Blog delayed till tomorrow

Posted in Uncategorized on October 31st, 2007 by Michael

For those waiting for the blog today, you might have to wait until tomorrow.  Today’s management call actually had relevance to some things I am suppose to be responsible for – who knew that could happen?

Plus, I want to make sure I include evidence of the annual demonic begging celebration.  Stay tuned for an update in the morning.

BTW, excellent putter hunting this week.

Nice Shirt!

Posted in Uncategorized on October 29th, 2007 by maureen

Okay, I know how the girls end up wearing Buckeye shirts, but Mick?
I was a little surprised to see that.
Mary Ann- mom and I made those spider cookies with Mark this weekend. Actually, he got bored after one, but he gladly ate that one.

I’m going to Smita’s wedding this weekend. I still haven’t found anything colorful to wear (apparently it’s not a good omen to wear dark colors). I’ve realized how limited my wardrobe is.

Another week goes by

Posted in Housing Woes, Ranting, The Family, Uncategorized on October 24th, 2007 by Michael

Wow – Wednesday and that means a management call. Boring…………

Anyway, it is a lovely day here in Kansas City today (upper 60s, sunshine). Fall used to be my favorite time of the year. Now, not so much, as it means the furnace is to come on and the gas bills go up. Funny how perspectives change over time. I fear this weather is just a teaser for a mean winter. Last year was relatively mild – I don’t think it got below 0 – and I know we didn’t have a long stretch (weeks) where it didn’t get above 15 or so. That was pretty brutal for most of us (people in Minnesota need not chime in).

Vacation is looming and that is nice albeit yet another chance to have money go out of my wallet faster than Pelosi can get a poll done to form an opinion. We are actively researching options. Of course, our current situation does limit some of the options (well, a lot of them). Of course, when you have two long term scheduled events, things can overlap. Oh well. At least lack of excursions will alleviate some financial burn. Plus, our bar tab should be “nominally” less.

Ok, let me rant on Pelosi for a moment. It was suppose to be a “new day” with her in charge. “A more ethical” congress, etc. Explain to me why when we have an idiot democrat in the House, knowingly and without a doubt, break House rules in a stupefied rant against the President, that there is no punitive measures? In fact, it got minimal press. Obviously, there is a bias in the media. Anyway, what really irks me is that she not only did not speak up, admonish him, penalize him but when FORCED to have a House vote on censoring him, we had a 192 democrats vote against it (not to mention the 8 chicken-asses that voted “present”). I mean, it is not like we are asking to boot him out, just censor him. I guess some democrats only follow the rules when it meets with their political agenda. And before anyone cries fowl on MY bias, just recall the MONTHS of news around Bob Packwood (and yes, as a republican, he was censored). Anyway, I really despise hypocritical people and/or those that cannot lead until they get a poll taken.

Enough of her. She just pisses me off. Oh wait, I do take great amusement in the recent memo from her office to the members of the house to paraphrase “start publishing your triumphs to the public for awareness”. I guess she hasn’t realized that there have not been any such victories in the last year (not surprisingly, her agenda has been simple: bash Bush – on any and everything because he is not popular.) More funny, is that this latest directive is a reaction to a poll that shows Congress is less liked than Bush (right or wrong). Got to love irony.
Now, I am done with that.

It has been a frustrating and expensive week in the putter hunt. I’ve scored some good wins though I might have overpaid a little on an item or two. Oh well, these items have been proving to be good investments. There are a couple of items still in flux and they are not on the low end (but very desirable). I still am irked by some I have let go by just a year ago. I struggle with this. I do have to say, I really enjoy the hunt (and more so, the kill, if you will). I’ll generate a photo review of some of the great little devices some day. Here is a start of that list. Of course, the payoff really is after I get them refinished. They will be sweet…. Anyway, I will pare back a few next year as I have decided to focus on the “Newport” model. Of course, when a mint 1995 Copper putter pops up, it is a struggle not to go there. Yes, that is one I might have over spent a little on. I give it a year until I get back to even there. That is okay – I’ll get a rack and just hang it for enjoyment. Issues with the trade deficit aside, I love the Japanese consumers. They LOVE Scotty Cameron and fuel this continual valuation (as does Tiger Woods winning – with a SC putter).

This reminds me, I was feeling a little blah about my new camera – images seemed a little soft. Well, it looks like that may have been an issue with the lens. I slapped on my nifty fifty to take the images of the putters. Even scaled down for the web, you can tell that sharpness is not an issue. I’m a little relieved. Speaking of images, posting of October pictures is just over a week away… I did add in a quick Pumpkin Patch collage for those of you how do not visit that collage page often.

We had two people look at the house recently. Of course, one of them was during nap time. That was harsh (on the parents). One just stopped by yesterday given they were looking at the house down the street and saw our sign. I rapped with them briefly. Had a good vibe but you can’t even get a cup of starbucks with that. Time will tell.

No golf recently. None planned until late November. I have a business trip scheduled out in CA for a day and plan on taking the opportunity to whack the white one around for a while. Still working on which course. That reminds me, I need to update my golf 100 plan with new status (I played World Woods recently).

What else…

  • My 90’s BFF (yeah, I’m hip) and his wife just returned from France. They posted a pile of nice images on their web site (granted, two weeks and only 800 or so images is a little weak).
  • My Oregon buddy John and his wife successfully completed their latest baby project with an on time arrival of Delia. Of course, he also just got a mini-van. I was going to make fun of him, but we are planning on trading in the Pilot on one in the spring.
  • You can see from MA’s veto in a previous blog entry, there will be no vote on the name. I can reveal that one of the “off the grid” names or “Millennium” was ruled out. It might have taken a little time to get use to but it is a cool name. Kind of makes you wonder what the other “off the grid” name is, doesn’t it?
  • Meghan is learning more words (in between begging for more food). Yes, “cookies” and “pretzels” are words she has down pat.
  • Mackenzie is STILL being a two year old. Independent, reckless, etc. Drives me to drink.
  • Our little pumpkin (see POTW), imploded yesterday all over the counter. Not nice. It was replaced last night. Four bucks I will see no return on…
  • I’m three or so days on the diet and pretty much ready to throw in the towel (see Mackenzie being a two year old).
  • Meghan is now to be a ‘monkey’ since our 90% off penguin outfit we bought last year was missing the head. So much for a bargain there. In any event, it is not clear that she cares.  She did get one wear out of the “headless” penguin, though.
  • Our Christmas shopping is 90%+ complete. Helps when you buy stuff year round. Mike, you are in for a treat this year….

More next week.

Mid week update

Posted in Housing Woes, Uncategorized on October 18th, 2007 by Michael

Well, it is has not been a week, but a conference call is in full bloom so I thought I would provide an update on things.

First, we have had some wickedly strong weather here in the Midwest these last couple of days. This on top of the rain that felt the need to come down on every opportunity I had to complete the fence. I think we may have caught up for the year and we were down 5 inches to start the month. Today is beautiful, though rumor has it we will be seeing 40+ mph winds this afternoon as a cold front moves in.

Looks like footed pajamas for the kids tonight. That is good since there are some Princess ones MacZ has been wanting to wear (not that she doesn’t get them out at nap time and put them on OVER her regular clothes).

Sad to say, but the name game may not happen. We are down to three names – two traditional ones and one slightly off the beaten path. MA is not too excited over that one anyway. I’m willing to take it off the table if we don’t move to Texas this year. Speaking of which, NOTHING is happening on our house. Pisses me off given the time and money spent on the fence.

I came to an emotional resolve on the putter collection disease. I am only going to collect Newports (includes Newport and Newport 2, might expend at times to the Newport 1.5 and Newport 2.5s – not so much the Tei3s). I’ll be staying away from the Studio versions and focusing on the OC and GB finishes. That said, I have recently picked up two sweet ‘other’ putters. One is for investment purposes (seriously!). The other is just cool to look at. Once they arrive, maybe I’ll take a picture and post. Anyway, this decision will help the financial outlook for sure but more importantly, keep me sane. Peace of mind is important you know.

One thing I always thought about collecting was Disney ‘pins’. Of course, there are a zillion of those and those of you who know me, know that I like to complete collections. Given that, I would absolutely be a nut job searching for the latest and greatest (or more realistically, the oldest and rarest) of these. Whew. Dodged a bullet there.

Not much more so we will go to the lightning round…

  • We still have not won the McDonald’s million dollar monopoly giveaway.
  • MacZ colored one of the chairs at church.
  • Meghan is learning to say new words.
  • MacZ is learning to say more sentences.
  • I’m having a salad for lunch.  Boo.
  • I’ve not lost any weight eithe.  Double Boo.
  • MA ankle is sore.
  • Golf season is almost over for good.
  • I’m absolutely abhorred by Pelosi’s decision to push for an Armenian genocide resolution.  Self-serving idiot.
  • I’m dumbfounded by the American people who contributed to the Baby Jessica fund 20 years ago (hey folks – it didn’t pay for rescue (tax payers did), it went into a trust fund where she is waiting to collect over a million dollars!).
  • I think it is funny that some communities are trying to ban by LAW those baggy jeans that you have to hold up to wear (actually a better idea would be to require them to wear a t-shirt with “I’m stupid” with them).
  • I applaud the clerks in NY that say they will not issue driver licenses to illegal aliens regardless of what the Democratic governor says (shockingly, it is legal to do so in 8 other states).
  • I’m surprised by the school district in Maine giving out birth control.
  • I find hope in voters in Nevada like their OWN senator (Reid) less than Bush. That is not a pro-Bush statement, but an affirmation that Reid is a tool.   What happened to the concept of representatives actually representing their constituent’s views… Oh yeah, that went out the window when big money, especially that backed by Unions, became involved.
  • I find it interesting that if the candidates would pool their fund raising dollars and donate it to the government versus pay consultants and media firms, we could actually meet some of the shortfalls in the budget that they note as ‘differences’ in their campaign rhetoric.
  • I am not thrilled with Halloween as a holiday (kids going door to door begging? – Hmmmm) but it is more palatable with kids. We have a Tigger and a penguin this year. I suppose there will be pictures.
  • Catalog season is in full bloom.  I bet the postal workers love this time of year.

Week of Oct 15th

Posted in Housing Woes, Ranting, The Family, Uncategorized on October 15th, 2007 by Michael

The fence is done – all but one gate and a half board filler or two. Of course, it was completed in the mud after yet another glorious opportunity to build went by the waste side with heavy rains over the early part of the weekend.

All in all, I think it looks pretty okay. Would be nicer if stained (hey, don’t get me started) or if I used a better grade of wood, but it was to sell the house, not for me to admire. That leads me to the “of course” section of our program. Since it was started in earnest, no one has even come by to look at the house.

Not really much else to comment on given that it has been my focus.

Oh wait, joke of the century — Al Gore getting a Nobel PEACE prize for writing a book, flying around the country on a pollution machine and getting paid large sums of money to talk on the environment? First, ozone and peace are related how? Am I the only one who read the charter for the prize? Hey, I’m all for the environment but I’m also not a hypercritical wanna be. I just shake my head. Looks like the Sweedes have gone French on us.

Did spend a lot of time cleaning up some photos for October. It is shaping up to be a decent picture month (quality, not quantity wise). Of course, you will have to wait to see most of them. Pumpkins are always fashionable I guess.

We are dreading the ‘deep dig’ into the basement to look for the kids costumes. Not going to be pretty….

Started to get the ‘putter’ bug again. However, constraint has been the key this time out. Of course, it does irk me to watch for putters that I almost bought a year ago (when the Cameron flu last was had) are now selling for several hundred dollars more than I could have picked them up for then. If only the stock market did so well. Anyway, I might live with regretting to pick up that recent 2002 Holiday Oil Can – with headcover! It has to be one of the most perfectly designed putters ever made (the Newport 2 which it is based).

Of course, there is a reason for me to be on the search for the next putter but more on that later.

Thought I would start collecting headcovers too – these can get crazy in price so again, constraint is the name of the game. I think I will only collect holiday headcovers (these are different than the ones that come with the holiday putters – go figure). There are only five years worth on the market so far so the time seems right (I have 2 already). It is only ONE per year so that should help control the urge. Plus, they are still reasonably priced compared to some of the ‘special’ ones out there. Was also going to collect the ones from the British Open but have decided to do so ONLY if I have played that course. Therefore, I bought the 2007 version in anticipation of playing Carnoustie sometime in 2008/2009. Since I’ve already played St. Andrews, I just have to wait for the next major there and its headcover.

I see that SF mayoral candidates include a bar owner, a nudist and clown. Shocking.

Everyone knows that I like the Patriots but I am not impressed with their decision to run in for TD with seconds remaining in their game against Dallas last night. Take a knee. Football players could learn a little about sportsmanship.

BCS polls are out and Ohio State is number 1 through attrition of pretty much half the teams in the country. Oregon which ranked no lower than #9 in any poll out there, did their bit by pounding Washington State only to fall to #10 in the BCS rankings. I’ll say it here an now. Get rid of the BCS for the title game. Set up a two game playoff. Have BCS or some better system pick 4-8 for top tier bowls (so collages can get their $). Better yet, have college football revert back to the spirit it was created versus as a money making, diploma factory (latter statement of course is not always applicable) output of today.

Professional Hockey has a more honest approach.

And for the record, all of those trips I have made to NJ have NOTHING to due with the recent FBI sting.

Meghan’s favorite word is “yeah” but she does it like “Fonzi” would say “aaaaaaaayyyyyyy”. That is in sharp contrast to Mackenzie’s favorite word which is “no” at a shrill level.

I’m thinking about a diet to firm up a little before the vacation. Given that means a decline in much that I enjoy, make your requests of me gently.

A Day to Celebrate

Posted in Uncategorized on October 11th, 2007 by JoAnne

“Happy Anniversary, Mary Ann and Mick!   May your years together be many and may they be filled with joy, peace and laughter.”

Fence Update

Posted in Housing Woes on October 9th, 2007 by MaryAnn

We have reached enclosure.

Between conference calls, Mick diligently cut boards and attached them to the stringers. There is still the back side to do (the fence is a shadow box style) but it is well on its way. Assuming we get more boards and his back holds out, it should be complete by the weekend.

Another week, another blog entry.

Posted in Housing Woes, The Family, Uncategorized on October 8th, 2007 by Michael

It just doesn’t seem like a week has passed since the last one. However, I am sitting here on yet another long ass, boring as crap, conference call so it must be so.

I honestly am not so sure what has transpired in the last week given my conscious attention to soreness in my body. As many of you know, the fence must go up. Gene and Judy came up for the weekend to lend a hand. Some went really easy (love the two man power auger) some, not so much.

We had a small issue with a neighbor who was not a fan of the fence. Therefore, we had to do the right thing and actually get permission from the HOA (which is really some bureaucratic organization managed by power zealots). Luckily in our case, the association “approver” was home on the day we were to start and a very nice man. Unfortunately, he informed us to keep in being neighborly, there was a five foot height requirement for fences between homes. Okay then. Well, luck would have it that Lowes and Home Depot don’t sell five foot fence boards, only four and six footers. That means, every damn one of them has to be cut to length (that’s 420+ of them for those counting at home). Oh yeah, the yard slopes…

Anyway, after a couple of days of what seemed like back breaking work, the posts are in, the stringers hung and about 10% of the fence boards attached. More would have been accomplished if it were not for some interruptions – viewings, pumpkin patches and worse yet, a honking rain storm. On the plus side, it did give me an excuse to get a pneumatic nailer. It did not get a lot of use but, I like it. I like it a lot.

What I do not like is all of the aches and pains I have. Heavy boards, heavy concrete, lots of loading/moving and one out of shape monkey all contributed to the end state.

The home remains unsold and without offers. We have had five showings this week, including one return showing. That is good, I suppose but all of the showings in the world don’t add up to diddly if no one puts forth a contract. Yet, still it is surprising given the date – this weekend the world famous American Royale BBQ cook-off occurred in KC and there was a Chief’s home game (alas, another loss). Could be because we have a new agent. I’m not convinced of him but he is aggressive and we need to get this thing done. So, results will speak large on my perspective of him.

What else….oh, we did go on our annual pumpkin patch trek this weekend. It was the wrong weekend to go. TONS of people (the patch was hosting 4H and a birthday party). Almost too crowded to do anything at the petting zoo part. Pictures were a challenge will all of the kids running around (ours AND others that would get in the way). Unfortunately, M&M would not sit together for a picture so even with minor brilliance in retouching skills, I do not see another pumpkin picture coming out of it. It was a challenge just to get ONE of them to sit (Z was the better of the two for that – the worse of the two in terms of not running away). Maybe next year they will be cooperative.

Oh yeah, I played golf on Monday. It appears that my company was a sponsor of the local “winning for life” charity event (yeah, I was surprised too). The NFL Alumni group hosted it. I played BETTER than the previous week, but I wasn’t really showcasing anything special. That said, we had a 59 – in third place gross, but we ended up in 6th place net given handicaps. Still not bad considering. It was played at a nice run in Lantana, Texas. One of the cart girls looked like the [much] younger sister of Gabrielle Anwar (yes, of “Burn Notice” fame). It was eerie. One of the big raffle prizes was some new premium flavored vodka. Some Hooter girls were there giving out samples on the 4th hole. I know that is odd, but given it was a NFL event, that made a little more sense. Lots of sort of middle of the road ex-athletes there. Some pretty veteran guys. Some I knew, most I didn’t. Walt Garrison and Preston Pearson of the Cowboys were in the groups before and after us. Our group had Alfred Anderson in it (he played for Minnesota for six years). Nice guy. Food was good. Long day considering I flew in that morning and then back the next day.

Meghan is getting two more teeth. She is not happy about it. None of us are happy about it.