Monday, January 23, 2012

Jan 23

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I received my W2s in the mail. That means it is tax time. I’m really not looking forward to it this year. We don’t get earned income credit for any of the kids. We haven’t for a long time now, but this year my daughter in-law worked all year and is filing for the first time. So, that means that we don’t get to use my granddaughter anymore. So I’m hoping that we don’t end up paying. It’s going to be close. But, I’m not going to worry about it until we get my wife’s info and put it all into Turbo Tax. I’m hoping I can work the numbers so it comes out even. My wife is really worried. She thinks we’re going to owe a bunch because it doesn’t look like they took enough out of my checks. We’ll see. We should get her info in the next few days.

My eldest daughter, who is in the army reserves, got a part time job with the army. I’m not sure how that works, but they’re sending her to computer classes tomorrow to get her started.
My youngest daughter, who works at the movie theater, has let her grades slip a little bit. So, I told her to tell her bosses that she can’t work so late on school days anymore. She’ll have to stop working at eleven, which I don’t think is unreasonable. They have been extending her hours later and later and now this week she is scheduled to close nearly every day. That means that she doesn’t get out until between midnight or two in the morning. She’s working on scholarships at the moment and it is better not to have anything interfere with that.
On Facebook, there has been an advertisement for a used book store that I’ve really wanted to take a look at. It said that all paperback books were only .99 and all hardback books started at $2.00. So, I finally went to take a look at it. It was a ways out there, and I actually found it by accident. When I pulled into the parking lot, I had my hopes up. It was a huge building and it also had movies and CDs. So, with a fist full of dollars, I went in. I found quite a few books that I wanted and I even found some brand new books from an author that I really like and didn’t even know about. But, when it came to pricing, it wasn’t anything like what the add stated. There were books for .99. They were in a small bin in the center of the store. It was the same with the hardback books, except there were three bins for them. Of course there wasn’t any organization for them and nothing I wanted to buy. All of the other books were normal or even higher than you would expect at a used book store. Needless to say I left with all of those dollars still in my hand. Bummer. There is a little used book store out by our old apartment. It had a really great selection and was organized really nicely. I’ll probably go back to that one, but the prices were only something like ten percent off of the cover price. Or, I might start getting ebooks. I have a tablet and my wife has a Kendle. I looked through the free books on the tablet, but haven’t bought any yet because it is still new.
I got the tablet for Christmas and for those of you that don’t know, you really need a micro SD card before you can start using it. It doesn’t come with much internal memory. So, over the last month I was pricing cards. I didn’t want to get a 2 or 8 gig card because if I’m going to start using it, I’m going to start using it. So, I wanted a 32 gig card. Well, most places don’t even stock them and of the stores that do, they want eighty or ninety dollars for them. So, I went on line to look around. On Amazon, I found one for $30. Now that I got it in the mail, I’ve been messing around with it. I finally figured out how to put music on it. I have a large 520 gig external hard drive that I store all our pictures and music on, and I tried to mount it to my tablet. Well, it wasn’t working and it took me a while to realize that it was too big for the tablet to handle. So, I had to move a bunch of songs onto a thumb drive and then mount the thumb drive to my tablet and move them over that way. The hardest part was going through my songs and figuring out which ones I wanted because I have a lot of stuff on my thumb drive and I didn’t want to overload it. I’ve had things erase like that. Then, the tablet didn’t like it when I cut and pasted. It gave me an error and wanted me to try again. But, when I tried, since I cut them, they were gone. So, I had to go through all of my music again. This time, I just copied them over. It worked much better. The only app that I’ve downloaded was one with funny ringtones. I’m going to put Tarzan as my main ringtone and a couple others for my wife and kids and work. I tried downloading a TV app, but when I opened it, it only showed Indian TV. Not what I wanted. I tried going to Netflix and Farmville, but neither of them have an app that will work with a tablet. As it turns out, not all phone apps work on it. But, I’m going to mess around with it a lot more to see what I can and can’t do. No matter how it turns out, it is still fun to play with.
The Patriots and New York are in the Super Bowl. We’re going over to my brother’s house to watch it and have our Christmas get together. I’m not crazy about either of the teams, but I’m sure the Patriots will mop up the floor with New York. So, I don’t know how much of it I’ll really watch. (Baseball can’t get here soon enough)
It’s pretty much the last week of January and I’m not sure if River of Magic will be done by the 31st. I either need to spend more than two hours a day on it or I need to learn to project the completion date better. But, it will be done really soon. And, in order to finish it, I better get started. I’m putting Dire Straits, Stray Cats, Men at Work, and Duran Duran in the playlist for background music. So, see you next week.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Jan 16

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It’s Monday again, and I have the worst news ever. I know you’re probably thinking that I’m talking about the Bronco loss. Well, they did lose and the lost big. The score was like 40 something to 10. It was embarrassing. We lost it in the first quarter and never recovered. At half time, the announcers were all saying that the only way for Denver to get back into the game was to have Tom Brady switch sides. Well, no one expected us to make it to the Super Bowl. Even though we lost Tim Tebow and the team took us to the playoffs and even won one. That hasn’t happened in like six or seven years. So, you have to give them credit. When the season started, no one thought we would make it through the entire 16 games much less go to the playoffs. So no, that wasn’t the worst news ever. The worst new ever was that the Patriots cheerleaders weren’t even wearing their bikini costumes. They were all dressed up like Eskimos. So, when the Broncos stopped producing, we didn’t even have the cheerleaders to pick up our spirits. That meant that we had to sit through nearly four hours of bad football without any distractions. But, there is good news on the horizon. Yes, you guessed it, Baseball season is almost here. It’s just around the corner. GO ROCKIES!!!

Back to football, no one won this weekend. I was voting for the Saints, Green Bay and of course the Broncos. I don’t even know if I’m going to watch the Super Bowl because no one I want to see is going to be there. But, I’ll force myself. Actually, we’re going to all go over to my brother’s house for the game. It’s officially a Super Bowl, Christmas, and my mom’s birthday party. We couldn’t get our schedules synced over Christmas, so we never got a chance to get together with my side of the family. So, we’re going to do it on the fifth. Since it is really close to my mom’s birthday, we’re going to throw that in and since it is on Super Bowl Sunday, we couldn’t leave that out. It should be fun. We’re going to have a gift exchange and eat tailgate party food, nachos, pigs in the blanket, chili, etc…
For some reason my wife was in a “She wants me to pick on her” kind of mood. So, I’ve been obliging her all week. I’ve had a lot of fun doing it, but she keeps getting mad at me. Maybe I’ve been in a “I want to pick on her” kind of mood. Naw, it has to be the other way around. So, I’ll continue until next week just to see how it goes.
My daughter stepped on my granddaughter’s belt the other day. I’m not sure what the official word for it is, but the little part that sticks in the hole to secure the belt stabbed her right in the bottom of her foot. It was nasty. So, my wife had to take her to the hospital. We cleaned it up pretty good, so all she really needed was a tetanus shot. I’m sure she was up to date on her shots, because kids have to be to be able to go to school, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. So, I’ll just call her gimpy for a while as she hobbles around. (I’m just that kind of dad)
I went looking for a 32g micro SD card for my tablet and found a few of them. One was for ninety dollars and the other one was for sixty. Most stores didn’t even carry 16g much less 32. But, when I saw the prices in the stores, both of the clerks told me to just go online and get them. They said that it would be half price. So, I checked out Amazon and they were right. I picked up one for $30. They wanted me to fill out an application for one of their credit cards. If I would have done it, I would have gotten a $30. credit so my total would have been .69 cents. I should have done it, but that would have meant that I would have had to go buy some more stuff. I can’t have a credit card that I don’t owe money to. It’s just indecent. So, I didn’t do it and I’m sure my paycheck will thank me.
While I was online, I renewed my driver’s license. It expired three months ago, so I’ve been a criminal for that long. I tried to tell my wife that I couldn’t drive to work because it was expired, but she said I had to go. So, if I get arrested, it’s all her fault. (She never lets me quit) But, renewing online was a breeze. There were no lines and I didn’t have to sit by that guy that always wants to talk to me. The only bad thing was that I usually bring a book with me so I can get in a few chapters while waiting for my number to be called. I tried opening my book while I was online, but it just went too quickly for me to even read a sentence. I almost didn’t renew it because I was looking at the parameters I had to qualify for before I could do it digitally and one of them was that my license couldn’t be expired. But, I went in anyway and it added a little addendum saying that it couldn’t be expired for more than 365 days. So, I was ok.
I usually go visit my mom on Mondays, but I had to leave early today. Before I left, I took her over to my brother’s house. She was teaching him how to make cherry pies and homemade pizza. I know they are very good from many past dinners. But, since I had to leave I didn’t even get a chance to taste anything. It sucks. To top it off, he was going to lend me some books to read and I forgot them. That sucks too.
Some new TV shows are starting this month. A few of them look pretty good. I’ve already set my DVD recorder to grab them and now that football is pretty much over because there aren’t any good teams left, I can watch them. I hope the shows live up to their commercials.
Well, I better get busy. The River of Magic won’t wait. I’m putting a bunch of one-hit-wonders in the playlist today along with a bunch of funny songs. It’s just that kind of day. So, I’ll see you next week.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Jan 9

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How can we start with anything else besides the Bronco game? It was our first playoff game in like six years. My wife got me and my son tickets. They were on the fifth level, but we could see the field better than the first level tickets we had earlier in the year. I think I would still rather sit on the first level, because then we could see the players and the cheerleaders up close. But, that doesn’t matter at the moment. We trudged up to the top of the stadium and of course the most obnoxious Steelers fan sat right behind us. What made matters worse was that they got two early field goals and we went three and out. I’d never wanted to turn around and choke someone so badly. But, I controlled myself and the Bronco’s got motivated. We pulled down a couple of interceptions and made a few touchdowns. It greatly shut up the butt-head behind us, but nothing could stop that mouth completely. We went up 20-3 before they started coming back in the second half. I have to admit, I was getting a little worried when they tied us. We got the ball and then went three and out again, giving them over a minute with the ball. But, nothing bad happened and we went into overtime. It took the ref longer to explain the new overtime rules than it took to play. We got the ball and on Tebow’s first play, we scored a touchdown. It was beautiful. For some reason, the guy behind us didn’t have anything to say.

My son and I went to the game. It was nice spending time with him. We don’t seem to get the chance very often during the week. Last time, we had about three beers during the game. We managed to double that this time. I’m not a drinker, but I tried to keep up. Needless to say I was swimming by halftime. But, when the beer guy came up I managed to order only one instead of two without my son noticing. I gave him the new one and I pretended that the one I was nursing was also new. We got our picture taken again. I hope it turns out as good as the last one. I still haven’t bought the last one. I better get it soon. I don’t know how long they keep them. But, I’ll post it when I get it.
I can barely talk today. My voice is so horse from screaming at the game yesterday. Everyone thinks I’m sick because I sound bad. But, it’s starting to get better. It happened last time I went to the game and I’m sure it will happen to me the next time. Baseball season is right around the corner so when I go to those games, I don’t shout as much. (I can hardly wait.)
My brother quit his job this week. He is like the most loyal employee I know. He puts in extra hours when he doesn’t have to and always goes above and beyond. But, if they push him too hard, he doesn’t just stand there and take it. He got a new boss about a year or so ago and she’s one of those people that choose one person to belittle all the time. For some reason she latched onto my brother. He was the ranking district manager at Burger King. He put up with it for a long time, but I guess it went a little too far. He put his notice in over Christmas without telling anyone. So, he took the New Years week off and is starting to look for a new job this week. He’s very good at what he does, so I’m not worried.
My daughter had her first weekend in the army reserves this last weekend. She’s not used to getting up in the morning anymore and she had to be there at 6:30. So, she and my wife picked me up after work at 6 and we took her down there. She slept in the car the whole way. When we picked her up afterwards, she said that she didn’t do anything the whole time. They didn’t have anything for her MOS to work on, so she just sat there and helped out whenever she could. They did talk to her about starting up college very soon and going to another MOS training for supply. I think she is going to do that. It is only a month long and it will keep her busy until she starts school. When she does start school, she’ll be in the ROTC and she’ll be active again. So, we’re probably going to wait until then to help her get a car. She needs one now, but I want to make sure that she has a steady income before she takes on car payments and insurance. My other daughter needs a car too. But, we’re going to have to get that one as our second car and let her drive it. She works at the theater and can make the payments, but we’ll probably go halfzies on one with her, but that will be a used car and not a new one so that we can pay it off quickly then use it as a down payment for a new car. We’ll see. But, back to the army reserve, it is supposed to be two days but she only had to do the Saturday. It was probably because they didn’t have anything for her to do, but she was happy.
Well, I guess that’s about enough for today. I’m still working on the River of Magic. It’s turning out to be a little longer than I expected, but I’m still predicting an end of January finish. So, I better get started so I can hit that mark. I’m putting Deep Purple, Dokken, Ratt, and Kick Axe in the playlist for background music today. It’s a Monday, so I need something to keep me awake.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Jan 2

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It’s the first Monday of the year and I actually had two days off over the weekend. Normally that would mean that I was well rested and ready to go for the week. But, I had worked nearly every day of December without a break and I think my body took revenge on me working it so hard and decided it was going to be sick. I was ok for most of Saturday, but Sunday was a monster. Actually, let’s start with Friday. My granddaughter’s birthday was the first, but the kids decided to let her have a sleepover for all her little friends. I had to work, so I couldn’t stay very long. But, the party was really nice. There were a bunch of people I didn’t know, but it was still a success. The highlight of the party came early on. A guy sitting on the sofa turned out to be my granddaughter’s other grandpa. I’d never met him until then. But, he and his girlfriend were sitting there when my granddaughter called from the hallway. She just shouted “Grandpa!” and held out her hands like she wanted someone to pick her up. The girlfriend slapped the other grandpa on the shoulder and pointed toward my granddaughter telling him that she wanted him. I, however, was already up and moving toward her. When I passed them and picked her up, I could hear them saying that I was the other grandpa, but he didn’t even make a move to go get her. When I did pick her up and started playing with her, she pointed over at the other grandpa and told me that she didn’t like him.

On Saturday, my mother in-law cooked a turkey dinner for their side of the family. That means that my wife cooked it in her kitchen. They usually schedule those things at about 2 or 3 in the afternoon. So, after getting off at six in the morning I woke up at noon. It was my first New Years Eve off in years, so we had plans on doing a lot of stuff. Instead, we had dinner, which was very good, and then the kids left the baby with us. We wanted to take her downtown to see the fireworks, but it was very windy and getting very cold. So, we decided we would go upstairs and check them out from the window. Impatient to see them, my granddaughter asked every one or two minutes if it was time yet. The first set started at nine and then the New Years ones would be at midnight. Well, somehow we missed the nine o’clock ones. I’m not sure how that happened. Then, the next thing I knew the phone was ringing, it was one minute after midnight. I guess I fell asleep first somewhere around ten or even earlier. My wife and the baby were lying on the bed also asleep. They stayed up until about eleven thirty. We tried waking up the baby so she could see the fireworks, but she wouldn’t get up. They only lasted for about ten minutes anyway. So, she didn’t miss much.
On Sunday, I wanted to watch the game, but that was when my body rebelled. All I remember was sitting down and watching the first quarter and a half and then waking up at ten at night to an empty house. My wife said that I came into the bedroom and grabbed a small blanket complaining about being cold and then fell asleep in the chair. We had plans on spending the day with the kids and my granddaughter because it was her actual birthday. It was also my daughter’s boyfriend’s birthday. We were going to go to Chuck E Cheese to let them play games and then have a nice dinner at Applebee’s. I guess my wife woke me up to ask if I was going. I must have said no and then climbed into bed, because that was where I woke up. They were still out and about. They did all the fun stuff and then went over to my daughter’s boyfriend’s house where they were having a small party for him. I woke up again at about three or four in the morning and they were back, but I still didn’t feel very well. I tried getting up because it was now Monday and I usually go over to my mom’s house on Mondays. I tried eating something, but that didn’t work. When my wife got up to go to work, I told her I wasn’t going to make it and went back to bed. I woke up again about nine or ten and still didn’t feel very good. I don’t think I’ve ever slept for that long in my life. But, I needed to get up and do something. So, we went to my mom’s house to help her with some things and then went out to get something to eat. I think moving around helped a bit, but I’m at work now and wishing I would have called out. But, when I do that they tend to not pay me. So, it is better that I stick it out. It’s only another seven and a half hours to go. I’ll make it. The bad news was that I didn’t get to see the rest of the football game. We ended up losing seven to three, but I hadn’t been able to see a game all month and was really looking forward to it. The good news was that the Raiders also lost and we made it into the playoffs anyway. The better news is that my wife signed up for playoff tickets early on in the year and she got an email asking if she wanted to purchases round one playoff tickets this Sunday. They are in the nosebleed section, but the Broncos haven’t been in the playoffs for a loooong time much less hosting one. So, this Sunday, me and my boy get to go to the game instead of falling asleep in front of the TV watching them. They better win. We’ve lost the last three games in a row. We’ll be playing the Steelers at two. It should be a really good game. I don’t remember what year it was, but it was while I was out in New Jersey, the Steelers knocked us out of the playoffs and I haven’t forgiven them since.
Well, I guess that was my week. I’m still working on the River of Magic. I know I said that I was going to put it to the side and work on one of the others, but when I opened up the files, my mouse went right to where I stopped, so I just kept going. Over the weekend, I was going over what was happening next, so I’m just going to keep going with it. I thought I was going to be done by the end of December, but it’s looking more like the end of January. I’m putting Journey, Eagles, Genesis, Fleetwood Mac, and the Cars into the playlist for background music so, I’ll see you next week.