rap it up in the words of Kool Moe Dee, I go to work.
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
I walk in, and scan the customer service area (with one eye mind you). Good. Only one person in line in front of me. I wait, patiently. The person in front of me gathers their refund and walks off. I step up to the counter and the lady behind the desk looks at me and asks, "Can I help you?"
"Yes. Yes, you can help me. I need to return my lawnmower and get a new one." This statement would be the test, I thought. I wondered how she would react. She just looked at me. Then she looked around, her eyes returning to me after a moment.
"Uh-huh. Sir, I don't see a lawnmower. Did you bring it with you?"
Why, no - I didn't. I completely forgot it. That was the intial response that went through my mind and I almost said it. "Yes, I have it outside. It's a riding mower. Do you want me to bring it in?"
"Yes, go ahead and get it and I'll process the exchange for you. I'll get someone to help you."
Wow. This was not at all what i was expecting. But then again, I remembered I was at Lowe's, not Home Depot (whose customer service really sucks).
So I go to get my lawnmower and guess who comes to help me...none other than John who is one of the many people I know at Lowe's.
"Lawnmower problems again, huh?" he said with a slight smile. Probably remembering my most recent episode from last week of tearing the lawnmower up after one day's ownership.
"Yep. I decided to get a new one. This one doesn't even start anymore and i don't want a lemon. I figured getting a new one was the best thing."
"Yeah. Good idea."
"Hey John, by the way, can we siphon the gas out of the old one into the new one? I mean...it's like 3 gallons and that's a lot of gas."
"Ummmm. Yeah - I guess so. Let me go get something."
Yes...I get my gas too!!! Awesome. Now, let me tell you something. I am getting ready to save you lots of money and heartache and headache. Notice the little hose thingy John is (attempting) to use to siphone the gas. THESE DO NOT WORK AND ARE CRAP! It took us 15 minutes to figure that out. Instead go for what's called a "Flo 'n Go". It worked in 2 minutes. Nice.
Now - about my left eye.
As I mentioned yesterday, I woke up with it red and it hurt really bad. Well, I woke up again this morning with it really red and still hurting bad. I could hardly keep it open. I decided to go to the eye doctor and see what was wrong. They told me to come in immediately and they would help me. I got there and they asked if I needed pain drops. I initially said, no - I'll be OK. But another girl looked at my eye and said...I'm going to give you one anyway - I know that hurts - you don't have to be in pain. I think she could tell it hurt because i kept squirming around and making faces. hahahaha
"Now this may sting a little, but your eye will feel better", she said.
Well, it didn't sting - IT BURNED!!! I wanted to pull my eye out. I think the lady felt bad about giving it to me initially. But after about 30 seconds my eye did feel better. And I waited about 30 minutes or so and it started hurting again and they gave me another drop and yes, it hurt really bad again too. After about 45 minutes I finally got in to see the doctor and she put some more stuff in my eye and looked at them etc. Diagnosis - something I can't pronounce. Long and short - After MXing on Sunday with my contacts, my face/eye got a little burnt and I slept in the contacts that night and they didn't need to be in there. When I took out the left one Monday morning when my eye was red/hurt I actually pulled part of my eye off. hahahaha Ahhh Yeah! I think that explains the fact that I still can hardly see out of my left eye. Anyway, I've got drops, to help heal it and it should be back to normal in a few days. Wohoo. If not, well, c'est la vie - right?
So, she told me to not go to work today (which I didn't - a good day to have off) and go home and sleep (which I didn't - i went and got a haircut). And I mowed with my once again new lawnmower.
OK - Long post, I know. And I'm not even supposed to be on the computer.
left eye, out (literally - hahahaha)