Monday, March 30, 2009

Going, going, gone.

On April 10th we will be taking a big leap. That will be the final day we have Direct TV. No we are not replacing it with Dish Network, comcast, mediacom, or any other satellite or cable t.v. service. We are going old school (sort of) and will have only broadcast t.v. and what we can get through Netflix and the computer. Now before any of you feel too sorry for us you must realize we can get about 90% of the shows we watch from the three mentioned sources. The only difference will be not being able to watch the shows the night they air (most networks air their shows in their entirety via their website the following day) and no ESPN for me. The first issue is no issue at all as we have Tivo and rarely watch shows on the night they first air anyway. I will ease my ESPN addiction through checking scores on the internet and listening to ESPN radio.

Why are we doing this? Saving $700 a year is a pretty good reason in itself. Do you know how much beer I could brew with $700? Money, however, was not the reason. As more and more companies tell us how we "need" to have this and "need" to be connected to that we began to feel push around. So, we are pushing back. We do not need cable. We do not need a cell phone plan with unlimited minutes and texting. We do not need most of the "wants" that society has deemed to be "needs". So, we are pushing back starting with Direct TV and then in June giving Verizon Wireless the heave hoe.

There is yet another bonus to losing the satellite tv. No commercials and complete control over what the kids watch. We are very tired of the constant bombardment of material things toward the kids. All kid shows these days seem to be nothing more than filler between commercials for new toys. Nora and Nigel want 50 new things a day. Gotta stop.

The timing cannot be better. Summer and its busy schedule is quickly approaching and I cannot think of a better time to make a clean break. Stay tuned to see how it goes.


Sunday, March 29, 2009


It is over. As some of you may remember from last year my company must go through a yearly inspection to ensure that we are meeting all of the proper food handling requirements. I am responsible for making sure the facility and now trailers (apparently that is out of the transportation managers skill set) are free of pests, holding proper temps, doors sealed, and generally neat and clean. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to get an entire warehouse ready for this type of inspection with the help of essentially one other person? Hard, but I have no choice. If I do not get a certain score we must go through this inspection again in 3mths. Not gonna happen on my watch. We, I mean I, scored a 97%...see ya next year EcoSure! Now I can get back to focusing on the more important things in life like my blog!

So, what's new you may ask? Well, I am currently in training for a 1/2 marathon on April 11th. It is being held at the U of I in Champaign/Urbana. I have added a link to the event web site if anyone is interested in checking out the course and all that is planned for the race. This is going to be my longest run to date. My friend Josh and I have been training together since late Jan early Feb. Even before we started training for this event I had been maintaining my running through the winter. Running in snow, ice, sleet and single digit temps is different. It is amazing how warm you can stay with the winter running gear they make now. That being said, I am looking forward to sun and 60's and 70's.

The following weekend we are running in a charity race here in Eureka. It is a 4 mile run to benefit the Hearthouse, a shelter for domestic abuse victims. I have run 4 miles in times good enough to place in my age division, so I am pretty excited to see what I can do in this race. My recovery from the 1/2 is going to be a big factor. Wish me luck.

Now that my inspection is over I hope to be a bit more regular on the updates.


Sunday, March 22, 2009


I knew this day would come, but I thought I had at least 18 more years. Nora likes boys. As you can imagine I am in a state of shock and fear. How did this come about you may ask? Well, gather 'round as I spin a tale of young love.

It was a Wednesday. Not unlike any other Wednesday, so how was I to know I was in for a life changing revelation. Work was progressing well. We are in the midst of getting ready for our annual inspection, and I was working diligently when I got a call from my Dad. He and my Mom wanted to treat us to dinner at a local restaurant...sounded great to me. Nothing works up an appetite like scrubbing, well, everything. (By the way Mom and Dad, I am ready and willing any night!) After a phone call home to Robin to check our ever changing social calender I found that we had two conflicts. One was Robin's choir practice and the other was a play date for Nora with one of her classmates, Calahan (boy name? girl name? These days who knows?) Dinner with Mom and Dad would have to wait.

Once I got home the evening went on as most Wednesday evenings do, with the exception that Nora was not home. I asked Robin about Nora's friend, Calahan, and that is when I found out when Calahan was a boy. My mind was racing. Who is this boy? Who does he think he is inviting my daughter to his home? What are his intentions? Am I freaking out WAY ahead of schedule? I stewed for the next few hours while waiting for her to come home.

Once she came home I wanted to give her the third degree, but I did not want to tip her off to my paranoia. So, instead I asked the basic questions...What did you guys do? What did you have for dinner? Did you have fun? None of the answers were out of the ordinary. My fears were beginning to subside. Then it all went horribly wrong. Nora told me that Calahan was the sweetest boy in her class. I jokingly said, "Nora's got a boyfriend". Big mistake. As they say, "Let sleeping dogs lay. If it ain't broke, don't fix it", and several other cliches. I was fully expecting her to say "ewww", or "Dad, you are silly", or "gross!" She offered none of those reassuring retorts. Instead, she giggled and smiled. GIGGLED and SMILED!

What is that? My world is in turmoil. This cannot be happening. Boys have cooties until at least age 25. How am I to handle this startling revelation? Well, like many great men before me, I pretended nothing happened at all. Let me repeat...Nothing happened at all!

I am off.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Words of Wisdom

"A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. And when the herd is hunted, the slowest and weakest ones are killed first. This is good for the herd, because the health of the group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members. In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Exessive intake of alcohol, as we know, kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest cells first. That's why you always fell smarter after a few beers." -Cliff Claven