New day, new blog.

Posted in Uncategorized on November 21st, 2007 by Michael

I’m currently sitting in the KCI airport due to a flight delay. Of course, I got notified of this 10 minutes after I had already left the house… Looks like mechanical difficulties as there are no weather conditions and no connection issues (it is direct flight). Wait. There appears to be some sort of outage at the airport so they can’t talk to plans. Well, didn’t they see Die Hard 2? I’m trying not to be irritated that I had to get up early, miss breakfast just to sit in a marginally comfortable chair.

Plus, my PC is sort of broken (the space bar doesn’t always work) and that further irks me.

Anyway, the last week was mostly full of travel, both plane and car. I’m not a fan. Thank goodness I don’t do sales for a living. Speaking of which, I did change roles at the company. I’ve not even taken over officially and the flood of issues has already hit my inbox. I’m not sure this was a great idea but then again, I am not sure I really had a lot of choice….Oh well, it is what it is. Less travel is one benefit – maybe the only one. The other good news is that this area is so messed up, that I do have hero potential.  Then again, it will take a surely Herculean effort to turn it around.  You know, if it doesn’t kill you, it will make you stronger.  I’ll definitely have to eat my Wheeties since I’ve been coasting a little for a long while. What does this mean to all of you? Probably less blog and picture time.

What else…Meghan seems to be over the fire ant incident. Her hand looks really ugly but it does not seem to bother her much. She’s a trooper except when pushed over by her sister. We have taken the Christmas photo so there will be a card this year. We were going to do just the children but alas we polluted it with ourselves. Maybe we will do another one but given the hassle of having them actually both look at the camera, I sort of doubt it.

It was a good putter week. Winding down on the initial collection surge – mainly driven by VISA. The copper Newport was acquired however under the wire (even if I had to get it from Denmark). The putter page has been updated with pictures. After hounding the web every minute until open to the public, I was able to also acquire the Halloween head cover from Scotty Cameron (they sell it to members for 48 hours first and not all things make it to the public offering). Anyway, he sprinkled in 100 “special” edition ones at random and I got TWO of them. That helps cover the cost of some other purchases. Collectors are crazy people. Head cover collectors are worse than beanie babies.

Okay, that part of the blog was a couple of days ago.

I’m back in KC now. It was 70 yesterday and it is snowing now. Well, more sleeting icy crap. They say only an inch or so but cold for the next week. Not sure who they are trying to kid. It will be cold for the next several months.

The xmas mania is in full swing. Tons of catalogs and emails. Plus, the black Friday spy ads are making their way to the internet. If you ever wanted a flat panel TV, Friday is the day to get one. Sort of cheesed we are not in the new house since I would go get one myself. New things are cool. I wrestle with the possibility of a new DVD player. I hate the one we have but I KNOW that the blu-ray ones will drop by 50% next year as soon as the death of the HD-DVD format is official (matter of time, read it here…). Disney says they will only do blu-ray and that mouse has some big retail cohonies. Too bad Toshiba… Anyway, I have not seen a killer deal on any player yet. I could get a PS3 since it has a BR dvd built in but that would likely cause some marital issues – I have enough stress already. Blu-ray disks are more expensive than normal DVDs but that too will be just a matter of time. I have not bought a lot of DVDs lately so that doesn’t force any ‘heat or movies’ financial decisions.

Got my camera back from canon. It was shooting a little soft and so they did something. Have not put it through the torture test yet, but initial viewings do show an improvement. That is good given the moola that went out for it. Anyway more pictures of turkeys and kids coming now that the beast is back.

Is it me or has the internet slowed down a little? Probably just spam clogging up the arteries.

Well, that is it for now. Pictures for November will be up when November is over so no need to ask about them now.

Picture of the week ….

Posted in The Family on November 18th, 2007 by Chuck

Now that is what I call ‘a happy and good looking couple’

Michael you do not smile enough …. ( I guess I would be smiling too, if that pretty girl was sitting next to me )

We are back (almost)

Posted in Uncategorized on November 13th, 2007 by Michael

It has been a while but you can thank the idiots at Sprint for that. My BB did not work in most of the island ports — which was a surprise since the CSR I talked to before I left confirmed that it would indeed work. Pisses me off big time. I guess Sprint is now on my boycott list and Barry Manilow is off.

Anyway, I am writing from the very bumpy comfort of seat 3A. There has not been this much shaking going on since Elvis was INDEED in the building. There is a video on the tiny outdated screen but right now it is showing reruns of CBS shows (interestingly, the ship carried CBS reruns too). Not sure when I will post this as I am likely to be internet challenged until I get back from California on Tuesday. So, I shall ramble on for a while…

First, thank you all for the BD well wishes. I’m not a big holiday/event kind of guy and it was not necessary but I do appreciate the thought anyway.

I was away from the news most of the week so no rant. That is not to say that Pelosi didn’t do something stupid – just nothing to report. We did see that Hillary is a crybaby from snippets available on CNN. Too bad, she seemed like a runaway. Then again, so did Ohio State. Unfortunately, we got that ‘game’ on the boat. Finally, I was happy to see independent reviews showing that violence/deaths are down in Iraq over the last several months. War view either way, that is good news.

The cruise is now over and likely the last until sometime in 2009 (we will likely go on the Freedom of the Seas for that one). The islands were not bad except Barbados, which was a crap hole. We did a full island tour of St. Lucia – great tour (Cosol Tours) and good place overall. Lots of variety for such a small place – banana plantations (which get shipped to England every week), beaches, mountains (the twin pitons), a waterfall and yes, an active volcano – which is what formed the island to start. They have a local beer called, “the Piton” but considering they were free on the tour, and we got stuck in a traffic at the end, I think they should have renamed them as “pee-tons”.

Antigua was okay. We went to the beech for a while. Not a ton of stuff in ton to do. It is an island of 300+ beaches so if you do not like the sun, you have no reason to be there. You cannot throw a dead cat without hitting a taxi driver or two. Negotiate AHEAD of time for the dropoff and pickup. The local beer was Wadadli. They had it in regular and “gold”. Gold was better. Going rate in the tourist center was $2.50 a pop.

St. Maartin was as we remembered it though their work to improve it is still a work in progress. The ubiquitous vendors selling beer in the street have upped their price slightly to account for inflation and/or the dropping dollar. Some were still $1 but many were $1.50. Ahh, the harsh realities of economic uncertainty. The local brand was not surprisingly Heineken (being a Dutch property and all).

St. Thomas was the biggest change for us. The old area has now a brand spanking new high end shopping center about ½ mile from the boat pier. They are really trying to differentiate themselves as more of the upscale island. The taxi’s here are pretty cheap but all “open air”. Really, think hay ride like accommodations with bench seats. There is not really a local beer but Carib (think Caribbean Budweiser) is sold extensively. They also have a micro-brew there called “blackbeard’s ale”. Not bad stuff all in all but not the taste you would expect in 80+ degree weather.

We had few issues on the boat except for some up and down days at the Casino. I think we may have been down for the week but it was pretty nominal over all. We found out that there were almost 2800 Americans aboard and 700 of those were Puerto Rican. The good news is that PRs smoke a lot less than Europeans. That is not to say the casino and other areas were smoke free, but it was much more tolerable. The ice show was once again, the best show on the boat. Had some sort of Beatles theme. There were actually two Japanese members of the skating team this time out (normally, almost all are Russian). Skaters are in great shape.

The food on board was good, at least in the dining room. The café was very underwhelming this time around to me. We ate at Portofinos (the extra cost, high end dining option) one night. The food and service was top notch. Easily a bargain for any land-based restaurant though I am not sure we would do it again – mainly since the ‘normal’ food options were so good (and paid for).

As mentioned before, our table mates were a mixed bag. The Russian’s were interesting. I guess that is one reason to cruise – to meet new and interesting people.

We gave into the ‘professional’ photographers on the boat though they really do run a practice just short of extortion. Many of you might be getting an image for Christmas. So, don’t consider it a cheap gift…

We also surrendered to yet art. Believe me, I KNOW we have enough of it already. We debated long and hard on one piece by Charles Lee (image to follow this weekend). In the end, we did not fork out what would have been a sizable down payment on a mini-van to acquire it. MA may regret it later. I’m over it already. We did get something by Britto for our son. Now, each child has a piece of art to call their own (and to probably sell to attend college). Mackenzie has a Peter Max; Meghan, an Alfred Gockel. Oh, one more name scratched from the list – Major (MA vetoed this one).

MA spent sometime listening to Spanish tapes ( I did nothing constructive). Spanish would come in handy if we moved to Texas – which is looking increasingly less likely each day. We will be taking the house off the market in a month. Keeping it clean and leaving at a moment’s notice is too stressful. Pending my job situation, will put it back on the block sometime in the spring (post #3).

I am actually thinking about doing a different thing for ACS. Some preliminary talks are underway now. It will mean more stress but less travel. No additional monies are likely to change hands. Still not sure about doing it. The company could certainly use the help and it would be the right thing to do, but probably cut into golf next year. This year was paltry enough.

Speaking of which, I should be coming home to a collection of putters. That will be nice. Be sure to see the updated putter page this weekend. I should also get the cruise pictures up then, including potentially a special beers o f the Caribbean collage. Be appreciative of my liver’s sacrifice for your entertainment. There might also be some pictures of the kids from the visits with grandparents. No promises however.

I’m in California today visiting a major hardware manufacture. The flight began early and will end late. One day back and I am already sick of the travel. Well, I suppose I am tired of the sitting in the back of the bus and at the airport. Yes, and the overpriced, under tasty foods as well. Oh well, I have not been on the road that much this past month. I need to find a good book. Next trip is not planned until after Thanksgiving. Speaking of which, when the hell did November arrive? Amazing.

For the record, we have had one showing of the house in the last 10 days.

More this weekend.

Birthday Greetings

Posted in The Family on November 8th, 2007 by Jim

Wishing you a most happy birthday!  Hope the day is filled with fun in the sun.

Jim and Joanne, too


Posted in The Family on November 7th, 2007 by Chuck

It would seem that there is one among us who is planning on having a birthday tomorrow … well maybe not planning on having one, but still it is that time of the year for it to happen. Happy Birthday Michael.

I met this lad some forty plus years ago, and have watched him grow into the fine young man he is today.   Sometime I did wonder if he was going to make , considering all the shenanigans he was involved in, but here he is.

I shall not go into any of the  shenanigans, for it may embarr him … but some of them could/would be quite funny.  All considered, he was a good lad, and a smart one, and even today the same apply.

I hape you enjoy this Birthday Michael and all those that follow, you seem to be having a good life, and the most wonderful and beautiful family, with a son to soon join in.

Once more son …..  HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Update 1

Posted in Uncategorized on November 6th, 2007 by Michael

Quick blog from Barbados.


First don’t come here unless you have an all inclusive package at a hotel.  It was good enough for Tiger Woods’ marriage so that should tell you something.  Anyway Barbados is a lot like Jamaica but being English they are much more polite (two class system irrespective).


MA has gotten some sun and a lot of sleep without kids interruptions.  Not much sun for me.  That Banana screen block we have works!  Beer has been following liberally (yes the most liberal thing about me!).  Stella, Amstel Light have been the choice thus far.


We looked at Art!  Oh my.


My Sprint BB is not working and that is really irking me.  It works fine for VOICE but not data.  I’m on the 50 cents per minute plan now so don’t expect this to be long winded.


Food has been okay.  Windjammer (café style) is always very basic… Dining room has been good.  The Duck last night rocked.  We are going fancy on Wednesday – more on that later (maybe after we get back).  Our companions are interesting.  One pair (mother/son) do not speak English.  One is from NY (fortunately she is also PR and does the translating between shots of something that makes her feel really really good).  One family (daughter is 14) came from Russia.  Olga is very blond.


Casino – bad odds and all – has treated us well.  WE are up $30 or so bucks (at least right now).  Some roulette, some slots.


St. Lucia is next.  We have a TOUR scheduled.  It should be nice.


Cheers (with my $6 beer).



Take Heed ….

Posted in The Family, Uncategorized on November 2nd, 2007 by Chuck

Michael, my dear boy, after looking at all those wonderful pictures of the girls, if I was you, I would be looking for me a good baseball bat instead of a putter.

It is not going to be to long before there will be a line of boys at your front door, and you will need that bat to fight them off ….. let this be an early warning to you.

 That said, let me say that picture of Meghan (pic of week), if sent in to a contest would be a winner for sure  … damn that is lovely.

Not to take away from Mz, for she is a doll …. she will be a show girl for sure.  You will have to watch her, for she is a pistol.

I told myself that I was not going to ask, but apparently I lied to myself …..  when are you going to tell us the name of our future grandson ….. hhmmmmm

Too tired to blog

Posted in Ranting, The Family, Uncategorized on November 1st, 2007 by Michael

But I put up October pictures so I don’t want to hear any complaining. 

Also, remind me not to watch CSPAN.  It is bad for my blood pressure.