Saturday, January 31, 2009

It Was A Good Day

I had a nice day today. I got up early and biked a bike, although it wasn't the 30 miles I'd hoped for. We did 20 because we were tight on time. Amy needed me home by 10am so she could go out of town for a friend's baby shower. She wound up not going so Tristan, Amy, and myself spent the day together hanging out at the mall, and other stuff (wink wink).

At the mall I got 5 or 6 new t-shirts that were on sale at the Gap. I love getting a cool t-shirt for $4.50. The only thing better than finding a t-shirt for $4.50 is finding 5 or 6 t-shirts for $4.50.
I'll wear them to work with pride.

I just got home from the Saturday night church service. I think now would be a good time to kick back and pop a movie in.

Amy agrees. I know this because she's giving me the "look".

See ya!


Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday Night...

For some reason, the boss didn't ride with me today. Maybe he heard about all the things you guys wanted me to do to him, hahaha. Those were some great ideas, and I will certainly keep them in mind.

I stayed on my toes today just in case and really didn't get around to commenting or replying to you guys. I'll do it tomorrow when it's not so late.

We just cleaned the tarantula cage. Yuck. Harriet seems much happier for it now.

I am off work tomorrow so a friend and I are going to do a 30 mile bike early in the morning. It should be fun, but it will be too slow, I just know it.

The Jeep...
I didn't get the Jeep last Wed because the guy still didn't have the title. Good news though, he called me tonight and says he has it IN HAND. The only problem, he's out of pocket and won't be back until NEXT Wed.
I give up.

Not really.
I want that Jeep BAD, but I'm trying not to think about it.

Harriet just tucked herself down into the new bedding which is exactly what I'm about to do... in my own bed though... and I may stretch out rather than tuck down. I dunno, it just depends on how I feel.

See you tomorrow, kids.


Thursday, January 29, 2009

No Good Deed...

My work, all the technical knowledge aside, is pretty easy and can usually be free of stress.
This has not always been so, but over the past 13 years, I have taken great pains to know exactly what is expected of me, productivity ratings and such, and go just a little beyond that, to sit squarely in the middle of the crew averages so as not to draw attention to myself.


Now I have the new supervisor. He's gung-ho about gung-ho. He wants to be the best darn crew in the entire city by our ratings of customer perception and overall performance. The company, in an effort to boost their numbers, try to promote this "friendly competitiveness" among the crews. I, however, do not subscribe to this notion.
I don't want to give 100% of myself to this job.
I want to give 110% of what they ask, and that's it. That's me working at about 75% capacity.

Anyway, he's really been on me lately... I mean, following me around and whatnot. I don't like it because everytime he drives up on me, he has some snarky critique that is really starting to piss me off.
And now, this morning, he has finally told me why he's been doing it.
I've gone and let myself get the highest rating in the crew for "Customer Perception".
I got noticed, as it were.
You see, after I leave a job, another clerical employee will call the customer and do a review of my work and how the customer felt about the visit and all that crap. Don't ask how they come to a percentile with this, but they do.
As a crew we are running a 78%. I am personally running a 98%. Now the boss wants to ride with me because I have the best numbers to see what it is I do to make the customers so satisfied (haha, yeah), then he will ride with the guys who have the worst numbers and compare the differences.
I don't even like this guy. He's a real Jackhole, and now, because I've been a good boy, I'm going to be stuck with him all day... maybe a few days.
What is it that they say?

No good deed goes unpunished

I may have to think of some really weird habits and rituals I like to go through before going out on a job. hahaha, yeah, like:

"Before I leave the customer, I like to give her/him a hug and ruffle their hair."


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Some Days Are Better Than Others

Yesterday was one of those unique days where I find my job to be not as boring as usual. (I bet Maurita will be able to appreciate this.)

My first DSL ticket was at Bush Intercontinental Airport here in Houston. I've worked there many times and it's not a big deal, but this time I was working for a small transportation company who's business it is to ferry executives around the world on private jets.
When I walked into the hangar, the first thing I noticed was the jet sitting there all spotless and quiet, waiting for a mission. The customer met me on the deck and told me his name, Tom Rum.

He went over the details of the problems they had been having with the DSL, and the whole thing got sorted out in the front of my mind while the idea of taking some photos of that sweet jet was banging around in the back of my mind.

I fixed their problem fairly quickly and asked if it would be ok for me to take some photos of the jet. He said sure, as long as I didn't take a picture of the tail number. It was against some sort of regulation so I had to be very careful of the angles I got. Because the front end of the jet was so close to the wall of the hangar, I couldn't get a decent shot, but here are a couple of shots from the rear.

The cool thing of all was that before I started taking photos, Tom, who has been a pilot for 30 years, said he would give me the "ten minute tour" of the inside of the jet. I sat in the cockpit where he basically showed me how to fly the thing. I kid you not, he was never short on words, that guy. haha

Anyway, it was a cool experience on what would have been an otherwise hum-drum day.
Do you guys ever get to have those kinds of days at work?
Here's to many more of them.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Photo, Workout, And Jeep Post... Again

We never got out to that new place to shoot Sunday. It was too overcast, muggy, and weird, not fun to shoot pics in. I've got one here though, from the arboretum a few months ago. I like the lushness of it. Also I like the word 'lush' even though it has a negative connotation. hehe.

The workouts are still going strong. I'm actually sore after yesterdays long swim which is why I did cardio and a leg workout today, 45 minutes on the Elliptical then lifting and therapy for the ol' knees. Good stuff.

I'm hoping tomorrow I will have my Jeep. I don't have much time after work to pick it up, but I may be able to get it when I'm done playing the music part of the service at church. Then I'll just jet on down to the Galleria area and grab it. I'll definitely post pictures once I get it home. It's a cool midnight blue with black top. Sweetness.


Monday, January 26, 2009

Hey, Boo

Boop boop bee doop. I forgot to write.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

I Gotcha.

Good things said in the comments of the last entry and I appreciate it. I just can't comment back with my phone for some reason, but I CAN post an entry, so here we go.
Ironically, I am in the second church service of the day right now. Only one more to go. We are really excited about the move, and some of your comments confirmed what we already felt. It's going to be a better lifestyle.

If it's not raining today, I think we're going to go out and shoot some things with cameras. I found some pretty cool subjects on my bike ride yesterday. A friend and I did a 20 mile ride yesterday and it felt great! He's a little slow so I was holding back for him, but I would blow the soot out every now and again and then come back. In other words, the training is going well.

See you all tomorrow, hopefully with some new photos.


Saturday, January 24, 2009

I Was Country, But Country Wasn't Cool.

This is the kind of thing we want to be doing all of the time:

Amy Riding

...ride horses and live in the country, I mean.

Yep, we are thinking about moving. Moving out of the city, out of this busy bustling lifestyle, and into a more relaxed country state of mind, except, not figuratively, literally.
The other night, probably after I got home late again after a rehearsal or something, Amy and I just talked. We talked about what our lives are right now, what's going on. Basically, for me at least, I live most of my life for everyone else, either my company, or my church. Very little of my time is spent with my family. I spend so much time at the church because I am a musician there and we have a LOT of services to accomodate everyone. I actually spend more waking hours at the church than at my own home. The stress of this is starting to show I think.
We love our church, but we've gotten away from the idea that we would never move because we don't want to be away from it. Well, that's changed recently. I think mostly because Amy is going to school now and will be getting a job soon, this year, I mean, and there are other reasons I don't want to go into just now.
The extra income will be more than I make working at the church so we've decided maybe it's time to move to a place that is more well suited to us.
We're tired of the traffic, and crazy people, and the crowds here, even the landscape is depressing. Houston is a flat place.
We love to hike, and backpack, and explore. The country is more our speed.
I know there are better places to live, but we will probably be moving to the Bryan/College Station area before the year is up. This has become one of our goals for the year. A lot of Amy's family lives there as well, which makes it the most likely choice, although, I wouldn't mind living in Boulder, Co myself.
I love that place, and it's a Triathlete "Meca".

Anyway, that's sort of what we've been thinking about for the past couple of weeks. What changes are you going to make this year?


Friday, January 23, 2009


I got these shots a couple of months ago while staying at a friend's.
This is some sort of Caterpillar just before it shed it's outer skin.


An hour later, it looked like this:


We all change eventually I suppose...


Thursday, January 22, 2009


I just realised that I spend a good deal of my time waiting on other people. And this is a quick little "I forgot to post yesterday" type of post... again...


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Getting Ready For Lots Of Stuff

This morning's workout was a full swim. Normally we would do that on Tues, but I was without a car yesterday morning since Amy was out of town. That sort of problem will be eliminated once I get my Jeep which, yes, I am STILL shopping for. I know I'm taking a long time to decide, and it's driving Amy crazy, but I just want to get the right one.
Anyway, the swim went well and I got up to a little over 2000yds. I'm going to own this Sprint race coming up. wh00t!

For the past few days, Amy and I have been talking about our family life together and the quality of that. Some changes are coming around and I feel pretty good about it. I'll let you in on it tomorrow.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Registered And ALMOST Ready

Yesterday I registered for two of the four triathlons I'm shooting for this year. They are both the easier of the four being "Sprints". The first one is on March 1st, 500 yd open water swim, 10 mile bike, and a 3 mile run. It should be pretty easy, but that water will be cold. The coolest thing about it is that it will be held on Lake Houston, which is only 5 miles away from my house.

The next one will be March 14th in Athens. We did this one last year and it was the first triathlon I'd ever done. We've pretty much decided we will do this one every year no matter what. As far as the one on Lake Houston, I'm going to be doing that one by myself, my training buddies opted out... "Leave no man behind" Pfft. Kidding, I understand their excuses... err reasons.

2009, although the outlook is dismal for many reasons, is looking like a good year for racing and doing hard things(mountain climbing and I'd like to try a "Century" bike race, 100 miles at some point).


Monday, January 19, 2009


I like B&W variations...

Bog B&W 3


Sunday, January 18, 2009

That Photo

Here is that photo I wanted to post yesterday. I love this arboretum.


Saturday, January 17, 2009


Luckily, I can set the date back for when I forget to write. It could be cheating, but who cares. I was going to write and got side tracked by... things, very annoying, but whatareyagonnado? Write the next day and date it for the previous day, that's what. I had a cool photo I wanted to post too. Oh well, I'll just put it up today.

The End


Friday, January 16, 2009

Training And General Stuff

Well the training has been going great so far. This morning I finished my second week of intense workouts. The knee feels great, the lungs are coming back, and the muscle soreness is finally abating somewhat. All good stuff there.

Tomorrow the guys are doing a 40 mile bike, but I have to work so I won't be attending that. Soon I'll start getting on the bike in the evenings.
You know... Time is such a precious commodity. Balancing my time seems to be the biggest challenge of late. Since before Christmas, I've been running around just crazy, working my normal job which is 6 days a week a lot of time, working at my other job as a musician, trying to be a good dad and husband (when I'm there) with the little bit of time left over, and now, training again. I get up at 4:45am, get the gym by 5am and stay until around 6:45am or so. I do this so that I won't be tapping into the family time with all of this. Anyway... maybe I'm just feeling whiny because I'm not getting enough sleep... which is exactly what I'm going to do right now.
But first:
This morning as the sun rose, I noticed how strange and wintry the sky looked. I grabbed my camera, snapped a couple of shots, then ran it through Photoshop to warm it up a bit.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Jeeps And Sinking Planes

I'm about to head home, but before I get home, I'm going to stop by a shop and test drive a Jeep. I think this might be the one. It looks really clean, straight six, manual transmission, 2001 or 2003, Sport, Dana44 front and rear differentials, and only 40k miles!
All of my Jeep friends are saying jump on it. And so I shall, after I test drive it and run it by CarFax. whOOt!

Did you guys hear about the US Airways jetliner that crash landed in the Hudson river today?? Apparently, they hit a flock of birds and it shut the engines down. Luckily everyone survived and were rescued as the freezing waters of the Hudson were lapping against the windows. Later it sank. Can you believe?? Yikes. read all about it here.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

It's Painless And Pretty

I opened this new post window early this morning and am JUST NOW getting to write into it. That's why I'm going with the photo entry tonight as a quick and painless out. Enjoy this exotic fern taken at the arboretum.


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Jeeps R' Us

So yesterday I went shopping for a Jeep. When I got home from work, Amy was feeling bad so Tristan and I hopped in the car and headed for the dealerships. I didn't have a solid idea of what I wanted at the time, I just wanted to see what was out there first.
We had a lot of fun actually. Car salesmen are extremely predictable so I saw this as an opportunity for a car shopping lesson for Tristan. I told him that the salesmen would try to be our friend immediately and that they would try and get us into their office, even if we were only "looking". I told him they would say "What do I have to do to get you in the car today?" And they didn't disappoint. They did and said pretty much everything I said they would, but I totally owned the situation at each dealership and would give Tristan a secret wink everytime.
He was loving it.
I also told him not to act excited about anything. Never let the car salesman know that you like the car. He tried his best.
At the very last dealership we stopped at, we saw an AWESOME Jeep there that was already tricked out with the big off-road tires, hard top, and bars. It looked "Sweet!", Tristan and I both proclaimed this as we pulled into the parking lot when the beauty came into our headlights.

We both liked the big tires and lift kit, It wasn't over done or anything, it just made it look tough. We decided to test drive that one, and of course, the salesman wanted to get us in the office to talk about "what we could do to take this home tonight".
I told him I didn't like the big tires on this one and I wanted to test drive it again when they could get enough gas in it to drive on the freeway. He looked at me kind of funny. hahaha. Then I asked for his card and said we would think about it.
Tristan was laughing so hard when we got back in the car because he knew that I LOVED it.

Anyway, when I got home, I spoke with a friend who, it turns out, knows a good deal about Jeeps. I feel a little more well versed in all of this now, and have already decided that the big white Jeep is not for me. I don't want an automatic transmission, and it HAS to have D44 rear end.

Here's the white one that I (sadly) won't be buying.


Monday, January 12, 2009

Sometimes It Doesn't Get Written

I opened up this window to write my daily post, but got sidetracked by that troublesome Facebook. I really like Facebook actually. It's just that when friends see you online, they sometimes want to chat, and then the daily post doesn't get written...


Sunday, January 11, 2009

I Give You: The Full Moon

Man, it was cold last night.
Cold because I was sitting in my garage with the door open and the lights off taking some great photos of the moon. I had the whole setup going there with the telescope on a tripod, my camera on a tripod, and a chair on a tripod... yeah, a tripod chair. Ok. It's my son's drum throne. It worked out really well.
There was a lot of cloud cover for about the first 45 minutes, but then it cleared up beautifully and I got my shots in. I'm pretty happy with the results, although there HAS to be a better way of shooting through a telescope. Maybe I'll have to machine a special mount.
Anyway, I'm between church services right now so I'm posting this.
I can't wait for Amy to get home...


Saturday, January 10, 2009

That Big Ol' Moon Again

Yahoo! says that tonight, the full moon is going to be the biggest and brightest of 2009, so I must get out there and shoot some photos of it.
It would have been nice to catch it coming over the horizon, but that just isn't going to happen. I had to work today, which isn't so bad 'cause show me the money I'm buying a Jeep, but THEN I had to come to the church, where I am now typing this silly thing, and play for the church service tonight. Party all the time I tell ya.
By the time I get home (8pm) the moon will be a little smaller and a lot higher, but this is my time. I've been waiting for it since Christmas. I Love me some Tristan's Christmas present (telescope)


Friday, January 9, 2009

Change Is In The Air

Welp. Today was the final day of Hell Week. That is, my first week back in the gym in a while. Sore, strained, and tired. It feels great to be back! I've been doing a full body workout everyday with focus on cardio. Next week will probably be the same thing, then I will start on a modified build up plan for the 70.3 Ironman. Modified, meaning really shortened and crammed into a shorter period of time. I'm going to take it carefully, but with intensity. My training partners should be back next week so it should be a little fun.

Amy is starting school next week for Phlebotomoy and this is going to create an interesting transportation situation. She will be at night classes when I need to be at my church gig (yeah, it pays) so it looks like we will be transforming from a one car family to a one car and a JEEP family. I'm pumped. I've wanted a Jeep for a long time.

Time to get my haircut now. Cya.


Thursday, January 8, 2009

Today has been a stressful day. I'm working a little harder than usual so I can get off early because I have to go to the DMV, it's about that whole ticket thing from New Years Day.

I've also been on the phone arguing with the Home Owners Association AND the attornyee that they've hired to sue me for back fees. Luckily I have copies of the checks that I paid them with back in '06 and '07. These guys are really Jackholes I tell ya.

Also the AC is out in my company vehicle and that sucks when it's 80 and humid.

Also my headache is back and the sunlight hurts my eyes. Arggghhh!


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Head Aches, Muscle Soreness, And The Moon

Today I woke with my head pounding. I didn't know where I was when the alarm went off, but I had my wits about me enough not to shut it off, and thus, got myself up to visit the gym. Ugh. Headache and muscle soreness makes for a lousy workout, but I knew that if I didn't hit it, I would be kicking myself later.

It's such a relief seeing most everyone from JS here at Bolgspot. It makes this place feel a little like home away from home. I need to get around to reading all of you now that I've found you.
I don't like the fact that you can't bookmark comments... or can you? I always like to go back and see if there was a reply. I understand that this place doesn't have a PM feature either, but that doesn't bother me since I rarely used it anyway. That being said, if you need to get anything to me, you can email me at kingofpain35 at yahoo dot com. (thanks, Maurita.)

And last, but not least, last night I got a better shot of the moon. It's a still a little blurry, but is my best capture so far. The tripod helped.

Moon 1-06-09 HDR


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

In The Gym And Bovine Intimidation Tactics

Yesterday, I started my training in earnest. I hit the gym at 5am and did a full body workout until I felt like I was going to puke. Yeah, overdid it a little, but all was well and I didn't blow chunks all over the new carpet there. This morning started a little differently with a 3 mile run on the treadmill. It felt pretty good considering I haven't ran since my knee injury and subsequent surgery back in September. After that, I lifted weights again. I'm really just working on strength, light weight, high reps, so I think I should be able to hit it every day with no worries.

Anyway, it really felt good to get back in there. From the second level where the machines are, I looked down through a window and saw my swimming buddies doing their laps. I'll be back at that in a couple of weeks I suppose, after I get my lungs and legs back.

Moving on...

This is another photo from our adventure across the Texas countryside on new years Day. These ladies really were protective of their young. The calves were wanting to get a closer look at us too, but they were all veeeeery suspicious of us.

Bovine Intimidation Tactics
Bovine Intimidation Tactics


Monday, January 5, 2009

An Old House

On New Years Day, Amy and I rode around the country side on a four-wheeler with our cameras in our backpack. It was so fun and relaxing. Here is a photo of an abandoned house of some sort that just had a creepy feel to it, that could have been brought on by the huge buzzard resting on the roof. I managed to capture him in the tree just above. Kewl.

HDR Old House


Sunday, January 4, 2009

It Got Erased

Yesterday's entry was accidentally erased by my loving but un-internet-savvy Amy, so this is all you get...


Saturday, January 3, 2009

Tristan got a sweet little telescope for Christmas this year.
The other night, the sky was finally clear enough to see the moon and the planets that had decided to align themselves. We were just figuring out the telescope so didn’t get any real close ups of the planets, but wow, the moon looked incredible. The detail is amazing, and that was without another viewfinder extension that would magnify it another 3Xs. I went online and looked into what it would take to get some astrological photographs. There really aren’t any special mounts or adapters for DSLR cameras, but it explained a way to do it using just a tripod.

Basically, you just lock the telescope in on your subject, set the camera up on a tripod, point it into the telescope’s viewfinder, and shoot away.
Not very high tech there, but whatever, I was even less high tech because I didn’t have a tripod with me. I just focused, held as still as possible, and shot. The photos I got aren’t half bad either. I can’t wait until the moon gets more full so I can try it again with the proper setup.
I think I love Tristan’s telescope more than he does haha.

Anyway, here’s the best photo I got out of it. It’s actually sized down quite a bit to fit on the page. Full-sized, it would have been about 24 inches across.



Friday, January 2, 2009

This is my "Things I want to accomplish in 2009" list. I've been doing one for the past few years and I find that it helps me stay focused.

1. Train for triathlons.
2. Compete in at least four triathlons: 2- 70.3 Ironman and at least 2- sprint triathlons.
3. Write in my journal everyday.
4. Continue to keep my financial house in order.
5. Go to Disney World.
6. Go on two backpacking trips, one possibly in Europe.
7. Mend a friendship.
8. Try and figure out some spiritual quandaries I find myself in.
9. Start that photography business.
10. Support Amy while she is in school and then working a nine to fiver.
11. I will not play ANY cheesy holiday music. There's already enough cheesery in the world...

These are really just some things off the top of my head. I’m sure there are more worthy pursuits that will come up, but I can’t think of them right now.
Besides, this list is always open for edits.
It’s my only out…. Well?
It’s not a resolution list.


My Second Post

My second entry...

Looks like this is going to be my lifeboat. Most of my JS friends are here and I like the URL liking doohicky. And that's kind of the way I see this place, not really a life boat, but another ship out to sea. JS was a seaworthy vessel for years, but for whatever reason, it went down by the stern. Now Blogger will be my new ship. ahoy, matey.

So I guess I need to get on with my list of things I want to accomplish in 2009. I'll work on that for my next entry.

Yesterday, the family spent New Years day at my in-laws. I love the country and we spent a lot of our time there riding four-wheelers, exploring, and shooting photos. Too bad we didn't have our camera when we came across a pasture where a cow had JUST had a baby calf. It was awesome. We missed the actual birth but not by more than a half hour. We saw the calf take it's first wobbly steps. A new years baby it was.

On the way home, I got a ticket for 78 in a 65. I hope that doesn't set the pace for the rest of the year...

How is your New Year so far?


Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Years

This is my New Years entry so I can start off on the right foot even though I stepped out on the left and didn't actualy post anything on 1/1/09. It's ok though. I forgive myself...