Friday, March 27, 2009


Good Day my good sirs/madams. This is an official apology to my last few blogs. I feel utterly embarrassed and foolish for my attempts at a first PODcast. I promise to give you something entertaining; and soon.

I was up pretty late last night talking to my twitter friend @muse012. She gave me some good feedback on the PODcast. Thank you all for making me feel good about what I am doing, but thank you most of all to @muse012. She told me, basically, she was disappointed. Thank God. Me too. So in honor of this huge disappointment that was PODcast #1, I am working on a special treat for @muse012. Her birthday is on April 5th I think, let's hope PODcast #2 will be done by then. It's going to involve a ton of work. That work starts tonight.

In other news. I sent out a few e-mails last night to some great unsigned CLE bands. Let's hope one of them sends back a reply in the affirmative to get onto the PODcast. I have a ton of great ideas for some music, and being from the Rock n Roll capital of the world, I feel an obligation to bring you some great music from the CLE.

Hope everyone is having or had a great day. I am off to work to get material for the blogs of my life. Tonight will be a late night.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

You Can Now Subscribe

I guess you can subscribe to the Throwing Quarters PodCast here. I am still trying to figure out how a PodCast differs from anything else, I blame my ignorance. Anyway for those who use iTunes, let me know if this works for you. I will always have the player embedded here so you can listen to them. But for those who like the whole iPod thing, it should work, as well as those of you who use BlackBerrys.

You have got to start somewhere!

I want to welcome you to the first ever audio blog.

It took me 3 takes and I figured this was the best it was going to get for now. I feel like I sound like an amateur, and to some extent that is true, but like my brother told me, you have got to start somewhere.

Anyway, enjoy. Hope you like it. There is more to come, this is just the beginning.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Craigslist Genie Granted a wish

Today the Craigslist Genie granted a wish for me. I wanted it to find me the USB interface I needed to get my voice back onto the internet radio waves.

Indeed I got help from a few places. I do have a list of thank yous.

1. Mr Adam Watt of [His yet to be named record label]. Thanks for giving me the advice as to which piece of equipment to purchase.
2. Eric from Craigslist for having the one I need in stock and at a low low price of $85.00.
3. Of all people my ex-wife. She found it on Craigslist and gave me the heads up.

Now onto figuring out how this damn thing works. I have the drivers installed, it powers up, I have my microphone, but no damn cable for it. I have one around here somewhere. Adam has one for me later this afternoon, so if all goes well I can make my first recording today to test it all out.

I have a lot of work to do, but I am one step closer to having my blogs PODcast.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Soundtrack to Life

Music. It's inside all of us. The title of this post is laser etched into the back of my brother's ipod.

It never rang so true until right now.

I am sitting on a rock in an empty parking lot near my home. The wind is biting the edges of my ears. I decided after a long day at work that a walk with my pup is just what we both needed.

I can feel spring in the air. Its crisp and has the undertones of warmth from a distant tropical land.

I put on some tunes on my blackberry and buried a pair of ear buds in my ears. Pandora started to pump out tune after tune. I started on the Paramore station I started. I am feeling a bit drained and the music Pandora gave me fit my mood. Mellow with an energy that was nervous, and yet draining.
I talked with the wife for a short time and after that I put on The Sleeping Station I started. One song after another. They all fit my mood exactly.

Now I sit down on a rock to punch out this blog as Fall Out Boy's cover of the hit single Beat It blasts in my ears. I am ready to tackle the rest of my evening. My dog is pretty confused. I just stopped and I type. It is something he will never understand. One thing, he can't see color, and two, he doesn't have opposable digits.

Evolution rocks!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sales 101: With your Professor, Adam

It is no secret. I am a sales guy. I have been doing this for a long time. I have sold air, checking accounts, Mortgages, and now cell phones. I have worked in the retail environment, outside sales environment, and even inside sales. I have been successful in all these different roles.

Almost a decade into a sales career I have went from making minimum wage to making a living that is comfortable enough. I am always hungry for more. I don't want to stop. Its not the money that really energizes me. Its the challenge. The challenge to find the people to sell to.

In the cellphone industry, market share is drying up, the Cleveland market is so far penetrated, 6 out of 10 people carry a cellphone from my company. Like most companies, being happy with the status quo is not the norm. They are still pushing to grow the company. They know that 60% of the market is ours, but they still want more.

Many retail sales reps are still stuck in the regular funk of working in retail. Sure our company has policies in place so we don't create overlap. We have outside business reps, and retail sales reps. Business reps can't come into the store to sell, and retail reps can't leave the store and sell to businesses. If the businesses come into a store we still help them, but we can't leave to go get it.

Many retail guys think that because they are stuck in a store, they have to sit around and wait for the sales to walk in. Sure sales do walk in, but if you sat and waited for it, you're going to quickly get fired, because with our market being penetrated so far, the familes converting to my company are few and far between.

Now since I have made the switch from middle manager to front line sales rep, I have noticed an unhealthy complacency. The sales reps in the store have seen the large commission checks shrink. Reps 5 years ago were making so much money that many drove BMW, or Mercedes. They were that loaded. Now if you can make 1/3 of that, you are doing well. Because they aren't used to working too hard, they don't know how to sell, successful reps back then could just help more customers than the guy next to them. Customers told them what they wanted and the sold it. Simple as that.
Now if the customer doesn't tell them what they want then they are lost, because asking a qualifying question is the most forgien thing to them.

The secret to being a sales rep isn't to listen to what they want on the surface, its listening to the cues they give you underneath. Its asking them questions that you know the answers to. Its educating the customer.

Many sales reps, especially in my line of work, don't understand that the work you do today will pay off later. They are so short sighted. Sure they might not buy anything today, but by being nice and spending time with them, many customers will come back and buy later. But because the reps don't want to be bothered with account maintenance, they miss out on sales. Sure you may spend an hour with a customer and get absolutely dick, but then again, if you didn't try, you'd never know.

So stop blaming the economy on the lack of new traffic, and look at what happened really. The market you work in is 60% penetrated. People didn't stop buying, they have bought already.

If the economy was so bad, why is the fastest growing segment in the cell phone industry the smart phone? The average price per smart phone is $150 after rebate, and they all come with an additional price tag of $30-$60 per month. Its bad? Yeah right.

It all comes down to this. Get off your ass and work! Shut the fuck up and get to work. You need to step up your game and get it done. Use your personal network. Stop relying on walk in traffic, and find it yourself. Build your relationships.
I am just tired of the excuse, the economy is hurting us. No its not. I work for one of the companies CNN says is the best company to work for in the economic downturn. I'm not worried.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Let's be a little smart about this.

In this day and age conservation is all the buzz. Biodegradable diapers, organic this or that, ethanol fuel, green house gases, and so on and so forth.

In all of Al Gore's pontificating, I have never heard him say anything about the very thing he carries in his pocket, his cell phone, his ipod, and even his Nintendo Wii [I know that doesn't fit in his pocket, but you see where I am going].

There isn't a single public figure talking about how toxic all these products are to our environment around us.

The ability to want to talk to people while on the go is not going anywhere. We have been taking music with us since we started putting radios in a car, then making the walkman, then discman, the mini disc players, and now the latest incarnate of portable music is the ipod. All of these things we carry around are using the fossil fuels we also want to use. The focus on the use of petroleum is focused on fuel consumption. Well more petroleum is used to make plastics and batteries than is used to make gasoline.

What should we do?

Well back when I was interviewed by TangoBaby, [I am typing on my blackberry so how to put in a link escapes me] I mentioned that people don't use technology to its fullest.

People carry a paper daily planner, their address book, an ipod, and more than likely a cellphone. 2 of these things are heavy paper products and 2 use toxic batteries.

Last night I had a comment war on FaceBook. A friend of mine said in a status message, I need an ipod.......
I just sold this person a BlackBerry Storm. I told her, why waste money on an ipod? She could do everyhing an ipod could do, plus some. She said, that the phone was more than she could handle, "it is more technology than she needs". So her answer to that was to buy more one dimensional technology to service 1 need.

The average consumer is a short sighted thing. They think of a need, and look for 1 product that can service their need.

The average cell phone salesman is a short sighted person as well. When a customer walks in, most sales reps will meet the need that a customer says they have to meet. Most often the customer will tell us, I just need to text, and make calls. They aren't looking for a phone that can house their music collection, or manage their day, or even get their e-mail.

But then again customers, especially the tree huggers, only realize the crime in their convictions when someone points out all the contradictions. An inconvenient truth won an oscar for the best documentary. Conservationists hailed it as a win for the cause. Too bad the movie is about Al Gore's failed attempts at being president. Or that most artists and college students love apple and also are the biggest proponents of the green movement. How do those go hand in hand? Apple makes a whole lot of 1 dimensional and toxic products. An ipod, a macbook, and iphone. Sure they all integrate with eachother, but I want it all to be integrated with everything. A simple smartphone can take everything and put it in your hand.

Apple's smartphone can do a lot of that, but getting that phone to work with my PC is harder than it should be. Apple's mantra is that there is an app for that. What if one wanted to commit double homicide? Is there an app for that? I bet there is a killer app for that!

The advent of internet radio several years ago was ahead of its time. Internet Radio has now evolved into being something useful. People are accessing the internet on the go. They want music with them. Enter Pandora, Slacker Radio, and Iheartradio. 3 great applications one can get on any smartphone now.

So before you go pick out your new cell phone, think about everything you do on a daily basis, and figure out how it could be integrated into your technology. Step 1, get rid of your alarm clock. Use your cellphone. Keep going.

By eliminating several plastic products, and only getting 1 plastic product that can take the place of all the others is the conservation we need. We don't need a bloated, bearded closet homo telling us what is good or bad. His energy bills at his home are the equivalent of powering my block.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Pissed off isn't the phrase, but it's close

I want to make it clear to all those reading today; I am about to bitch, whine, and otherwise not be my positive self. You have been warned. Take note.

I don't want to rent anymore. I am tired of answering to someone else when it comes to being in my home. I am not ungrateful, because the fine folks I am renting from are the best people one could ask for. I am just tired of working at doing things the right way and getting nowhere.

The journey my wife and I are making to buy our first house, starts in September 2007. We moved into our condo, and we were going to lease it. The objective was to buy this condo in the first year, and it was going to take some time, because my income was there, but my credit was horrendus. The only thing that was building my credit was a car loan. I paid it on time; religiously. But my student loans, old loans from a lifetime ago, still were killing any progress, and to get a loan, you cannot have a single thing besides medical bills in collection status. So Jenn and I went to talk to a mortgage guy. He said, pay this stuff off. Don't care how you do it, but go pay them off.

While trying to plan a wedding all at the same time we didn't know where to start. I called another person who knew the ways of finances well, and they said the same thing. Pay that stuff off, but again, no one offered us a way to do that. They just expected us to write a check for the proper amounts with money we didn't have, and it would all go away. That is not the case. When you are spending money to pay your bills, spending money for a wedding, there isn't much let to pay off old debt you couldn't pay to begin with.

After our wedding May 17, 2008, Jenn and I met with our landlord. She was getting fed up with the run around game we had, and we pulled my credit and we sat down. We budgeted out everything. We had a plan to get everything paid off. After tax time in 2008, that paid off my student loans and left enough to pay off another large account. We were making headway. That June 2008, was the first time someone took the time to tell us how we could get this paid off. So in July into early August, we paid off the last account in collections and my credit score was up enough to get an FHA loan. We had the appraisal done on our condo, and it appraised for what it needed to be. We had a closing date of September 23, 2008. Well, that date came and passed and into October we went. Finally after more than a year of turmoil, we got our final approval and our mortgage was approved to close in late October. Chase bank had recently undergone some huge losses in the market and the media was feeding the flames of economic turmoil. As I was getting into my car to drive to the bank to get a check for our down payment which we worked pretty hard to come up with, my mortgage guy called to tell me to hold on for a minute, Chase bank is running slow today. 3 hours later, as I was about to pull into the title company to close this loan, Chase Bank pulled off every single mortgage on the table to reassess the loans it was giving, because they just got a bail out. Our loan was sent for reappraisal, and so on.

Later into November, Chase bank declined our loan, after we got 3 final approvals. Why, they never told us. We let the new year come and go, and as we ran my credit again to start all over, an old cell phone bill from 5 or 6 years ago shows up. $395 in collection status. Apparently the old cell phone I had with another company forgot to auto deduct my final payment from my account and I never knew about it. It took my credit score from a 595 [barely the minimum requirement for an FHA loan] to a 523 [no where near the minimum requirement]. I paid off the account immediately, but we couldn't clear the credit without a letter of satisfaction. To this day, I still don't have one, so every month this debt sits on my credit the worse my score gets. So I have zero debt on my record with the exception of my car, a small limit credit card with no balance, and some small medical stuff.

Now I have to start picking off each one of these medical bills that should have been taken care of by my insurance years ago, but now that I am not insured by that company or what not, when they resubmit my claims, they are rejected.

So I have been in this vicious circle for over a year. I make headway, there is a setback, I make headway again, then another setback. Jenn and I have contemplated moving and going in a different direction. Maybe move into a new house. We explored that option, but that fell through too. We have talked about moving out of state, but we decided against it.

This whole situation is even further complicated by a call I got last night. It was one of my landlords. She wanted to know if I was going to be home. Yes I was. She said her husband was going to stop over. Great. What for? The tone in her voice leads me to beleive that it isn't a good thing considering the news I got earlier in the day regarding the financing for the condo was not good. So she says that he is going to stop by to "talk". That is never a good thing. When they want to "talk". So he came over and got the paperwork he requested, and then asked me about how Jenn was doing. You know, trying to be cool. He then asked how it was going with the neighbors. Ok, I guess, I have one old lady that complains about everything and has once hit the mutual wall we share and knocked down a photo off the wall. The neighbors on the other side stomp up and down the stairs all day. I then have someone who complained that my dog crapped in their yard, and they said that my dog crapped all over the place, but they failed to mention that it was literally 7 seconds after the snow melted and I had not gotten out there to clean it all up, but I quickly did so. I also clean up his poop every day now too, so there won't be that build up. Well low and behold this morning, there was a crap in my yard that was not from my dog. Of course when the landlord came over he saw that, and said, this is all from him today? No, my dogs lead only goes this far, and as you can see, its all clean up tp this point. He was satisifed with my explaination and told him I will clean this other dog's crap and take note if it all shows up again, and call him if it call comes back. He then said that they are complaining about the contant knocking at "all hours" of the day.

What the hell does that mean? Knocking at all hours? Ok, here is my day. I wake up at 7am everyday. I am out the door before 10:15am everyday at the latest. Jenn wakes up around 9am, eats breakfast and goes to school. After Jenn goes to school and the house is empty with the exceptoin of the cats and dog that is caged from 1 to around 7 or so when I get home. Then I eat, Jenn gets home, then we are in bed between 10 and 11. What does knocking mean? Because if just by living in my condo I am creating noise that is not to your liking, shut the hell up. Seriously. Shut up.

I have never once complained about the constant running up and down the stairs from my neighbors, or how they have someone knocking on their door for an hour one morning at 6:30am until 7:30am. Or how the old lady has not picked up after her dog in not only the front yards, but also the back yard. I just mind my own business and try not to make too many waves.

But now that my landlord said they are sending him the "file" the association has on the list of complaints on me and my family, it is making me curious as to what it could be. What is it that makes people want to complain? Is it that my wife and I are young and are not home? Is it that I look like an easy target? Is it that I have a 7 year old that doesn't know how to exactly walk up and down the stairs with grace? Is it that I had 5 girls over the other weekend for a sleep over? Is it that you don't like my dog and you are looking for a reason to complain, because you now cannot control your dog? What is it? Tell me?

I called Jenn who is away and let her know about the visit with the landlords. She was pissed. We never so much as complain about anything. After a while we both came to the conclusion that this is final straw that is going to break my very weak back. We can't get financed for this place. Around every corner something isn't right and it holds up the process. I have been putting off getting a new car for fear that it might mess with my credit too much. I have a sinking feeling about everytime my landlord calls for anything. Sometimes she just wants to chat, which I am cool with, but a part of me feels like people think I am just a punk kid who tells you what you want to hear to shut you up.

So do I move? Maybe. Do I start to complain back? Maybe. Do I just shut up and keep doing what I am doing? Maybe.

There is no clear path and that is what is driving me more nuts than anything else.

This is not a whoa is me story. There are other people out there who have it worse than I, but this is just a catharsis. A way to get it out and vent quietly rather than acting irrational and writing seething letters to each one of my neighbors and then sending one to the condo association. A flaming bag of dog shit could come in handy right now.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Get me a sharp knife, this isn't going to be a cry for help thing!

So I'm sitting in a movie theater. I have 5 very excited and very loud girls. Their ages range from age 7 to 10. Audrey, the guest of honor was just ushered to her seat by the staff of our local Regal Cinemas. Now as the commercials roll on the screen, the lights are starting to dim, the butter on the popcorn stands out just a little bit more, and the trailers start for the upcoming movies.

The snack fairey is yet to show, but I'm told she will be here soon.

Just before we got our reserved seats for the show, [Race to Witch Mountain] we took a behind the scenes your of the projection rooms. We got to see how movies are projected onto the silver screen. We saw how the movies get delivered in big orange cases in several small reels. They are then put together to make one huge reel. It then actually lays on its side and moved through the projector that way.

Anyway, we saw the movie. The girls sat still for about 3 minutes before they started to fidget.

After the movie, back to the house we went. The dinner menu was simple. Pizza. But not that domino's shit. We made our own mini pizzas. It was fun, interactive, and kept the kids occupied. The recipe is simple. English muffin, pizza sauce, cheese, and your topping of choice. We used pepperoni. 12 minutes in the oven, and BAM, instant pizza. The kids loved them.

Audrey opened her presents. It was a great mix of clothes and cool things to do.

Now, the next portion of the evening is still causing controversy to this day. We played an very very intense game of mouse trap. The girls split themselves up into 2 teams. Green and Blue. Now for those who don't know the premise of mouse trap. The game piece is a mouse. As you play, you built a large, elaborate, and utterly useless mouse trap. The idea is to trap your opponents mouse. Now an hour into the game and we were still trying to trap some mouses. I mean at one point kids were yelling, screaming, singing, and dancing, all to get a plastic mouse trapped by the over elaborate mouse trap. Because the game went on for so long, a clear winner was never determined.

Once the game ended, I cleaned it up, while Jenn doled out cake in the kitchen. As I was cleaning it all up, I realized that I must play this game with some friends, as a drinking game. I think it would rock. Look for a blog in the future to see how that turns out.

Cake and ice cream went more smoothly than I thought. Aside from the constant whining about who gets what color plate, it was uneventful.

So now its 11:10pm, and high school musical 3 is playing, and the ladies are spread out on the floor with comforters, pillows, stuffed animals, sleeping bags, and hopefully closed eyelids.

In the end, I think I bit off more than I could chew and its going rather well. I am learning from this whole experience. I have learned that sugar equals 93 octane gasoline in a highly tuned engine, alcohol is almost an necesity, and that sleep is over rated to a 7 year old.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

What does getting a free phone mean to a cellphone company?

I want to just shed a little insight to the mobile telecommunications. When people come in and want to buy a phone, or start a new line of service with [enter your cell phone company's name here] they all want the same thing. A free phone. They don't want to pay for anything. So what always happens is that they get their free phone and then walk out the door. They are fine for a little while, but after a year or so, they start to see the limitations of the free phone. They walk back in and ask if they can get a new phone. I say sure. I give them an average price of $199.99 for the phone. They then ask, but the paper said that its only $19.99, why don't I get that price. So then I tell them why they don't.

When you came in and got service with [insert phone company's name here] you signed an agreement with us to be our customer for the next 24 months. As a result if this agreement we have you a great price on the phone. That price was $0.00. We gave you $199.99 off the phone when you signed up. Now you are here 12 months in, and realized that maybe this phone is too limited. And you want a $249.99 phone for $19.99. But you forgot to figure out that, when we gained you as a customer we lost $200.00. You signed up for a $39.99 price plan, so using simple math, we the cell phone company broke even 5 months after you signed up. So now [enter your phone company name here] is up $280.00, and now you want us to reach into our pockets after a year and give all of that back to you less $50.00? Would you do that? I sure as hell wouldn't. You've been with us for 12 months, and if we did that, we only made $50.00? I'm sorry but no.

So now you know how the cell phone business works. Next time you walk into your store and demand a free phone, think about the repurcissions. That company isn't going to give you a thing! They can't afford it. A little hint. They aren't lieing when they tell you that the full retai price of the phone is the exact cost of what the cell company pays to get that device on the shelves.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Time Warner can suck my ass

Cable companies and Telephone [land lines] have us by the balls, and yet we go through out our day unaware that there is a gouging game going on! I have ZERO choice as to whom provides me my cable service. So I am stuck paying a company who is unreliable. My cable modem has gone out 3 times in 3 months and I am tired with the hassle that goes along with getting another one. I have to drive out there and get a new one.

Anyway, this post was not supposed to be a bitchy blog about how Time Warner sucks ass!

This blog is supposed to be a happy blog about how awesome my morning was.

But now it seems as though Time Warner has put me in a bad mood and my awesome blog has faded away. Thanks to my reliable BlackBerry and the network behind it, I was able to use it to get online and post this one tiny snipet.

Its 155 BPM and about 14.6 weeks old.

Baby Heartbeat
Baby Heartbeat.amr
Hosted by eSnips

Friday, March 6, 2009

Couldn't have said it myself

So over the last few days this week, Jules at Just Jules and I have chimed in on the economic crisis. Well, there is a new comer to the argument.

It's not only hilarious, but its all true too!


7 and counting

I'm sitting in a corner of a bookstore. The scent of coffee hangs in the air. It isn't the scent of the stuff you brew at the office, but the richness, and the roast of the beans hang in the air so thick, you can taste the hints of chocolate, the sun drenched coffee beans from a southern mountain side from Columbia.

I started to read my book about the CIA last night, once things calmed down a bit. Today, after my meeting, I decided to grab the other, more escaping novel I have been reading, and head down to Borders. I found a quiet corner and opened it and started to read.

I found it hard to concentrate on reading because every time something was mentioned about this particular character's childhood, I started to wax nostalgic about my own child's blossoming childhood.

All morning I have been getting photos sent to me from Audrey's baby book. I could close my eyes right now and see her chubby cheeks all bunched up in her smile. I can see her eyes making the shape of moons as she smiled. I can still hear her little giggle. Audrey was a happy baby. It's amazing to watch her grow up and become the little girl she is today. Happy. Content. Curious.

Yesterday as she strapped on her apron to get to making cupcakes, I noticed that she is growing up right before my eyes. Jenn often jokes that we need to stop feeding her and put a heavy book on her head to get her to stop growing.

By the way, as I sit here punching out this blog on my BlackBerry, I am watching a woman pitch a cosmetic line to a woman and her older mother. It seems like its Avon or something. I'm not sure it Mary Kay, but the sales woman is pitching skin care products she obviously isn't using, and if she is, she shouldn't say that she is, because the bags under her eyes are so big, I could use them to pack for a 2 week vacation.

Anyway, sitting her thinking about Audrey energizes me. I am ready to work today. Let's hope the rest of the team is ready to work as well.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Pre-Birthday preparations.

Waking up at 7am has become more of a routine as of late. On the days I work, the alarm goes off at 7am. I never want to get up. Pulling myself out of bed is much like trying to lift a 7,000 pound slab on concrete. Why is it that when you need to get up, your body throws a fit, like trying to get a cat to take a bath. On my off days I shoot out of sleep 5 minutes before the alarm goes off. I stare at the BlackBerry with disdain. I am still convinced that the BlackBerry does it on purpose. It goes off and right when I open my eyes to turn it off, it turns off and sits there like it didn't do anything. It's the electronic equivalent to ding dong ditch.

Today was looking to be a full day. The wife and I had a date with Costco. With Jenn starting to feel better, it was time to restock the shelves of our empty fridge. When we really get low on anything, like eggs, chocolate syrup, dog food, snacks, and pretty much anything, the store we like to go to is Costco. It's probably the best wholesale club on the planet. It's like going to whole foods instead of the regular grocery store, except they sell everything in 20's.

So 7am is here, I stare at the damn BlackBerry and do the morning routine. Walk into Audrey's room, wake her up, and walk down stairs to get the pot of coffee going. I need to start to set it up at night and have it automatically brew using the handy dandy timer. But then again, making coffee is just what I do in the morning. I will brew the coffee, and while it's brewing, pack Audrey's lunch. It's just what I do. Unexplainable. If I wanted to, I could do ALL of this the night before, but my penchant for procrastination is insatiable.

So Audrey dressed, coffee brewed, lunch packed, and dog leashed, it was time to get into the car and get to school. It wasn't too cold this morning so the breeze didn't bite like it normally does, and Audrey did not have the need to wear pants under her jumper for school.

So once child was safely in school, it was time to start the rest of the day. Jenn and I had a great night. Its just what happens when your pregnant wife is feeling better for the first time in 2 months. She was giggling, and flirting. It was totally awesome! It was totally better than the lethargic mess that has been my wife. I felt so bad for her these past few months and taking care of her and the house is a full time job. Stay at home moms, you are all super heros.

As I get home, Jenn is still sleeping soundly. I had an interesting conversation with my ex on the BlackBerry, and I have found out that she is now a follower on my blog. It was interesting. She had good things to say about the blog, which I find flattering. There is another epilogue to that whole story, but that is probably another blog, if I get around to writing it. Anyway, I had this conversation almost all morning until Jenn woke up.

Now Jenn waking up starts at about 9:30am and goes until about 11:30-ish. Jenn has never been a morning person. Ever since high school, Jenn doesn't get up in the morning. So I heard the foot steps to the bathroom upstairs, and this is when I start to wind up. I finish the blog I might be writing that morning, or I make my breakfast if I haven't eaten. The toilet flushes and the TV turns on, where Jenn dozes for a while. I never mind this. Her morning routine, however slower it might be from my own, it so consistent, you can set your watch to it. It's about 11:30am or half way through Vegas on TNT when Jenn ventures downstairs. She is always greeted by Freckles if I am home and me, usaully sitting in my chair with the laptop on my lap, usually punching out a blog.

She sits on the couch, and wakes up some more. Really, this is amazing to watch. She'll eat breakfast and then she's ready. 9:30-11:30-ish. Clock work I tell ya!

Today we needed to get to Costco. We only had until about 2:30pm-ish to get all of our running around done before the school day ends. It was noon as we got out the door and off to Costco.

I always love trips to the store with Jenn. I am like that kid that can't stop touching stuff, and she is the mother chasing me telling me to behave. Those are our roles in the store. When Audrey is with me, there are two of us. I swear one day I will give her stroke. There is always one place I find myself quiet and out of trouble in Costco.

What is it about a table of books that will get me to sit still for 5 minutes and just look. I ended up buying a book about the CIA. There were 2 books that I wanted, but I decided between the Reader or a book about the Darling Years of the CIA. The CIA won that battle.

$233.00 later we left Costco and off to Target we went to shop for Audrey's birthday on the 6th [tomorrow]. $100.00 later we were through shopping for Audrey's birthday. She wanted to take cupcakes to school for her birthday so that was our plan for the rest of the day. Bake cupcakes. I realized she didn't have an apron, so we decided to get Audrey and take her to get an apron so she could cook with me. We called it an early birthday present. There is something about a child in an apron that is so damn cute, but I found the PERFECT apron for her.

So once we got home, Jenn couldn't hang around for baking fun because she had to go to school. So I let Audrey do all of it. Here is a slide show of our afternoon cooking.

There were a ton of mistakes we made. The first batch of batter, the one we have all the photos with, was mixed wrong. I couldn't put my finger on it, but the batter wasn't rising when it was baked. So we ran out and made more with another box. That one really tasted bad so I looked at the box for further instructions. That's when it hit me. The box said 1 1/3 cups of water and I measured it out at 1 3/4 cups of water. There was too much water. The third and final box of mix was the one that worked the best. Those are the cupcakes you see her frosting. Leave it to me to mess up not one batch, but 2 batches.

After making cupcakes, we didn't want to waste a good night, so we took our hyper active dog out for a nice little walk in the mild winter evening [to prove he hasn't been on a walk in a while, Freckles is passed out on the couch right now, he never is passed out this time of night].

After a walk I asked Audrey what she wanted for dinner. She said she wanted Steak and Mac n Cheese. Usually I would jump at the chance to make a steak, we didn't get any at Costco, and I wasn't going to take her out tonight. So I asked her to pick something else. She chose Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Fantastic. Easy! She ate, talked to her Mom for a bit on the phone, and off to bed she went. She has a big day tomorrow. It's not everyday you get a year older.

So the night is over, I am beat, and I have done some laundry, cleaned the kitchen from our escapades, and now I'm drinking a nice STIFF drink. I haven't been this productive at home in a very long time. It was wonderful. These are things you miss when you are living in the fast lane.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Not the blog I was going to post

This is not the blog I planned on posting today, but a set of circumstances were set into motion that I could not let pass without commenting, or making a commentary on the ills of our strange world.

My daughter is involved with competitive cheer leading. It's an activity she really enjoys and her life in enriched by this activity, which is what I like. Besides developing herself socially, she is also developing physically, and it keeps her in shape and social which is what I love. Wednesdays have become the day that Audrey and I get to spend together with just she and I.

I have made comments before on this blog what it is like to be at cheer practice. The cheer mom's that are living through their children, the constant critiquing of all their practices, but nothing prepared me for the experience that happened today.

Audrey and I walked through the door about 10 minutes before practice to a smell that is all together different. To describe it, I would to tell you; to get a replica of this smell is to walk through the hospice ward of your local nursing home. The smell was revolting. Much like rotting flesh or the smell of a dead body that was left in a home after a week. It permeates you clothing, concrete, and pretty much anything else that you could think of. It was almost an instant eye watering.

I walked down the hall to what I affectionately call the observation deck. Its a set of windows that looks into the gym so we can watch, and not interfere with practice. We can see progress, and not try and coach from the bleachers. The smell had not made its way towards the observation deck, so I figured it was a problem with the plumbing or something and decided that the smell was only by the door, near the bathroom. I'm sure coach had it taken care of. As more and more parents showed up, the smell just got worse and more concentrated. We all started to talk about the smell. We all had our theories as to what the smell was, but as we sat there I got more and more curious. I noticed that there was a girl missing from Audrey's team. I turned to one of the other moms and said that I was going to go look for the source of that smell, seeing as it was getting worse and coach seemed not to care about what it was.

As girls came back and forth from the gym to the locker room it just wafted the smell around. I looked into the office. Didn't see anything. I looked in the lobby. Didn't see anything. I looked in the waiting room off the lobby. Didn't see anything. So I decided to go outside and get a breath of fresh air. I looked back in the door to find the mom I was sitting next to also looking around. She checked the bathroom as I was walking back into the building. I decided to look back into the waiting room and noticed the entire thing was empty with the exception of another mom and her son playing on the floor, but they were talking to someone. I poked my head in and looked all the way inside and noticed the missing girl from Audrey's team.

She sat there and looked up with her big eyes, shrink wrapped with tears. The smell was all the more pungent now, and I fought my gag reflex. I turned back to the mom with me and said that this poor girl pooped herself. The smell was not that of healthy poop. It was the smell of the type you get when you are sick beyond belief. Upon further review I could see the pooling in this poor girl's chair.

I text messaged one of the coaches in the other room and told him where the source of the smell was. They all had no idea that this poor girl was sitting in the waiting room with a pair of pants and a plastic chair, full of human excrement. The coach phoned her parents. They were sending her sister. This poor girl couldn't wait for anyone, she needed to get cleaned up. I told her coach that I would clean her up, but a male, in a bathroom with a little girl, that needs to be stripped down and cleaned up, would probably not be a good idea. So another mom offered, but by the time we all got organized, her sister had arrived. She got all cleaned up and about 30 minutes later they left discreetly as the team kept practicing. They never knew that their team mate had totally disqualified herself. They all smelled it in the hallway, but thanks to some quick thinking parents and coaches, they never knew who it was.

Now I feel terrible for this girl. As I sit and think about how this whole thing played out, my feelings of pity for this girl is quickly turning into anger at this child's parents.

I spoke about this with some of the other team moms and come to find out, this poor child is 1 of 10 children in her household. She and her sister [whom is also on my daughter's team] were adopted by this family. I am not sure, but I also think a majority of the children in this household were adopted. Now I always have respect for a family who adopts, but as I dig into this situation, it seems to be that the mother and father are using the foster care and adoption system to live off of [read: Obama's base].

What mother in their right mind would allow their child to go to cheer practice/school/out of the house if they are sick? What parent in their right mind would get a call from a cheer coach saying their child has pooped themselves at practice and send a 17 year old to clean up the mess, let alone a 17 year old who had just gotten out of the hospital because she lost feeling in her legs after a cheer practice herself without explanation?

These parents need to be smacked. They are unemployed and taking government assistance to care for children that need a good home and not one that is using them.

I feel for these children. I only know 3 of them out of the 10, and these girls just want to be loved. Their parents got them involved in cheer to help develop them socially because the situation they were coming out of was abusive. Their development was severely retarded. I am not saying retarded in the sense that they have mental retardation issues, I say retarded as in, this girl is 6, but has the mental capacity for a 2-3 year old. She has come a long way in a year, but to have a 17 year old taking these girls to and from practice is bullshit. The parents need to be there to support their children. They are not working so to say they don't have the time, or that they are at work is not an excuse.

We as a society allow this to happen. It's the mentality that everyone should be in the same playing field [read: socialist]. We want the poor to not be poor, and we want the rich to share what they have worked for. Because of this we allow ignorant and opportunistic people the ability to adopt more and more children or give birth to more and more children who don't have the capability to care for these kids properly. Welfare keeps these families afloat. These people are holding onto a life raft without kicking their feet to keep themselves afloat.

I don't know about you, but I want my life raft back. Who knows when I might need it myself.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Power of a BlackBerry

It is no secret that I talk about BlackBerry's a lot. I sell these things all day long. It's hard not to fall in love with something that is so simple to use, yet it can do so much.

The in 'biz' the BlackBerry has gained a moniker that is synonymous with drug addiction. The 'Crack' Berry. Crack is the most addictive drug in the world. After one hit, I am told, you can't wait to get another. You would take a dollar from a dude just to watch you jerk off to get enough scratch to get another hit.

Using a BlackBerry is nothing different. Once you unleash the fury of organization and communication this device can do for you, putting it down becomes an impossibility. With the advent of mp3 players, video players, ringtones, and voice recorders, the BlackBerry becomes an all in one stop for not only you personal productivity [read: e-mail and internet access] but also the hub of your life for entertainment.

My best friend Pat decided that after almost a year of having the world at his finger tips, he needed to put it down. Like me, he used his BlackBerry for everything. After moving out of his rental agreement with some roommates, he finds himself homeless, but employed. In an effort to save money faster he is couch hopping with friends he activated an old phone that wasn't a BlackBerry to save the $30 a month he was paying to have that device.

After about 2 weeks without his BlackBerry, Pat would call and ask if his old phone can do [insert any feature he loved about his BlackBerry] and the answer would be, every time, no. Everyday I would text Pat, he would tell me how much he was missing his BlackBerry. He missed the BlackBerry messenger conversations, plethora of custom ringtones, and everything else that went along with his days. He didn't like the plainness of just text messaging someone, and last night when he came over, he missed 30 important e-mails from family members who have become accustomed to communicating via e-mail. In less than 2 weeks, Pat went from being completely in touch and mobile, to tethered to a computer on my couch. With him not having a set place to stay right now, he can't go a week without e-mail and still be in touch with his family and friends.

Today, after much deliberation, Pat decided to come see me at the store and re-activate he BlackBerry. He made the comment to me. Quitting drinking is easier to do than putting down a BlackBerry.

There is a reason BlackBerry, unit for unit sells 10x faster than any other Smart phone or iPhone. They are that awesome.

My BlackBerry made it possible to keep tabs on my blog today. Turns out Jules over at Just Jules was inspired by a recent blog posting of mine, so too commented on the media's over exaggeration of the financial crisis. I was able to read her comments to me about my post, and then check out her blog to read her post on the subject. I was completely flattered to see that she quoted me in her post and deeply appreciate that she linked back! Again, being connected is everything. I have used my BlackBerry for work, and I have used it for personal use. I much prefer it for personal use. I often post entire blogs from my BlackBerry. Not this one today. I decided to use a full computer. My BlackBerry is worn out from our busy day.

Monday, March 2, 2009


Ok, I got only one person that took the challenge. Julie over at Knit People Knit made of random facts up and put them up. Go check it out here.

I also have a few blog readers as friends on FaceBook now. Its so cool! Making friends outside my own little world and reaching out. God I love to network!

Other than that, I am too tired to make longer coherent thoughts. So off to bed I go!

Peace out ninjas!

Change the Record

I am just plain irritated. I am sick and tired of hearing the same broken record over and over again from people. By people I mean everyone. I have yet to hear anything new come out of anyone's mouth in a really long time.

I just want people to shut the hell up. The world isn't going to end! This economic crisis is not going to last forever. It will, if you allow yourself to get brainwashed by the media. For all of you people out there worrying about what stores are closing down and things like that. Get over it. It will happen. Sure, Bear Stearns was around for a long time. But they failed because they had very poor business plans. Their business model didn't count on the flow of money to stop. Their business model didn't count on the fact that eventually the money they were floating between lines of credit would eventually come due. Circuit City was just under horrible management.

All those people losing their houses. Too bad. What makes you think you could take cash out of your home, and only pay interest on it for the next 5 years, and then NOT have to pay it back eventually. These financial tools that are given to us are to be used with responsibility. Most of America used them responsibly. The stupid people used them with stupidity, and maxed it all out, knowing that if their payments went above what they are paying now, then they are screwed. Now look what happened. You're houseless, calling into talk radio shows and crying, and telling everyone how the banks "screwed you". You screwed you. Not the banks.

This whoa is me attitude is inescapable these days. There are friends and co-workers who are always talking about something that's horrible in their lives. My parents hate me, or my job sucks, or my life is soo hard. Get over it. If your parents hated you, then you would have been drowned in the bath tub shortly after birth, if it even got that far. If you honestly think your parents hate you, then stop going home to visit. If they call you and ask where you are, then you know they don't hate you. Once you figure that out, then you can stop bitching about it. If you actually go home and visit and they bitch about something. Get over it. Their world isn't going to stop revolving because you're home.

If you job sucks the quit. Stop you bitching and quit. If you hate your job, then the people in that job probably hate you. I work in an industry where the average sales rep makes a good living. The better ones make more. But the median age is 26. So now you have a bunch of young professionals who make decent money, drive nice cars, and complain about everything, because they have finacial success at a young age. I think people need to struggle a little before they make a decent living. I paid my dues working for free in radio for a year and a half before they started paying me minimum wage.

If your life is SOO hard. Find help. Your friends, they are not therapists. They make you feel better, but ultimatly they tell you what you want to hear. If they told you something that actually challenged you, then you would stop calling. Stop being so self centered and calling them to vent about your day and call a therapist. If you think seeing a therapist is a waste of time, you have a decision to make. To suck it up and move on and learn from what you have experienced, or watch girl inturrupted and get some ideas. There is a cutter in there, there is a girl who hangs yourself. Just stop bothering me with your same stupid broken record. I was there in the beginning and I have told you how I feel. My posistions have not changed, and your bitching and moaning have not changed, even if you have stopped bitching directly to me. I can still hear that broken record. My tolerence for bullshit is waining. Get over yourself and move on. I have said it before and I continue to say this.

Now before you blow up my comment box, cell phone, and FaceBook accounts, let me tell you this. If you are reading this, and in the back of your mind you are wondering, is he talking about me. Then the answer is yes. Don't ask me, are you talking about me? Yes! I am talking about you! If you don't like what you are reading, then stop.