Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Expectations

A student came into the computer lab today, she was a mature adult, not a kid, and very hyper and far more computer illiterate than I feel should be acceptable. I could understand needing a bit of help navigating specific technologies such as Blackboard (the learning management system) and PeopleSoft (the student information system software) but when I suggested she email her teacher about a question specific to her class, she actually responded, "how do I do that?"

Is is wrong for me to think that is is not acceptable for someone whose registered into an allied health program at an accredited college should know how to do something as basic as send an email? And, if not, that this person should not yet qualify to take college level courses until this basic skill (and all basic skills) are up to par?

I really did try to be as helpful as I could but the other real road block that I found frustrating here is that the students was so hyper and put off by her inabilities instead of being honest about them and expressing a desire to learn. It was as if it was my fault that she was unable to accomplish these basic tasks and even while I was trying to be helpful, she seemed, well, upset with me for some reason.

This was a very troubling transaction and I am not quite sure how to process it.

Monday, January 30, 2012

How to Get Concert Tickets (The Hard Way)

This past Saturday morning was the first of an 8 week class I am teaching from 8:30 am until 1:30 pm. I took on this class, as well as another similar Saturday class in the 8 week that follow this one after my colleague had to drop out of teaching them due to illness and I mostly said yes, because I really need the extra money.

What I was unaware of at the time I said yes to teaching this schedule is that tickets for the new Bruce Springsteen tour would be on sale at 10:00 am the first Saturday of class; a dilemma for sure. I did what had to be done, the right thing, and I told my students at the start of class that we would have to break just before 10 am so that I could get Bruce Springsteen tickets and that would make me happy and benefit everyone :)

Now, the day before, my friend Linda's son Joe had emailed her saying that he had a connection, the something something of a friend or someone who worked at the venue and would get tickets in a good spot for the same face value. Linda asked if I wanted in and for me, it just felt that there would be too many channels and hoops to jump through making getting these "sure thing" tickets less of a sure thing than they appeared. I thanked her (and him, through her) but insisted I needed to hit the Ticketmaster site on my own to do my best to ensure I get tickets.

So just before 10:00 am, the class breaks and I get Ticketmaster up on three separate devices, sure enough, at the strike of 10, I put in my request for tickets on all three computers and then waited as Ticketmaster simmered. Before 10:05, all three devices came back apologizing to me for no tickets that met my request were available...a sell out in under five minutes. Now, I won't use this post to complain about how unfair Ticketmaster is or how even more unfair and what should be illegal companies like Ace Tickets, legal storefront scalpers, piss me off but needless to say, I turned down "sure thing" tickets and failed to get my own.

Immediately, while it was still break time, I messaged Joe, Linda's son, pleading to him that if there was still time to include me and get a ticket for me, to do so and then I messaged my friend Mike, a fell Springsteen fanatic who I knew was attempting to get tickets, asking if he may have an extra. In the meantime, I needed to get past this and get back to teaching.

Later on, during the lunch break, I went back online and to see if there was an answer from either Joe or Mike, none. I went back to Ticketmaster to try again, sometimes that happens, not this time, still no tickets. However, I noticed there was a show scheduled in Albany, NY and tix were going on sale at noon (minutes away). Knowing were were on lunch break, without guilt, I prepared the computers for an attempt and sure enough, I secured tickets to see "The Boss" in Albany, an approximate three hour drive from home; but at least, I had tickets and I would be seeing my favorite for a twelfth time. Also good, the concert is on a day I already have off from work so I'll take the road trip in the early afternoon and perhaps check a little out the capital city of the state I was born in.

With the comfort of having tickets, I will continue to troll Craigslist where I have had success as a concert date nears, and people with ticket who had actually hope to go, can no longer attend for some reason and are willing to part with their tickets either at face value or below. If indeed I do get local tickets less expensively, I will try to sell the Albany tickets and if I can't, worse case I go see him again. Either way, I can't wait to see Bruce Springsteen...again!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

What the....?

UPDATE: Before I hit "PUBLISH" to make this post go live, I had this notion that I must've already posted this crazy photo because I took it some time ago. I did look around for a bit and couldn't find the post so I just went with it. This morning, I had a closer idea around the time frame of the original post and sure enough, I posted it on November 25th. So, call it a senior moment, call it raising awareness, call it whatever - either way - here it is again.


I know, it's unsettling for some reason. Think about how unsettling just the photograph is and then think about how odd it was to get to work one morning around 7:15 am and see this pair of stockings just laying there on the stairs near the entrance.

I have no idea how it got there but sadly, I see something like this and the first thought is always a bad one followed by a hope that the thought is wrong and nobody was hurt or was forced to do anything against their will.

Very odd!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

One Minute in the Classroom

Today was the first meeting of my accelerated class. There were 9 student on the roster but I am pretty sure that only seven will return (1 was out sick, I had to drop her from the course).

I decided to use a story that Tori told on FB yeaterday as an icebreaker - it was funny but at 8:35am, it was met much more with confusion than laughter.

Here's a link to a brief audio clip (approx. 1 min.): Audio Cip

Friday, January 27, 2012

Tomorrow morning I return to the traditional classroom setting for the first time since last spring as I am teaching an 8-week accelerated course both in the first and second half of the semester (in addition to my two online sections).

I am not thrilled about getting up "early" on Saturday as it is typically the only day of the week I didn't have an alarm clock wake me, that won't be true for most of the next few months. The good thing is that most students who sign up for the Saturday morning class are pretty motivated and, the money is already spent on dental work to come.

Bruce Springsteen tix go on sale at 10am tomorrow; this makes me nervous because I have to strategically plan my class break to attempt to get tix for what will be the 12th time I see the boss - wish me luck on getting tix!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Bungee Jumping

I wrote this poem back in 1992. I had never actually bungee jumped but not for lack of having gone to bungee jump; once that is. It was me and a few neighborhood folks we drove down to Coney Island where we heard there was going to be bungee jumping. We get there only to discover the jump closed because at another jump site n the Midwest, operated by the same company, was closed earlier in the day due to a bungee cord accident that killed a jumper.

While never jumping myself, I wanted to capture the emotions I felt and had imagined after seeing a friends videotape of his recent jump and encapsulating the expressions and sounds of his and other jumps I had seen on video. I also wanted to try to express the bungee jump as a metaphor for moving on. This is what I came up with:

Looking down at forever
From a mile up in the sky
A leap into the future
In the blink of an eye

Not a single thought of tomorrow
Just a hard look at where you’ve been
Only your soul can describe
The frame of mind you’re in

Then like a flash of lightning
Your whole life passes by
The pieces of the past
Have fallen from the sky

And now the thrill is over
And your spirit has run free
So dream into forever
And live your fantasy


©1992 Christopher Daniele

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Stuff to Shoot the Breeze About

  • An astonishing 6 months in advance, my travel plans are all set for my return to the city of New Orleans in July for the Blackboard World 2012 conference.
  • First leg of the North American tour for Bruce Springsteen announced and he'll be in my neck of the woods on March 26th. Tix on sale this Saturday at 10am - which makes things a bit tricky for me since I am teaching a class Saturday morning from 8:30am-12:30 (or is it 1:30?) - I guess I know when I'll be calling a break :)
  • I planned on going to bed at 9pm tonight, here I am at 10:15 not doing anything meaningful and clearly, not asleep.
  • I received a check in the mail for $18.04 as part of a "Foreign Currency Fee Litigation Settlement Fund".
  • After years of desiring one, I finally ordered a Vitamix! Can't wait for it to arrive.
  • I've got this crazy desire to try out Zumba.
  • Closing in on 500 consecutive days of exercise (I'll brag about it when I am there).

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I Don't Care About This

I don't really care much about the Oscar's. In particular, I find Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorcese overrated and they both irk me. George Lucas is another loser and Star Wars is the most overrated, over hyped thing in history. The original films were impressive in their time but none of them hold up anymore and the the more recent ones were amongst the worst displays of film making and writing in motion picture history.

I don't particularly care about the "Occupy" movement; it's a failure and every day out there in the tents in another day those people use as an excuse not to look for a job or work on their job skills.

I don't care about the republican candidates, they are all evil asshats and not a single word out of any of their mouths had made a single drop of sense.

I don't much care about continuing this post because I don't want to take any more time away from that which I do care about.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Spring (Semester) Has Arrived

Expecting the big crowds that usually go with "opening day" of the semester, I was a but surprised that the head count appeared slimmer than usual. However, my day was not short of frantic phone calls, help desk tickets, students who can't log in, and a host of other common issues in need of resolution. The good news, I didn't at all feel stressed, that makes me happy.

Something that I find a bit unsettling is that the minute someone has a problem, they have no desire to use the tools available to them to solve it on their own. There is some great documentation, FAQ's and other resources that would solve, I would say (at the very least) 60% of the reported issues in the first week of classes without having to wait. Why is it that people won't use these tools? Crazy!

In completely unrelated news, I wanted to offer best wishes and good luck to April and her husband as they venture into creating and operating their own brewery....even more of a reason for me to get back to Arizona some time!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Football Coma

I'm typing this on my iPad as I sit watching the NFC game, still exhausted from the AFC game where my Pats managed to walk away with a victory; though not a very pretty one.

I'm almost glad the super bowl is two weeks away, I think I'll need that much time to recover from watching these two very draining games.

As I type this, the NFC game is tied at 17 with 4:22 to go.

UPDATE AT 11:12PM


It's official, New England Patriots vs. New York Giants in a rematch from Super Bowl XLII; I only hope the final result is different!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Snow Thrower Season 10

Today was the first good amount of snow of the season and it was time to break out the snow thrower for it's tenth season of action. As each new season comes, I get a little more frightful at the start hoping the snow thrower will start and work properly to get me through the season.

I'm happy to report that the snow thrower started without a problem and while there were some early kinks (getting it into the right gear in particular), once it warned up and got some use, it did the job quite well.

There was an incident as I was near the street level, which is always more challenging because of the hard, packed down snow piled up from the stupid plows. I was so close to the mailbox, I decided to take a few seconds to get the mail and place it in my coat's inner pocket when a stupid plow driver drove by and nailed me with a giant scoop of disgusting street snow completely drenching the back of my pants and with enough force to almost knock me over.

The darn plows are supposed to be working to make our lives easier and safer but in my opinion, accomplish neither. While they plow the street clear, to do so, they inevitably end up blocking our driveways in such a way that our cars cant get over to go out into the clear street; it's stupid and aggravating.

I hope all of you with snow on the ground stay warm and safe.

Friday, January 20, 2012

And Here We Go Again...Almost

At our college, there's something awrty with the timing and as such, our spring semester beings on Monday the 23rd. So, today was the last quiet-ish day before the first week (or two) insanity ensues (yet again).

My teaching schedule is amped up a bit this semester with two additional courses. While the workload will be greater, it'll help pay for the dental work I need to get this year. Also, they are half semster courses on Saturday mornings so while I'll have four total sections, I'll never be teaching more than three at the same time (though one is accelerated so twice as many assignments to grade in the same time).

I am planning on visitng hte Boston Wine Expo tomorrow. I've been itching for a Vitamix for a million years and the Northeast sales rep is demo-ing the product there and has a good value available, plus he's paying for my admission to the wine expo.

Looks like the college is going to book my July conference travel early, which is cool, pretty much an assurance that I get approved to go. New Orleans, get out the welcome (back) mat! Anyone that reads this planning to be in or near NOLA July 9-13?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

New Boss

"We Take Care of Our Own" is the first single off the forthcoming album by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. The album, "Wrecking Ball' is slated for a March 6th release - can't wait to see him live for the 12th time!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

"Thank You"

I went to the market after work to pick up a few items and at the checkout, as ususal in this store, there was a person bagging. After I had paid up and and began to wheel the cart of bags away, I did what I usually do and said "thank you for bagging" to the bagger. What happened next was unusual, and disturbing.

Another shopper who had been passing by and heard me, very loudly asked me, "What are you thanking him for, he was just doing his job?" At first I was a bit stunned and didn't say anything but then I saw the person who said it shaking his head and I couldn't hold back. "Why should that make any difference? What's wrong with expressing gratitude to someone?" Then, the jerk loudly whispered, "What an ass."

It took everything I could muster up to not express my anger at that idiot and say something back out lound. I am thankful that I chose to let it go, turn again to the bagger and said, "never mind that guy, thanks again and have a good night", then I left.

Saying thank you to people is something I try to always remember. I think it can have a great positive impact on someone to know that what they've done was genuinely appreciated.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Waiting

"The secret of your beauty
And the mystery of your soul
I've been searching for in everyone I meet
And the times I've been mistaken
It's impossible to say
And the grass is growing
Underneath our feet"

So many interpretations. So many thoughts. So many hopes for what could be. There may be distance and challenges that stand between, but none insurmountable.The infinite loneliness one must be burdened with in the interim is a small price to pay - or ist it?

Eyes are closed thoughts on overdrive, dreams begin. Will I wake?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Braised Hoisin Beer Short Ribs

Back in 2006, I posted a recipe for Beef Short Ribs that's quite delicious. Since that time, I came across another delicious recipe for beef short ribs that I've made a few times, most recently this past Saturday night and I thought I would share this recipe with you; I am certain you will love it.

Braised Hoisin Beer Short Ribs

Recipe courtesy Dave Lieberman

Ingredients

For the ribs:

  • 3 pounds beef short ribs, about 10 ribs
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 10 to 12 garlic cloves smashed
  • 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch slices
  • 12 ounces good ale (recommended: Bass)
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 cup hoisin sauce
  • Creamy Mashed Yukons, recipe follows
  • Sesame Snow Peas, recipe follows

Directions

Season the ribs generously with salt and pepper. Heat the vegetable oil in a large heavy pot with a lid (Dutch oven) over high heat. Brown the ribs on all sides, in batches if necessary. Remove the ribs and pour off all but a couple tablespoons of the rendered fat.
Return the pot to the stove, lower the heat to medium and saute the garlic and ginger for about 3 minutes. Add the ribs back to the pot. Add the beer and the vinegar. Stir and then cover and simmer for 2 1/2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Pour the hoisin sauce over the ribs, move the pot to the oven, and cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
Remove ribs and ginger from sauce. Strain fat from the top of the pot so that you're left with just the good stuff. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

12 Minutes

Saturday, I did something I had never done before and while I am proud of it, it is something that most folks wouldn't even consider an accomplishment. During my treadmill workout this Saturday, I did a 12 minute mile - previously, my fastest mile was 13 minutes and again, while this is no rocket speed, it's a major accomplishment for me.

Now, I'm not in training for a marathon thing, nor am I attempting to hit some kind of running goal, I am just trying to stay fit, learn about my body and occasionally test my abilities. I've worked really hard these last 15 months and when I hit that 5 MPH button on the treadmill, it wasn't my first thought to bang out at least a mile at that speed. However, after the first quarter mile at that speed, I set a goal to go for the mile and actually did abbot a mile and a quarter; by that time I had been near 30 minutes on the treadmill and finished the workout with 2.25 miles in around 30 minutes, which includes my warm up and cool down.

Oh well, here's to exercise :)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Yay Pats!

I was looking forward to watching the Pats game and had planned a nice dinner with a few friends in preparation. MY friend Linda and her husband Bill came over for dinner and to watch the game. It was a long time coming, having them over. Linda has had me at the house many times over the years on holidays when I would otherwise have spent those days alone and its always a good time there.

I had planned to do Braised Hoisin Short Ribs, a dish I've made a few times and is delicious. I did an interesting starch though, it was a twice baked potato with crab meat; a recipe I got from Emeril via the Food Network website, it was super delicious and quite beautiful. the meal started with a simple, yet elegant and delightful salad of Arugula and Baby Spinach with cherry tomatoes that were seasoned with salt, pepper and oregano and some orange supremes- all topped with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. For dessert, I made home made mocha chip ice cream and served it with apple pie and some whipped cream. The entire meal was killer and all was topped off with a fabulous victory by the New England Patriots.

 Great job by everyone!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Earn Big Money!!!

I'm not sure how to respond to this article I read entitled "TSA Makes $400,000 Annually in Loose Change." I can tell you now that the most irritating part is what the TSA does with the money - here's the article, read, enjoy, comment, what have you:

"NBC reports that airport travelers left behind $409,085.56 in loose change at security checkpoints in 2010, providing an additional source of funding for the Transportation Security Administration. 'TSA puts (the leftover money) in a jar at the security checkpoint, at the end of each shift they take it, count it, put it in an envelope and send it to the finance office,' says TSA spokesperson Nico Melendez. 'It is amazing. All that change, it all adds up.' Melendez adds that the money goes into the general operating budget for TSA that is typically used for technology, light bulbs or just overall general expenses. Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) has introduced legislation that would direct the TSA to transfer unclaimed money recovered at airport security checkpoints to the United Service Organizations (USO), a private nonprofit that operates centers for the military at 41 U.S. airports. The recovered change is not to be confused with the theft that occurs when TSA agents augment their salary by helping themselves to the contents of passengers' luggage as it passes through security checkpoints. For example in 2009, a half dozen TSA agents at Miami International Airport were charged with grand theft after boosting an iPod, bottles of perfume, cameras, a GPS system, a Coach purse, and a Hewlett Packard Mini Notebook from passengers' luggage as travelers at just this one airport reported as many as 1,500 items stolen, the majority of which were never recovered."

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Condolences

I must first offer condolences to Sprizee and her husband and their family and the sudden passing of her brother-in-law at the very young age of 40. Please keep their family in your thoughts.

This is one of those times where I can't help but take a step back and try to express how grateful I am to have the people in my life who I care about and can't help but want to hug every one and let everyone know how important they are to me.

My heart is heavy for the family who must grieve this loss.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mom and Dad

I came across these two photos which made me smile and think of my folks. I've been parentless for more than 15 years and I still miss them very much.

This first one was obviously their wedding day, December 10th, 1955.

This picture was taken during Christmas season of 1958, the Jan 1959 imprint up top indicates when the photo was developed. My mom was pregnant with my brother who was born in March of 1959.




Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Looking at the Year Ahead

In 2012:
  • I will have been at my current job for 14 years.
  • I will spend more money than I want to on dental work (pretty necessary stuff, not vanity stuff).
  • My daughter will begin high school (in September).
  • There's going to be a presidential election.
  • One more day than usual to make something happen (2/29/2012).
  • Facebook will likely make changes that will piss off most of its user base on at least two occasions.
  • I will probably need to replace my current cell phone.
  • I'll hopefully have some opportunities to meet a few folks and reconnect with some folks and maybe, just maybe find a little bit more of what I'm looking for - whatever that may be.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Vestry Goodbye

My term on the vestry at my church ends as of our parish annual meeting on February 5th, which made tonight my last vestry meeting. As March will be my ten year anniversary as a parishioner, I've spent pretty much all ten years in service to the church in some capacity or another, the last four years as a vestry member.

With the exception of a commitment I've made to complete the technology upgrade and serve in a consulting capacity for technology, I plan to spend at least one full year being "just" a parishioner. I think this will give me time to recharge and put the work I've done, some of the very difficult decisions I had to be involved in, the successes and the failures all into context and also to see the church from the perspective of the parishioner and just the parishioner.

I've learned a lot serving on the vestry and have worked with some great people, sat in on some great think tank sessions and been a part of some great experiences. I'm so grateful for all of it but I am very much looking forward to spending more time getting my personal house in order.

Abrupt ending.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Brand New Opinion

I've put out my share of negative vibes about Russell Brand. While I still think he's kind of greasy looking, I recently took the time to listen to a long form interview he did with the great Marc Maron.

I have to say I found Brand a rather interesting story teller and his life rather interesting. Also, he openly admits to his past addictions and his work in recovery and has also done a commendable job using his celebrity to help others.

I don't know that I am a fan, I've not much enjoyed any of his stand-up comedy nor have I found him compelling in his film work but that just means he's not my cup of tea...it seems to me he's making a concerted effort to be a decent human being and I can't find any fault in that.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Christmas Ends

The official end of Christmas, The Epiphany, was yesterday which made it okay for me to take down the tree today. Not that I was itching to take down the tree, I had grown quite fond of it, but the last pickup for trees in this Monday and I had some time this morning - so I went for it.

I was at the "Christmas Tree Shoppe" earlier and bought a bottle of sugar-free vanilla syrup. A couple of teaspoons of this in my caffeine-free diet coke and it's a kick back to the days of old - yummy Vanilla Coke (only now, sugar and caffeine free).

I also took a stroll through Bed Bath and Beyond looking for bargains and found a cute little alarm clock for my daughter to take to her mom's house, where she's been using the alarm on her cell phone.

I'm not going to spend too much time talking about how great the weather has been because I don't want to jinx it but I do want to thank whom or what ever is responsible, even if it is global warming.

Travel Plans? Have any of you made any travel plans for 2012? How about travel wish list? For me, I'm scheduled to go to a conference in New Orleans in July - hopefully the funding will be there. I'd like to visit the Chicago area, perhaps grab a few days in Vegas, and since this is a wish list, L.A. and or Napa out in Cali.

Time to go watch the second half of the Saints/Lions wild card game.

Friday, January 06, 2012

The Limerick Off

The challege is to write a limerick from the provided first line. I received 5 first lines and wrote 5 limericks - here they are:


As the New Year approaches, men swear
Drink as if their liver doesn’t care
Watch football all day
Eat meals from a tray
And fart into the easy chair

A fellow who just let it slip
Realized his pants were unzipped
Commando he went
Sadly, pitched a tent
Then screamed when his thing had been ripped

A woman was playing with fire
Satisfying a burning desire
She met him for drinks
Then came the hijinks
He found out that she is a crier

A man who was proud of his clout
So rich there could be no doubt
He ate like a pig
Got bigger than big
He came down with a bad case of gout

A jittery fellow named Fred
Wanted to take her to bed
But he was old and frail
And his heart soon would fail
And just like that he was dead

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Movies I Watched in 2011

Ratings are based on a 5 star system.
  1. Despicable Me (4.0)
  2. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (2.5)
  3. Letters to Juliet (4.5)
  4. No Country for Old Men (3.5)
  5. Cold Souls (4.0)
  6. Saw VI (2.5)
  7. Burlesque (5.0)
  8. All About Steve (3.5)
  9. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (3.0)
  10. When Stand Up Stood Out (2.5)
  11. A Dog Year (4.0)
  12. 127 Hours (2.0)
  13. Due Date (3.5)
  14. Unknown (3.0)
  15. I Love You, Man (3.0)
  16. The Social Network (2.5)
  17. My Sister's Keeper (3.5)
  18. Jack & Jill (3.0)
  19. The Fighter (4.5)
  20. Little Fockers (3.0)
  21. The Invention of Lying (3.0)
  22. Pretty Bird (2.0)
  23. Footloose - Original (3.0)
I also watched the first 7 season of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" - one of the funniest sitcoms ever.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Reading in 2011

Here is a list of the books I read in 2011:
  1. They Call Me baba Booey - Gary Dell'Abate
  2. 7th Heaven - James Patterson
  3. In 50 Years We'll All Be Chicks - Adam Carolla
  4. The George Carlin Letters: The Permanent Courtship of Sally Wade - Sally Wade
  5. I Was Told There'd be Cake - Sloane Crosley
  6. How Did You Get This Number - Sloane Crosley
  7. Stories I Only Tell My Friends - Rob Lowe
  8. Bossypants - Tina Fey
  9. The Quickie - James Patterson
  10. Life - Keith Richards
  11. Notes From an Accidental Band Geek - Erin Dionne
  12. Dear Mrs. Fitzsimmons: Tales of Redemption from an Irish Mailbox - Greg Fitzsimmons
  13. Twelve Sharp - Janet Evanovich
  14. Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life - Steve Almond
  15. Maximum Ride: Schools Out Forever - James Patterson

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Back to Work (for a little while)

Like many folks, I was back to work today after having only worked one of the previous ten days. So, because I didn't want to over-do it, I left early (LOL)...actually, I had a dentist appointment.

Work was not overly eventful, had some things to do that kept me busy until I left but unfortunately, the dentist visit left me with a treatment plan that's $1,000 more than the original one. I was originally planning to get two implants with crowns but in one of the spaces, which exist due to a freaking birth defect, an individual crown can't be made because of shifting - so instead, I need to have a bridge made...Oh, yay. So, I am in for $5,000 over the course of the treatment which is a lot of cash, that I need to bust my ass to come up with over the next year-ish, but the good news - if I weren't having this all done at a dental school, the fee in a private practice would be over $8,000.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Football and Post Season Equality

First, the teams I want to congratulate and thank for bringing me joy in their victories and post season berths:


The PATS have been my team for the last 13 years and over the last few years, I've grown fonder of the Saints. My big dilemma is if they are forced to face each other in the big dance, but oh, what a game that would be.

Before I go on with this, I did air this out in brief last night and I realize that there really isn't a way to fix this to my liking at least because the real fact I must accept is that first and foremost, the NFL (along with all pro sports) is a for profit business and the fact that it is a "sport" is a very, very distant second. I must accept this fact but I will forever be saddened by it.

Now, for a look at the playoffs

The Wild Card round looks like this:
Bengals vs. Texans: I have no problem with this match up; it's a 9-7 team versus a 10-6 team, pretty fair.
Steelers vs. Broncos: Now I have a problem. The Steelers, as much as they are not on my teams I will ever like list, had a 12-4 record and are somehow being forced to face the Broncos who went 8-8, a .500 team that lost 5 of the first 7 games and the last 3 games of the season.

The fact is, in any professional sports competition, any team can defeat any other team on any given day, there are so many variables that go beyond the odds and anyone who has watched professional sports for a long enough time has seen it happen over and over again. My philosophy is that a team that only won 8 of 16 games should not be given that opportunity against a team that won 12 of 16 games. Back to the games...

Lions vs. Saints: Lions were 10-6, Saints 13-3. I think the Lions this year were better than their record implies but not nearly as good as the Saints, who I think are better than their record implies. While I think it's a fair match up in terms of teams and ability, the saints have a better record than one of the teams and the same record as two of the teams in the following round.
Falcons vs. Giants: Falcons were 10-6 while the Giants were 9-7. Again, pretty comparable records and while I've only seen each team play twice this year, I think they are pretty evenly matched.

Lots of variables for the divisional round but in the AFC, you have games that will feature the PATS vs someone and the Ravens vs. someone and in the NFC, it's the Packers and the 49ers. In a side note, I seem to "hate" the Packers way less now that Brett Favre is long gone. Looking forward to seeing where it all ends up.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

And So We Begin Again

The slate is clean, time for a do-over. Last year, you may have had well intentioned resolutions; you may even have kept up with them for a time. However, as it will, life got in the way and before you knew it, you blew it off and that was that. Of course, you know deep down that you could have just picked up at that point and started over, but you rationed otherwise because let's face it, though well intentioned, you made a choice to not go through with it - whether or not it was a conscious choice.

I know, you're right, life does have a way of interfering with itself and things change. For some of you, maybe circumstances did indeed make your initial resolutions impossible to see through, but it didn't change or affect your ability to make a new resolution. You see, just because we make our initial resolutions with 1/1 in mind, that doesn't mean we can't change them to reflect the moment we are in as the year progresses.

For me, I am proud to say that I continued my exercise through 2011 having exercised every single day of the year regardless of where I was or how I felt. I've managed to maintain my weight through the year and continue to be the lightest I've been as an adult. I'm proud of these accomplishments but as long as I've been keeping it up, I also know that every day is a different challenge and I have to sometimes force myself through - but I take the time to make that conscious effort when I know it is necessary because it is very important to me.

I look forward to this new year and whatever might be in store. Thanks to all of you who read my blog and all the best to you in this new year - may you all prosper in all the ways it's important to you.