Sunday, September 09, 2007

Hello, from the back side of another weekend.

Here we sit at the tail end of yet another weekend. My beautiful wife is in the kitchen cooking us some Sunday chicken. Little One is off doing her thing somewhere in the house. She comes by every few moments whining about wanting to go to the pool. Maybe we can go after lunch. It is a beautiful day today and pretty dog-gone warm!

So, here dad sits hammering out another blog for the world (or family and few friends). I was teasing the family on the way home form church today that we are going to have so much fun on our getaway to the mountains. I still haven't told them where we are going. My wife would know if she ever read my blog. But, that doesn't hardly ever happen.

Saturday night. We did go see friends and had a wonderful time with them and their baby. Cloe is 8 months old and has the biggest and brightest eyes. We arrived late afternoon. Cloe's dad had not yet returned from his hunting camp cleaning day. He arrived later. As my wife and child played with Cloe in the floor, I watched Oregon whoop up on Michigan. I couldn't be happier. There are some schools that carry an arrogance about them - they no humility. Well, Michigan is learning some humility these days. Next up - Southern California. I watches the whole game. It was awesome. Dixon is a real threat. He has some talent around him. We will see how far the ducks can go this year.

I was embarrassed by the bulldogs play. I am really re-thinking this Bobo calling the plays thing that Coach Richt established this year. Bobo wasn't all that great of a quarterback while playing at Georgia. I don't think he can handle the pressures of the SEC competition. Good game South Carolina. You played well on defense.

The dinner was a success. We had Bacon, Sausage, eggs, biscuits, gravy and hash browns. That is a good meal. After dinner, Little One and I headed across the street to a small park. There was a geocache over there I wanted to try. However, it was getting dark and showed over 400 feet from the trail. We skipped it and headed over to the play ground.

I will leave you with a few pictures of the family with Cloe. Have a great week.


Little One with Cloe:



Cloe and her mom:


My amazing wife:


Me smiling at the camera:


Cloe and her dad:


Little One being all crazy with a scoobie doo mask:



Little One stiking a pose:



Little One showing off her flipping skills:

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Swooosh!!

Wow! Did you see that week go by?
It was so quick. In that, I have nothing to report.
Tuesday ~ Friday not much of anything happened - work.

Friday night my wife and I finished up our date we started
two weeks ago. Jason Bourne Rocks!

Today, my wife is at church for a board meeting.
Little One and I are being lazy around the house.

Tonight, We will head over to McDonough, GA.
We are heading over to a friends house to visit.
They have a baby and I am sure my wife and Little One can't wait
to get their hands on her.

We are going to cook a breakfast dinner and visit for a while.
It should be relaxing.

I have no new pictures to share. I have everyone has a wonderful weekend.
Adios.

Monday, September 03, 2007

A whirl of Photo's - Try and Keep up

Little One with extended cousins from Birmingham


















Geocaching at Fort McClellan
Pet Cemetery


















By far the most interesting geocache - I called it the bazooka
















That is my truck and not a toy truck.
Oh, what we see when out geocaching.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Friday night lights

I didn't get to go to a high school football game last night. Instead, Little One invited a friend out to dinner with us and a bowling game or two.

We had a blast. We ate at Ce Ce's pizza. They girls got their faces painted. I stuffed myself with salad, pizza, cheese bread. When I say stuffed - I mean it. I didn't even get me any dessert pizza nor Cinnamon rolls. That's how stuffed I was. Here is a photo of them with their faces painted.



After dinner, we drove to the local bowling center. The lights were jumping and the beat was a rocking. The last time we went bowling my wife broke a fingernail. This time she didn't want to bowl. So, the three of us were up for 2 games each. I almost let these 2 6 year olds beat me. I manage to pull out a win in both games. The best part was that Little One came in second once and her friend came in second once.

She's picked up my bad habit of flashing the peace sign.


















There was one scary moment while we were eating. The evening thunderstorms blew into the area as we sat there. Out of nowhere this huge lighting bolt strikes close. The power goes out and my wife and I see the elderly man fall to the road in the parking lot. Another patron and myself quickly make our way out to the man and his wife. We arrive and he is still on the ground laying on his back. He is trying to get up. The other customer tells him he should just lay there a moment and asked if he is okay. They guy replies he thinks so and asked to be helped up. We assist him in getting back to his feet. He collects himself and he is okay and we all begin to walk back to the sidewalk. Whew. Lots of people thought he was struck by lightening. Me included.

As you can see, these kids are awesome bowlers. Little One broke 100 both her games. I was very proud of her. We had a blast. I don't think my wife and Little One's friends father liked me too well after I purchased the kids a slushy on the way home from the bowling center at 9:30PM. Hey - It was fun!

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday. Stay safe.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Across the street, Vacation and Radio

An appropriate title to the things that are on my mind.

The house across the street is coming along quickly. Less than a month ago, they poured the concrete foundation. Today the roof is complete. Here see:
















Fall vacation plans are stitched up and deposits made. I will be taking the family to Dillsboro, North Carolina. We will be staying at the picturesque Dillsoro Inn. This quaint inn sits along the Tuckasegee River. We will be treated to breakfast in our room. Our room will open up to a private porch overlooking the river.

While relaxing in the North Carolina mountains, we will be spending a day aboard the Smokey Mountain Railroad.

We will spend one afternoon aboard the Smokey Mountain Rail riding from Dillsboro to Bryson City, North Carolina - 1 hour layover - and back to Dillsboro. While in Bryson City, we will visit the Smokey Mountain train museum. Our trip on the rails will include an upgrade to the Crown Coach rail car. We will sit in luxury all the while watching the beautiful Smoky Mountain's roll on by.

Also in our trip, we hope to visit the Cherokee nation. Cherokee, North Carolina. There we will be enthralled in the "Unto these hills... A Retelling" outdoor drama. I am sure we will come back with plenty of great crafts.

Radio. I listen to an array of different music. My taste for radio varies like the wind. My mood, while riding in my SUV, can be full throttle to easy going. I have found my home for morning radio. It is the Rick and Bubba show. I hear it from a rural radio station out of Hogansville, GA. Magic 98.1

These guys are right up my alley. My age. My general views and funny as crap. They have a solid show filled with many laughs on my 20 minute commute. They are Christian men who can cut up and have a great time while putting on a radio show. Look them up at their website and see if they are on in your area - or listen to them via the Internet from one of their affiliates. You gotta check these guys out. Atlanta Radio has nothing on these Alabama boys!

I hope everyone is having a good week. Have a wonderful weekend. My wife has asked me out on a date tomorrow night. She isn't telling me where we are going. Only that I should dress comfortable. Be sure to guess where we are going. If you get it right, I will send you a prize.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Back to the routine

Okay, to say the last week has been off track would be close. More like upside down and twisted counter-clockwise would be better. I have taken a vacation day and bereavement day and traveled several times to here and there and back. However, today is a new day and it is back to the grind of every day life. I think I like that idea.

Hey LOOK everyone - Words off paper is back! How cool is that? I return from a week of twisted time and a favorite blogger is back in action. I am doubly happy.

More to come later - I am just happy to be back!

Have a great day.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A Patriarch has passed away

Dennis R. Thomas

For the last 10 years I knew "D.R.". Weekend visits to Anniston Alabama. Christmas's where upwards of 40 family and friends would gather at his house to celebrate the birth of Christ. I married into the family and was always welcomed warmly. D.R. was a Godly man who held his family close to his heart.

ANNISTON — Funeral services for Mr. Dennis R. Thomas, age 85, of Anniston will be at 10 a.m. Thursday, August 16, 2007, at Edgewood Congregational Methodist Church with Dr. Bill Snow and the Rev. Wilburn Clark officiating. Mr. Thomas will lie in state one hour prior to service. Interment will be at Forestlawn Gardens. Visitation will be at Chapel Hill Funeral Home this evening, August 15, 2007 from 6 until 8.

Mr. Thomas is survived by his wife, Mary Thomas, of Anniston; 4 daughters, 8 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren.

Mr. Thomas was a native of Limestone County and resident of Anniston for forty-nine years. He was employed as a cabinet maker with L & L Cabinet and Lott's Cabinet. He was a member of Edgewood Congregational Methodist Church.

Chapel Hill Funeral Home will be servicing the Thomas family.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Cuteness Defined

I ran across this photo tonight while organizing my picture folder.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Laziness / blissfull

Is it my laziness in not blogging or is it the blissfulness of life in general? Maybe both. The last part of the week was fairly uneventful.

With Little One starting school and all the homework she has, my evenings have been fairly full. I have been pretty busy at work also. My mind is very tired by the end of the day. That's my excuse for not blogging.

However, I have a little time now on Sunday evening to sit and fill in the gaps since the last blog.

Friday evening our family took the evening to enjoy a night out on the town. We started off by eating at Texas Roadhouse. My wife had the chicken salad and I had the sirlon steak. Little One ate a cheesebuger. I love that place. I always get my fill of a good dinner.

Next on the list was a trip to the bowling alley. We took to the lanes and busted out a good game for the three of us. On my wife's first bowl, she broke her thumb nail. She hung on for a couple more frames and then Little One took over bowling for her. The bumpers were up for Little One's turn but not for her mom's. With the bumpers up, she rolled it right down the middle. With the bumpers down, she would bowl straight to the gutter.

With the exception of a few open frames in the middle, I closed with a strike in the ninth and two of the first three in the 10th.

Saturday, we slept in and took advantage of the pool later in the afternoon. We closed the evening down with some chicken fingers and a movie.

No poker lately. I guess I am still trying to adjust to this new schedule. I am sure I will get things worked out and get back to the tables soon.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Tuesday, Oh, Tuesday!

I was hog tied and placed in a room full of middle and executive management today. It seems we need a little training. We had some pesky yellow jacket stiffs there talking about lean manufacturing. It's good stuff-really. It's just I have heard it about a dozen times with the same big pep rally and then the eventual fizz of emotion only to be dropped along the curb in order to make way for more "production time" and less "non production time". We can't meet customer needs if we are sitting in some room talking and not out producing product. We never hang onto the training part long enough to see the results of a better employee.

Hence my question/discussion to my readers. What motivates an hourly employee these days? Our plant workers make somewhere between $10 per hour and up to probably $16 to $17 per hour. An 18 year old walking from his high school graduation dripping from his ears will start at $10 per hour. Then you build from there. At $10 per hour, that is $20,000 per year.

Now, let's talk motivation. Our plant is air conditioned, clean (Japanese style) and set up fairly nice. Good 401K, insurance and paid time off. Trust me, it's not labor intensive. What motivates an employee to get up and show up everyday?

The stiffs say it's employee empowerment and feeling of worth and trust. Walk out on the shop floor and all you hear is "we need more money". We joking use the phrase "the beatings will continue until morale improves". The culture is one where a director can only sign a purchase order up to $500. That doesn't sound like trust to me.

What motivates you to put a good days effort into a good days work?


*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#

Family - After dinner tonight, I was out taking pictures of the house they are building across the street from us. Little One started posing and asked if I would take her picture. These are the results.

My plans are to take a photo just about every day until completion.
Then make a movie maker video of it.
(set to brooks and dunn - "hard working man" song of course)
That's my humble plan - execution of that plan is subject to my laziness.
























Now that you have read my blog - read it as Gizoogle would have it.
Click the link and paste my website address in the box.
Thanks for the link Kajagugu Poker

Monday, August 06, 2007

Gymnastics

Tonight was Little One’s first night at gymnastics. I think she had a wonderful time. We went out to eat afterwards to steak and shake. She fell asleep on the way home. Fist day of school and first day of gymnastics. She was “plum tuckered out”.

Have a nice evening everyone.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Comments Wanted


Okay - now that summer vacation is in the books, it is time to start planning and booking fall vacation.





Come on commenters. Get busy and tell me where to go!

In general, the plan should be somewhere along the eastern united states in a mountainous environment.

The previous fall vacations were to Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge. Due to just too many people now ascend onto that place in the fall, I am in need of a new fall home.

I have done a little research on places like: Brevard, N.C., Snowshoe W.V. and Dahlonega, GA. The events should center around peaceful events like Fall Festivals, BBQ gatherings or large Art shows.

I dropped a hint to Duckie at Duck notes to let me know when a good festival is planned. He seems to always get some good photos of local festivals around his area. Maybe he will comment????

The place should be within 6 hours of driving from Atlanta, GA.

Do you have a place that has impressed you in the past? Ashville?, Charlotte? Chattanooga? Kentucky?
Let me know - I have only been back to work a week and I am in need of a long weekend vacation. Or at least the promise of one on the horizon.

Please Help!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Home Project - Completion

Our daughter's room re-decoration project is coming near the end. When we returned from our vacation, we visited Rooms to go kids. Little One had her favorite day bed there. They were having a sale. So, we went. Everything was on sale except her bed. Oh well, we needed to bring this project to a close and we purchased her the day bed and dresser. We were able to set delivery for 1 week later - today! That was great.

Only the underside trundle was not ready to be delivered today. That will have to wait another 2 weeks. The second issue was a missing handle for her dresser. That will be shipped UPS Monday. I am considering this home project complete and a success. I hope you have enjoyed watching as we turned our little girls room into a more "little girl's" room.

Here are the final pictures.







Just in case you forgot what we started with. Or you are joining us late.


Have a great weekend.

WDW Trip Report - Day 5 & 6

Okay, I have been back a week and haven't completed this trip report yet! The last couple of days the pace slowed and the photo's were less often. We hung out around the pool and went shopping at downtown Disney.

We did get a little photo happy on the bus over to downtown Disney.

Here I am smiling at my family.


Someone offered to take our picture.


Here is Little One playing in the water at downtown Disney.


The last night we were there we went over to Fort Wilderness to enjoy a movie on there large outdoor screen. Here we are watching the pre-show entertainment.




Here Little One is hanging around Dale.


We really enjoyed our trip. If you are planning a Disney trip, I don't think you will be disappointed in staying at the Wilderness Lodge. I hope these recaps have helped. Some other advice: We found out starting in January 2008 - gratuity will no longer be included in your meal plan. So, those $100 dinners will start costing you $15 to $20 in tips.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

WDW Trip Report - Day 4

Okay our fourth day inside the walls of Disney World and I make my first real boo-boo. I a 36 year old man was so enjoying my time at Disney, did not review our pre-planned daily events the night before. Our family got up and hurried to get ready for our day. It wasn't until we were about to head out the door that my wife looked at the sheet. What she discovered was that this was supposed to be a day off for us. You know - a kind of sleep in day. She had been so looking forward to a day she could relax and sleep in. It was spoiled.

Luckily she and my daughter agreed that we should go ahead and visit a park. Since our scheduled showed Magic Kingdom the next morning, we choose to swap days. We would sleep in tomorrow. We headed for breakfast all clear with our updated schedule. Unfortunately, this was the early park open day for Magic Kingdom. It was already 9:00AM. It would be packed. I didn't mention this to my co-parts.

On the way to the dock from breakfast, my daughter decided she wanted to start in the tradition of pin trading. For those who don't know, many cast members at Disney have lanyards with Disney pins on them. You can trade pins with them or other people. So, we purchased Little One a lanyard with 6 different pins of her choosing. She was happy, I was happy and the wife was skeptical. Off we went. She did a good job of trading over the next few days and ended up with some cool pins.





After another delicious breakfast at the Roaring Fork cafe we decided to take the boat over to Magic Kingdom. It was a pleasant ride over. As we pulled up to the dock in front of the gates we were amazed at the floods of people pouring into the park. By now it was 10AM and already nearing 90 degrees!

We found what I expected inside the gates - crowds and crowds of people. We made our way back to the far side of the park. This is adventure land I think. It has the attractions: It's a Small World, Winnie the Pooh, Dumbo and the carousel. All these are right up Little One favorite rides/areas. We rode a few rides and sweat was dripping off me just standing in the shade.



By this time, Little One was tired of the camera and I had to resort to action shots.


It was HOT. Little One wasn't feeling well complaining of stomach pains. We decided to head back to the lodge for a restful afternoon. Even some more time at the pool.



After a few playful hours at the pool, we all headed in and got ready for dinner.

This evening was planned to be at Epcot for both the dinner and the fireworks/show. We had reservations at San Angel inside Mexico Pyramid at Epcot. We were running it close to getting there on time. We cruised into the restaurant about 5 minutes before our reservations. I was a little antsy to see a long line in front of hostess stand. We were soon handed a beeper and walked around the shopping area. I liked the piggy bank painted as a strawberry. However, since Little One already has a piggy bank that was a no sale.





A nice restaurant with exception of that you are eating in almost complete darkness. The back wall of the place is painted with a pyramid and a volcano. Nice ambiance. The tables were a little cramped together. Our waiter was really nice. I could barely see him. However, from what I could tell he was in his 50's , short and of Mexican decent. I think he had a mustache. Even if I couldn't see him, I could have probably guessed his heritage. I made the comment to Little One and my wife that I think he is speaking English. However, it still sounds like Spanish.

The golden rule of satisfying me as a customer was broken - my glass going empty and making a slurping sound. But wait! Don blame our waiter yet. As we were sitting down, a group of 15 were being seated next to us. That was his table also. I watched as this family from grandchild to parent to grandparents took FOREVER to make their drink orders. Each time our waiter visited that table he was there forever for them to make their selections. So, I forgave him and blamed Mickey Mouse. Not to mention the place was packed. I had witnessed the Hostess turn people away with no reservations. I thought this a much better tactic than I had witnessed previous nights when customers were told it would be an hour and half wait. Just tell them you are all booked up and send them on their way.

For Appetizer: I had the nachos while my wife had the Snope Tradicional (Grilled Chicken burrito)




For the main course: My wife and I both ordered the Plato Mexicano (Beef tenderloin Tampiquena, chicken enchilada, and beef Flauta served with sour cream, black refried beans and mexican rice) and Little One chose chicken Fingers and Fries. That seems to be the staple in Mousetown for kids menu Chicken Fingers and fries. San Angel were the best of all Mousetown. (P.S. Don let your child get the pizza from the Concourse Steak house icky).



For dessert: I had the cappuccino (not good to me it was very strong like it was made with espresso). My wife had the Flan de Vanilla (vanilla Custard in syrup with roasted almonds) and Little One had vanilla bean ice cream. I ended up eating/consuming all three. Little One didn't want hers. My wife didn't like the texture of hers. My wife is one of only a few people who (no matter what the taste is) cannot eat certain types of textures. That pudding is one of those that my wife cannot eat. I thought it was excellent the taste and the texture. Of course the ice cream was awesome vanilla bean is my favorite.



I waddled out of the restaurant and out into the hot evening only Disney World is known for. We were staying for the laser and fireworks show that evening at Epcot. So, I waddled as the rest of my family walked around to some of the other places in Epcot.



We made stops in China, Japan & France. The China show is awesome. It a 360 degree overhead video of a tour of China. I love the Asian area. The sights to see, the food and the people make it a very interesting place. Give me lots of money and I will go.

Japan was the next stop. For some of my readers that may not know, I have worked for a Japanese company for almost 15 years. I have been introduced to many aspects of their culture. Yes, even sushi. I like some and dislike others. While we were touring the Japanese shop, I tried to get my wife to purchase one of their beautiful silk blouses. She didn't . She did pick up a pair of flip flops and after trying them on stated 'these are the most comfortable flip flops I have ever felt'. I looked at the price tag and I said 'for $65 dollars, they ought to feel good". She quickly placed them back on the shelf. Outside the Japanese shop, we purchased Little One a tangerine snow cone. I was very happy that she handed it to me after only eating about half of it. It was delightful.

A short stop at the French building and Little One and her mom was squirted with ol de toilet or something by some bottle toting French guy smiling like someone was tickling his bottom side. Outside, I determined it to be a nice smelling perfume and we continued on our walk.

We stopped on the nearby bridge to settle into our spot for the show. We enjoyed the show over the water and quickly made our way to the exit as the show was nearing the end. Unfortunately, we had stopped on the far side of the park and it took us nearly 20 minutes to reach the gate. We found our bus stop and waited only a short time before one pulled up to carry us back to the soft pillows awaiting us back at the lodge.








A near mess up turns out to be a pretty good day. Good night Mickey and Donald.