Thursday, December 31, 2009

Thankful Thursday, New Years Eve edition.

Hello everyone. It's New Years Eve and I feel like one of the toys on the Island Of Misfit Toys from the Rudolph movie. Another year has come and gone and no parties to go to on New Years. Who am I kidding, I haven't been up past 9 on a New Years Eve in years. We are not the party animal type. We are locked up in out house warm and dry and away from all the crazies that are out on the road. The family is watching a movie and I am blogging. Life is good. So here is my list for the week. Better late than never. (its 730)

1. I am thankful to have a roof over my head and a warm house. This year was a struggle for us just like a lot of people but we are still afloat.

2. I am thankful that we have lots of fire wood and it was free. My wife and kids spent all summer chopping wood and now it is paying off.

3. I am thankful to still have a job. I know so many people who are out of work but not me.

4. I am happy that we are thankful for the little things in life and that it doesn't take much to make us happy.

5. OK this one may seem a little strange but this year I am happy that my older brother is sober and not on drugs on New Years Eve. In fact this is the first year in about 35 years I can say that. Why you ask? Because he is in Jail tonight and as bad as that seems he isn't drunk. In fact he spent Christmas day in Jail too and it was the first Christmas in 35 years he was sober. He got what he wanted though...someone to take care of him.

Have a great New Year,
Greg

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The last Dozen of 2009…


1. Do you find it gross to share drinks with family? Friends? I tend to be a germaphobe so I don’t like to share drinks. I have on occasion tasted someone’s drink when they insisted. I am always afraid of backwash.

2. What have you learned this year? (You didn't see a question of that weight coming, did you? At least not for #2.) When they handed out the nice family cards, someone was dealing off the bottom of the deck to me. Not my immediate family, the rest of the group though.

3. When do you dismantle the Christmas decorations? We usually do it right after the New Year. I am ready now!!

4. Something you wish to accomplish before the end of 2009 is: Just make it to the end of the year without pulling all my hair out.

5. How do you feel about winter (after Christmas)? I hate it. If it weren’t for Christmas I could pass on the whole winter season.

6. Have you participated in after-Christmas sales? Yes. How can you pass them up.

7. Do you have plans for New Year's Eve? Yes; get inside our house, lock the doors to keep the crazies out. I will be in bed by 9 I am sure.

8. Is there anything special awaiting you in January? More dieting and an increase in my exercise routine. I will be thin in 2010.

9. If your life this year was a movie, what category or genre would it be? (Romance, Comedy, Drama, Thriller, Suspense, Farcical, etc.) Without a doubt it would win "most depressing" in the Drama category.

10. How much time per day do you spend blogging? Please do not lie. I will know. About one to two hours but I used to do much more.

11. Who runs your household? Let me ask my wife how to answer this one. Does that answer the question?

12. Share one hope/dream for 2010. I just want to survive another year and not go bankrupt. Winning the lottery would be nice though.

Thanks Linda for hosting this Meme this year.

Have a great day,
Greg

Monday, December 28, 2009

Oh what a Christmas

Well I had just the best Christmas ever. It all started on Christmas Eve. We headed out to Church for our annual Christmas Eve Service. As we were approaching the Church, we noticed someone in the car next to us waiving frantically. It was my wife’s cousin. She doesn’t even live in the same town and we haven’t seen her in over a year. They had driven down for just a few hours to check out a location for a wedding for another relative. It was a spur of the moment decision on their part and they were only staying for a few hours so they didn’t let anyone know they were coming. So what are the odds that we would be driving down the same street at the same moment in time? Pretty slim if you ask me, almost miraculous.

The service was packed when we got inside because we spent a few minutes in the parking lot talking with this cousin. We ended up in the overflow area but did get a seat. The message was a little different as well looking at the first Christmas from a slightly different angle. It was about uncertain times and how Mary and Joseph must have been going through the same thing but their faith brought them through. It was a great message and made for a nice Christmas Eve.

Christmas was very quiet in our house which is all I really asked for. There may not be peace on earth but there was peace in our little world. We had less presents under our tree than ever before but it was a wonderful Christmas anyway. We had a great meal around 1130 and then decided to go see a movie. I don’t know who started this thing of releasing movies on Christmas but it has really caught on. The movie theater was packed and we had to settle for our third choice of movies. We ended up seeing Sherlock Holmes. I thought it was pretty good. There was a dark plot but in the end the bad guys didn’t prevail which was good. There was a little bad language and only one brief (back) nudity scene but the plot made it unsuitable for really young children.

After the movie we went and visited relatives and ate again. It seems that all we did was eat over the holidays. Which brings me to today; Its’ D day here and the D stands for Diet. As of today I am officially on a diet. And this time I mean it. I know what you are thinking; I have heard this before but this time it’s for real. Mark my words I am going to lose weight and I will start today since I have a dentist appointment this afternoon and most likely won’t be able to eat tonight. So wish me luck. I will keep you posted on my progress.

Oh we also saw something about the Morgans or something like that over the weekend. It too was good and had a great ending. (for a chick flick) I am back at work this morning but the rest of you have a great day,
Greg

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I am offended....

Babies are offensive:

I am not a big fan of babies. I don’t mind admitting it. Of course there are exceptions to this rule. I liked my own children when they were babies. Occasionally I see cute babies that other people have but I guess I am missing the “love babies” gene. It’s more of a preference and it may have something to do with my age. I no longer have the patients I did when I was younger. Call me crazy but I never cared for poopy diapers or baby vomit or pee in my face. I do however like the Baby Jesus.

Firemen are courageous:

Each year, for as long as I can remember I look forward to seeing those Manger Scenes around town. Lots of people have them in their front yards and some even contained live characters. Then there were the ones at Fire Stations. Those were always the best. My father was a fireman and he actually used to set up the Manger Scene where he worked. Firemen are a special breed of people and my hat is off to them for their sacrifice and courage. Even though I was trained to fight fires when I was in the Navy I always wondered if I had the courage to enter a real burning building. In addition to courage and trust, it takes a great amount of faith.

Firemen have to rely on their fellow firefighters to back them up and to always be there for them. I remember when I would go through firefighting training I would have to go into a building that was on fire and the only thing keeping me from catching fire myself was the person behind me keeping me cool. If he became afraid and left, I would die. It is as simple as that. But I had faith in my fellow Navy men just as I have faith in my God. I know he will be there no matter what happens and that he won’t give up on me even though I don’t always feel worthy of that love.
During this time of year, firemen are particularly busy because of all the careless things that people do with heaters, lights and trees. So when firemen want to put up a Nativity Scene in front of their station I am all for it. They have a right to express themselves and since they spend long hours at the station, whatever makes them happy makes me happy. Obviously not everyone shares my feelings.

People are crazy:

For the past 5 years, Larry Carter Center has complained about the Nativity Scene at the fire station near his house. He said it is a violation of the Constitution and that it needs to be brought down. He went on to say that he is a Veteran which makes him a patriot and that he just wants to see the Constitution upheld. He didn’t say that the scene bothered him, he said that it infringed on the rights of others. Then he contacted some anti religion group up in Wisconsin and they protested and the Nativity Scene was taken down. Well I did a little investigation and this is what I found.

Larry is an outspoken atheist. He has been protesting against expression of religion even before he served in the military. And speaking of that, he didn’t go in because he was a patriot. He was drafted in 1971 and got out two years later after his two year tour in Vietnam. I am sure he protested against the war too. (Hardly a patriot and barely a Veteran.) He is a big advocate for atheism and frequents many internet pages where he tries to recruit others into not believing. He keeps his address private so that no one can find him but I do know that he isn’t from Charleston. He is from Iowa which is where I wish he would go. Isn’t it amazing how people move into an area and then try to change the things that are there? If I could only get his address; I want to send him a Christmas Card. Here is a photo of Larry:



The latest update is that the fire station was able to put the manger scene back up as long as they included other religions. So now there is also a Menorah and the Kwanza candle and Oh yes, a Santa too. But Larry still isn’t happy and is trying to get a lawyer to sue the city for him. I am sure some lawyer will take the case.

Merry Christmas Bloggers,
Greg

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Under Attack

Apparently using the word 0pp0rtunity in your blog title is an open invitation for scammers to attack you. I have had very few scammers on my blog since I started writing. However last night I got 5 scam comments which is more than all the others combined. So be forewarned when you use certain O words.

I think that deer read my blog;

This morning I had yet another deer dart out and almost run into my car. Ironically it was a few hundred feet from where the car almost hit me yesterday. The animal world has gone crazy I tell you.

Now for the good news....

The dentist visit was a huge success. He put the filling back into my tooth and I didn't even need gas. He was able to smooth the other tooth off and I will be returning to his office next Monday to get that one fixed. He didn't want to numb both sides of my face at the same time. He also used a different type of band that didn't cut into my lip. It makes me wonder why the other dentists always use the other one. I am reminded of the movie; Little Shop of Horrors.

The girls in the office brought in goodies today. And now that my mouth is feeling better I can enjoy them. Now I just have to decide if I want another warm Krispy Kreme doughnut or some more homemade pecan sandies. Talk about a tough decision. Wait, I can have both. Life is good.

Happy Tuesday everyone,
Greg

Monday, December 21, 2009

Missed Opportunities.

Well apparently there people in South Africa that want to send me money. It’s true. About every other day someone dies over there and they have no one to leave the money to so they seek me out. Apparently they got my name from the “needs money” list because I get tons of these things. The only part that makes me wonder is that this “lawyer for the family” has trouble spelling. And obviously his computer doesn’t have spell check either. But I just can’t get myself to send them my account number along with my social security number. But that 7 millian US Dallers does sound good.

I have noticed an increase in the road rage level over the last week. I am guessing the holiday shopping thing is getting to everyone. And I have a confession. I used my horn this morning. Say it isn’t so!!! Yes I know it is almost as hard to believe as the 7 millian US Dallers but I swear it’s true.

I was at a stop light and the other light turned yellow. This guy was coming but he didn’t start to slow down even though he wasn’t even close to the intersection. His light turned red then mine turned green and then about three seconds passed before he got into the intersection. Had I not been paying attention, I would have pulled right out in front of him. So I laid on my horn as he drove through. Now my wife will most likely crack up when she reads this because she knows the horn on my little Honda sounds like a toy. Had I pulled out even a foot I might be driving a nice new car now. Darn another missed opportunity.

After that I had one person pass me on a double solid line and a second person pass me on the right. What is your hurry people. Apparently there was a memo that said drive like a fool today. I didn’t get it.

In other news the racecar driver decided to drop the lawsuit against his neighbor. So that made most of the people on the island happy. But then last week we had another shooting. This guy was deer hunting and in a tree stand. Some other guys were hunting in the other end of the field and the guy in the tree stand shot one of the other guys. He said he mistook him for a deer. Twice, using a scope. Hmmm something fishy there. The guy lived though so that is good news.

Oh and for those people up north here is how you deer hunt from a tree stand:

Ok you go out and buy a stand that costs around 2 to 5 hundred dollars. Then you buy a gun and ammo. Total cost is around 5 hundred to a thousand dollars. Then you go buy corn and put a pile of it near your stand and get the deer used to eating there. (Much like you would feed a cow) Then once they get tame, you get in your stand and put on Camo clothing so Bambi won’t see you. You then put deer pee on your clothes so that Bambi will think you are a deer in a tree. Next you wait for a nice frost morning so that you can see your breath and not feel your toes.

So when Bambi comes to eat, Kapowwww. You got em. Then you take your deer to a processing center and pay them a hundred dollars to process it for you. And you end up with about 50 lbs of venison. Once you figure in your time and gas and other incidentals you end up only paying around 10 dollars a lb for hamburger. What a deal. But it was fun. I prefer using my Honda to hunt. I have better success that way.


Have a great day,
Greg

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thankful Thursday the week before Christmas



With Christmas just a little over a week away, there is so much to be thankful for but I will try to keep this to only 5 things. Please Join us over at Truth for the Journey in being Thankful today. (I am assuming Sonya is doing it this week. I may have egg on my face)

(1) It was a brisk 35 degrees here in Charleston this morning so the first thing I have to be thankful for is all the wood that my wife and youngest son cut up this past summer. The living room was nice and toasty this morning and after adding a little more wood it got even toastier.  Mr. “T”, our cat was enjoying the warmth and I had to force him to go out to do his morning thing. I am sure he is begging to get back in as I write this.

(2) I am thankful for this nice cup of coffee that I am enjoying right now. After my mad dash from the parking lot to my office without a jacket I am finally starting to thaw out a bit and this coffee feels great inside. I tried giving it up a few times but I always come back for more. I got to have my coffee.

(3) I am happy that Christmas is next week and that we are still allowed to say Christmas here at work. So far there has been no mention of banning the word Christmas. I know some businesses have done that but thankfully not ours. If they do decide to do that I will insist on being paid in gold. After all that money that they pay me with has the words “In God we trust” on it and I don’t want to be offended. Ahem

(4) I am thankful that I get to attend my son’s Christmas concert tonight. The middle school band is giving a Christmas concert tonight and he is playing in it. This should really get me in the Christmas mood. And I was happy to find out that they are playing some “Christmas” songs.

(5) I am thankful that this Saturday is the last Market day for several months. It has been a long market season. Now the big question is do I want to continue going there next year or do I give it up and spend more time at home? It will be a difficult decision but I am leaning toward giving it up. Money isn’t everything.

I almost forgot, I have photos. These are the ornaments that the elderly woman who was a friend of ours made and our angel.









Have a great day,
Greg

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

An almost Christmas Random Dozen



1. Gingerbread: For or against? Discuss. I am totally FOR gingerbread but I prefer it in the gingerbread “man” variety. It just tastes better when you can nibble on the little feet and hands before stuffing the entire thing in your mouth. I know I am sick this way. And homemade is the best.

2. Is it important to you to always stay (live) close to family? Hahahahahaha. That’s a good one. I will leave you with a definite NO. Someone once said you can pick your friends but not your family. If I could I would exchange a few family members. Sorry but that is just the way it is.

3. Which holiday pretend character do you wish really existed? Hmm another tough question. I would say the little drummer boy. As far back as I can remember I have loved the story and the song. I would love it if some archeologist would find evidence that there was a little drummer boy at the Manger. I think they already have but they just aren’t letting the story out.

4. Which holiday movie best represents how you feel about Christmas or life? How about "Christmas with the Cranks." Although I love Christmas and life, sometimes I feel like it would be great to just go away and leave some of the madness behind. (see question #2 above)

5. Is there a particular Christmas song that you're enjoying now? Any that you're tired of? My favorite is one that just happens to be playing right now and I don’t even know what the name is. I think its by Manheim Steamroller. The part right now is going; On this night on this night on this very Christmas night. On this night on this night on this very Christmas night. Someone help me out here. Oh and I like Josh Growsomebody’s version of Oh Holy Night.

My least favorite is anything from the Charley Brown Christmas movie. I think that movie is way too melancholy. Its right down there with It’s a Wonderful Life.

6. What is your favorite way to remember those less fortunate at Christmas time? I give to the Salvation Army. I raise money here at work for needy children. And I give a little extra in the tip department. Those waitresses work hard for their money and some people just don’t appreciate it. I try to leave big tips at Christmas time. They also have to work extra long during the holidays. Tip big, tip often.

7. Does it upset you to see "Xmas" instead of Christmas? How about "Happy Holidays" etc., instead of "Merry Christmas?"
I don’t mind if someone wants to write something else instead of Christmas but I do get upset when they say I shouldn’t use the word CHRISTmas because it might offend someone. Give me a break. I am not offended if someone wishes me anything positive. I just say; Happy Festivus to you too.

8. How many Christmas programs are you attending this month? Maybe two if a Christmas concert counts. I better ask my schedule coordinator.

9. Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? Any chance of that dream becoming a reality? With the way our weather has been lately it is a good possibility that we will have some snow soon. However I seldom dream about snow. I dream of warm places like the Bahamas. It is supposed to freeze tomorrow night here. Burrrr it must be global warming.

10. Tell me about a Christmas present you received as a child. Pics are always nice. One year I got a new fishing pole for Christmas. I always loved going fishing but the only fishing equipment that I had up to that point were things that I repaired myself. This was my first “new” fishing pole.

So on the day after Christmas I got on my bicycle and headed for the bridge to go fishing. On the way, I hit a bump and wrecked my bicycle. As I was falling the fishing pole went into the spokes and it broke into about a dozen pieces. It also broke several spokes on my bike and I bruised and cut my knee and hand. So much for something new.

11. How many Christmas parties are you attending this month? Well we went to my office party so that makes one. But we have the rest of the days open if someone is inviting us. We are real party animals you know. We are really fun and usually can stay up until at least 10 if we take a nap before we go. So are you inviting us?

12. How do you keep yourself centered on the significance of Christmas? It really is hard these days. With all the craziness going on in the world it is hard to stay focused on what Christmas is all about. I do try to give more than usual because giving is what Christmas is all about. When you give all that you have you will know the true meaning of Christmas. I’m sorry to say that I am not quite there.

And thank you everyone for the wonderful Christmas Cards. Just wondering though why I didn’t get a Festivus card from someone. What’s up with that?

Have a great day,
Greg

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thankful Thrusday. Why didn't someone tell me

Ok here I was going over some emails thinking about what I would post"tomorrow" for Thankful Thursday and it dawned on me Duh, today is Thursday. I am such a moron this week. But it is still Thursday even though it is evening so I think I can redeem myself.

I am thankful that it is payday. The cupboard was bare but not any more.

I am thankful that I am able to maintain my attitude even those around me are going south so to speak.

I am thankful that the weekend is upon us and I have some time off.

I am thankful for the very thoughtful bookmark that I just got from Edie today. Talk about a nice surprise. Thanks Edie, I needed a pick me up.

I am thankful that although everything around my house seems to be breaking all at once, I so far have been able to fix it all myself.

And with that I think it is time to get ready for bed.

Have a great day, I mean evening,
Greg

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Random Dozen Holiday Edition.


First off I would like to apologize for being a really bad blogger buddy. I am so far behind in my blog visits I am ashamed to post today at all. It is kind of like when you know you haven't been to the doctor and you know when you do go the doctor is going to scold you so you put it off even longer. But I did want to post today so I am doing the random dozen thingy again so here goes.

1. Which physical trait do you now accept--maybe not love, but accept--and no longer feel extremely self-conscious about? My grey hair. At least I still have some hair. My brothers are all going bald. And besides that “Just for men” is so expensive and doesn’t last.

2. This week Meredith Baxter Birney, best known as the mom on the favorite 80s sitcom "Family Ties" came out of the closet, which led me to formulate this question: Who do you think is/was the best TV mom? (like that was a surprise) Well certainly not her. I never cared for that show. It had some really great actors and actresses but when you put them all together it did nothing for me. (Sort of like mixing chili with ice cream.) Anywhoo, I think June Cleaver was a great mom. She was always dressed so nicely.

3. Do you speak any foreign languages? Are there any you'd like to learn? Yes I speak German and can ask someone if they like sausages and say I like you but that is about it. I would like to learn Spanish because there are so many Spanish people around. I am also pretty good with ghetto slang. Yo whasssup dog? That means hello, what’s new? See!!

4. Who is your personal hero? Does Catwoman count? I think she was just Perrrrrrfect.

5. What is one holiday food that you find extremely difficult to resist over- indulging in? My father’s specialty which was shrimp dip with bugles. I carry on the tradition and make it each year. When I was young, he would make it when he and my mother were going to a party. They would leave just a small portion for us kids, so out of necessity, I learned to make it myself.

6. Tell me about a Christmas decoration that has special meaning or sentimental value. That would be our crocheted ornaments. Right after we were married, we lived in a small neighborhood near town. There was an elderly lady that lived down the street that was very lonely. Her children never came to visit and she had very few friends. My wife met her one day while she was walking. She invited us to come over and we did and became friends. She just wanted someone to talk to. That Christmas, she gave us a box of handmade ornaments that she had crocheted. They were white snowflakes and they were starched flat. She has since passed but we still have the ornaments and hang them on the tree every year.

7. How do you feel about snow? I like to look at it and play in it but I hate driving in it. I like watching it fall when it is very quiet and you can hear the flakes.

8. On average, how many hours of sleep do you get each night? Not that I'm jealous of any number over three or anything. “6” I go to bed at 9 and usually wake up around 3. Sometimes I lay there until 4 when I am feeling a little tired.

9. Tell me about your first crush. I had a crush on my second grade teacher. I still have a photo of her somewhere. I will find it and post it on my blog one day.

10. You're stuck in a room for 2 hours with only a chalkboard and chalk. What will you write/draw? All work and no play make Greg a dull boy, all work and no play make Greg a dull boy, all work and no play…….

11. Do you dress for the current temp or for the day's forecast? Usually I dress for the current temp. I take a chance that the forecast may be wrong. It often is.

12. Favorite Christmas movie is? Without a doubt “White Christmas”, I watch it every year. My wife loves “Christmas in Connecticut” Neither of us cares for “It’s a wonderful life” although we both love Jimmy Stuart.

Dee bad da, dee bad da, de bad da, that’s all folks,
Have a great day,
Greg

Monday, December 7, 2009

Anything but ordinary

Well after a great run at the market we were bound to have a bad day. Weather wise that is, our sales were up. On Friday as we were loading things up for the market it began to rain. I had to stuff all the things in the front of the truck that couldn’t get wet but I had to leave a few aloe plants in the back for the night. Aloes are succulents so they don’t like a lot of water but they got more than their share that night. Later that night we got an email saying that opening time for the market had been delayed due to bad weather.

We awoke on Saturday to more rain and 40 degree weather. Now I can take the cold and I can take rain but when you mix the too it spells MISERABLE. Around 7:30 the rain stopped so we headed to the market. We were one of the first vendors to set up and our tent wasn’t even ready. It was raining lightly again too so we waited on our tent before unloading the dry stuff. Only about half the vendors even showed up because the weather was so bad but we had a propane heater and we were under the tent so we stuck it out.

The crowd was the thinnest I have ever seen but I have a theory about bad weather shoppers. On nice days there are a lot of people down there. But a lot of those people are just out for a stroll on a nice day. Anyone that goes to an outside market on a cold and rainy day is there to buy. And buy they did. I had the best day in over two months. Go figure.

The rest of the weekend was spent doing projects. I helped make an access ramp for my MIL and repaired our cable line that had been broken. I am not sure which project was more important. I guess it depends on who you ask. My youngest son would say that latter one. I do know that the MIL project hurt more because I drove a screwdriver into my finger. “ouch” Just as I was finishing the cable project, my wife let me know that the washing machine had quit working. Oh happy day!!!!! But I was able to determine what the problem was and I have the part on order. Oh happy day. (minus the sarcasm)

So finally things are settling down in our house and I am able to relax and watch CSI Miami. We all love that show. I love it because I could see myself on a CSI team because of my intuitive abilities and the fact that I am so aware of my surroundings. So the phone rings and I am thinking it is “H” asking me to join his CSI team. But instead it’s my SIL asking what’s going on over at our house. Apparently from her house she could see some flashing lights in front of our house. So I open the blinds and there, right in front of our house, are two fire trucks, an ambulance and a number of cars with their flashers on. No wonder those sirens on CSI Miami sounded so real. Ahem

My son and I went outside and there was a car upside down directly in front of our house. Some guy had run off the road, hit a tree and flipped his car. After careful investigation we think that either he swerved to miss an animal or he may have been to an early Winter party. Notice I didn’t say Christmas party. I heard on the news that a Principal at a school up in Connecticut has decided that the only acceptable greeting at his school (so as not to offend anyone) is “Happy Winter.” But wait, the only reason I like winter is because of Christmas. So without Christmas I hate winter so now I am offended. I think I will sue. Oh what will they think of next?

Have a Great day,
Greg

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thankful Thursday #55


That was a very good year. 1955 that is. Is it just me or is blogland getting a little vacant? I can hear an echo in here. :)Today I am thankful for the things (people) I am not.

1. I am thankful that I am not the man I saw at the gas station this morning who was counting out pennies on the counter to get 2 dollars and 67 cents worth of gas. Had I had a few more dollars in my pocket I would have offered him a few. But I put my last 10 in my tank.

2. I am thankful that I am not the person who recently ran up and stole the kettle from the Salvation Army man who was collecting in front of a store. I hope this man at least used the money to buy food for his family and didn’t spend it on drugs. I doubt that is the case though.

3. I am thankful that I am not Tiger Woods this morning. With all his talent, money and seemingly nice family it just wasn’t enough. They say money corrupts and I believe it.

4. I am thankful that I am not one of the ones sitting in Afghanistan this morning praying that no one shoots me. I am also thankful that there are those who can still do that. Now that I am older, I have lost my nerve for things like that and find myself getting much more cautious.

5. I am thankful that I am not one of the people out of work right now. I just can’t fathom that thought. But the good news is you can still receive the greatest gift of all this Christmas and it won’t cost you a dime. Remember the reason for the season; Jesus.

Have a great day,
Greg

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Random Dozen, Post Thanksgiving Edition.


1. Which Wizard of Oz character are you most like? Hmmm what at tough question. I would have to say Dorothy but before you say Ewwww let me exclude the gender thing. I say Dorothy because I am always looking over the rainbow and do believe there is a wonderful world out there somewhere even if it isn’t always obvious. And although I do love to travel, there is no place like home, no place like, no place like home. Darn I am still at work. I need some new shoes.

2. When you're deciding what you're going to wear each morning, which item do you select first? Why? I actually decide the night before. I am so scheduled that I either lay out gym shorts or jeans depending on my daily routine.

3. What kind of animal do you think the world could live without? Polar bears. They serve no purpose from what I can see and they are at the top of the food chain just like we are. Ok they are beautiful and they probably taste like chicken but other than that they are mean and vicious. Get that picture out of your head of the cute polar bear drinking a coke. He most likely just ate the coke delivery man and is just trying to wash him down.

4. How many Christmas trees are in your home? We usually just have one but it is a big one. This is of course not counting the little trees on the Christmas village that my wife makes.

5. Would you prefer to be emotionless if it meant you didn't have to feel a heartbreak? No. It is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all. Believe that? Me neither.

6. Do you ever experience holiday let-down or depression? Every year. It can be the most depressing time of the year for some. Me included. Too painful to talk about.

7. Do you like Michael Jackson's music? MichaelWho? Wasn’t he the dog fight guy?

8. Why is it that we never judge people who have their teeth fixed for cosmetic reasons, but every other cosmetic procedure has a stigma? I do judge people who have their teeth fixed so I am not sure what you are talking about. I wish I had nice teeth.

9. Enjoy horseback riding? Yes if it is a nice horse. We went horseback riding in Dominica Republic in the mountains and I loved it.

10. Shoes--practical or stylish? Without a doubt practical. I am so out of style it isn’t funny. I buy last year’s running shoes just to save money.

11. What was the name of your first pet? Feel free to post a pic. My first pet (that was all mine) was a redbone hound I named Maggie May. I don’t have any photos but I do know where we buried her back in 1975. Do you really want me to get a pic?

12. What percentage of your Christmas shopping is done? About 90%. I haven’t gotten you anything yet. I am waiting to see what you get me. :)

Oops, I almost forgot, have a great day,
Greg

Monday, November 30, 2009

Black Friday (Deal or no deal?)

Well before I get into the living hell that is also known as black Friday, let me start with my Thankful Thursday from last week. I have been so busy with the holidays and family issues that I haven’t had time to visit many of your blogs so I am not even sure if Sonya did a Thankful Thursday but I am going to chime in with one myself anyway.

I started out my Thanksgiving with the Turkey Day 5K Run in downtown Charleston. I am happy with my time which was around 30 minutes. I don’t know what the exact time was though because they only had a timer at the finish line. For some of us it took about two minutes to get to the starting line so my time of 32 minutes is a little off. There were over 4 thousand people running this race and I finished around 2200.
I am thankful that at my age I can still run three miles at around a 10 minute mile. I will do better next year.

On the way to the race I had more animals run out in front of me. This time it was 5 wild turkeys. I was thinking: Um guys do you know what day it is? I am thankful that I didn’t hit a turkey on the way to the turkey day run.

After the race, I came right home and checked on the turkey which was in the grill. It looked great and was ready for browning so I took off the aluminum foil. When I returned to baste it, the gas had just run out. Talk about good timing. I was able to turn on the oven and move the turkey just in time to save it. I am thankful for great timing on my part.

I am thankful for being able to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family. There were many times when I was in the Navy that I spent the holidays away from home and those times weren’t quite so memorable.

I am thankful for being able to say Grace during dinner. In some countries it is against the law to pray or say a blessing.

All in all it was a great day with very few exceptions. We did make a trip to K-mart after my afternoon nap to check on a TV. We got an ad that said they had a TV we wanted on sale. When we got there we found out that each store only had two or three TV’s and they were all gone. So On Friday we braved the dreaded Walmart at 4 am but we did get our TV for about a hundred dollars less than at K-Mart. So I wasn’t mad anymore. We also got a ton of small appliances at Target and some other presents at some other stores. I think we saved over 500 dollars on early bird specials so it was worth it to get up at 3 am. So did anyone else brave the crowds at 5 am on Friday or am I the only crazy one around here?

Have a great week,
Greg

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Random Dozen, Thanksgiving Edition



1. Are you sticking to traditional Thanksgiving foods this year, or are you being culinarily adventurous? Strictly traditional in our house. This is no time to experiment. It’s all about eating more than you can stand.


2. Tell me something concrete that you're thankful for. (Something you can literally touch, see, etc., not a concept like "hope.") Yes I am thankful for the concrete where are cars are parked. If it weren’t for that, my shoes would be all muddy right now.


3. You knew the flip side was coming: Share about something intangible that you're thankful for. Peace of mind knowing that I do unto others even when they sometimes don’t deserve it.


4. Share one vivid Thanksgiving memory. It doesn't have to be deep or meaningful, just something that remains etched in your memory.

One thanksgiving my father and my uncle came home with a fresh turkey. It was huge and they said they got a deal on it at the store so they couldn’t pass it up. While we were eating at my grandmother’s house, a bulletin came across the TV asking if anyone had seen some man’s pet turkey “Bob” that had escaped the day before. They said there was a reward for his return. Dad looked over at my uncle and they both smiled and my mother saw them do it. All the ladies except my grandmother quit eating. Grandma said; “Well there isn’t anything we can do about it now so let’s eat.” I loved Grandma’s logic. I loved Bob too.


5. What is one thing that you know beyond a shadow of a doubt is going to happen this Thanksgiving because it always does, year after year? There will be a family fight when we go to a relative’s house. They always fight. I think they live to fight.


6. Do your pets get any left-overs? Of course!!! Mr. T is spoiled. Will I get left-overs? Maybe.


7. Does your family pray before the big meal? If so, do you join hands while seated, stand, repeat a formal prayer or offer a spontaneous prayer? Who does the praying? Yes we join hands and someone will spontaneously say a prayer.

8. Will you be watching football in the afternoon? If not, what will you be doing? I call the couch. Its nap time after lunch. Then we are off to the relative’s house.

9. There are two distinct camps of people on this issue: How do you feel about oysters in the dressing/stuffing? I can take it or leave it. My other grandmother used to make it that way.

10. Do you consider yourself informed about the first Thanksgiving? I think it is most likely a myth. I doubt seriously if they really did that. I think they went to Kentucky Fried Chicken and ate there.

11. Which variety of pie will you be enjoying? I would like to say pecan but I think my son ate all the shelled nuts last night.

12. Do you feel for the turkey?? (This is a humorous throw back question related to the 12th question in another Random Dozen!) Not a bit, see question #4. I don’t feel for the oysters either.


Have a great day,
Greg

Monday, November 23, 2009

Dejavu, another near death experiance.

Well the trip was going well for about the first hour anyway. Other than passing two deer, one bunny, two coyote and one drunk things were going pretty well. It was about 430 am, really foggy and I got to a really dangerous road. It is the stretch of 17 south that goes between Jacksonboro and Yemassee SC. For anyone who doesn't know about these two places, Yemassee is where the African village is and Jacksonboro is where the white trash village is. I'm just saying and no the African reference wasn't a racest comment. Look it up. It really is an African village. Anywhoo.

As I said, this is a very dangerous stretch of road. So dangerous that the governor (when he was here) posted the speed limit at 50 mph. More people have died on that one stretch of road than anywhere else in the state and I couldn't count the animals that have died there. So I am going along with the cruise control set at 50 mph which I think was still fast considering the conditions.

Well this little sports car comes racing up behind me and gets so close that I can't see his headlights. Now there was a passing zone less than a mile up the road but he wanted to try to push me. So as luck would have it, up ahead I see a deer and that's when I get Doe-ja-view. I am thinking oh no not again. This time though I was driving my wife's car and I was more worried about what would happen if I crashed her car. So, I see this deer and it is right up beside the road. Now the moron is so close that he can't see the deer but I felt the need to slow down.

I tapped the breaks to turn off the cruise control. Well tapping the breaks is tailgater lingo for get off my butt but that isn't the message I was trying to convey. I wanted to slow down. Well the guy gets angry and moves to the left so that his left headlight is blinding me in my left mirror. He thinks I am being a jerk but I am just wanting to slow down. Next I see the deer starting to run up into the road. Again the guy behind me can't see it because he is literally less than 4 feet behind my car and off to the left.

The deer keeps coming and I am thinking I am going to hit it so I apply the breaks rather quickly thinking I will just take my chances with being hit by the car behind me. Well I begin to swerve because I hit the breaks so hard and the road is wet. The deer was only a few feet from my car at this point. So the guy decides he will show me and pass me on the right but when he does guess what was waiting there for him? That's right, the deer. He gets a direct hit causing him to swerve off the road, and almost wreck but he manages to barely miss the ditch and the on comming traffic. It was so loud that I thought I hit the deer. I made it to a gas station and then stopped to see the damage and there was none.

Oh and the guy quit tailgating. I think he learned an expensive lesson. And on the way back home I saw where the deer didn't make it. It was really bad.

Well I am back home now and all is well. Mom is fine for now and everyone here is doing well. There's no place like home. I will tell more about my trip tomorrow.

Have a great day,
Greg

Hello from the Sunshine State???

Hey everyone. I am writing from down in Florida but I will be returning to South Carolina very soon. I know this is called the sunshine state but it has been cloudy and rainng since I got here. I have lots to write about but I will wait until I get on my own computer. Mom is doing just fine physically but she sure is complaining a lot. I am having a good trip other than that. Talk to you all soon,

Have a great day,
Greg

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thankful Thursday, just my luck.


Some people accuse me of just being lucky but I have a feeling that a lot of my luck comes from Devine intervention. I do think that God is watching over me and for that I am thankful. This morning, Mr. T (Our Cat) decided he wanted to go outside at 4:10. He always goes outside sometime early in the morning and usually it’s my wife that lets him out since he is her cat. Somehow Mr. T learned to shake the mini blinds with his paw to wake us if he wants to go out so that is how he woke me up this morning. But because I only had 20 minutes left to sleep anyway, I decided to get up early and let him out myself.

1. The first thing I am thankful for is the extra 20 minutes I had. I devoted part of that to quiet time just to sit, reflect and be thankful. It was nice to have the extra time to start my day out silently. I will explain why I needed this in a few moments.

2. I left for work 10 minutes early this morning and on my way in I passed a little church. The sign outside said:

We need to talk,
...........................God

Thank you for that little reminder. We just spoke but we will do it again today I am sure.

3. I am thankful that I still have a job and that God has given me the ability to do it well and also do so many other things. I am not worried because if I lost this job I know there are so many things I can do. In fact I am not worried about much of anything these days. “I will fear no evil for thou art with me”

4. When I got to the Navy base this morning, I was still running 10 minutes early. I would expect the traffic to be almost nonexistent at that time of the morning but it was already heavy. As I went a little further I found out why. It’s graduation day for the school on base and people were already arriving. Had I been 10 minutes later,(my normal time) I would have been late for work. I am sure there were reminders but somehow I didn’t see them. Thanks again God.

5. My mother has “fallen and couldn’t get up.” Now this doesn’t sound like a blessing but I have a feeling it will turn out to be one for reasons I won’t go into here. She lives in a really bad part of town (again for reasons I won’t go into) but it is her choice to live there and we can’t seem to change her mind. Well she decided that she wanted to get something to eat so she decided to drive herself to a restaurant.(let me just say she had food in the house and most likely only ate one bite of whatever she ordered at the restaurant) She is 80 and very frail and isn’t supposed to be driving. But she is a hard-head and did it anyway. Of course she forgot her cane but she somehow managed to get to a restaurant and eat. Someone helped her into her car after dinner but when she got home, she had to get into her house by herself. So she tried to do that without her cane and with no lights on since she forgot to leave any on.

Well she fell and broke her hip and since my brother who normally lives there (and takes care of her…..Ahem) was spending the night in a dryout facility she just lay there alone in the dark. This is when the thankful part comes in. Since she lives in a really bad neighborhood, chances were that a gangsta or drug dealer (other than my brother) would come by and rob her or something worse. However a nice person(Good Samaritan) just happened to be walking by and noticed that she had left the light on in her car so he walked up to the house to tell her she would have a dead battery in the morning. He found her laying there in the dark and called 911. So what I am thankful for is that a good person found her instead of a robber.

Anyway, she is ok and having a hip operation today to have a pin put in it. She will be out of it for a few days so I will be traveling to Florida this weekend to see her. Is my life interesting or what?

Have a great day and say a little prayer for my Mother.
Greg

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

It's Wednesday, and you know what that means...

It's week number 12 for the Random Dozen so without further ado....



1. If you could master one sport, what would it be? I guess that would be running. I was a pretty fast runner when I was young and I did a little distance running after I hit 40 but I was never fast for any great distance. My best time for a half marathon was 1 hour and 45 minutes and I think that will end up being my life’s best run.

2. When you make a major purchase, do you go with your gut instinct, or do you do research to make an informed decision? That depends on what I am buying. For the most part though I am an impulsive buyer. That is why I hate those displays by the checkout counter. Hmmm do I need a Snuggie today? Perhaps the Slap Chop is what I am looking for?

3. There is an old kids' game that says you can find out what your movie star name would be by using your middle name as your first name and the name of the street you grew up on as your last. What is your movie star name? That would be Martin Cumberland. Hey I kind of like that name. It sounds a lot like Richard Chamberlin. Oops I just showed my age.

4. Would you rather give up your favorite music or your favorite food? I don’t know which is more eclectic, my taste in music or my taste for different foods. Giving up just the top one in either category would still leave me with lots of options. I guess I would have to pick music. Good by KC.

5. There are two types of banana preferences. One is pristine yellow, almost to the point of being green; the other is spotty and more ripe. Which is your preference? I much prefer the yellow or even slightly green ones over the over ripe ones. I keep those to make banana bread which reminds me, it’s that time again.

6. Your favorite tree is? This is easy. I like a good oak tree. They are the best for climbing and shade. But then Ule Gibbons said a pine tree tastes pretty good.

7. On a scale of 1-10, how tech savvy are you? About 10 years ago I would have given myself a 10 but technology is changing so fast I am most likely down around a 4 now.

8. Has H1N1 touched your family? I am not going to jinx myself by saying no to this question. I do know people who have had it.

9. Are you an analytical person, or do you just accept things the way they are without questioning or scrutinizing? I put the @nal in analytical. Sorry I had to say that. I question everything. “Inquiring minds want to know”

10. Is your personality more like that of a dog, cat, or Koala? What the heck kind of question is that? Are there no more choices? Of the three I would have to say cat. But only because I think cats are smarter than dogs or koala’s.

11. Do you keep in touch with friends you made years ago? Just a few but that comes and goes. I have gotten in touch with a few of my highschool friends but after a while we find out why we grew apart in the first place. We had nothing in common other than we went to the same school.

12. You are checking out at a grocery store. In the express lane, there are more people than the regular lanes, but of course, their load is less than those in the regular lanes. Which lane do you choose (assuming you qualify for the express lane) and why? I go for the regular lane. As I see it, the more people in front of you, the greater chance that one of them is a moron who has picked something without a price tag or two similar items with different prices which will cause the dreaded “C S M on register two” call. And there is always the chance, be it ever so slight these days, that one of the people in the regular lane will insist that you go first since you only have a few items. It is rare but it does happen sometimes. Can you say “blue moon?”

Have a Great day,
Greg

Monday, November 16, 2009

Toy time.

For the last few I have been raising money here at work for The Good Neighbor Fund. It is an organization that gives out Christmas baskets to needy families during the holidays. They usually give out the necessities like food and sometimes help with other financial necessities like power or water bills.

But along with those necessities for life, there are love necessities. Can you imagine being a child on Christmas morning and finding a bare tree with nothing under it for you? As bad as we had it growing up, we did get presents every Christmas. And since Christmas is all about giving, the Good Neighbor Fund sends presents for the children along with the food baskets. That's where we come in. Our company does a toy drive every year to collect new toys to go along with the food baskets.

I have found that it is easier to get people to donate a little cash than a present. (even with these tough times) So every year I put on food sales here at work to raise money for toys. This year we were crunched for time though and only had three weeks to get something going. I put on a hotdog sale one Friday and a spaghetti dinner sale the following Friday and managed to raise almost 300 dollars for toys.

Now I'm not bragging by any means even though I do think that is great that people are still willing to give when they are struggling themselves. I am simply reminding you all that by you being able to read this, you either have a computer and/or a job so you are doing better than a lot of people. So this year make sure and give a little more. Because giving to a child is what Christmas is all about.

Have a Great Day,
Greg

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thankful Thursday, Bring on the rain.



The past few weeks have been cloudy here and I am not just talking about the rain. But the last few days we have had rain and lots of it. As my wife’s grandmother used to say; It’s water in the well. And since we do have a “well” that is something to be thankful for in itself. Oh by the way, we had no flood damage as the storm went past us even though I heard reports of several feet of water in the streets of downtown Charleston. (which by the way is in a lower flood danger zone) I’m just saying.

1. So the first thing I am thankful for is the girl at our insurance company. She could have been like the lady at Allstate and said; “4000 dollars, take it or leave it” but instead she did her job and got us a better rate. We are in “better hands” now.

2. I would again like to say that I am thankful for our service men and women who are protecting us at this very moment. I am truly thankful for each and every one of them. I pray that God protects them.

3. I am thankful for an outstanding spin class last night. I pushed it harder than I ever have before and It really helped to burn off some of that stress that has been following me around. And we got some good news too last night. They are changing the evening spin times to an hour earlier and different days which will make it much better for me to workout.

4. I am thankful that all the cars continue to run well. Funny thing though, my MIL’s car died the other day and it turned out to be a bad battery. That makes 5 batteries that have gone bad in the last month. Two were on the trucks, one on my car, the boat battery and then my MIL’s car battery. What in the world is going on here? Battery attack?

5. I am thankful that my hair is growing back quickly but now I am wondering what to do with it. Having it shaved off sure was convenient. We were saving on shampoo and combs too. I will have to give this some more thought as to what to do since winter is upon us. I don’t think I looked too bad with it shaven and I even got a few compliments but I am still getting used to the way I look.

Have a Great Thankful Thursday,
Greg

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Random Dozen, more randomness.



1. What was the last song you listened to?
“Sooner or later love is gonna get ya” Oh now it’s “Give me some lovin.” I got to hurry and finish this question. Ok I had to come back and add to this list because I know how much Lid loves this song: “Your eyes have a mist from the smoke from a distant fire.” That one’s for you Linda.

2. Have you ever had “buyer’s remorse” over anything? I once bought a Chrysler New Yorker that was loaded. It was silver on the outside with blue leather seats. The dash was wood grained and it talked to you when something was wrong. This was before everyone else went to talking cars. The next day after buying the car, it didn’t start. After two days of troubleshooting the mechanics found out that the starter wasn’t fully plugged in. (two days to figure that out) Everything on that car quit working from time to time and there were times when we would be driving it that it would all of a sudden say; A door is ajar. I wanted to shoot that car. It left my wife stranded more than once and I ended up trading it in at a huge loss just to get rid of it.

3. What is something in your life that you are thankful for now that you didn’t think you would be at the time of the event? (Something that seemed ill-timed, inconvenient or hurtful which turned out to be a good thing) That would be my divorce. I struggled with it for so long fighting feelings of guilt and religious beliefs. But in the end I went through it. After listening to her lie with her hand on the Bible and seeing her put on an act that was deserving of an Academy Award, I knew I did the right thing. After the divorce was over and we were leaving the courtroom she came up to me with a smug grin on her face and said. “I fooled THAT judge” and I replied; “That’s not the judge you need to be concerned about. ” The last time I saw her was 20 years after the divorce and she was the same hateful person she always was. I asked her how she was doing and she gave me directions of where to go. I wanted to say "If I wanted to go THERE I would just follow you" but I just said Sorry you feel that way and let it go.

4. Do you watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade every year? If so, do you have a favorite float or balloon? I used to watch it every year but now I do the Turkey Day 5K run in Downtown Charleston. If there is any parade left when I get back home, I will watch it in between cooking.

5. Share a quote, scripture, poem or lyric which has been an inspiration to you lately. That would be Psalm 23; 4 “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”

6. This is meant to be a fun question, and this is a G-rated blog, but please share a “guilty pleasure,” something that you enjoy that’s probably not the most edifying, time-worthy or healthy thing you could be indulging in. Did I mention this blog is rated G? Hmmm let me think. I gotta keep this G rated. I do like a good soak in our tub with Calgon or some other bath oil. We have one of those old tubs with the feet on it. It’s not very manly, call me crazy but I enjoy it.

7. What Thanksgiving food are you looking forward to? The dressing!! I make the best in the world if I do say so myself. I cook the main part of the Thanksgiving dinner and my wife makes the pies because she makes the best pie crust in the world. She even makes the crust for my pecan pie which I make the filling for.

8. What is your favorite book to read to children, or what was your favorite childhood book? “Go Dogs Go.” I can still see the photos from that book and recite many of the lines.




9. Do you collect anything? (Feel free to post a photo.) We collect Civil War artifacts. (Also known as the War of Northern aggression) We have lots of bottles, bullets, belt buckles, pipes and other things from the War of Northern Aggression. I will get photos for another post.

10. Gift bags or wrapping paper? If I have the time I go with wrapping paper and I prefer to get a gift that is wrapped. Last minute presents end up in a gift bag. We keep some handy just for such an occasion.

11. Share an after-school memory from when you were younger. What was your routine like on an average day? When we were in grammar school we walked home in the afternoons. It was only a mile. I can remember leaving the school grounds with a large crowd of kids but as we went along, the crowd got thinner and thinner. We lived on the last paved road in town and there was only one dirt road past ours. For the last block, we walked alone. On some days my grandmother was there to watch us but some days we were at home alone until our parents got there.

12. True story: Once, in a job interview, I was asked this question and told there would be no clarifying; I simply had to answer the question: “When you’re fishing, do you feel for the fish?” So what about you? Do you feel for the fish?? I hate seeing anything die so I put the bucket at a distance so I don’t have to watch it. Once they are dead, I am ok with it. The same goes for hunting or anything that was living for that matter. I can eat veggies but only if I don't see them picked. :)

13. What would be your solution to the political circus that is killing our country and keeping our service men and women in harms way? (I added this question for Veterans Day since I am a Veteran.) Make it a requirement that anyone who runs for any political office in America be a Veteran. No one should be allowed to make decisions for our military unless they have been in their shoes!!!

Thank a Veteran today, Some of them will die for you tomorrow.
Greg

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Just a bit stressed here!!!

As you may have noticed I haven’t blogged in almost a week. It has been a bad few days for me. Just when I get one trouble behind me something else comes up and smacks me in the back of the head and knocks me down again. I thought I had all my troubles behind me but that isn’t the case.

I really needed a break so this past weekend we decided to take a day off and go fishing. About a mile from the boat landing, my boat died and we had to row back to the landing. I decided to go ahead and finish the work on my cars and one thing after another fought me as I worked. I had problems with tools, parts and even sand gnats. If you aren’t from this area and have never experienced sand gnats they are more than aggravating. They are enough to make the pope curse. And the worst thing about them is they have this knack for attacking you when you are working hard or trying to concentrate. Needless to say they ate me up and I said a few choice words. The local name for them is flying teeth because they are so small that you can hardly see them but they have a bite like a beaver.

The next “wonderful” thing that added to my stress was a “nice” letter from the “good hands people” You know the insurance company that cares about us so much and saves us bunches of money. Well our flood insurance is up for renewal next month. Have you seen the flood insurance commercials where they say that flood insurance is cheaper than you think? Well guess again. Last year our premium was $208.00 a year. This year those same good hands people wanted $4100.00 a year. Don’t you think that is kind of an excessive jump since we made no improvements on our house and have never filed a claim? Yes you read that right 208 >>>>> 4100.

So I called the good hands people, oh who am I fooling it was Allstate and they gave me some story about it being all FEMA’s fault and refused to discuss it anymore. This is the point where I lost my temper and said some things that were not so nice and that I would take my business elsewhere. She said that it didn’t matter where I went, I was going to have to pay that same amount. So we called the people who have our home owner’s policy and they got us the flood insurance for $1100.00. I have to say that I am fighting the urge to call that woman back and tell her off. It won’t do any good so I will simply tell everyone I know not to use them. “You are in bad hands with Allstate” “Raising your rates….. That’s Allstate’s stand”

So what caused the large increase you might ask? Well it was partially (but not totally) FEMA’s fault. They decided that our side of the island which just happens to be the furthest side from the ocean, just happens to be the highest point in the entire county and also just happens to be 99% black is in danger of flooding while the front side of the island which just happens to flood on a good high tide and is 99% white is at a low risk. Something is fishy here. I have not yet begun to fight on this issue. You can expect some letters to fly on this one.

And one last stressful thing has to do with family (children) and I prefer not to discuss it here. Let’s just say it has me totally stressed out and I can see why some animals eat their young and it's not because they taste like chicken.

I am trying to have a good day,
Greg

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thankful Thursday and Birthday Wishes


It’s Thursday again and truly another Thankful Thursday. I again have so much to be thankful for.

1. For starters, it’s my oldest son’s birthday. He turned 18 today and I am simply happy that he is alive. When he was born he was very ill. For the first three weeks of his life he stayed in the neonatal unit at MUSC. (Medical University of South Carolina). A few minutes after he was born, he quit breathing and was taken by Helicopter to MUSC in downtown Charleston. My wife was in the original hospital over in Mount Pleasant SC recovering from her C section. I had to leave her and drive to MUSC where I nervously waited for any news. It was several hours before I got any news at all. I spent that first night of his life praying in the waiting room. They had him in a drug induced coma with an oxygen tube in his lungs supplying him enough oxygen. My wife hadn’t even seen him yet and didn’t until the next day. It was the longest night of my life. I am so thankful that God protected him.

2. I am also thankful for the nurses and doctors at MUSC. They really are angels and saints. While we were there a number of children came and went. Most were healed but a few didn’t make it. It takes a special person to take something like that. Just hearing about the loss of a child that I didn’t even know made me sad. Those nurses sat up with and held my son every night until he was released.

3. I am thankful that I seem to be over my cold. (Finally) I went to spin class last night and managed to make it to the end with only a little wimping out. Truth is I had to slack up a little at the end but I did make it through. Next week I will do better.

4. I am thankful that I got my son’s car back together and it worked. I mean it really started and ran. I impressed myself on this one. It was way out of my comfort zone to take an engine down that far and repair it. In the end, I had no “extra” parts and all the plugs had a matching socket to plug into. Who knows what I will tackle tomorrow. Well God does but I hope He gives me a few days to rest before giving me my next assignment.

5. I am thankful for more free wood. They are cleaning up the lay down area here at work and my boss asked if I wanted all the wood that was left over from old projects. Of course I said yes so today I am bringing home the lumber. It will be a great start for the new greenhouse we are planning on building. Yes it’s another project but God knows I can do it.

Have a wonderful Thankful Thursday,
Greg

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Three Dozen

Ok it's actually another episode of Random Dozen sponsored by Linda at 2nd cup of Coffee. Won't you join us.






1. Its early morning, about 2:00AM, and you're driving home. You come to a red light and sit there. There is no one in sight for miles around. Do you wait it out or run the light?
Let’s change the question a little. Let’s say it is yesterday at 6 AM, there are lots of people around me and the light doesn’t change. I gave it two minutes and I ran it. Should I turn myself in?

2. If you had the chance to re-do the last 24 hours, would you change anything?
My underwear but that goes without saying. I wouldn’t wear the same ones two days in a row. You know the whole getting into an accident thing. Especially when you run red lights. Other than that, No.

3. When you reply to someone's comment on your blog, do you reply in your comments or go to her blog and comment? (Or email her)
I do the last two mostly but sometimes I do follow up comments. First time visitors always get a comment back on their blog (unless I miss you in which case I am very sorry) and some regulars get emails.

4. Your favorite Disney movie is:Davy, Davy Crocket born in the wild frontier…...

5. Do you recycle?
Yes we do. I have a huge barrel for plastic and aluminum and we also recycle some other things like polystyrene. We reuse plastic bags from the grocery store down at the market.

6. Games of strategy or games of chance?
I like them both. My two favorite games are Chess and Scrabble. I am pretty good at poker too but that is because I can count cards. My wife says that’s cheating.

7. Do you have any recurring dreams?
Not anymore. When I was very young I did and I would sleep walk and wake up screaming. I know it was all due to childhood trauma. It was as if I was floating in a really dark place and all these hands were reaching in to me but I couldn’t touch them and they couldn’t touch me.

8. What did you learn from your first real job?
That people aren’t always who they seem to be: My boss who seemed normal at the time, later in life came out of the closet and told everyone he was gay. My co-worker’s wife, who seemed like a really nice person asked me if I wanted to come over sometime while her husband was working. I was 16 and I opted to pass on that offer.

9. Do you buy or borrow most books?
I don’t read a lot of books. The only one I read in the last 5 years was one I won from Sonya at Truth for the Journey. Oh I read the Bible too but I had that one for a long time.

10. What fashion trend of the past did you say you'd never wear again but did?
I tried to let my hair grow a little longer but it was too hot so I cut it short again. Just FYI, it is about a quarter of an inch long at the moment. Talk about a hippie!!

11. When do you start Christmas shopping?
The day after Thanksgiving unless I see a really good deal earlier that I can’t pass up. I haven’t seen any deals yet this year.

12. Have you ever been so happy that you literally jumped up and down for a few seconds? If so, what was the occasion?
I did that when I won a radio contest. It was one of those national contests and I was the 100th caller. I gave them all my information and then they called me right back and told me I was the winner. Right after I hung up the phone I jumped up and down. My wife came to see what was going on and I told her we just won $5000.00. We both did the happy dance.


Have a great day,
Greg

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Like pulling teeth.

Well I finally got that half tooth out of my mouth. It has been broken off for a long time now and I finally went in and had it removed. What a relief to have that old thing gone. It was essentially dead but because of my fear of dentists I kept putting off having it pulled out. I like this dentists though because he doesn't try to push you into crowning everything. He tells you the options and lets you decide what to do. The last dentist I went to wasn't like that.

When I went to see this dentist he even told me that the odds of a cap surviving on this tooth was unlikely. I explained my fear of dentists though and he gave me a little pill to take before I got to his office. Did that ever work. I staggered into his office around 3:30 last night and he got me right in the chair. After two quick shots and a few minute wait he returned to remove the tooth. He offered to give me gas but I told him I was already in la-la land and didn't need it. I love la-la land. haha

So the nurse held my face with her hands while the dentist got ready to pull the tooth. He was wiggling something in my mouth and I though he was trying to get a good grip on the tooth. About a minute later he said; "I got it" I thought he meant that he got a good grip on it and I should brace myself for the trauma but he said "no I got it out already" Oh how I love modern medicine. I was afraid for nothing. I took a little pain pill before I went to sleep last night and this morning I feel great. I just may have them all pulled out. Well maybe not quite yet.

Hey wait a second. Where was the tooth fairy last night? I've been robbed.

Have a great day,
Greg

Monday, November 2, 2009

Be very afraid!!!

Guess who? Yes that's yours truly dressed as Uncle Fester. I bit the bullet and had my head shaved on Friday just for the occasion. The weather forecast was calling for 85 degrees and since I had already made my robe out of fleece that bald wig was totally out of the question. I couldn't get it to look good anyway. I think about a hundred people took my photo and some said I looked just like the original Uncle Fester. I think I looked pretty good if I do say so myself.


"Thing" was really popular with the older kids but the younger ones were afraid to grab any candy. I Had the hand rigged where it would pop up when you opened the box and it kind of shook for a few seconds after that.

This is me and #1 Son. He was a hippie and his pants were designed by his friends Erin and CeCe. The scary part is I used to actually dress like that back in the day.

Even the dogs got into the act but obviously this one was "chicken." haha


And speaking of chickens does anyone know what this guy is supposed to be? Anyone, anyone, anyone.... A chick magnet. Get it? Chick magnet. Yuck yuck yuck.

This is me with my good friends and trusted neighbors Mary and Ron, otherwise known as the grim reaper and witch Mary.

Believe it or not these are a couple of our neighbors. I hate to say it but they are real "railer trash."Pregnant at 16. (not really but it was a great costume)

All I can say about this costume is "Meow" I don't know this girls name but she always has a big smile on her face kind of like the cat that got the canary. Sorry I couldn't resist.

This wonder of a woman actually got up early just to dress up for the occasion. She said that one of her children woke up and said; "Mom what are you wearing?"

I put a slide show of some of the other costumes on my Examiner web page. If you have time, check them out.

Have a great day,

Greg

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thankful Thursday, On the road to recovery.



It’s Thankful Thursday and do I ever have a lot to be thankful for. I am not sure what happened yesterday because I swear I posted but I don't see anything so I must have been delusional. I think I am finally starting to feel better so the medicine must be working. Or I could just be getting used to feeling sick.

1. The first thing I am thankful for is the story of Job. No matter how bad I felt yesterday I kept reminding myself that things could be a lot worse. And no matter what happens in my life I will never blame God. Life is only temporary.

2. I am thankful that I was able to get some rest yesterday and last night. I never take a sick day but at my wife’s insistence I took one yesterday. I slept until almost noon and then just laid around the house the rest of the day. I kept thinking “I sure wish I had one of those Snuggies.” Last night I went to bed around 8 and slept the entire night with only a few brief awake moments.

3. I am thankful to be back at work today. My inbox is full, I had almost 100 emails and my desk is a mess but my at least my ID card opened the gate when I got here which tells me I do still have a job. And the nice thing is all I have to do is sneeze and everyone runs away from me. Talk about power. I may just fake a few sneezes today.

4. I am thankful that I got the parts in for my truck and my son’s truck and they both seem to be the correct parts. With any luck I will have my son’s car back on the road by next week. I think my son will happy to be driving his 4 cylinder engine again instead of my V8. He has had to spend all his money on gas just going back and forth to school. I think he is learning a valuable lesson about having one of those big trucks like so many of his friends have.

5. I am thankful for all my blog friends who not only prayed for Chelsea but for me just because I am a little sick. You all are the best!! Thanks for remembering us in your prayers. And Chelsea is doing much better too by the way.

And in case anyone is in need of a job and thinking of moving to Charleston. Boeing is building a new assembly plant here and there will be lots of jobs offered. This news was just made public last night. If anyone is interested, feel free to email me for more information.

Have a Great day,
Greg

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Doctar, aint there nothing I can take?

Well my condition went from bad to worse. I got so bad I even took time off from work and went to see my doctor. When I got there I waited an hour and a half to be seen even though I had an appointment. There was a new girl at the check in desk and she put my file in the wrong place so they kept skipping me. Because I didn't have on a watch and was a little dizzy I didn't realize how long I had been there. When the doctor found out what was going on I was in her office in less than two minutes. She apologized and assured me it wouldn't happen again.

The good news is I don't have H1N1 or pneumonia. I do however have a really bad sinus infection which has spread to both of my ears. So everything sounds like it is muted and I can't breathe. Other than that I am fine. Oh and since I can't breathe I can't sleep well. And since I haven't been sleeping my blood pressure was very high so I can't take a decongestant. I am in a lose lose situation. The antibiotics should take a few days to work and then I will be right as rain. Well I hope so anyway. Stay tuned for further developments.

I hope everyone is having a better day than I am,
Greg

Monday, October 26, 2009

Yea, it's Monday

Does anyone know what happened to the weekend? Last I remember it was Friday and now it's Monday. Those two days sure have a way of slipping by quickly. Now if only we could get Monday through Friday to go by that fast and slow down the Saturdays and Sundays all would be great.

I do have some great news. Chelsea was able to come home from the hospital yesterday. Without going into a lot of personal details I will just say that the doctors were able to isolate her problem and they have it under control. She still has some medical problems but she is continuing to show signs of improvement. And going from the ICU to home is a great thing.

Now for the bad news....Guess who is sick now? Me!!. I have had a killer cold since Friday. It started with some post nasal drip, followed by a sore throat and now I feel like someone is standing on my chest. I am so congested it isn't funny. This morning I dropped by the gym since I couldn't sleep anyway and tried to workout. I ended up getting in a 15 minute workout and a 20 minute hot shower. It did clear up my head a bit though. Now all I have to do is try to stay awake all day.

I am still working on my son's car. We are making some progress but we need to have one part machined and that may take a few days if they can do it at all. If they can't it may get expensive.

My Halloween costume is coming along well. I should finish it tonight. The only bad part is that it is going to be very hot in it. The original forecast said 75 degrees which sounded great but now they are saying 82 degrees. I never though I would say this but I sure wish it would be a little colder on Saturday. I will take photos before all my makeup runs off due to sweating.

Oh guess who has bananas in October? Check out my Examiner site if you have time and see what they look like.

Have a great Monday everyone,
Greg

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thankful Thursday.


Where does the time go? This Thursday kind of slipped up on me. But since I have so much to be thankful for it is never hard to come up with a list. Please join in with Thankful Thursday by visiting Sonya's blog.

(1) Well there is no new news on Chelsea but she is still holding her own and that in itself is a blessing. Every day that we have here on earth is a blessing and I thank God for each and every one that I am given. The reason that the reports are so sketchy on this girl is because her parents are basically camping out at the hospital and no other family can come into the Intensive Care Unit. When I hear something I will let you know.

(2) I am thankful for this nice weather we are having. It was in the 50’s this morning and it is supposed to get into the 70’s by the afternoon. That is just about perfect in my book. I hope the cooler weather holds for another week because my costume is going to be hot and I don’t want my makeup to run if I sweat. Did you hear that…a guy said “I don’t want my makeup to run” haha

(3) I am thankful that the hunter situation has been resolved. This past weekend they were again out in force but they were at another location on the island. They were doing their usual “we are only trying to catch our dogs thing” while trespassing on someone else’s land. Well at this particular location the DNR had placed a decoy deer to catch poachers. One of the hunters was about to shoot it when he noticed that it wasn’t real.

So then this band of hunters decided to take a little break as a show of defiance to the wildlife officers. And since “the DNR can’t do anything unless it involves game of some kind” these guys had a few beers and threw trash out on the street. News flash: The DNR in many cases has more power that regular police. So after writing numerous tickets for littering and public drinking the hunters were sent on their way. Good things come to those who wait.

(4) I am thankful that I have tomorrow off. I will be working on my son’s car all day but at least I am able to do it. I am making some serious progress at getting it disassembled and it looks like I will get that accomplished. I know I can get it back together too and hopefully it will work when I am finished. 
(5) I am thankful that God is so very good to me. I don’t know what I did to deserve all the blessings that I get but I am thankful for them. I guess I must be doing something right.

Have a Wonderful Day,
Greg

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Halloween Tricks or Treats.

It’s hard to believe that Halloween is just a little over a week away. Now I know a lot of people that read my blog don’t like or celebrate Halloween for religious reasons and I don’t blame you for that. There are as many reasons not to celebrate this occasion as there are to celebrate it. I have always liked Halloween because I never viewed it from the religious perspective. Halloween has always been special for me for a number of reasons. And God knows what is in my heart no matter what I do.

First off my earliest memories of Halloween were going Trick-Or-Treating for UNICEF. When I was very young that is what we did. We went with our church group every year collecting money for needy children around the world. We wore positive costumes that were bright and uplifting. There were never any psycho killer or stripper outfits or anything like that. After we finished we would go to the home of one of the church members and have a celebration where we played games (including twister….read on), had homemade treats and read the Bible. And you thought this Hallelujah party was a new thing. Ha, We invented it.

As we grew older, we were allowed to Trick-Or Treat for candy and other goodies. We only went to the homes of people we knew and we often got things like unwrapped candies, homemade cookies, apples and oranges. There was even one guy that gave out silver dollars but you had to get there early if you wanted to get one of those. When he ran out he switched to full sized candy bars which were nice too. We enjoyed it because other than Christmas time, we didn’t have a lot of sweets around our house. It was fun being a child and going out with other friends in our neighborhood. It was simply a children’s social event.

My favorite house to stop at was Lurch’s house. Remember him from The Adams Family? Well he had a house that was about two blocks from where we lived. My father actually knew him and on a few occasions I actually got to see him. He didn’t look at all like he did in the TV show but he was a tall quiet man.

As time went on Halloween began to change. But it wasn’t the children that were changing it, it was the adults. There were pins in apples, poison candy, sick people trying to lure children into their homes and violence on the streets. I remember having to let my mother check all my candy before we could eat it. All that loose candy was thrown away along with any fruit and homemade goodies. If it didn’t look safe it was thrown out. There was even a local hospital where they would X-ray your candy for you to make sure there were no pins or razor blades in it. Sick sick sick.

But I still loved Halloween time. I loved the change of weather that usually accompanied the occasion. I liked seeing the little pirates, princesses and ballerinas. The costumes were still for the most part nice and unthreatening. When I joined the Navy I missed a lot of Halloweens. For a while there, very few children came around Trick-Or-Treating. Perhaps it was the neighborhoods where I lived or just the general feeling about the event.

About 29 years ago something else happened that reminded me how much I loved Halloween. It was actually 29 years ago from this Friday. I met my wife. And after a week of annoying her, she agreed to go out with me on the Friday before Halloween. We ended up going to a Halloween party and then out dancing. We were the only couple that didn’t wear a costume but we still had a great time. And after that we began going out on Halloween whenever I was home for the occasion. And we always dressed up when we went out. We even won a number of costume contests.

So that is why I love Halloween so much. Just like anything in life it can be either positive or negative depending on your attitude. I like making it positive because being a kid is hard enough these days. This year they are asking everyone at the Market to dress up since Halloween is on a Saturday. I Have decided to go as Uncle Fester from the Adams Family. I always loved that (original) show because the Adams’ always reminded me of my own family. You know…Mysterious and Spooky, all together Kooky. That’s us. And why Uncle Fester you ask? If you ever watched the show did you notice his attitude? He was almost always happy. No matter what was happening in his life he always tried to find the bright side. That’s me.

Last night I stopped by Hokus Pokus to get some items for my costume. This was my first visit to their little shop of horrors. Let me tell you, if you need a costume (and have lots of money) this is the place to go. They had more stuff in that store than I have ever seen. Most complete costumes start around 75 dollars which is why I decided to make my own. So I am standing at the counter trying to get a light bulb that will light up when I put it in my mouth. (hey I go all out) This counter just happens to be by some of the dressing rooms.

To my left I hear “What do you think?” There stood two girls who had come out of separate dressing rooms to show each other their outfits. One has picked out the Twister outfit which is a very short dress with large colorful dots all over it. It comes with a twister game so you can play twister while wearing the dress. At first I thought “cute idea” but then the second thought was that this girl was going to be playing twister in a mini skirt. Finally I put two and two together (I can be a little slow sometimes) and realized that when the pointer said “right hand on red” The game could get into the adult category due to the placement of some of the dots on her dress. See, even the children’s game twister can be a good or a bad thing.

Now the other girl was wearing the Swiss Miss outfit. That’s what I would call it anyway. Sounds innocent enough doesn’t it….Not so fast. If you saw the movie Miss Congeniality, picture the little dress that Sandra wore during the talent contest. If you didn’t see the movie it was a very short frilly dress that was designed to show of the undies which were actually not undies but shorts that were part of the outfit. So this girl is standing there in almost the identical dress from the movie except that instead of the shorts she just has on her (skimpy) underwear. Ahem, girl you are standing in a store in your underwear and there must be 20 people that can see you. I think I know who vying for “Miss Congeniality” at her party.

All I can say is that if your children are invited to a twister party this Halloween you might want to check out the details first. I’m just saying.

Have a great day,
Greg