Just a little note now that I am back.

Posted in Michael's thoughts, The Family on November 15th, 2008 by Michael

Flying with a cold, sucks. Period.

I really do hate sales tax. I guess I am okay with the concept IF it were value-added based. It makes no sense to me to continue to pay tax on something that has already had tax paid on it. Personal problem, I suppose.

I am reading that Hillary is being looked at for Secretary of State. Okay…and she is qualified because she went on all of those Air Force One trips with Bill or because Bill knows something about secretaries? Just curious.

Funny how the market is reacting to bad retail news. Ah, didn’t they know this was coming? Geez. Splash gloom and doom on every ad, news story and editorial and then act surprised when people start to pull back some spending – if not because they have to but also because they now have concerns. Of course, I am sure this is Bush’s fault too.

Personally, as many of you know, I am propping up the economy single handedly (thanks for the reminder). I can call this being Patriotic versus Biden’s view of paying more in taxes. Of course, mine helps the economy more since it is cumulative vs where taxation is finalistic. I am still reeling from the property tax bill we got. Wow. That all said, I see this not as a terrible time but one rich with opportunity. Yes, what I have is 60% of what I had but now, things are cheaper. It is time to buy and consume and acquire and then wait. There are term limits. Things will improve in the long run.

I guess winter is here since I wasn’t planning on wearing shorts today. What a wuss I have become.

Meghan continues to recover nicely. Outside of the medicine we bribe her to take, there are nominal signs of any issues occurring. Of course, she is being a pain in the butt for other reasons. Yes, she is two. On the ‘good’ days, Mackenize takes up the slack. So lucky are we.

My shoulder continues to give me pause. I don’t think this ‘take it easy’ approach is doing much good. It does have one side effect that is impactful to all of you (besides getting to read me whining about it). Working on the computer at home is not comfortable and as such I will be doing less. Less blogging. Less pictures. I tell you this upfront as I expect to hear less bitching about it.

We spent some time cleaning out the study and are probably 40% there (that will be a nice treat upon completion). Lots of stuff. Lots of garbage bins being filled. Lots of books are going out the door. Same for the closet. Not sure why or how, but I have a lot of pants. I actually tried them all on recently. Seems like the cleaners shrank some of them? Out the door with these too. Shirts will be next. Those will be a style and condition evaluation. I’d like to say some got small because of my working out but that would be, well, fiction.

Max climbed up the entire stairs today. He usually stops after 3 or 4. He was on a mission. He also feed himself those little puff things. Growing up fast….

Overdue Surprises…

Posted in Uncategorized on November 14th, 2008 by Michael

Okay, the round it out, there are things that I AM surprised about.

  1. The fact that Terrell Owens is the best ‘team player’ the Cowboys have right now.
  2. How strong a 2 year old can be when fighting off taking medicine
  3. The arrogance at Obama’s inner circle, namely John Podesta. It is scary some of the assertions coming out of his mouth about how things ‘will be’ in the new order. It is like we didn’t elect a President but a king (sadly, given the cult-like admiration you see in some of these supporters, I think people actually believe they have elected a king or the second coming).
  4. That on average, not a lot of books or bowling balls are stolen on an annual basis.
  5. Why no one has figured out how to make medicine taste good. Yes, you can coat with cherry crap , etc. but fundamentally, the stuff is vile.
  6. How much I enjoy taking a nap.
  7. That I still work where I work.
  8. The impatience of most Americans. Everything is about NOW. Fly me. Overnight delivery. Instant credit. Etc.
  9. That tipping is so common and expected in contrast to good customer service.
  10. That mattresses cost $2000.
  11. How much money I have spent over the years on various things (like putters, movies, cameras, hell, just printing off pictures…).
  12. What an awesome product MDF is.
  13. How no one is blaming congress for this f-up situation.
  14. How long it takes to recover from rotator cuff injuiries – assuming you are not a 25 year old pro athlete with a lot of personal trainers.
  15. That no one complains about how much money College Athletic coaches get paid – especially in light of the constant increases in tuition.
  16. That there is a reported 30% increase in gun sales since the election. Given some ‘rumors’ which I want to believe are unfounded, it makes me question whether or not I should register mine in this state. Hmmm. Probably not. Got to stay off the grid.
  17. The unnecessary — but increasing amount of – licensing for professions. Outside of a couple of items in the barbiturate family, why are prescriptions or pharmacies necessary ? I have made several trips lately (thanks Meghan) and started to read some of the items. Potassium Sulfate requires a prescription? Are you kidding me? Remember the soap “phisoderm” in the green bottle? That now requires a prescription.
  18. How you can be “stopped up” and have a runny nose at the same time.
  19. How fat some people have gotten and still don’t care.
  20. How time passes more quickly as you get older. I get why, it is just surprising.
  21. How very little airplanes, cars and power plants have changed over the last 30 years. I mean, we “boil” water to create steam to turn turbines….Seems archaic.
  22. That we have become addicted to things like TV and computers.
  23. The audacity of unions in asking congress to assist in the bailout of automakers. Okay, I should not be surprised since they are controlled by the mafia.
  24. That someone actually created beer. I mean, was there a lull in the action somewhere and someone said to themselves, hey, “let’s get some barley and some of this hoppy things and boil them up”?
  25. How much fun it is to read a good book.

Quick update

Posted in Michael's thoughts, The Family on November 9th, 2008 by Michael

I am working on a new list but the massive amounts of snot have served to counteract any cerebral activities. Maybe I’ll get it out tomorrow before I head out.

We are still working on the most excellent traeger-cooked meat. Had a pulled pork sandwich for lunch and a beef plate for dinner. Yummo, people. Just yummo. It tasted great even with this cold. Be jealous. It is okay. I understand.

For those checking in on Meghan. I am happy to report three things. First, her fever has broken and she is back to being pretty active (though still plays the mommy card a lot.) Secondly, and possibly more significant, is that we have gotten her to take some medicine. Forced it a couple of times, hid it in stuff and tonight, we even got her to just take it with the bribe of some M&Ms. The infection itself looks better too. They basically cut into the sore and drained it with a string. Now she has a hole in her leg but that should heal soon enough. To those that like this kind of thing, here is an image of the wound.

That’s it for now…

Birthday meal

Posted in Michael's thoughts, The Family on November 8th, 2008 by Michael

I got about 20 pounds of meat on the Traeger right now smoking away (yes, I got up at 6am to start it).  Another ten hours and there will be some prime fixins to be had.

That assumes I get over this sore throat that someone gave me.

Note: I updated the Meghan situation in her blog entry.

Watched “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”.  Semi-forgettable.  Had a couple of decent attempts but stalled overall.  Too bad.  Previews for it were awesome.  I guess that tells us something about the truth of campaigns….

Update: the cooking is now complete.  Pork shoulder on the left and a Texas brisket on the right.  So, go ahead.  Think about a sandwich — with some BBQ sause (we have Gates from KC), thin red onion slices and of course, a couple of pickle slices.  If you didn’t believe in God before, this might just convert you.


Probably the last big meat event until February with the holidays and all of that noise coming.  Plus, this little thing called ‘winter’ — even if it is a Texas winter — does make it difficult to maintain temperature for 12 hours.

Movie Update

Posted in Michael's thoughts on November 7th, 2008 by Michael

New Bond comes out next week (yes, I am so there…)

Watched Iron Man on blu-ray. Thumbs up.

“Forgetting Sarah Marshall” is on the agenda – just have to keep servers up and kids out of the hospital first.


Posted in The Family on November 7th, 2008 by Michael

Meghan is recovering fine from her little event. Ah, the first trip to the hospital….

The event in question is the contracting of MSRA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) – a resistant strain of the common staph bacteria. It started out simple and like many, we thought it was a bug bite until it got puss filled and exploded. Yeah, that is a pretty picture. Anyway, I guess this is a near epidemic in America now given the overuse of antibiotics and other chemicals used. The folks, that I am paying a ridiculous amount of money to, say that things should be fine now that the majority of it was drained out and she is on some new, bad ass antibiotics. Of course, those were not cheap but at least I don’t have to take them. They are freaking noxious, even with flavoring.

Not sure why the pediatrician could not have taken care of this issue but we did have to go to the hospital. Each referral doctor gets a new co-pay. However, I would hate to insinuate anything there….

Meghan, who is an addict to those cherry and grape children cold remedies, unabashedly took this stuff and spit it out with vengeance. It is going to be fun giving it to her three times daily for the next ten days. Note: not taking the full regiment is one of the reasons these strains come back. MSRA is potentially bad news but given how she got it (community-based), we are not too worried. The strains in hospitals are supposedly worse – hence Purell is your friend.

Of course, Mackenzie now feels “sick” too but has declined – after watching Meghan – to try any of the new medicine. Of course, she declined to go back to bed too as part of a recovery regiment too.

She does seem to like her taped up leg – note, this is just covering a band-aide size bandage so she will not pull it off. Add some Elmo stickers and you have a great new toy!

She has turned into a world class mommie’s girl too. It started before all of this but now, it is in superdrive. Doesn’t even want to talk to anyone else. It is so good to be me now. J Of course, there is the whining… L

No Surprises…

Posted in Michael's thoughts, Political Opinions on November 7th, 2008 by Michael

Things that do not surprise me

  1. Harry Reid is threatening taking away Lieberman’s committee chair because of his support for McCain. Sad really. Shows the character of the Democratic leader.
  2. Gas prices continue to decline much more slowly than costs and fuel surcharges have not been removed
  3. Kids under 3 do not listen to their parents.
  4. Obama has already backed off his campaign promises around economic solutions and now is rephrasing it as ‘a long, difficult road that might not be achieved for years’. Nor the fact that the press doesn’t seem to want to call him on it. I guess the honeymoon continues.
  5. Christmas crap is already in the stores
  6. My taxes went up to compensate for lower home values. Hmmm, the man always get theirs….
  7. There are a lot of stupid people out there
  8. I get really crumpy when I do not get sleep for many days.
  9. That the uber-rich are buying up depressed valued stocks quietly which will result in a greater separation of wealth.
  10. The talk of “green” has subsided now that gas is $2 a gallon vs $4.
  11. The Dallas Cowboys are sucking
  12. Obama is filling his leadership team with old guard (e.g. not CHANGE) people like David Bonier – self proclaimed UNION first mastermind from Michigan (ah, been to Detroit lately?) and Rahm Emanuel who even MSN calls a ” fiery partisan unafraid of breaking glass and hurting feelings”. I guess the “aisle” is a barricade with a “stay out, we are in charge sign”.
  13. The market responded to the Obama victory with a 5% plunge.
  14. That my IRA contribution went in the day before the 5% plunge. L
  15. Mackenzie wanting every doll in every magazine we get in the mail.
  16. The medication that I need is not part of the $4 ones Walmart has.
  17. Verizon screwed up our billing AGAIN this month. Five times in a row (yes, we have only lived here for five months).
  18. Newt Gingrich is gaining in popularity (mixed feelings for me there. I prefer about ½ a Newt in my political mix).
  19. Organic and other natural crap that I keep thinking I should eat is 30% more expensive as the processed crap I do eat. You would think more processing = more effort = more cost.
  20. When you have time to watch TV, there is never anything good on!

Today is November 1st, Judy’s birthday and of course, for Catholics, All Saints Day

Posted in Michael's thoughts on November 1st, 2008 by Michael

So, today is my list of things that are glorious.

  1. Pancakes and sausage
  2. A 300 yard drive smacked right down the middle
  3. Cart girls
  4. The Boston Celtics
  5. Old friends like G-man, JD, Angela, Jill, Michelle, etc. Some have always been there, some recently found again. A successful treasure hunt.
  6. Finding a killer deal on something you want
  7. Bill O-Reilly. Not because of him specifically, but because he provides a reasonable counterbalance to all of the force fed liberal talking heads out there.
  8. Crisp, cool mornings and warm sunny afternoon days…
  9. A great picture.
  10. Days with no traffic
  11. A really good night sleep (or alternatively, a nice nap)
  12. Ebay
  13. Schlotzchys
  14. A well behaved child
  15. Golf and beer
  16. Finding money in your pockets
  17. Slow cooked, real bbq like pulled pork, baby back ribs, etc.
  18. The words “no charge”
  19. Doctors giving you good news
  20. Fast internet access
  21. Freakin’ awesome movies like “the Fifth Element”, “To Catch a Thief”, “Blade Runner” and such.
  22. Macintoshes
  23. Belching
  24. The first buds seen in the Spring
  25. The song “Walking on Sunshine”