Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Oct 25

Ok, since you can’t say it on my blog because I’m the one typing it, I’ll say it for you. Happy Birthday Thom!!! Yes, it’s my birthday. I purposefully didn’t update this week on Monday because I wanted to do it today. I am officially 46 years old. It’s funny, because all this year I thought I was already 46. But, my wife and my birthday pie (we had pie instead of a cake) told me today that I was actually 45 all year and I turned 46 today. So, either I’m losing my mind or I’m weird and trying to sound older than I actually am. Since losing my mind sounds pretty crappy, I’m going to go with me being a weirdo.
I had a pretty good birthday. My wife made me my favorite dinner of spaghetti. It was delicious. She made garlic bread to go with it and I am a huge bread eater so it topped the meal off very nicely. She got me a pillow as a present. It was what I wanted. When we went to Georgia a few months ago, my pillow was left behind in the motel. I don’t think I had a good night’s sleep since. It wasn’t a special pillow or anything. It was just big and comfy. I haven’t had a chance to try out my new one, but it looks big and it was definitely soft.
We were talking about birthdays with my granddaughter over the weekend. October and November are big birthday months for our family. And, when my wife asked my granddaughter how old grandpa was going to be, she said I had to be about sixty. Of course when I asked how old grandma was, she said that she was only twenty two. Anyway, for some reason the concept that I was sixty carried over to my birthday pie. When they were putting the numeric candles on it, my granddaughter was sure that the numbers were supposed to be in the 64 order instead of the 46. So, I’m going to have to start having un-birthdays so that I can go down in age instead of continually going up.
It’s football time. The Broncos played the Dolphins on Sunday. It was an incredibly boring game for the first three quarters. The Broncos had a bit of success running the ball, but that was almost all they tried doing. On the few pass attempts, it looked like Tebow was throwing to invisible players. The dolphins were also doing as well, but they kept accidentally scoring. So, with about seven minutes to play in the fourth quarter, we were down fifteen to zip. I have to tell you, I was considering changing the channel to the other game or playing on the computer or even mowing the lawn. But, I stuck it out and watched the last quarter hoping that they would at least put something up on the board. To my utter amazement, we ended up winning the game. Tebow decided that it was time to step up the action and he started throwing to our players and everything just started clicking together. We made a touchdown and then a successful onside kick. Then, we drove down the field and made another touchdown. Tebow himself ran in a two point conversion to tie the game. With seventeen seconds on the clock Miami decides to sit on the ball and go into overtime. They got the ball first and didn’t do anything with it. We got the ball and didn’t do anything with it. Then they got the ball and fumbled. We kicked a field goal and won the game. If all of the action was stretched out into the entire game, it would have been an exciting game. This Sunday, we’re taking on the Lions. They have lost their last two games, but they came out of the starting gate like gangbusters. They are going to be a tuff team to beat and I can hardly wait. It’s a two o’clock game and I have to work 6-2, so I have to get off work and rush home. Or, actually, I’ll rush over to my son’s house. He has the big TV and his birthday is on Halloween. So, we’re going to have a birthday dinner for him and watch the game at the same time.
The Texans have taken a 3-2 game lead over the Cardinals in baseball. Game six is tomorrow. I would like to see a game seven, but I would be ok if the Texans win it all tomorrow. I’m not really crazy about either team. But, Yorvit Torrealba, the catcher for the Texans, was a former Rockie and he was great. I was surprised when we traded him. I like our catcher now, but back then I thought the Rockies were crazy. The Cardinals have Holiday, who was also a Rockie, but I didn’t start watching them until after he was gone, so he doesn’t count. So, I guess we’ll see what happens.
We got a flat tire on our SUV today. I guess it has had a slow leak in it for a while. I didn’t notice it, but my wife told me that she has been complaining about it for a while. (I think she’s been complaining about it to someone else) so, we’re going to have to get new tires tomorrow. The tire went out tonight. It was ninety degrees yesterday, but it is snowing today. I think the tire knew what the weather was going to be like and it waited.
My daughter called today to wish me happy birthday. She is about a month and a half away from coming home. She had her last PT test yesterday and passed with flying colors. She said that she is trying to get her application for college filled out while she is out there so as soon as the army lets her go she can start up. She’s also looking to set up interviews to start working as soon as she gets back. She is going to school for communications with the army, so I told her that she should try getting on with Century Link. It used to be Quest and I know a buddy that started on their help desk and is now a bigwig there. She could do the same thing. It would be better than getting a minimum wage job and trying to kill herself with hours while she is trying to study.
I’m still working on the River of Magic. It is coming along nicely now. I should be finished with it in about a month. That will put it at Mid November sometime. So, I’ll probably just go right to self publishing instead of sending out query letters and trying to get it published the right way. That way, I can hand them out as Christmas presents, because this year Christmas is going to be a little tight. We are still recovering from our trip out to Georgia. We have caught up for the most part, but we just can’t seem to get a little ahead like we were. But, it will come.
Speaking of my book, I’d better get started. I’m kind of feeling something easy tonight. So, I’m putting ELO, Chicago, Crystal Gale, and ABBA into the playlist tonight. (Yes, I like ABBA, deal with it.)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Oct 17

Not a whole lot happened this week.

No football game this week. It was the Bronco’s bye week. I did watch the Jets/Miami game tonight, or at least most of it. I didn’t get to see the ending because I had to come to work. But, if the Dolphins play against us as well as they played against the Jets, we have a very good chance of winning. Coach Fox announced that Tim Tebow was going to start next Sunday, so a win on his first full game would be a huge confidence boost. He will also have the chance to practice with the first string players for two weeks so, he doesn’t have an excuse not to be ready. I think their biggest challenge will be to not go in expecting to win because of Miami’s record.
My youngest daughter dropped out of JROTC. She put in three years of hard work into it. She didn’t get the battalion commander like her sister earned last year. In fact, they passed her up on other rank as well. So, she decided to hang it up for her senior year. She has so many other school and after school projects going on that she didn’t need the added headaches of JROTC.
My eldest daughter had a birthday on Friday. My wife was trying to see to the feasibility of sending her a cake. But, it was too much trouble and expensive. I tried to have her contact one of my daughter’s friends out there with her in Georgia. She could have sent her some money and have the friend buy a chocolate cake. Then, they could have put it in the middle of the squad bay, gather all of her friends around, snuck up on my daughter in the early morning, threw a pillowcase over her head, drug her out to the table with the cake, Whipped off the pillow case and sung her happy birthday. But, my wife didn’t like that idea. So, we went to Build-a-bear and made her a stuffed animal. It had a little voice recorder in it where we could all sing happy birthday and tell her that we loved her. We mailed it out on Wednesday, and as of the starting of the Jets/Miami game, she hadn’t received it yet. (Stupid post office)
We took my daughter’s boyfriend with us to the mall when we made her the bear. When he got in the car, everything seemed normal. About half way there, he and my youngest daughter were making jokes about him throwing up. We didn’t realize that he was really sick and really about to throw up. We made it to the parking lot before he Ralphed. He felt slightly better after that and made it into the store. After about five minutes, he could barely stand up. We really shouldn’t have taken him out. We left right away after we made the bears, and of course the traffic was so bad we could barely move. We really shouldn’t have taken him out. But, if we would have known he was that sick, we wouldn’t have.
On Thursday or Friday, I came home to find the computer not working. My wife was complaining about it, so I rebooted it. It started to come up fine, but then it stopped and the screen went blank. I rebooted it again and it stopped again at the same place. I should have investigated further, but I had just gotten off work and was hungry and sleepy. So, I decided that the operating system had a corrupt file. I went to sleep and when I woke up, I started reinstalling. I got about half way through the install when the monitor went blank again. (It wasn’t the operating system) It also wasn’t the monitor or the monitor cable, because both were working up until a specific point before everything went blank. I opened up the computer and pulled out the video card. Part of it was broken and dangling. I pulled out a video card from one of the other computers and stuck it in. I restarted the reinstall. When I finished, I tried to get onto the internet so I could download the critical updates. (I have an older version of XP) Well, I couldn’t get on the internet. This time I checked the cables and the modem and the router. I hooked up the computer directly to the modem, but still nothing. So, I looked at the hardware and found that the PCI bus and a few other components didn’t get their drivers loaded. I spent about a two days trying to download a network driver but couldn’t find one. So, my wife asks my son for the computer we gave him back. I plug it in and of course, a screen saying the system file is missing or corrupt. I put in the operating system disc and bring up the dos repair screen. I try to copy the file, but it won’t let me. So, I end up reinstalling on this computer. It takes forever because the format didn’t want to format. I ended up using the quick format. Then, as I was installing the updates, the explorer 8 wants to load. I let it load and let it reboot and then try to get back onto the internet. It connects but when I try to type in a location, it gives me an error. I end up having to back out the explorer 8 and I load the Google chrome. Now, my wife doesn’t like the Google Chrome and wants me to go back to explorer. I’m going to load explorer 7 tomorrow and see if it has any fits.
Texas and the Cardinals are going to the World Series. I said that I wasn’t going to watch it because none of my teams made it. But, I think I’m going to give it a go. It’s still baseball.
Well, that’s enough for now. I’m making all kinds of progress on the River of Magic. But, I’m going to do a Great Detective today. I’ve been slacking off on them over the past few weeks. And, my daughter called today saying that she only has seven more weeks to go before she comes back. I wanted to send her all of them before she came back. So, if I’m going to meet that goal, I need to get cracking on them. I will try to do two a week, and spend any other free time with the River of Magic.
Today, I’m putting in Night Ranger, Boston, and Joan Jett in the playlist for background music.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Oct 10

Let’s get it started with football. My son and I went to the Bronco Charger game yesterday. It was great. We had seats that were twelve rows from the field. We were farther toward one of the goals than I would have liked, but I’m not complaining. We could still see everything. The stadium must have been sold out, because we were crammed in there like sardines. And, we had a stupid Charger fan right behind us. But it just made for a good game. We were down at the half when the coach put in Tim Tebow. The stadium went crazy. Orton is a good quarterback, but he wasn’t getting anything done. We had a defensive touchdown and a field goal, but our offense wasn’t able to do anything the entire first half. When Tebow came in, he scored a rushing touchdown and he threw for another. We had possession at the end and we got the ball all the way down to their thirty yard line. We spiked it with one second left on the clock. Tebow scrambled around and for a minute it looked like he was going to go down, but he got the throw off. It went into the end zone, but no one came up with it. We ended up losing by five points. 24-29. All of the previous times they allowed Tebow to play, they always had him run the ball. Sunday, they gave him an opportunity to throw and to hand it off. He didn’t do great, but he did better than Orton and he drove the ball down the field three times to score twice. We have a bye week coming up, so that gives us two weeks of practice with the first string players if they are going to start Tebow next game. I think they should. The marginal plays that he preformed yesterday could easily be attributed to the fact that he practices with the second stringers. At the beginning of the season, I wasn’t going to jump onto the Tebow bandwagon, but I think after a 1-4 start, we need to give him a chance. If nothing else, it will give him eleven and a half games of experience for next year. Unless Paton Manning or Tom Brady are traded to us, I don’t think there is any way that he won’t be starting next year. Finishing out the season would get him some salt under his fingernails and if he can bring us back from the deficit that we were in yesterday, I’m sure he can win us a few games to build up his confidence. We’re playing Miami in two weeks. They are 0 and 4 and then we have the lions. They are still undefeated so that will be his big test. It’s getting exciting. I got us a couple of beers to enjoy the game with. I’m not a big drinker anymore. In fact, it has been a few years since I’ve had a drink. My son finished his before I was even halfway through mine. So, he bought a round. I was already feeling it with the first one, by the second one, I was having a great time. We ordered one more and I had to nurse it until the end of the game. We didn’t park in the stadium parking lot. If we would have, I am sure that we would still be stuck in the traffic trying to get out. So, my wife dropped us off a few blocks from the game and we walked. When my wife came to pick us up after the game, she was expecting me to drive and was already in the passenger’s seat. There was no way that I was driving. I wasn’t falling down or anything, but I wasn’t going to spoil the day by getting into a wreck. It was nice taking in a game with my son. We’ve never really had a chance to do much together. I was always working when he was growing up and now he has a family of his own. I hope we make the time to have more days like that. While we were at the game, my wife took the girls out to see the Lion King movie in 3D. My granddaughter has been dying to see it. But, when she heard that I was taking her dad to the game and not her, she was very offended. I was supposed to take her to stuff. She wasn’t happy. But, the Lion King put her in a better mood. The girls went to the stores afterwards and had a good time. My eldest daughter in the army had a four day weekend this week. It was her first time being able to go off of the base and wear civilian clothing. She and a bunch of her friends were planning a lot of stuff. But, I don’t know what she actually did because she didn’t call us. Usually she calls almost every evening. But, I’m sure she was just having a lot of fun. She call us the Thursday night after she was released to liberty. She was at McDonalds. There is a Burger King on the base, but she is a McDonalds’ girl. My brother in-law’s daughter died this week. It was drug and gang related. She didn’t live with them. It was a daughter from his first marriage. They buried her this morning. I guess I have seen her before, but I had never spoken to her and didn’t know her. My youngest daughter was friends with her and she was my Goddaughter’s stepsister. So, it has been a rough few days. My wife’s boss has been getting in trouble quite a bit lately. It started with him trying to take all of the overtime and not sharing it around with the other employees. Today, however, he was reprimanded because of some weekend activities. The first was a door was left open in a huge law firm. But, the second was directly his fault. One of the duties of the security guards at my wife’s building is to sell stamps. Yes, I know, that isn’t the first place I would go if I needed stamps, but I guess they have been doing it for years. It was originally set up so that only the daytime people, 2 people, had access to the stamps and the money. When the new boss took over, he decided that everyone should have access to it. I mean, you never know when someone is going to need a stamp at three in the morning. For some strange reason, eighty dollars worth of stamps and money turned up missing. Who would have thunk it? So, in the next few days we’ll see what the repercussions are. I’ll keep everyone informed. Well, I guess I better get started. I’m on Chapter 7 of the River of Magic. It is coming along very nicely now. Chapter 5 and 6 were much longer than I intended. They could have been separated into two chapters each, but that wouldn’t have fit. So, Chapter 7 is going to be shorter but it will still get everything in it that needs to be there. I’m putting the internet radio on today. I don’t have time to go through and set up a playlist. I actually have a new project that my boss expects me to get done. Man, don’t you hate it when you are trying to goof off at work and your job gets in the way? -Thom

Monday, October 3, 2011

Oct 03

This once a week updating of my blog isn’t working very well. It’s been two weeks since I posted. I really meant to get it done on Monday last week, but one of the guys here at work needed to switch days with me. He had a friend from out of state come in. So, I worked his weekend shift and he worked my Monday and Tuesday shift. It really screwed up my whole week. The working seven days straight didn’t bother me at all. I’ve worked entire months without days off before. What threw everything off kilter was having two days off and then only three days on before getting two more days off. It wasn’t natural. But anyway, I slept most of the day on Monday last week and then, since I didn’t have to come to work, I didn’t feel like doing anything. But, we’re back on schedule today so here’s the update. A lot of stuff happened over the last two weeks, so it might be a long one. Let’s start off with baseball. Towards the end of the season, we went through a long stretch of bad luck. We lost every game in out last set of home games. It was like seven or nine games. It sucked. What made it even worse was that we were losing on the road too. On last Sunday, I watched the Bronco game instead of the Rockies and they picked that day to win 19-3 against the Braves. They set a team record for hits in a game. But, I missed it. We did close out the season with a win against the Giants, but it came off of a shut out the day before. Over all, we ended the season with a 73-89 record. It was a very disappointing season especially after such a great start. But, there is always next year. I am making plans (Saving money) to take a trip out to Arizona next season for spring training. We’re going to get this team to the World Series even if I have to drag it there. The Broncos haven’t had the stellar start we were looking for either. It is Coach Fox’s first year, so we can’t expect miracles right off the bat. The first three games were all within three points. We lost two and won one. Even though that’s not a winning record, they were very close games, I didn’t like it, but I could live with it. Yesterday, however, we played the Super Bowl champs from last year, the Green Bay Packers. They walked all over us. The score was 23-49. It was an embarrassment. Yes, they are one of the only two undefeated teams this year, but we should have been able to put on a better show. There is a huge movement by the fans trying to get Tim Tebow in as the starting quarterback. People have put up billboards and stuff. But, if they put him in too early, it could be just as disastrous as having a losing season. There have been several quarterbacks that have gone straight from college to the NFL, but those are rare cases. You can’t just expect him to be awesome no matter how much you want it. So, personally, I’m still fine with him easing into the position. The only thing I don’t like is that when they do put him in, they run him every time. If they’re not careful, they’re going to get him hurt. They need to let him get some experience passing it so he can work on his accuracy. My soldier girl was sick for several days last week. It was so bad that she had to go to the infirmary. They put her on bed rest for about three or four days. She ended up missing a test on TCP/IP that could have set her back into the class behind her. She is feeling much better now. She took the test and missed a passing grade by two points. She’ll have a chance to make it up and I’m sure she’ll do better. We picked up her contact lenses the other day, and we still haven’t sent them. I hope she hasn’t run out. I’m sure my wife will get them in the mail tomorrow. My wife went on a trip to Arizona over the weekend. Her mom flew down there to visit relatives. But, she doesn’t speak English that well and there wasn’t anyone that would be able to take her through the Arizona terminal to get her onto the correct plane to come back. So, my wife, her sister, and my father in-law drove down there to pick her up. They left on Friday evening at about six thirty and didn’t come back until Sunday night about nine thirty or ten. So, that meant that I was a bachelor for the weekend. I had plans to do a bunch of stuff, but ended up doing nothing. Since they took our car for the trip, they left us my father in-law’s truck. I took it to work on Friday night and brought it home on Saturday morning when I got off. The funny thing about the truck is that the gas gage doesn’t work. So, I had no idea how much gas was in it. And, it was very lucky that I got home on Saturday, because when my daughter woke me up to take her to get something to eat, the truck didn’t want to start. It was out of gas. So, that put a hamper on stuff I wanted to do. As it ended up, my granddaughter came over and spent the night. So, we had fun playing and watching football on Sunday. My daughter even cooked for us. She made hamburger helper on Saturday night and then omelets on Sunday morning. She even baked a cake. It was very good. My wife’s trip went very well. She did most of the driving and they spent an enjoyable day with relatives in Phoenix on Saturday. My daughter’s friend had her baby on Sunday. It was a little girl. My daughter wanted to go, but with the car situation, it wasn’t feasible. She also wanted to go to spend the night at a different friend’s house and attend a quinceanera. (Yeah, I can’t pronounce it either) She had a ride and everything, but ended up not going. For a while I thought I caught her doing something bad, like sneaking a boy over. She stayed downstairs while I was upstairs. On Friday when I was going to work, she called up and asked if I would bring her phone charger down as I was leaving. Well, I agreed and after getting ready, I headed downstairs. When I went inside the house, all of the lights were off. I stumbled my way through the kitchen and into the living room. My daughter was sitting up in a chair with all the lights and TV off. It seemed very strange to me at the moment. I asked her what was going on and she said that she wanted to sleep in the chair. I thought it was strange and went to work. After an hour or so, I started wondering if I might have interrupted something. She could have easily snuck a boy in and hid him when they heard me stumbling around at the door. So, I snuck in at six in the morning after I got off. She had moved a bed into the living room and was asleep alone. I’m sure she could have gotten rid of him before morning, but I choose to believe that she didn’t have anyone over. When I got to work today, there was a memo informing everyone that there is a mandatory meeting on Sunday at two o’clock. It specifically announced that the graveyard people must attend. Well, I have Bronco tickets for Sunday. The game starts at 2:15. My wife got them for me and my son as birthday presents. They are $95.00 tickets. I am not going to lose them to go to some stupid meeting. So, I left a message for the big boss. He’s not going to like it and I’m sure I’ll get a call tomorrow. He usually calls about mid morning a few hours after I have just fallen asleep. He can yell all he wants, but I’m not letting those tickets go to waste. I’ve been working on the River of Magic over the last few weeks. It’s been slow, and it is turning out different than the other books I’ve written, but it is going to be good. I’m going to continue with it this week and try to work on it more than one or two days. If I keep going as slow as I have been, it’ll take forever to finish. I have been thinking a little bit about Gremlin Planet. I might lay down a few pages of it if I get the chance. And, I need to make another Great Detective to send to my daughter. So, if I can get off of Farmville, I have plenty of stuff to keep myself occupied. I’m feeling kind of drugout today, so I’m going to put something upbeat in the playlist. I’m thinking Def Leopard, AC/DC, Twisted Sister, and Metallica. Speaking of Farmville, they introduced a new Lighthouse Cove about two or three weeks ago. There were ten levels of enhancing that you had to accomplish along with all of the other projects and stuff that had to be build finished. On the ten levels, you had to collect three different things and every level they wanted more and more of each. Towards the end, they wanted 45 and then 50 and then 60 of each thing. Overall, it was hundreds that you had to collect. I didn’t go crazy trying to get it finished. But, I did move along with it fairly quickly. When I got to the end of it of it this weekend, I felt pretty good. It was an accomplishment. So, as I was about to click on the last item they wanted, I assumed that there was going to be a really good prize at the end. They always give you something and this was a major thing they wanted us to finish. I thought the prize was going to be spectacular. To my utter disappointment, the prize was nothing. I did all that work for absolutely nothing. I am so disgusted at Farmville that I was seriously thinking of just not playing anymore. It has turned into more work than fun anyway. So, even as I am writing this blog, I am still debating with myself if I should continue or not. There are some fun things. I actually like collecting the animals and I have a bunch of them. So, I am leaning toward continuing, but I’m not going to stress over any of their stupid projects anymore. Well, this has become a three pager. I’m sure there is still a lot of stuff I’ve left out. If I can think of it, I’ll make another posting later on this week. But, if not, I’ll talk to all of you next Monday. -Thom