Monday, December 28, 2009

Look Ma, Another Post

We had a great Sunday yesterday. Started off by going to the Dolphin game (OK, the first half pretty much sucked ass [depending on your perspective]). After picking up my sister and nephew, we stopped to get gas.

I must digress, Mobil obviously does not give any type of IQ test before hiring employees. I tried to use my "speedpass" at the pump which is connected to my current Mobil credit card. The speedpass did not work at the pump. I then tried to use my card, which I realized I have an expired card in my wallet. I tried the speedpass again, and again the light would not come on. After going inside and explaining to the woman behind the counter that I wanted to fill-up the tank using my speedpass, we had a discussion which was essentially her saying my card was expired, and I had to explain multiple times that the card I was using was not the one that was tied to the speedpass. She finally understood and let me use my speedpass inside. However, she asked how much I wanted to put in the tank, I said I didn't know, I just wanted to fill it up. She said she couldn't do that. I said again that I didn't have a set amount, I just want to fill up the tank. Finally after realizing she was more of an idiot than I originally thought I said $45. Turns out I only put $40 in then had to go back inside. So much for speedpass at that station. End of digression.

So, while I was getting gas, my phone rang, my sister answered it then gave the phone to Brenda. The person on the other line was Ed. Ed is one of those friends who is loyal, will always be there for you, and is almost like a brother, but if you get on his bad side, forget it. Ed is currently living in N. Carolina, and although we keep in touch, I think it's been at least 2 years since I've actually seen him (maybe more). After exchanging holiday pleasantries, Ed asked me what I was doing for dinner. I was shocked and happy that Ed was in town, and we decided to get in touch after the game to hook up. Ed also let me know that Joe was going to be at the Dolphin game. Joe and Ed are cut from the same cloth, although Joe lives a little bit closer, with our schedule and his schedule it's sometimes hard to get together.

Turns out Joe and Tracey were sitting a couple of sections over from us at the game. I went over there during half-time, then Brenda went over for part of the third and fourth quarters. I just have to say no matter where it is, it's always nice to see good friends during the holiday's, well, any time of year really.

After the game we came home and found Duke tangled in the curtain in the playroom. Luckily, he was caught in his backside, so he was OK. The neighbor said they heard him "crying" most of the day, and people on our block were concerned. We gave the neighbor our cell phone numbers, thanked her, and let her know the dog was fine.

I got back in touch with Ed and we made plans to meet for dinner at Boca Wings and Ribs. Food was mediocre at best, as was the service, but the company was great. We ended up talking until close to 10:00. If we go through with my first thought about heading up to Virginia for a summer road trip, we will try to get to Ed's place on the way back home.

Overall, it was just a really nice day. Now I get to start a busy week with the kids. Today it's lunch at my Mom's house, then we are going to the circus. Tomorrow we have a haircut appointment (I may try to take them to the movies), I also need to get my car washed and take the dogs to the vet. Wednesday, we are planning on seeing Avatar, Thursday it's the Panthers and Habs (and New Year's Eve), Friday we are taking the kids to see 101 Dalmatians at the Arsht Center. Saturday, we have a 8:30 hockey practice, then tickets to see "Phantom of the Opera" at 2:00, Sunday, it's 9:00 am hockey practice and Steel City day for the local sports. Half of us are going to the Dolphins/Steelers, and the other half are going to the Panthers/Penguins game. I don't think I'll get much sleep or be able to enjoy the < 80 degree weather and get out on the bike. We'll see how it goes

Thursday, December 24, 2009

It's Been Such a Long Time. . .

When the titles to my blog posts seem to be almost the same, I suppose I really need to take Eric's advice and try to post more often. Yes, there has been quite a bit going on in the past two months, I just have a difficult time trying to find the extra moments to actually write.

Let me start with this year's version of the TSO show. The first half of the show was the same as in years past, which is what one would expect when going to this show. The good thing about the show this year is that they actually came here after Thanksgiving, which was more appropriate for the holiday season. During the second half of the show they played more songs off their "Night Castle" album, which they finally released after working on it for 6+ years. Additionally, they said they would be going on a Spring tour, which will be the first non-holiday tour for them. I think that will be interesting, and I'm sure we will go, although we may not take the kids that time. We'll see.

Last weekend we tried a new restaurant called Rock 'N Roll Ribs. The restaurant is partly owned by Nicko McBrain, who is the drummer for Iron Maiden. They have not had their grand opening yet, so when we went there, Nicko was there still hanging stuff on the walls and visiting with every table. I was in such awe because I grew up not only listening to Iron Maiden, but playing along with them when I was practicing my drumming. For those that don't care too much for the whole 80's metal thing, the ribs were fall off the bone good. Actually all of the food was really good. I didn't even feel the need for additional sauce on the ribs. We will definitely be back there, even if Nicko isn't there.

Lizzie, much like every other young girl, saw a commercial and told Brenda she wanted a Zhu Zhu Pet. For some reason this is the hot toy of Christmas. Enough so that people are waiting in lines, waking up extremely early and paying major money to get one. I told Brenda I would not go out of my way to get one, but if I had the opportunity, I would get it for Lizzie. Yesterday, I had to go to Wal-Mart to pick up a present we ordered for Shane and had it shipped to the store (Nerf Wii game for those that care), which we saved $20 from the price elsewhere. On the way to the "Site to Store" shelf, I had to go to the restroom. As I was walking to the restroom, amongst all of the whacko last minute shoppers, I passed by about 20 of these Zhu Zhu Pets. I took care of my business, then went back, and decided to buy two of them. Although I did end up going 10 feet out of my way, I got two of the "hot" toys, and spent a grand total of $16 to get them. I feel bad for all the schmos who went crazy for these things, no, actually I don't, they're idiots.

I hope everyone had a happy Festivus yesterday, has a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year. Here's hoping that 2010 is much better.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Grandma Sally and other stuff

Wow, I didn't realize how long it's been since I made a blog post. I don't think I have that many followers, and haven't gone to the extent of installing a counter or tracking visitors, so, I don't think anybody has missed me. That's not to say that I haven't had things going on in my life, just haven't really had the time to stop and think about a blog post. Regardless, the most recent unfortunate event occurred last Tuesday (9/29) when Grandma Sally Sinnreich passed away at the young age of 96. Grandma of course was greatly loved and will be missed, and I feel very lucky to have had her around as long as she was and am very glad that she was able to see her grand-kids grow up and meet her five great grand-children. I'll paste my eulogy at the end of this post. Right now, I'm just looking forward to 2009 being over.

On a lighter note, my new car is running great, and I'm enjoying every minute driving it. If anyone is in the market for a very nice car, do not overlook the Hyundai Genesis. The car has every amenity one would want in a luxury car and it costs much less.

I took Shane to see Toy Story/Toy Story 2 in 3D this weekend. I'm still trying to figure out what the point was in having these two movies in 3D. The best part of the 3D experience was the preview for "A Christmas Carol." I also thought there was supposed to be more of a sneak preview of Toy Story 3, but the only thing they showed was in the trailers, and it was the same teaser that has been shown previously and can be seen here. Considering we own the movies, this really wasn't worth the price of admission. However, Shane enjoyed it, so I suppose that makes it somewhat worth it.

I'm going back to NYC in December for the AEP CEO Roundtable. I'm considering seeing Billy Elliot, I'm just not sure about going by myself. I have not seen the movie, but I have heard many great things about the show. I figure considering I would only buy one ticket, I can take a little more time deciding.

Before going there though, we have Shane's birthday trip to Disney and the Thanksgiving cruise to celebrate Brenda's birthday.

I'm looking forward to the Panthers home opener on Saturday.

If anybody would like to join Brenda, the kids and I for the Leukemia and Lymphoma "Light the Night" walk, please visit and sign up to be part of the team. The event takes place October 24 at 6:00 pm at the Sunset Cove Amphitheater 12551 Glades Rd. in Boca Raton.

Eulogy for Grandma:

I’ll start off by saying that Grandma lived a long happy life and it’s obvious by everyone that came in to town that she will be missed. I was trying to think of what I could say about Grandma. From my perspective she always had a story to tell, and in recent years, it always seemed to be the same story, at least to me. She always spoke about when I was a little boy in the hospital and wanted her to stay with me. I’m glad I was able to make her happy then and I can only hope that through her life I continued to make her happy. She had other stories as well, including being a member of the CRAFT club, and she always said exactly what CRAFT stood for. Unfortunately, with the kids here, I will not be able to repeat it out loud. One story that I have thought of in the last couple of days is actually a story that I never really heard from her perspective. We had just recently moved to Florida and were living in Big Pine Key when I found out that a band I wanted to see, Iron Maiden, were coming to Hollywood. Being in the Keys, and before the Internet was an option, I did not have easy access to purchase tickets. Well, Grandma went to the mall every Tuesday back then, and I asked her if she could get me tickets, which she did. I can only imagine the look on the person’s face when they saw this Grandmother buying tickets for Iron Maiden. The thought of the look alone is priceless.

I have also been thinking of stories that I didn’t hear her perspective. However, it’s just fascinating to think of the incredible amount of history that Grandma lived through. For instance, in the year that she was born, Woodrow Wilson was President and Ford began using the 1st moving production line to produce the Model T. Throughout her life she has seen women receive the right to vote, the first coast to coast and around the world flights, television being invented, the stock market crash of 1929, the Empire State building being open, the Hindenburg, and the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. All of this occurred before she became a Mother herself in 1943. She had seen D-Day, the sound barrier being broken, the first McDonalds being open in 1955, Sputnick, Hawaii and Alaska being the 49th and 50th states, the first American in Space, Kennedy, the Beatles coming to America, Woodstock, Apollo 11, the first woman on the Supreme Court, the Space Shuttle, and the Berlin Wall coming down. All of these things occurred before she invested to help start BarCharts.

Through her working career, she was a nurse. Just knowing her from a Grandson’s perspective, I’m sure she made an excellent nurse. She had that cute sing-song voice that even if she got mad (which I don’t think I ever saw) her voice was just a calming influence. There were times when she would say something I didn’t necessarily agree with on one subject or another, but with that sing-song voice I couldn’t really get mad at her. I’m sure that was very calming for the patients she had to deal with, and they probably appreciated her for it. The work that I did get to see her perform was her counting skills when counting out charts to rubber band into groups of 10. She started counting when BarCharts was still in the house in the “shipping room,” which was actually my old bedroom, and continued counting until she was replaced by a machine a couple of years ago. She was happy to be able to work at BarCharts and see the company that she helped plant the seeds for grow into what it has become. She also loved the fact that she gained an additional 40+ grandchildren, and always told people that she had that many grandchildren.

All things considered, she was very lucky. She had a wonderful marriage, raised two great daughters, saw her four grandkids grow up and loved her five great-grandkids. She also gained over forty grandkids by being herself and doing what she could to help her family. Grandma lived a long and happy life, and she will be missed.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

It's Been a While

OK, well, it's been a while since I posted something to this blog, and quite frankly I have a lot of updates since the last time I posted. I'm trying to prioritize everything, I can't say which is really top so just take this in any order you would like.

I'll start off with an update from one of my last posts which was the whole idea that Chase sucks the big one. After closing out our original account, and opening a new one, three weeks later, we get told that they are closing our account due to fraudulent activity with Brenda's on-line access. Well, that was from the original account and not the new one. We thought that got cleared up, then WAMU made the conversion to Chase. On Saturday, July 23, our cards were working properly, I went to Border's and Brenda took the kids to lunch and everything. Then, on Sunday the 24th, everything was blocked, we couldn't use the cards for groceries, gas, ATM, nothing. On Monday, we were told again that we had to move everything to a new account. This time we listened to them and moved everything to Bank of America. If it wasn't for my mortgage and HELOC, everything would be gone from Chase. They successfully did in less than a month what City Federal/Great Western/WAMU could not do in many years, which was lose a loyal customer. I would highly suggest against anyone going to Chase ever.

Second, after 6+ months of research, last night I got rid of my 2002 Ford Explorer and got a 2009 Hyundai Genesis v6 with the Tech package. The new car has everything one could ask for. The car is titanium gray metallic with black interior. The amenities are endless, including heated and cooled driver seats, bluetooth connectivity, XM Satellite radio and navigation, iPod connectivity, back-up camera, three zone temperature control, leather interior, steering wheel controls, automatic and turning with the curve headlights, and automatic wipers just to name a few. I feel like I got a good deal, according to my research, I was about $300 over dealer invoice, but according to the actual invoice they showed me I was $400 below. I'm sure it was somewhere in the middle, and at the end of the day, we were both happy. It's already dark outside so I can't get a picture of it right now, but I'll try to remember to post one later.

Third, I was supposed to be joining Shane, Lizzie, Boom, and my parents on a trip to Washington D.C. tomorrow. I was really looking forward to having some family time, and Brenda was really looking forward to a couple of days by herself, which I think she really needs since she hasn't really gotten that since Barbara passed in June. I was also looking forward to seeing the kids reactions to the history and museums that surround that town, and trying my best to explain what some of the history means. Additionally, I was looking forward to meeting up with Meghan (Brenda's cousin, Lizzie's Godmother) and finally paying her back for the dinner I owe her by going to Zaytinya, which is a phenomenal Mediterranean style restaurant. Unfortunately, extenuating circumstances beyond my control have forced me to stay home and have my parents take care of all three kids. I'm sure the kids will have a blast, and I really wish that the circumstances that led to my staying home could have been taken care of earlier, but this only came up yesterday even though it had been brewing for two weeks. I'm sure it will work out eventually but it just really sucks right now, especially with the possibility that part of the kids' memories of this trip will be the fact that Daddy wasn't there.

Finally taking a page from Eric, I'll do a couple of "shout-outs." First to Eric who is having a difficult time this year as well, it will get better eventually. To Brenda, even though it's out of my control, I'm sorry. And to Beth Schopler, you better check e-mail addresses closer.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Why Chase Sucks

Aside from my Facebook status, I had not posted the events that occurred on the way to Barbara's viewing. In addition to helping take care of all the arrangements, we had Lizzie's graduation from VPK, Shane's championship hockey game and Lizzie's dance recital. As an aside, the graduation went fine, Shane won his championship, and Lizzie danced her heart out (with a little help from Daddy[no videos will be posted]).

Following Lizzie's recital, we had to go to the funeral home in North Miami for the viewing. On the way we decided to stop for (Lunner, Dinch, whatever). We stopped at a Chinese buffet on N. Miami Blvd. While we were in there, some scumbags did a smash and grab on Brenda's van. People inside the restaurant saw them, but only tried to call the manager. After the smash and grab, it started to downpour, so in addition to having her purse stolen, the inside of the van was soaked.

Once I saw that the van was broken into, I went back inside. The manager called the police while I was on the phone with the bank cancelling Brenda's debit card. We got everything cancelled, put a fraud alert on her credit report, and moved on.

Well, a couple of days later, I noticed two charges for Chevron on our bank account that we did not make. I called up the bank and they reversed the charges, and sent me a letter that I need to fill out (it just came in the mail today). I was hoping that was the end of it, I was mistaken. I have alerts on my checking account that e-mail me and text me when certain things happen within the account. On Thursday the 18th I received one of these alerts stating that a Withdrawl larger than $200 was posted to my account. I knew that all bills were already taken care of then, so I checked it out. It turns out there were two deposits on my account ($1400, and $2400) and a deposit reversal of $2400. There was also a hold of $2300 on my account. I immediately called the bank to let them know that I did not make those deposits and I was very concerned because of Brenda's purse being stolen. They said they would investigate, and put a fraud alert on the account.

On Monday, the 22nd, after paying my bills in the morning, I received another e-mail saying there was a large withdrawl from the account. I thought, it's probably Brenda's car payment but let me check to verify. It wasn't the car payment, it was a "customer withdrawl" of $1800. I was now livid and called the bank again. They said I would have to talk to the branch where it occurred. They transferred me to the branch and the guy who answered the phone said he could not give me any answers and I would have to go to a branch to discuss the situation. I flew out of my office and went to the branch across the street.

The manager at the local branch (David) was very understanding and helped me out. He said he saw the fraud alert on my account and couldn't understand why the idiot at the Weston branch (teller 109) would release the money to the person in the drive-thru. He called the other branch and asked why the teller did that. The teller said that the person had ID that said she was Brenda and she was driving a Cadillac. I said that was impossible because Brenda drives a toyota and was at work all day.

I spent the rest of the afternoon (with a break to pick up the kids) at the bank opening a new account, trying to only leave enough in the old account to cover everything that I had already written a check for, or initiated a payment for, and tried to figure out who I had on an automatic withdrawl. David and Jaime were very helpful where the rest of Chase I feel failed miserably. There is now another alert on the old account stating that either Brenda or I must be called before any withdrawl. Let's see if that happens.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Barbara M Fogg 9/28/1949 - 6/5/2009

I have other updates to come later, but I want to give my thoughts on my Mother-In-Law.

I could start into a long diatribe with things such as she was born in 1949 in Miami and never left (except for vacations), then in 1969 she had a daughter, etc. but I only had the pleasure of knowing Barbara for just about 10 years. I met Brenda on April 16, 1999 so I know I had to have met Barbara a month or so later.

Barbara Fogg always did things on her own terms. If you were dealing with her in a business sense, or actually in any sense, and you told her "no," she would explain to you why you were wrong and give you 5-10 reasons of how you would correct your mistake. She would not take no for an answer and sometimes, yes wouldn't be good enough either. If you worked for her and did not do exactly what she wanted, or screwed around, you would be fired. However, she was also fair, and I have heard of many times where some "long-term" employees would either be fired or quit and come back a week, month, year later.

One thing that was very evident from Barbara, if she didn't like you, you knew it (sort of, because she still kept her southern roots), and if she liked you, she loved you. However, Barbara had her own way of showing love, it was usually by speaking her mind whether it hurt your feelings or not. I found this out by the multiple times that Barbara would be hitting the wine bottle (or even when she didn't) then called Brenda to discuss the way she was raising our kids, or her job, or any other various subject. I also found out in the last couple of days that if Barbara or her mother (Mozelle) did not like who their kids/grandkids/nieces/nephews were dating they not only let them know, but the person they were dating. I suppose I was very lucky in the sense that they liked me, because they allowed me to marry Brenda. The idea of the Father being in charge of the daughter was definitely not the case, and the women were definitely in charge in the Miller-Fogg family. That continues to be the case with Brenda and Stacy.

Barbara really was the best Mother-In-Law that a person could ask for. She was really down-to-earth, and just an all around cool person. After knowing her and Brenda for a while, she took me up in her plane. She told me to make sure I had air coming in on me so I wouldn't be nauseous. When we were up in the air, she tried to tell me to open the window by pointing out where the crank was. The only thing I saw was the door handle, and I wasn't about to open that while in the air. She then turned the plane around and landed before I got sick. For one reason or another, I never got another chance to go flying with her.

Barbara also showed her extreme coolness when it came to shopping. She didn't get stuck going to malls or any "girly" type stores, it was usually going to the cool places like BJ's and Best Buy, you know, places that had "toys." This also showed through when it came to Christmas time, she would usually get herself something, like a Wii, a 400 disc DVD changer, or GPS, and she would in turn get the same thing for her girls. I'm sure it was to make sure her girls got the same enjoyment that she did out of whatever it was. I'll also forever cherish the gifts that she found for me including the motorcycle rider and the huge "pocket" knife that are sitting on my desk at the office.

Barbara of course loved her grandkids and would always be there whenever she was called either to babysit or attend whatever function they had coming up. The one thing about her though, you always had to let her know well in advance, then keep reminding her, because she would never put anything in any type of calendar. Many times the week of whatever was going on turned into a mad scramble because she forgot, or we forgot to remind her. Regardless, she would always come through when needed.

I'll also always be impressed with her memory skills when it comes to her personal business. For instance, she would remember who was programmed into her phone, even though the name was spelled incorrectly 9 times out of 10. Additionally, she was always able to log into her various accounts even though she had 20 different passwords for 20 different accounts. I'll never figure out how she was able to keep everything together.

Barbara was diagnosed wit Leukemia in early March, 2009. She spent 72 days in Baptist Hospital in Miami. After two rounds of chemo, none of the Leukemia cells went into remission. Barbara was released from the hospital just before Mother's Day. She was no longer a candidate to go to Moffitt Cancer Center for a bone marrow transplant. On Mother's Day, Brenda, the kids and I went down to their house in the Redlands. We had a great day, we took Barbara to BJ's to get everything she needed, we went to Best Buy to get a couple of universal remotes so she could control everything in the living room and her bedroom. Barbara watched the kids go swimming and ride their bikes. As an aside, Lizzie today said that was one of her best memories, having her Nanny watch her ride her bike. It was just really nice to spend the day with her. Sure it was somewhat shocking to see her without hair and everything, but under the circumstances, I thought she looked great.

Soon after Mother's Day, Barbara decided to try again with an outpaitient chemo treatment, and blood transfusion and getting platelets. A day or so after getting her transfusion and platelets, she said her leg was bothering her. Her doctor said to go back to the emergency room. The pain was not a blood clot. She ended up getting admitted to the hospital and placed in the ICU because of her very low blood pressure and various other things. She was coherent and understood what was going on. In the end however, she just wanted to be comfortable, and she was not comfortable in the ICU. Brenda, Johnny and Stacy arranged to have her moved to another room. They were planning a meeting with Hospice on Friday, June 5 to try to get Barbara home, just to abide by her wishes. On Thursday afternoon, Brenda received a call from the nurse at the hospital telling her that she did not believe that Barbara would make it through the night. We ran down there and sat with her. She was there but not there. We originally thought she was waiting for Stacy to arrive from Orlando. After Stacy arrived, we thought she might be waiting for her brother to arrive from Minnesota. Jerry arrived around midnight, and I was sent home around 12:30 - 1:00. Brenda, Stacy, and Jerry, Jr. sat at Barbara's bed side all night. In the end, Barbara decided she would once again do things on her own terms and not let anyone tell her what to do. She proved the nurse wrong, she waited until shift change, saw the light of day, then passed away at 7:30 am on June 5, 2009.

Barbara will be deeply missed by her immediate, and extended family and by everybody who ever came into contact with her, possibly even the people who told her no.

p.s. Please either join a walk, or donate to my team on Light the Night which is sponsored by the Leukemia and Lymphoma society.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Busy, Busy, and other stuff

The kids and I had a busy weekend this past weekend, and next weekend is going to be even busier. We started off on Saturday with Lizzie's dance class in Coral Springs. While she was in Dance, Shane and I ran some errands, then got back, picked her up and bought a hockey bag at Play it Again Sports which is right next to her dance studio. Quick plug, if you ever need skates sharpened, or reasonably priced equipment, go to Play it Again Sports in Coral Springs. He really knows how to sharpen skates. Anyway, after that, we went home for a short bit, then had to go to Shane's hockey game. Shane played great, his team was outstanding, and the goalie was phenomenal. Shane's team won 7-1, and Shane scored on a shoot-out goal. After the game, we had dinner, then went home to watch game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

On Sunday, we had to wake up early because Shane had practice at 8:25. After practice, we saw 'Up' with Eric and Dave. I thought it was good, and there were parts that the kids probably did not understand. Overall a well-done movie, and we will probably see it again so Brenda can go. We had lunch at Cracker Barrel after the movie then went home. I seriously thought I was going to fall asleep on the drive home. After relaxing for a couple of hours, we had some great ribs with Mom and John, then finally got home just in time to go to bed.

Next weekend is Shane's championship game on Saturday, and Lizzie's dance recital on Sunday. This of course doesn't count the dress rehearsal tomorrow, skating Wednesday, and hockey Thursday. Sometimes, I just want to strap a bed to my back so I can sleep wherever I am.

I haven't really done this yet, but I wanted to give my opinion for some things happening in the news. First, I'm very pissed off at the stupid fuck who thought it would be a good idea to kill a doctor while he was at church because he performed late-term abortions. Give me a fucking break. I can't speak from experience, but I feel that 99.9% of the time a woman has an abortion performed, it is a heart-wrenching decision. I really don't think that people use an abortion as a crutch or as birth control. I also don't think that an abortion performed after the first tri-mester is something that somebody wakes up 6 months into a pregnancy and decides that they no longer want the baby. I think that if the health of the mother, or child is in question, there are extreme thoughts that go into any decision of that matter. To say that this lunatic was justified because of the services the doctor performed is insane. I think if these people are true Christians and they want to make sure no abortions are performed, they should help the mother through the pregnancy with anything she needs, then adopt the baby once it is born. Additionally, these are the same people that don't want homosexuals to marry or adopt kids. Seriously, it's a no brainer, let the gays adopt the kids, then there will probably be less abortions. If these people just thought about things rationally, then the world just might be a better place. I could go on. . .

Another thing that is pissing me off is this whole idea of people on the right calling Sonia Sotomayor a racisit because she essentially said that her life experiences will help her reach conclusions. At least that is my interpretation of what CNN wrote in its story. If Sotomayor is a racist for that comment, what does that make Clarence Thomas during his confirmation hearings? Rush Limbaugh and the others calling her a racist should shut the hell up and let the Senate do their jobs. I did not elect Limbaugh, the senators are the ones who need to be asking questions, and let the facts speak for themselves.

I just found out that Jacques Martin is no longer GM for the Panthers. The Panthers let him walk out of his contract with no compensations from the Canadiens so he can now coach the Habs next year. I'm not sure how I feel about this. I think he has done a serviceable job as GM, could be better, could be worse. I will say that if the owner brings back Mike Keenan as GM, I will find a new team to support.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Random Updates

I forgot where I left off. I guess the most important thing that has happened in the last week or so is that we got a new puppy. We got Duke last weekend from the Animal Rescue Force. Duke is a Labrador/Basset Hound mix. He's doing good right now, is still having a few accidents in the house, but what can you expect from an almost 4 month old puppy? Lizzie and I had to rush around to get him. After her dance class ended at 11:00 in Coral Springs, we ran up to Delray, met my Mother and decided he would be a good addition to the family. After that we had to rush back to Coral Springs to do the rehearsal for the Dad's dance at Lizzie's recital. Before you ask, there will be no videos or pictures posted.

I've been skating a lot, due to a learn to skate lesson on Wednesday, learn to play hockey on Thursday, and usually one public session during the weekend. I am really liking this, but my wrist has been bothering me this weekend. Everyone at learn to play was asking me if my legs hurt the next day, they didn't (even though I usually work out my legs on Friday morning), but my wrist is. Hopefully I'm not falling apart.

Which reminds me, I want to send a good luck for a speedy recovery out to Erin. Even though her ankle should be telling me that I'm too old to learn how to play, I am still going out and doing it.

Brenda and I saw "Angels and Demons" last weekend. I have to preface the review with the fact that I had "read" (audio book) prior to seeing The DaVinci Code. I thought for the most part the DaVinci Code followed the book, however of course there were some mental images I had that the movie did not follow. Regarding Angels and Demons, I have not read the book. The movie was for the most part entertaining. However, there just seem to be some contrived hokey parts that just wouldn't make sense in real life. I am not sure if those same parts are in the book or not, so I can't say whether it was Dan Brown, Ron Howard or a combination that put those parts together. I would definitely see Star Trek first, but if you have nothing else to do, this is a serviceable movie.

Another serviceable movie that we saw last night is Wolverine. This pretty much did what the title said it would, which was to set up where Wolverine came from (for the most part). The story somewhat jumped and didn't really set up much character development outside of Wolverine, and even with him, there seemed to be something missing from the movie. Once again, the entire movie was a nice escape, but not as good as some of the other X-Men movies. I'm tending to side with Rotten Tomatoes for some of these recent movies.

I think we may see Night At The Museum tomorrow, but at least with that I pretty much know what to expect which is something similar to the first one. The kids will probably really enjoy it. They will also enjoy spending the afternoon with Eric. I'm really looking forward to seeing Up next weekend.

I'm getting a little tired of some in-fighting at work with certain sales people arguing over what goes in which territory, and the fighting is over what I feel are secondary, or even tertiary markets. I feel like there is a huge primary market with low-hanging fruit and nobody seems to want to go after it. I will change this way of thinking this week. I'm also in the process of negotiating a new licensing deal, we'll see how the other company continues to respond.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mother's Day Weekend

In addition to the hockey which I spoke about in my previous post, we had a good time this past weekend.
Brenda and I had arranged for my mother to baby-sit so we could go out on Saturday night. We sort of had an unsaid understanding that my mother would not leave the kids on the leash. Anyway, we had dinner at Bogart's which is located in the upstairs section of what used to be Muvico, but is now owned by Cinemark. The food as always was good, I had the turkey meatloaf, and Brenda had one of their specials for the night which was the kobe beef brisket. I don't think it was real kobe, because it was a large portion and only cost $16.95, regardless, it was a good dish. After dinner we saw Star Trek which was a very good movie. I was never a huge Trekkie or anything (I was always more of a Star Wars geek). I thought the movie and the story were well done. The special effects were great, but really the fact that they were somewhat not noticable speaks to the way the story was done. I thought the overall movie was well cast, although I kept thinking of Sylar when Spock was on screen, and couldn't get Harold and Kumar out of my head while Sulu was there. Anyway, if the same cast and crew does another Star Trek movie, I will definitely go see it.

After the movie, we went and saw some old friends at a local bar. My friend Dave, who I would say I hadn't seen in 10 years, and his band were playing at Turn 3 in Boca. In addition to seeing Dave, we also caught up with more friends who I would say some of them I have seen more recently, others it has probably been longer. I guess I can thank Facebook for putting me back in touch with old friends. Around 1:45, we figured it was time to leave because. . .

We got up Sunday morning to meet my Mother for breakfast at 8:00. After breakfast, we drove down to spend the day with Brenda's mom. All things considered, Barbara looks great. I just hope we didn't push her to do too much on Sunday. After going through some things, and having Brenda help her Dad with some paperwork for the home health agency, we went to pick up some lunch. We got the KFC grilled chicken, which was pretty good, considering it's KFC. After luinch, we all went to BJ's so Brenda's parents could stock up on some stuff. Brenda's Mom, I think, was just happy to get out and about. She got one of those electric carts, and was just tooling around the store with her "bird flu" mask on, and her oxygen tank in the basket. After BJ's they went back to the house, and I went to Best Buy with Johnny to buy them some new remotes. We got back to the house and I was in charge of programming the remotes. The kids went swimming, rode their bikes, and played the Wii. I got the remotes working for what they needed. we hung around a bit longer, then took off around 8:00. After getting home at 9:30, I sat down and watched/skimmed the Celebrity Apprentice, then went to sleep. I think I still need to catch up on some sleep tonight.