What It's About

Welcome to my blog! I ruminate on random thoughts rattling around in my brain. Subjects range from reality TV to current events and everything in between. Whether you agree with me or not, I welcome your comments. God gave you the ability to think for yourself, and this country was founded based on the right to have your own opinion. Who am I to question that? Hope you enjoy! And, if you like to shop on the internet, or have always wanted to try, please feel free to click on one of the banners on the left. Do admit I get a small commission for anything you buy through the links. Appreciate it if you do decide to buy something!
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Monday, September 21, 2009

Gapses in the Synapses

A few random things firing in between me synapses:
  • Sometimes travel is not fun. Spent a total of 10 1/2 hours between airplanes and airports yesterday. The bad part is only spent 1 1/2 of those hours flying through the air. A combination of bad weather and maintenance issues for one of the planes was supposed to be on. We even had to wait on the tarmac for about 40 minutes in Atlanta because two mechanics were flying to Bloomington, IL with us so they could repair a plane there. The wait was for the tool they had to take with them. Billions of dollars in equipment and they only had the one tool for the whole country. Just hope it wasn't something the local hardware store had;
  • Was disappointed to hear former President Jimmy Carter thinks resistance to Obama is due to his race. If that is the case, what was the reason people didn't support healthcare reform when Clinton proposed it? Will give President Obama credit for saying, while there probably are some people against him because of his race, most folks oppose the fix and not the color of the person proposing it. Bill Clinton came out and reaffirmed Obama's thoughts today. Now, there's no doubt in my mind there are some people who don't like Obama because of his race. But, would say most people oppose either his party or his policies because they disagree with one or both and his race has nothing to do with it. There were people who were against Bush because of his party and policies, oddly enough, some of the same ones now crying racism. Just think it's an easy out myself. As I've said before, people usually resort to name calling when they can't support their platforms with facts. Glad to see these allegations have not slowed down legitimate political debate...for now, anyway;
  • Heard all the hullaballoo about Obama scrapping the missile defense system in Eastern Europe. Actually took the time to read an article on it. Turns out that, yes, they are scrapping this system, but they are replacing it with new technology which will allow greater coverage/protection. That's what this article said anyway. Read it on cnn.com so you can take it for what it's worth. Usually pretty reliable, though. Seems to be another case of media using overreaction to sell papers, etc.;
  • OK, on to some lighter subjects. Thanks to all of my time in the airport and Disneyworld lately, have seen some "interesting" people, to put it politely. Just wonder sometimes what people are thinking when they wear some of the stuff they do. Seen some material stretched in ways the Good Lord probably never intended on more than one occasion. Also saw some body parts exposed that shouldn't be exposed in those settings. Wooshhh;
  • Wonder what people are thinking with some of the things they buy at Disneyworld? Why would you spend $25/30 a Goofy hat that you will never wear again anywhere else? Good word;
  • What's the deal with people wearing scarves nowadays? Saw quite a few folks wearing them yesterday. Wasn't because it was cold. Even saw a man wearing one with his suit and tie. More power to 'em, I reckon;
  • Just finished Couch to 5K today. Even ran a little extra time so I could cover the whole 5K. Ran it in a little under 35 minutes. Not too bad, I reckon. Have signed up for the Susan G Komen run, a very worthy cause, in Birmingham on October 10. Going to run in memory of my aunt and in honor of my mother and grandmother;
  • Friend of mine said it was snowing at his house in Colorado today. Strange weather we've had this year. Enough to make you think;
  • Was glad to see Jordan won Big Brother. Sometimes nice people do win. Now the best reality contestant shows can start, Survivor and Amazing Race!!! Survivor looks like it's going to be awesome with Evil Russell on it this year. Hope he lasts a while;
  • Running and watching my calories has helped me lose a little over 20 lbs since the end of June. Woohooooo!!!! Hoping to lose at least 15 more before it's all said and done.

Well, that's it for now. Gonna try and start posting a little more regularly. Will probably have lots of thoughts now that Congress is coming back in session. Could be an interesting fall. Also have some more travel on the horizon. Enduring these things has been a little easier now that I look at it as blog material. When life gives you lemons...

Have a great week!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

More Vacation Memories

We decided to join the Disney Vacation Club this year and took advantage of the free points to visit with The Mouse over Labor Day weekend. It's always great to spend time with the family and this one was no exception. It was a great trip! Went to the Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Epcot.

The Magic Kingdom was all made up for Halloween. Friday night was the first night of Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween. Kids of all ages dress up in costumes and trick or treat in the park. My daughter went as Hannah Montana. Rest of the family went as ourselves, which is scary enough.

As I've said before, vacations are all about memories. Here are some of the memories I will take away from this trip:

  • Saratoga Springs Resort - Very nice and right next door to Downtown Disney. Had a two bedroom suite with a full kitchen and living room. Loved riding the bus everywhere! Our car never moved once we got on-site

  • Jogging through Downtown Disney. Saw some stores hadn't ever seen before. It's pretty peaceful when all the stores are closed

  • My daughter blushing every time one of the cast members said, "There's Hannah Montana!"

  • My wife getting excited over the Halloween pins
  • People oohing and aahing over the pin collection she already has. She needs 3 lanyards!

  • My kids enjoying the Haunted Mansion...both times. Wanted to go again but didn't have time

  • Shorter lines! With the exception of the Toy Story game at Hollywood Studios, don't think we waited in any line more than 15-20 minutes. Probably shouldn't have told that

  • Trading for more Muppet pins. Especially loved the Beaker pin I got

  • The Boo to You Parade. Awesome music. Still echoing in me brain

  • The Lights, Motors, Action! stunt show at Hollywood Studios. Muy bien!

  • Going through the American Movie Institute exhibition at the end of the Backlot Tour. Very cool costumes. Too dark to take a photo of Darth Vader, but the Darth Sith picture was good

  • Breakfast with the characters at Chef Mickey's. Side benefit - since the kids saw the characters at breakfast, they didn't ask to stand in the long lines at the park to see them

  • My son loving Stitch in Time ride! Can still smell that chili dog Stitch ate, though. Yuck!

  • Scoring 493,000+ points in the Buzz Lightyear game. Yes!!!!

  • My daughter getting a Bippity Boppity Bootique makeover

  • Watching her blush when people called her "Princess"

  • Soarin' at Epcot. Would stand in line for 2 hours to ride that one again. However, as The Mrs. pointed out in my Facebook post, will be waiting alone if that happens. Fortunately, only had to wait about 20 minutes this time

  • Kids wanting to stay at Innoventions most of the day. Got to stay in the A/C! Woohooo!

  • Downside - they have a neat fire prevention exhibit there. My son worried about fire hazards and ended up sleeping with us that night. Thank God for king-sized beds!

  • Learning how to ride a Segway

  • Going on the Kim Possible mission through France and finding the clues on the first try. Well, most of them, anyway

  • The Hoop Dee Doo Review - Awesome food and entertainment

  • Kissing Miss Claire - twice!!! (She asked me to. It was part of the show)

  • My daughter stomping to my side of the table to ask why I cheated on Momma!
Overall, a very nice vacation. Everyone said they had a great time, which is the most important thing. Also have some great memories to file away in the ol' noodle.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

My DMV Trip

Had the wonderful opportunity to go to our county courthouse today to renew the tag for my wife's vehicle. Due to the type of tag, had to do it in person rather than over the internet. It was quite the adventure. Some of you may have followed my trevails thru Facebook, but thought would spell them out a little more.

To preface all this, our county is going through a very tough financial crisis right now for reasons too numerous to name here. As a result, they have closed all of the courthouses but the main one and one satellite. However, you can only go to the main one to renew tags. So, you do the math: 1 million citizens + 1 courthouse = one looooonnnnnggggggg line.

You may have heard about the 5 stages people go through when they are grieving. They are: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. After today, realized these apply to all sorts of life's adventures. This one was no exception. Here are the stages I went through today:

  1. Denial - 8:30 am - Get in line outside the courthouse. "Oh, this line's not so long. Shouldn't be here too....What'd she say? It's probably an 8 hour wait from here?! Can't be!!!!"
  2. Anger - 10:30 am - Still waiting to get inside the courthouse. "Bet ol' Thomas Jefferson (a Wise and Great American) ain't bragging about his name being attached to this county right about now!"
  3. Denial - Phase Two - 11:00 am - Finally inside the courthouse. "Whew! Won't be long now!"
  4. Anger - Phase Two - 11:05 am - "What do you mean it's probably another 3-4 hours from here?!"
  5. Bargaining - 11:15 am - Find out the city is still writing parking tickets for people who do not feed the meters. "Will you hold my place in line please while I go move my car?" Heard from many people after this little announcement.
  6. Brief Happiness - 11:30 am - Find a broken meter in a 10 hour parking zone! Woohooo!!!!
  7. Depression - 12:00 pm - Return to find line has not moved at all.
  8. Acceptance - 1:00 pm - "Reckon I really will be here all day..."
  9. Denial - Phase Three - 2:15 pm - "Maybe this is really the line to try out for American Idol. Better warm up the ol' vocal chords!"
  10. Bargaining - Phase Two - 2:40 pm - "Would you please hold my place in line? I need to go to the bathroom." Another phrase heard from many people throughout the day.
  11. Brief Happiness - Phase Two - 3:00 pm - Finally in the DMV room! Woooohooooooo!!!!!
  12. Depression - Phase Two - 3:01 pm - There's still 50 people ahead of me....
  13. Acceptance - Phase Two - 3:10 pm - Still gonna be here a long time....
  14. Anger - Phase Three - 3:15 pm - Three clerks going on break at the same time?! "Hey! Where are you going?! I'm too close to the end for you to be going on break!" Several people around me actually say this out loud.
  15. Anger - Phase Four - 3:30 pm - "This has got to be some kind of conspiracy to trick people into being happy about the impending tax hike!"
  16. Acceptance - Phase Three - 4:25 pm - 7 hours and 55 minutes later, I'm finally through. Guess that lady was right after all.

Now, being the observant folks that you are, you've probably noticed I actually went through six phases and several of them multiple times. Had too much time to think today so came up with the extra one. Originally named it "Delirium," but decided "Brief Happiness" was better.

Have to say, with all the aggravated people down there, only saw one woman get a little upset. She was worried about getting her kids from school, which is understandable. She ended up having time to go get them and return to her place in line, with lots of time to spare. The county had the perfect people for crowd control, too. They were all very nice and understanding. One of them told us they stay there until 9 or 10 every night waiting for people to get through the line. The clerk I dealt with was very nice, too. Give all of them credit for working hard through all of this.

Hopefully, this was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me. Also hope you never have to experience it yourself.