Friday, February 27, 2009

Pork Barrel

I have an experiment. I bet I can make your blood boil in two minutes or less. Click HERE for a rundown by my friend Glenn Beck on some of the nonsense that was included in the recently passed enormous "stimulus" package. A few examples:

$951,000 for "Sustainable Las Vegas"
$950,000 for "Myrtle Beach International Trade and Convention Center"
$190,000 for "Buffalo Bill Historical Center" to digitize their records
$950,000 for a Nature Education Center in Mississippi (What!?!)
$300,000 for the Montana World Trade Center (Montana? Really?)

I'd like to include an item in the bill.
I vote we put all the politicians in a boutique (the most miserable place I can think of) and make them listen to Madonna songs until they cry like little school girls.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

You Get What You Pay For

I subscribe to the idea that you get what you pay for. But....even though a $300 vacuum often works better than a $100 vacuum, that doesn't mean you should buy (or have the money to buy) the $300 vacuum.

That brings us to the topic of the Reese vacuum. Our previous cheap Wal-Mart version was nothing to write home about, but it served it's purpose. After years of faithful service she left us to join the Vacuum Gods. Mel has always wanted a Dyson vacuum and seized upon this opportunity. We weren't in the mood to spend $300+ for a vacuum, but she found a floor model Dyson at a big discount and brought it home to live at our house.

Thus far I haven't been tremendously impressed. I've heard women talk about their Dyson vacuum with as much affection as they talk about their husband. So I was expecting this vacuum to leave the floors glistening, make housecleaning effortless, and part the Red Sea all at the same time. Not so.

In my disappointment yesterday I flipped the vacuum on its side to inspect the roller brush at the bottom. Turns out the whole thing was clogged and looked like it had run over a toupee.

I was excited to watch the parting of the Red Sea after the unclogging procedure. Unfortunately performance was just as uninspiring as before the enormous dust bunny was removed. Now I'm left wanting our Wal-Mart special back.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My Book Recommendations

I love to read. I've usually got three or four books going at a time. Me and the library are best friends. We hang out a lot. Here is a list of a few good books I've read lately. (Click cover for a link to Amazon)
The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch - I loved Randy's care-free, optimistic, happy attitude despite the knowledge that he would be dying soon. The story about dumping a can of Coke on the seat of his new car was my favorite.

The Anatomy Of Peace by The Arbinger Institute - This book completely flipped the way I look at myself and others. The ideas here are unique and life-changing. The lessons are weaved through the story about some parents who take their son to a wilderness treatment facility. This is definitely a must-read.

The Tipping Point, Blink, and Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell - Gladwell is all the craze in the reading world right now. I found The Tipping Point fascinating because it talks in part about marketing which I have a connection with through the music arena. Blink was probably my favorite of his, and talks about how we process thoughts and feelings. I'm jealous of his crazy, out of control hair.

Making Peace With The Image In The Mirror by Steven R. Hawks - I saw this book recommended from another friend's blog and put it on reserve at the library. I've since renewed it a few times. Working as a therapist, I've read a ton of books about self-esteem and this one is near (or at) the top. It's an easy read with excellent perspectives.

What good books have you read lately?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

How To Spend $885

I sat in Dr. Bether's chair for an hour on Thursday. When that hour was complete, I swiped my card for $885.00 and walked out the door with a lot less money in my bank account.

What awesome thing did I get to buy for $885? Sit down for this one - a root canal.

Fortunately insurance will reimburse me for half this amount. And fortunately Dr. Bethers is awesome and does a great root canal. But still. Clearly I went into the wrong profession.

It would have been so much cooler if I could have spent $885 on a year deluxe subscription to NetFlix, or a really nice camera lens, or a Costco shopping spree, or a ridiculous amount of Cookie Crisp cereal, or someone to do my yard work, or an all-inclusive one week trip to Cancun (radio ad said $599 includes the flight!). Seriously. I could have traveled to Cancun FOR A WEEK for less than the 1 hour root canal cost!

Note to self: have all teeth ripped out, get dentures, then call travel agent to schedule an extended vacation in Cancun.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Time Warp In Vegas

Mel and I went down to Las Vegas this weekend with her sister and brother-in-law. We went and saw a tribute concert to The Beatles and stayed in a luxurious room at the Excalibur (I'm laying on the sarcasm about the "luxurious" part).

Between snacks on the way to Vegas, dinner at PF Changs (HEAVENLY), a fruit smoothie and bagel for breakfast, and lots of candy on the way home, we consumed a ridiculous amount of food.

But something frightening happened on our way home from Vegas today. I don't know how it happened, and I don't know exactly when it happened, but I know it happened......we entered a black hole.

We were in some kind of time warp where time did not exist. There was no beginning and there was no end. By all observations our automobile was moving. We could hear the engine running and we could see the desert and weeds going by, but we were going nowhere. Somehow a drive that should take a few hours felt like it lasted at least 31 hours. It was excruciating.

We were fortunate to eventually escape the black hole and arrive home. I pray that this terrifying event won't happen next time we travel.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

How To Fall In Love

I was at the elementary school a few days ago and saw some Valentine decorations that Jackson's 2nd grade class made. Joey's was by far the funniest:

How To Fall In Love

I will tell you how to fall in love.
First you find the gal of your dreams. Next you
invite her to Chuck a Rama. Then you
kiss her. Finally youre in love.
That’s how you fall in love.
The end.

I'm thankful I've found the gal of my dreams. Happy Valentines Day Mel!

Friday, February 13, 2009

So Funny It Hurts

Here is one of my favorite videos of all time. I am warning you - this video is so funny it hurts. Literally.

PS - Stay tuned tomorrow for the most important techniques to fall in love. You won't want to miss this one!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Don't Watch The Price Is Right

The Price Is Right was on TV for the seven minutes it took to do the girl's hair this morning. Holy cow. The commercials during that show are downright depressing. Obviously aimed at senior citizens, these commercials helped me realize that I have a few things to look forward to in my advanced years:
  • Macular degeneration
  • Some kind of disorder where my eyes are always dry (fortunately there's a new prescription for this)
  • Impotence
  • Degenerative joints
  • Arthritis
  • Falling, not being able to get up, but luckily having a medic alert necklace
  • Riding an electric wheelchair (okay, that one sounds kind of fun)

And it wouldn't be The Price Is Right if it didn't end with the customary reminder to spay and neuter our animals. Has anyone honestly said to themself "I wasn't going to get my dog snipped, but then I remembered this wise man who once said 'Don't forget to spay and neuter your animals', so I promptly scheduled an appointment for Fifi to see the vet." ????

Monday, February 9, 2009

Running Sore

My New Running Blog - Running Sore

To better keep track of my training for the St. George Marathon, I've created the new blog I'll include my daily training activities as well as chronicle the joys of running with some really sore knees. See you there!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Worst Music Ever

I listen to lots of music and can say with a fair amount of certainty that my ears have been witness to some of the worst "music" that any "musician" or band has ever created. The following is my Top 10 List of the Worst Music Ever:

Anything By
10. Air Supply
9. Heart
8. Wilson Phillips
7. Pat Benatar
6. Santana
5. Cher
4. Celine Dion
3. Celine Dion (I know. She occupies #4 also. She is so horrendous that she deserves two spots.)
2. Barry Manilow
Uh oh. That one just gave me a throw-up burp.

1. Gloria Estefan
To be quite honest, these rankings aren't completely fair. I detest all of them thoroughly. I believe they all warrant #1 on the list of Worst Music Ever.
Who would you add to the list????

Friday, February 6, 2009

Steer Manure

I did something dumb today (I'm sure there were actually lots of dumb things, but this one really sticks out).

The story starts with a slight mishap a few weeks ago where a kind lady accidentally backed into my car and made herself a little $2500 dent. So my automobile has been in the shop for a week getting fixed, and I got a Nissan Versa for a rental. It's pretty nice. Only 5000 miles total. I'm breaking her in.

Cut to this morning. We're going to be re-seeding our lawn so I made a quick stop at Lowes to pick up some seed, fertilizer, and three bags of steer manure. Then I went to work. The problem is that when I got in the car to come home, the smell almost knocked me over. The pungent odor of bovine poop had completely saturated ever fiber of this vehicle. It's stunning how quickly a few bags of animal excrement can erase that new car smell. Hmm. Not good.

Now to the kicker.

The car was supposed to be done in 4 days. But in a highly rare twist of fate, a mechanic finished a job EARLY! They finished the car today and needed the rental returned. I was hoping I'd have 4 days to purge the car of its new air freshener, but to no avail.

I'm guessing we may not have our $50 deposit returned. Grrrr.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Will Obama Pay For My Blood Pressure Medication?

I don't mean to brag, but I suggested a poodle would do a good job as President even before Obama nominated a bunch of baboons for cabinet posts.

This whole thing about Obama's campaigning on ethics reform, but then picking dirt bags for his cabinet really, really bothers me. I absolutely can not conceive of him picking Timothy Geithner for Treasury Secretary - a man who failed to pay more than $34,000 in taxes over the course of a few years. This guy is in charge of our money!

I lost all respect for Obama a few days after Geithner's nomination when he did an interview with Katie Couric. Obama basically said "Look, we knew there was this problem that needed to get cleaned up, but it was an unintentional mistake. I can't think of someone better prepared and capable of serving in this position." I can think of someone more capable. A tax guy from H&R Block. Or the guy who manages money at church. Hmmm. Maybe even a poodle.

Then the nominee to be the chief White House performance officer, Nancy Killefer dropped out because of back taxes.

Then....Tom Daschle is nominated for Health and Human Services Secretary. But he drops out because of.....back taxes! Shocker. $128,000.00 in back taxes! Daschle says the mistake was "completely inadvertent." Mercy. Put a suit coat on a poodle and get him in the Cabinet.

It frustrates me that schmucks like this are skipping their taxes, running our government, and raking in the cash while my neighbors and I are working for the man every night and day (thanks CCR) to put food on the table. I'm sure my frustrations will resolve, especially after Obama starts buying my blood pressure medication.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Why Run A Marathon?

There are a few key reasons I am planning to run the marathon in October. For those of you who think it’s only because I have a few screws loose, let me explain:

1) I’m In Charge: Album sales depend on other people buying my CDs. I wanted to be a student body officer in high school but didn’t win. There was a job I really wanted years ago that I didn’t get (which I’m thankful for now). So many things depend on other people. Sometimes we’re at the mercy of other people’s decisions. Running a marathon doesn’t rely on anybody else. I don’t have to depend on somebody else to make something happen. My success or failure depends on me and only me. I like that.

2) I Refuse To Get Old: I think this is a way of me outrunning my age. I feel like I’ve got to stay one step ahead of old. I have grey hairs popping out all over my head. I’m gracefully entering the Salt & Pepper stage of hair color. I’m cool with that. I refuse to pluck my grey hairs because I’ve earned them. I want to be someone who can run a marathon even though they have grey hair.

3) Sense Of Accomplishment: Running is hard. It doesn’t come easy to me. It hurts. It’s rough. I’ve come to believe that the mind has a lot more to do with running than body. I’ve never done anything that challenged me so much to push through and keep going even though my body was begging to stop. I don’t think I understood how much willpower running takes until I really got going.

Running also helps me feel okay about eating a heaping bowl of ice cream before bed every night.