Friday, January 29, 2010

America's got talent

It looked like it was going to be one of those days. You know they kind; nothing to blog about. But then it hit me like a ton of bricks and walllah. Something to blog about. Life is good!!!

I just came back from running an errand and while out, I saw her: “The most talented woman in America.” She was driving a shiny new KIA and I knew from the moment I saw her that this woman had talent. I also knew from the moment I saw her that she was Italian. She was holding a cell phone up to one ear and her mouth was going a mile a minute. And in the true Italian style her other hand was also going a mile a minute.

You all know what I am talking about. They say if you want to keep an Italian quiet simply tie their hands down. It is impossible for an Italian to talk without moving their hands. Forgive me sis for saying that. (she is married to an Italian)And this woman was a true Italian talker. As her vehicle approached mine while I was stopped at a stop light I could see her talking on the cell phone and waving her other hand in the air. That’s’ right she had no hands on the steering wheel. But wait it gets better.

Just as we begin to take off she reaches down and grabs an iced latte and takes a sip while still driving with no hands and talking on the cell phone. I was really impressed and also a little frightened. But wait, don’t judge her just yet. As I drive a little further she is still following me and somehow manages to stay on the road driving with no hands. She is still talking on the cell phone but now grabs a cigarette and lights it and is now smoking, talking, waiving her hands, drinking and driving. And you wonder why there are so many accidents these days.

Have a great day,
Greg

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thankful Thursday (going solo)


Those of you that have been following the Thankful Thursday posts over at Sonya’s blog may have noticed that Sonya is no longer leading the charge. She did a great job at getting this thing going though and because some of us enjoy it so much we are going to go it alone. I decided to use this photo that I took a few years back of a sunrise in Florida for my Thankful Thursday posts since a sunrise signals a new beginning. So here goes my Thankful Thursday list;

I am thankful that my muscles are finally starting to hurt a little less. As you may or may not know, I started a new exercise routine this week called Body Pump. The class is mostly made up of women because the exercises aren’t tough enough for men to do. That’s what men say anyway. Two days after my first class, my arms are still sore. So I know the real reason men shy away from this class.

I am thankful for a few warm days that we have this week. It will give me time to get more wood staged for the next cold snap. That will be coming on Sunday by the way.

I am thankful that my car is running ok. It looks like my wife needs a new transmission but so far my car just needs a front end alignment. It gave me a scare though over the last few days. For about the last week, I have been hearing a metal sound when I turned a sharp corner. I was thinking that something in the steering was going and I dreaded the thought of that. Then I heard the sound again this morning and it sounded like it was coming from under my seat. I looked and there under my seat was a can of hair spray. My wife took my car to get the oil changed last week and apparently left her hairspray under the seat. Every time I turned sharply it would roll to the side and hit on the seat support causing a little metal to metal noise. I am so glad I found that.

Along with the transmission problems above I am also thankful that we have a friend who owns a transmission shop and will be checking things out for us. At least it is someone we can trust. And I am also thankful that we have an extra truck that my wife can drive until we get her car fixed.

I am thankful for all the blog friends who will be doing Thankful Thursday along with me this week even without our leader. Let me know if you are participating and I will check your list out too.

Have a great day,
Greg

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

All we want to do is pump you up.


Remember that skit from Saturday Night live? It was a favorite of mine. At least until this morning that is. Now it just reminds me how sore I am. Last night I decided to try something different. Instead of going to spin class like I usually do on Tuesday nights I made a right turn into the Body Pump class. It is an hour earlier than spin class so it is much more convenient timing wise and I really needed to try something new.

I was the second one in the room when I arrived and I asked the person in the room what to do and she told me. I got all my equipment ready and this girl told me to go easy on the weights for the first time because it is harder than most people think. So instead of loading on the weights I decided on 25lbs including the bar. What this class involves is weight training to music. It sounds easy enough but the intent is to use low weights and do lots of repetitions. After the first set I was already sweating and breathing hard so I was glad that I didn’t go all out on the weights.

By the end of the class I was a little sore but the workout was much better than I had been getting at spin class. Spinning was only working my legs, lungs and heart while Body Pump gave me a total body workout. I would recommend it to anyone. It takes the boredom out of lifting weights but you get the same benefit. I am thinking about doing the Thursday spin class occasionally in addition to the Body Pump but not every week.

I woke up early this morning because my arms were aching. I knew I was out of shape but this is ridiculous. I ended up getting up around 315 because I just couldn’t sleep. I used the extra time to check on the fire in the greenhouse and also to take a nice hot soak to relieve some of my pain. It helped but I am still aching just a bit. For those who don’t get up before the sun, this is what it looks like at 3:30am.


Yes that's the moon in the photo. I took my camera along with me to work in hopes of catching a photo of the deer that has been beside the road all week but this morning she wasn’t there. Instead there were 8 standing beside the road but they were in a different place and on the other side of the road so there is no photo.

I hope everyone has a great day,
Greg

Monday, January 25, 2010

Rough start.

Bad storms ripped through our area and kept me awake most of the night. I could hear the rain pounding and the wind whistling. Our yard is already soaked so I am sure it is flooded this morning. There was a little lightening but the wind was the worst part. Our power dipped a couple of times which is what woke me up. My wife is just getting over a nasty cold too so I haven’t gotten a lot of sleep in the past few days. I think I have it (the cold) now but so far it isn’t as bad as hers was. Come on vitamins do you stuff.

The ride into work this morning was a little tricky. I had to drive really slowly because it was raining hard and there were limbs down everywhere. I even had to go off the road at one point to get around a limb. I haven’t seen that many limbs down since the last hurricane came through. There were still limbs falling which made the drive even more dangerous. I have this fear of having a limb drop on me while driving for some reason. I made it in though after stopping by the gym.

I hadn’t been to the gym (in the morning) in several weeks and I was surprised by how many people came up and asked me if anything was wrong. I can’t believe they actually missed me. I didn’t think they would even notice that I was gone but apparently they did. I have decided to change spinning nights to Thursday instead of Tuesday. I like both instructors equally well but I like the music better that Margaret plays. She is more my age and plays more music from my era. (oldies) I am also planning on trying the body pump class on Tuesday to see if I like that. I may change my workout altogether. Change is good....in workouts anyway. :)

Have a great week,
Greg

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Thankful Thursday, Here comes the rain again.



You know after a while I just get up on Thursdays and do this post without even checking with Sonya to see if she is still hosting it. I guess great habits are hard to break.

I noticed that the weather channel has quit making rain predictions. Last year they said it would be the driest year in history and it was one of the wettest for us. Our back yard is soaked and there is some heavy rain on the way. We have had so much rain I think I saw some animals pairing up this morning. Here’s a thinking question to get the cobwebs out of your head this morning. How many animals did Moses take on the ark with him? Keep reading till the end to find the answer.

First off I am thankful for all this rain. I know the ground is soggy but later on this year when it gets hot we will be wishing for more.

I am thankful that I got the new roof on my back porch in time. My wife was thankful that the job went well and that I didn’t say any bad words. I took last Thursday and Friday off to tackle that project. They were calling for rain over the weekend and we had a leak in that roof. Well we finished the roof around 5 on Friday and we got over three inches of rain over the weekend. Good timing on my part or should I say Great timing on God’s part.

I am thankful for small miracles. Like the little boy they found alive in Haiti this morning amid all the rubble. They said when they brought him out he raised his hands as if he was praising God. I think he was.

I am thankful that I am healthy. So many people around me seem to be getting sick. I keep taking my vitamin C, B and Fish oil and so far so good.

I am thankful for my little circle of blogging friends. This week’s sermon was all about staying in touch and having a strong circle of friends for support. The preacher sort of poked fun at facebook friends but he didn’t say anything about blog friends. That’s because he knows that blog friends are the best. You guys are the best of the best.

So how many animals did Moses take on the ark with him? Moses wasn’t on the ark Noah was. I am sure you all got that one but I have seen some people try to over analyze that question and spend hours on it.

Have a great day,
Greg

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Random Dozen, Freestyling……


Where does the time go? It has been almost a week since I posted on my blog. My family has even become concerned because I haven’t blogged. That’s saying something. Life has just been so busy for me that I haven’t had a chance to write. So in an effort to redeem myself I will do the Random Dozen thingie throwing in a little extra humor this week for good measure. Please forgive me Lid.

1. So I was thinking about how Jon Bon Jovi never seems to age much. His hair is smaller nowadays, but he still manages to look like a boy somehow. And then that made me think of the story of Dorian Gray. Question: If you physically lock in one age for yourself, which would you choose and why?

In the ramble above I am going to substitute Bono for Bon Jovi because I don’t like either and it makes for a better story. (to tell the truth I don’t know the difference)

Only my son knows why I hate this question. But for the rest of you, I will fill you in on why and it has nothing to do with what the question is asking. All last year we had a neighbor at the market. I hate to use real names so I will just call him Lee since that is his real name and he doesn’t blog.

Anywhoo he got tickets to see the above named person (Bono, Bon Jovi, what’s the difference) who I really don’t care for in of all places Dublin Ireland. So every Saturday, for about three months, all we heard was him telling everyone who would listen that he was going to see Bono. And then he would ask “if there was one place you could see him where would it be” and they would say “ummmm I don’t know” so he would say “Dublin Ireland” and then he and whoever he would happened to be bragging to would geegaa like “you are kidding me” and “OMG No” etc etc.

Well after months of this nonsense I had my fill. (long story short he had bought two tickets to the concert along with airline tickets and hotel tickets to impress some girl and she backed out so he was going alone) So I started thinking that it was a long way to go to see a concert so when he would ask someone where the best place to see them in concert would be I would blurt out “North Charleston because it’s only a few miles and you wouldn’t have to pay for a hotel and airline tickets.” Of course they ignored me but I still said it and it made me feel better. End of story.

2. What is the best dish that you cook or bake (your piece de resistance?)
Another easy question: Revenge. I can serve it with the best of them and you will eat it without even knowing it. I am not one to get even in public. I am more the subtle type that gets revenge without you knowing it. Like when someone at work that usually treats me badly then asks for a favor…Oh I’m sorry I can’t help you with that project, I have a ton of computer work to do. (yea like blogging and reading emails) Just kidding people, just kidding. Or am I?

3. When you feel blue, what is one strategy you use to help yourself back to normal?
Add some yellow. Because yellow and blue make green and that is such a positive color. I like blue but I like green better. When I was a child I liked aqua the best. I think that is because I am a water person. Being a Leo and a water person could explain the uneasy feelings I sometime get.

4. When was the last time you danced in public?
Does a wedding count? I always dance at weddings. I also did a little quick dance down at the market.

5. Do you consider yourself a realist or dreamer?
I don’t even need to answer this. "I like dreamin cause dreamin can make you mine!"

6. As a parent, what is one thing that you have done well?
We all know what the obvious answer this is but this is a G-rated blog (Lid’s not mine) so I will have to say…. I really don’t have an answer to this. I feed them well. Does that count?

7. Which is your favorite character on the Andy Griffith show?
“You haven’t seen the last of Earnest T. Bass.” He always cracked me up. Like the time he said he was going to get a gold tooth in the front. Andy asked him what was wrong with the tooth and he said “nothing, I am going to have it knocked out so I can get a gold tooth there.” He invented grillage.

8. On a scale of 1-10, how much do you know about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.?
I wrote a long answer to this question but then erased it. I would have to give myself a 6 or 7 on this question. Let’s just say that I know enough about him to know that the ideals he spoke of were great but the actions he lived by told another story. Enough said.

9. Have you never been mellow? Have you never tried … to find a comfort from inside you? (Sorry, Jorge was singing that song just now, and it just seemed to be perfect timing as I was creating this week’s questions.) REAL question: What is your #1 driving pet peeve?
Olivia you crack me up. Speeders Peeve me. Why don’t they just leave earlier if they want to get somewhere earlier? Why can’t I drive the speed limit in the fast lane since anyone who I would be holding up is a criminal?

10. Which color best represents your mood today? Care to elaborate?
They call me mellow yellow. See questions 3 and 9. I am feeling great today. I had a good spin class last night and I have no aches or pains this morning. L/G (lifes good)

11. If your spouse were an animal, which would he/she be?
I think if she had her choice she would be some kind of cat. Like a cheetah or a panther but not a Tiger. No one wants to be Tiger these days. Ahem (insert laughter)

12. What activity takes up the bulk of your time on an average day?
Daydreaming. When I get bored I daydream.
Have a great day,
Greg

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Thankful Thursday, Old habits


It's Thursday and another chance to be thankful. I have the day off but I still wanted to participate in Thankful Thursday. However when I just visited Sonya's blog I didn't see a Thankful Thursday post. But since I am still thankful and I am in the habit of taking time out to be thankful I am going to post my list anyway.

First off I am obviously thankful for having a day off and for having a job that pays me to have a day off. I will be working on my roof today but it is still nice not to have to drive into work.

I am thankful for warmer weather. Tonight, for the first time in several weeks it isn't going to freeze. It is 27 here at the moment but the sun us up and it will be warmer soon.

I am thankful that my house is nice and warm. I got up early and built a nice fire and it feels great in our house. I also built a fire in the greenhouse and it is up to 75 degrees. The plants are loving it.

I am thankful that I am healthy and that I have food for our table. Even though we are struggling we are still afloat.

I am really thankful that I am not in Hatti this morning although I do wish there was something I could do to help out. We should focus our prayers in that direction I think,

Have a great day,
Greg

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Random Dozen, this makes 24

Again I have been lax in my blogging duties. I feel like I am in a rut. But I am going to participate again in the weekly random dozen. It's the least I can do for my fans. :) Enquiring minds want to know.





1. When was the last time you craved a food--what was it, and did you cave? Did I cave? I always do. I usually crave spicy things. Last night after spin class I was really craving pizza. As I walked from the building a Dominoes pizza delivery car passed right in front of me and I took that as a sign from God. Not only did I want pizza, God wanted me to have it. I quickly drove home knowing that I had a frozen pizza there that I could quickly fix. As my luck runs, my family had made pizza for dinner and there was some waiting for me when I got there. Life is good.



2. M & M's or Skittles? Peanut M & M’s are my favorite. I can do without the regular M & M’s and the Skittles. Of course if that is all we have I will eat them.



3. Have you ever read the Bible completely through? Well thank you for asking. You did this just or me didn’t you? Yes just last year I read it from cover to cover. You knew that.



4. How long does it take you to really wake up in the morning? About 10 seconds which is twice as long as it takes me to fall asleep. After 20 years in the military, when the alarm goes off, I get up. In fact I usually get up before my alarm goes off. 3:45 this morning I got up.



5. Have you ever been on a cruise? If not, would you like to? Yes my wife and I have been on two. I loved them both. I hope that someday we can take another one. Hint hint.



6. Who is your favorite actress? Hmmm tough question. I really don’t have a current favorite. I have always liked Goldie Hawn. I think she was hysterical in Foul Play.



7. ______ is something that I will just never understand. Miranda rights! I’m sorry but guilty is guilty. That thing of being guilty but getting let off because you admitted it without a lawyer present. Give me a break. Take the lawyer down too. And plea bargaining. There’s another thing along the same lines. When someone says; I will give you the name if you give me a lighter sentence I would break out the jumper cables and say I will use less voltage if you tell me right away. See you got me started now. I am all upset. Way to go Linda. Our legal system is really screwed up. Enough said.



8. How much of a technology junkie are you? On a scale of one to ten I am about a two. I used to be a nine but now I really don’t care for hot new things. It’s hard to beat a good slide rule.



9. Do you enjoy selecting greeting cards for people, or is it more of a cultural "have to" for you? Truth is I have a hard time finding one that says what I want to say. I usually have to settle for something close. I am still looking for a mother’s day card that says; “Thanks for having me….I guess.”



10. When was the last time you got a new style/haircut? That was at Halloween. Remember I shaved my head to dress up like Uncle Fester. It is getting back to normal now. The only trouble is it is coming back in more gray than before. I think it may be time for some “Just for men.”



11. What do you enjoy shopping for most? I guess that would be food. I am really not a shopaholic. I only shop for other things at Christmas time. Of course as a man I will also have to say tools. You can never have too many tools.



12. What's the last thing you think of before you leave the house? Did I shut everything off? I am a worry wart when it comes to things like this. This morning I thought I left a pot of water on the stove with it on. I had to go back in to check. I didn’t leave it on….I think I checked that. Or did I?


Have a great day,
Greg

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Thankful Thursday 2010


I am thankful for making it through another year and that I have a brand new year ahead of me that I pray is filled with lots of wonderful things. Although 2009 wasn’t the best year for us we did better than most.

I am thankful for this cold weather. Although I have to get up early every morning just to keep the fires going, and the fire building is taking the place of my morning workouts, this cold will be thinning out the mosquito and sand gnat populations. So hopefully this spring we will be able to enjoy the outdoors. You people from the South know what I am talking about.

I am thankful that I have enough wood to keep the house and greenhouse warm. We are planning on building another greenhouse soon so if you have any spare oak logs lying around give me a call. That is if it’s cut and split…and you deliver…for free. I can dream can’t I?

I am thankful that I still have a job. I still have two in fact and they are keeping us alive in this struggling economy. And even though my office isn’t all that warm it’s a lot warmer than the 25 degrees it is outside right now. I could have an outside job. That would stink. I am sorry if you don’t have a job or have to work outside.

I am thankful for the possibility that we might have snow tomorrow morning. I know the kids are hoping for a snow day. If we have one flake here in Charleston, they will cancel school. Once the word gets out that there is snow in the area people start driving like mad men. You can expect a rash of accidents even though none of it sticks. I think it is kind of like a shopper’s frenzy. People lose their minds.

Have a great day and please join us over at Sonya’s blog for Thankful Thursday.
Greg

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Random Dozen 2010


You know, I said that in 2010 I was going to break away from the pack with my blog but here I am doing the Random Dozen again. But then my answers are the best as evidenced by all the emails I get telling me so. That’s right you aren’t alone when you send me that email telling me how great I am. Did you believe that? I didn’t think so but it sounded good. So without further ado here I go with the first Random Dozen of 2010:


1. On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being a cranky-baby-hissy-fitter, how much of a complainer are you?


Generally I am about a 2 but you know it is really cold this morning and I don’t like cold weather. Today I will put myself at a 10 just because I want to complain today.


2. When someone else is talking, do you listen, or are you thinking about what you're going to say in response?


Excuse me, did you say something? Sorry I wasn’t listening. Seriously it depends on who is doing the talking. When some people talk I am simply thinking; Is this guy every going to shut up? Not you Linda.


3. I just deleted 1062 messages from my email account. Do you have any plans for a clean sweep this month--of anything?


Emails are at the top of my list too. I have 1200 in my mailbox and 1800 in my deleted file. I am also going through my sheds this month and throwing away tons of stuff. I may try to sell it first on Craigslist though. Anyone need a thingamabob that doesn’t work? Call me.


4. Tell us about your perfume. Was it a gift? What does it remind you of? Do you have a signature scent?


I don’t wear perfume. I wear cologne. I hardly ever wear that though. I guess you could say I wear English leather or…… I have all I need though ladies so please stop sending it to me.


5. What is your best organizing tip for the new year?


If you have something you haven’t used in over 6 months, throw it out. Chances are you don’t need it. Of course the day after you throw it out you will need it. That’s just the way it is.


6. What is your favorite comic strip?


I really don’t like comic strips. Hard to believe isn’t it considering how funny I am. (hearing pin drop) I occasionally chuckle at Calvin and Hobbs. Like the one where Calvin is at the door yelling; “MOM..MOM..MOM” and his mother tells him not to yell and that if he has something to tell her to come inside and tell her to her face. So he walks in, across the carpet, to where she is sitting on the couch and says “I got dog poo on my shoes, can you help me get it off?” I love that one.


7. Do you sleep with a fluffy or flat pillow?


I go to bed to sleep. When my head hits the pillow, be it soft and fluffy or flat I go to sleep. I prefer something in the middle but after about two minutes it doesn’t matter anyway.


8. What color is your kitchen? Why did you choose that color?


It’s the same color as the rest of the house. Egg Shell. It has been that color so long I really don’t remember who picked it.


9. What’s the most interesting bumper sticker you’ve seen?


I like; “If you can read this introduce yourself. You are too darn close.” I changed one of the words to make it G rated.


10. Do you prefer an expensive writing tool or whatever is lying around? (Are you a Montblanc or a Papermate?)


Hmmm since I don’t know what a Montblanc is I have to say I am more the Papermate type. That being said I usually use whatever the vendors give me. I get flooded with free pens at work.


11. What chore doesn’t feel like a chore – you just enjoy it (at least most of the time)?


I really enjoy gardening. (When it is warm that is) Having to go out to the greenhouse at 4 am in 24 degree weather just to put wood in the fire isn’t fun but I do it.


12. If your parents often repeated themselves, what is something one of them said more than once?


My father used to say; “For crying out loud in the sink.” What that means I will never know.


My mother used to say; “If you lie with dogs you get up with fleas.” She doesn’t listen to her own advice.


Have a great day,


Greg

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Blame it on the Greens (or) Why they hate me at work.

As is the tradition here in the South, I started out my New Years with a generous portion of Hoppin Johns and Collard Greens. For anyone unfamiliar with the theory behind this traditional meal, let me fill you in. The hoppin Johns bring you luck and the Collards bring you money. (two things that I could really use right about now) Anywhoo, Hoppin Johns are black eyed peas or field peas along with rice. And Collard are; well just Collard greens. I actually never ate them until I was an adult because I couldn’t get past the smell of them cooking but now I love them.

Well this year I had them twice on New Year’s Day and then once more the next day. “Why tempt fate” as the saying goes. Or “I would rather be lucky than good.” I don’t know if either of those sayings apply but “Whatever.” And now the rest of the story;

So around Christmas time, I had a few extra dollars in my pocket and someone asked me if I wanted to be in a football pool. I don’t usually enter many of those things because to tell the truth I haven’t watched but maybe one entire college football game in the last 5 years. I don’t even know who most of the teams are but I decided to give it a go anyway. Besides it was only a few dollars and I was in a giving mood so I agreed to do it. The amazing thing is that up until New Years Day we were all about even. There were no clear favorites in the pool.

Now the other sports buffs were using the old "statistic" methods like comparing scores, players, coaches, grudges and other stats but not me. I sat down using the most scientific methods available to any sports enthusiast and made my picks; Let’s see I was born in Florida so pick all the Florida teams. I have been to Idaho so pick their teams. Texans are usually pretty big guys so pick their teams. Pick southern teams over northern because of my heritage. Next go with names I know like big red something and some kind of razor thingie. Like I said; Totally Scientific. But I ended up with a tie in one of the games. It was Boise State against TCU (Texas Christian University) Hmmm decision- decisions.

This was going to take some more in depth reasoning. Boise is in Idaho (I think) and I did once dance with a girl who was from Boise.(it was back in the 70's Honey, before I knew you) TCU is a Texas team and they are usually cowboys but the girl from Boise was a Blackfoot Indian. And didn’t the Indians beat the cowboys at Custer’s Last Stand? The choice was obvious. I picked Boise State even though everyone else picked TCU. And last night Boise State beat TCU and now even with three games to go, I am so far ahead that no one can beat me. And now you know why all the jocks where I work hate me this morning.

Have a great day,
Greg