Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Friday list:10 everyday things that make me happy (100 things 1 of 10)

I was thinking about this topic the other day, and I thought I'd put it down and see if I could come up with 10. The list is certainly not all inclusive and it's in no particular order. I also should point out that this is intended to be a fairly superficial list.

1. McDonald's McChicken sandwich: Not the spicy one they serve west of the Mississippi, the one east of it on the dollar menu. Just the right amount of spice, mayonnaise, and size. Awesome and reminds me of my childhood, when I used to get them. You could also add McDonald's french fries to the list, pure awesome.

2. Rainy days: I love a good rainstorm, I prefer it when it's warm out, but even enjoy it when it's fall. There's something about the dreariness that I like and actually puts me in a better mood.

3. The perfect grocery shopping trip. The one where I've got a set of coupons or all of the sale items are exactly what I need, and don't require me to go to 4 stores to take care of my list. Bonus points for super loss leaders that come available when I run out of something and can stock up on it. Free money.

4. Finding a new author or series to read. I go through them so quickly I run out of authors. It also sucks as I have no channels right now for finding new authors.

5. New gadgets, the computer nerd in me still loves when I get a new gadget or new computer. I've gotten to the point, where I make do with what I have for long periods of time, but it doesn't stop me from getting "Night before Christmas" like excited when I turn something on for the first time.

6. Time to myself, oh how I love this, no worries about when to be somewhere, how long to stay, or factoring in someone else. Pure, selfish me-time.

7. Not being disappointed in something I've either planned for or waited for. Whether it is a book conversion to movie, or a night out that I've been looking forward to for weeks, I get a bit giddy when something meets my expectations. I also get bent out of shape when something falls short of it. (I think this one has a lot to do with number 6)

8. Learning something new. In trying to evade an old man's mentality, I continue to try new things and learn things I know nothing about. I also get a huge thrill out of accomplishing something completely new and I know nothing about. For an example, last year my garage gutters decided they wanted to fall off and I new less then nothing about what to do with them, after some thinking, a visit to the hardware store and a fully day of work, they were up and serviceable. Amazing feeling.

9. Sound sleep. Days when I wake up where I'm fully recharged tend to be rare, to the point that I wonder why I actually sleep some nights. Since so many nights are bad nights sleep, a good one is truly treasured.

10. Baking, my hobby definitely makes the list. I love trying to make new things, improvising and having success, and just the act of creating something (if only to see it disappear quickly as it's eaten). Hopefully, some day I'll be able to turn this hobby into some type of career.

*Post post edit, I decided I wanted to do a series on 100 things about me, broken up into a list of 10. So this one became the first one.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday Thoughts 2/18/11

Some topical and some personal notes this week, enjoy the ones your prefer.

1. It looks like my audition with the band from October has produced some results. I received an email this week that they want to get together, and just hadn't been doing much over the winter. I'll post more thoughts as I have a couple sit downs with them, but I'm a bit excited to see how things go.

2. My favorite part of this article is the quote from the General Motors worker. Especially considering that United Auto Workers has never negatively affected the Automobile companies. I'm embarrassed by the nature of society in relation to something like this, where individuals rallying against collective bargaining rights for public employees effectively forget the fact that they are talking about 'removing' individual rights, rather then an entity. Wisconsin and Ohio at Center of Collective Bargaining battle

3. Legislating 'solutions' such as the removal of rights of workers to collective bargain is not a libertarian philosophy. So any tea party members that like to consider themselves libertarian, please stop now, otherwise I'm likely to slap you if I hear you say something like this.

4. Detroit is getting a Robocop statue. Interesting, I think. Unfortunately for Detroit, it still won't be as cool as Philadelphia and Rocky. I do wonder what will happen around the statue in Detroit once it's erected. Rocky fans were able to run up the stairs to the statue, playing the theme song in their heads. What the hell are Robocop fans going to do? Take potshots at the statue, go on random crime sprees? Nevermind, I forgot it's Detroit, that stuff happens all the time anyway.

5. My daughter came down with Strep throat last week, which meant we had to skip a week of Roller skating class. Since it's only a four week class, that kind of sucks. She'll resume falling again tomorrow.

6. I can confirm through a friend that if you negatively post that the Cleveland Indians are mediocre at best, and at worst "nothing to get excited about" then they will in fact remove you from their Facebook fan group. I wish they worked this hard on drafting players.

7. February has always been a weird month, the fact that it's typically 28 days, Groundhog day, the fact that in states like Ohio, we ultimately view it as the finish line for spring. This February hasn't disappointed, what a weird friggin month. I can't tell if I'm on a roll with good things happening or in the dumps with bad things happening. It has to be the most uneven month I can remember in quite some time. Just bizarre, and most of the ups and downs are fairly inconsequential I suppose in the grand scheme of things. It's just that I'm used to seeing things either trending positive or negative rather then back and forth.

8. Chalk this up to February (see above), or social media, getting older, or any other reason, but the intelligence and thought process of many people has scared me to death this week.

9. For at least one week, spring seems to be here. Thanks for not seeing you're shadow you chunky, smelly, little furball.

10. I'm usually not one to react harshly to things, but two words come to mind, when I read this article (Baghdad wants U.S. to pay 1 billion.) they start with F and Y.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Dear Governor Kasich;

I came across this article on Cleveland.com about our new Governor's recent remarks about a police officer in the Columbus area. Governor calls officer "idiot" Here are some of my thoughts.

Dear Governor Kasich;

I admire what I think you were trying to say here. I think there can be more accountability from our public servants to the taxpayer. You've also intrigued me a bit as despite the backlash from this, you are attempting to continue to promote your message outside the sensationalism of the headlines. I like the fact that you aren't backing down in this case, and if you are sincere in what you are promoting, you are making me a fan.

However, I'd be negligent if I didn't point out some things I think you are doing wrong here. In your position you can't call a police officer an idiot. Even if he was, you can't use that type of term in referencing him, I'd suggest working on the language here a bit. I'm also a bit concerned that maybe you let your emotions get the better of you in this case due to how you referenced the officer and seem to eagerly repeat this reference. Tone it down a bit and focus on your message. You aren't doing police officers any favors and you really are just allowing the press to cover your opposing party opponents and turn them into a quote machine.

If you want to lead, do so. Elevate the discussion, and while I can understand why you used this experience as a reference, you have to know when to back down, rather then letting the conversation move to a point where your message is being missed. There is nothing wrong with saying things that people don't agree with, but make the discussions productive rather then these types of sideshow acts that seem so common in today's political world.

Please disregard this note if in fact you aren't committed to adhering to being more accountable to taxpayers.

Also please be aware, I haven't been much of a fan prior to this speech, as a matter of fact I don't know much about you at all prior to your run for Governor. My opinion, after watching your campaign and reading about you, is that I considered you just a mirror image of Governor Strickland, with a different political outlook. I hope I'm wrong in this opinion as Governor Strickland proved to be a legislator unable to lead. While I'm sure there are a number of policies of yours I will disagree with (your current desire to eliminate collective bargaining for public workers being one of them), I am hopeful that you are in fact a leader and can provide some direction for this state. Currently, there are too many serious issues facing the state of Ohio for us to worry about political ideologies, I'm hopeful that you'll come to see that in your time served as Governor. Good luck to you, as your success would greatly benefit the state.

Sincerely,

Me

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Learning to let go: Another chapter in a Father's dilemna

I signed my daughter, Bronwyn up for roller skating lessons. Last Saturday was the first lesson. We arrived early in order to get her fitted for skates. It was a bit chaotic as there were a number of people there and they couldn't seem to find the right size for my daughter. We finally got her a set just as they were kicking off the lessons.

I held her hand as I got her toward the center area where they had gathered the group for instruction, to say she was adjusting to being on wheels would be an understatement but we made it there. (she only fell once)

I decided at that point, that I was going to take a large step back and let her engage in the instruction. It's hard to describe the feelings I was experiencing. This was a class of 30-40 students and 2-3 instructors, and it's in a fairly large roller rink. I've mentioned previously that Bronwyn can have lapses in attention, so I was curious to see how it would go. She did well paying attention to how to get up properly and how to fall properly. They then took them on the carpet and had them march in their skates, she was first in line for the first trip around. (Picture below was a second or third trip).


She did pretty well starting out, marching and keeping pace, as she tried to increase speed, she wiped out quite a bit. I think she was getting concerned about keeping pace and trying to hard to do better too quickly. (A trait she shares with her father)

It was agonizing watching her fall, and my first instinct was to run over and assist her, it didn't help that the amount of falls continued to increase. I watched as other parents walked side by side with their child and held them up rather then letting them fall. In some cases both parents aligned themselves on both sides of the child and practically carried them through the walk thru. I can understand why they did it, but I don't agree with it.

I viewed this as a good way for Bronwyn and I to learn. I need to learn over time to let go and let her experience life on her own. She needs to learn how to overcome struggles by herself. This in my opinion is the perfect environment for this. She experiences something difficult that she needs to overcome and I have to allow it, but I'm close enough to intervene if absolutely necessary. (It isn't a bad thing that the average result of a beginning roller skating session would be a sore behind, although there is the possibility she could hurt herself more seriously, it's a rather small chance in my opinion)

This means I sat for an hour in a highly anxious state watching my daughter fall multiple times and silently berating myself for letting it continue. After the lesson was over, the children were allowed to free skate and Bronwyn indicated she wanted to. The original plan was for me to rent a pair of skates, but given she was still struggling with it, I decided to save that for another week. I helped set her up on a course where she would skate across a quarter of the rink using the half wall if necessary, get off and then skate on the carpet back to her starting point.

She took off and while moving fairly slowly at first, began to pick up speed and move further away from the wall. I will say I did have to intervene a couple times as being a Sagitarius, she sometimes ignores the flow of traffic and heads off on her own course, which usually meant against the flow of oncoming skaters. She also had one fall where she really took a tumble and burst into tears, that I grabbed her from the floor on and brought her back to the table. I could tell at this point she was very tired and possibly had enough for the day, but I really didn't want her to end on her fall. I was debating with myself how I was going to handle getting her back on the floor when she told me she wanted to skate more and was ready to go again, she went for another hour.

Words cannot capture how proud of her I was for the day, while she has a long way to go, she took the direction of the instructors well, continued to apply herself when things weren't going her way and after a big fall, got right back up on the proverbial horse. I tried to capture the look of determination on her face as she skated by me a couple times, but every time I tried, she'd compose herself and smile for the picture. (well kind of a smile)


I have no idea whether she'll ever see this blog or have an idea of how proud of her I was on Saturday, but I hope deep down she knows it. I also know I took a step toward letting her go on Saturday and I take comfort in the fact that after 5 short years she's starting to build the skill set she needs to succeed in life.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Friday Thoughts 2/4/11

Let's see if we can get the ball rolling again.

1. A lot going on in World news, especially in Egypt. For those that aren't paying mild attention to it, I'd urge you to familiarize yourself with what's happening there (take the 5 minutes away from Facebook and pull up a couple AP articles). It's this type of thing that you benefit from understanding when things happen in the world at a later date.

2. The Browns hired Pat Shurmur, if I had only gotten my coaches preview down for the 2nd part before the decision was inevitable, I could blow my own horn a bit more. I will say that Brown's fans shouldn't despair, as hiring Dick Jauron as Defensive Coordinator was one of those things that needed to happen too. If Shurmur takes direction from Mike Holmgren like I think he will, it's probably the best type of hire for this organization. At the very least we still have a true general manager in Tom Heckert and considering the outstanding draft he had last year, I think there is reason to be optimistic.

3. I'm in the process of updating links to the blogs I read and removing some that aren't active anymore. I think I need to find some new ones to read too, so any suggestions, feel free to leave me a comment. I'm a bit sad though as 3 of the blogs I followed closely seem to have closed down.

4. Speaking of blog business, I'm trying to decide how I want to rename this blog, since I'm not in Cleveland anymore, I think it's time for a rename. I'm just trying to decide when (probably not til summer and wife's job re-ups) and what (I need something less location specific, as this blog has been extremely Cleveland deficient for one with it in it's title).

5. I'm now 4-10 in cashing in poker tournaments, a 40% cash mark isn't bad in my opinion although that has 3 low cashes and only 1 win. I think I'll be taking a break though, as I have a Vegas work trip scheduled for the end of the month and I'd rather take discretionary income there anyway. Although I may actually sit down and play some poker in Vegas, if I can get past my constant need to do something there.

6. Rollerskating lessons start for my daughter this weekend, I'm extremely excited, I'm kind of surprised that I've come across so many roller skating rinks here in Columbus, in Cleveland I wasn't able to find any since the one I skated at as a kid closed down. I'm not sure if I'm actually excited for the daughter to learn to skate or the fact that we can free skate for 2 hours after the lessons and it gives me an excuse to roller skate some. (Not exactly a regular hobby for most middle aged men)

7. I think I'm going to start working again on my Vegas blog:

http://vegasoutsider.blogspot.com/

I have some ideas on what I want to do with it, my biggest concern to this point is I didn't want just another review site, especially since I don't take many pictures on my trips. I think I've identified a niche though that I can fill. I did come across a post I accidentally put over there, that I'm moving to this one, as it was my update of when we moved. Oops. This will likely be the last cross promotion I do with the Vegas blog, as similar to my life, I like to keep things compartmentalized and ultimately keeping them separated appeals to me for a level of anonymity.

8. Spring training opens up here in a week or two and I really would like to right up a baseball preview, but I have little desire to do so at the moment as the Indians truly stink. That's one of the benefits of being a blogger vs a writer, no requirements.

9. I think I've decided that I think American Idol jumped the shark with Taylor Hicks, it's just taken so long to realize it.

10. With a weekend of little planned, I'm thinking it's a perfect weekend to do some baking and making some snacks for the Superbowl. Being down here in Columbus means there isn't a party to go to or anything else and it's been almost 2 months since I baked anything. On track for this weekend is cheesecake.

Have a great weekend, except that is if you are rooting for the Steelers, in which case I wish you a miserable weekend of weather followed by your team losing by double digits or 3 points in the last minute of the game.

Life and Times in Columbus (post from after the move)

I can't believe I posted this to the wrong blog. Anyway, here were my thoughts right after the move to Columbus from Cleveland. We are at about the 5 month point, so I'll be following up with some thoughts here in the near future on the this.

*******

Ok, so we are here. I'm currently sitting in a stuffed to the gills townhouse, with all of our worldly possessions, some of which are packed still, some aren't. I managed to clear some spots last night in the living room, so we could actually sit down.

The weekend didn't start out very well, as my wife's purse was stolen from her car on Thursday, which lead to a rather full day for her in cancelling all of her cards and the varying tasks that go along with it.

The move took two days with us loading the truck on Saturday and then driving down on Sunday and unloading it.

While the townhouse is smaller, there are some benefits to it over our house. The first noticeable thing is the rooms are laid out for more modern living. Meaning the sizes and dimensions are much more friendly for organizing furniture. My house built in the 20's has a horrible layout that ultimately leaves a lot of empty unusable space. Add in the fact that my 1920's house has one outlet per room on the second floor and you can only imagine the organizing nightmares. Every room here has 3-4 outlets.

We won't know whether or not this better layout equals out the space we give up from moving from the house until everything gets unpacked. I'm trying to stay positive though, and believe me at moments it's hard.

I would describe my mood as surreal right now, I have very little (if any) knowledge of the area and everything at the moment seems different, tv stations, radio stations, road layouts, living on top of others, light switches, etc. Add in I'm exhausted from the move and that I still have a laundry list of things to do (here and back in Cleveland) and I'm wondering how long my sanity is going to hold. I'm hoping as the chaos that currently sits in the townhouse becomes more managed that my mood will as well.

I'm sure this whole post jumps around (more then usual) and maybe a bit difficult to follow, as holding a complete thought right now is proving a bit difficult, my apologies if it's of poor quality.