Saturday, June 28, 2008

Quick Trip to SC

I am not sure if I had mentioned this, but, Chesapeake, Va is covered in smoke from fires in NC and the Great Dismal Swamp. Whenever the wind blows from the South or South East, we get covered in thick smoke.

This morning was pretty bad.

Cindy reported that she could see smoke inside out local Sams Club. And, visibility was about a block when she was driving home. Needless to say, our clothes have that "fireplace" smell to them.

So it was awesome getting into the car and driving down 95. Without the kids, it was a rather uneventful ride. We talked, listened to Dave's podcast, and enjoyed the peace that comes with not having two kids carrying on in the back seat.

The girls have been down in SC with Grandma and Grandpa. Mom must have told them how to call us, because we would get calls starting at 7:00 in the morning. I had to tell them to not call until 7:30, as we were sleeping in just a bit longer than normal. Of course, Megan calls at 6:50 and asks if we could call her back at 7:30. Thanks.

We got into Lexington around 6:00 pm and had dinner and watched the home movies that were shot over the week. It looks like they had a really fun time at Frankie's Fun Park and Saluda Shoals Splash Playground.

Tommorrow, we will turn around and drive back up 95. It might not be as peaceful, but, I am glad we are all back together again.

Little Man Syndrome, Revisited

Last month I posted about LMS in regards to the face of current rising gas prices. Here in Virginia, 3 public utilities have announced that they are raising their price of service as much as 18% - Including Gas, Electricity and Garbage collection. Of the three, Garbage Collection would seem to be reasonable and expected.

Again, my cynical side does not believe that this is a matter that can be solved politically, but the free market will drive a solution (people will reduce their demand).

But, more importantly, what are you doing to insulate you and your family from these changes? Budget is an ugly word in most households. Some of us do a budget in our heads. But, a budget could be the single best communication instrument with your spouse that you have. It is a means of putting down on paper, on purpose, what we value. It is a contract with your spouse that you will not spend what is not on the budget. And don't forget to budget your "blow" account – this is money that you know is just going to get spent. And if you have a Starbucks vice, figure out how much you spend and work some of that into the budget.

Again, I point you to Dave Ramsey's site: The Quickie Budget will help get you going, and the Monthly Cash Flow Plan is really detailed (seriously, only Bill Gates has enough for this one). Follow the instructions and stick with it for about three months. And don't be afraid to fine tune the budget as you go through the month – just make sure you and your spouse agree on the changes.

Blessings!

Monday, June 23, 2008

My Ballerina



This past Saturday was Academie de Ballet's dance recital. Megan's group did a "cowboy" rendition of a well known hymn. I was impressed, but, I have to admit that I was a bit biased. I have known several of the girls that have gone to this particular studio, and I feel blessed that it is just down the street from us.





Sunday, June 22, 2008

A Few Years Ago

It just seems like it was yesterday that this picture was made.

Monday, June 09, 2008

If You Only Knew

I am enjoying a few minutes of quiet in the house. I have been bucking the budget around as we are gearing up for the next baby steps, retirement and college savings. I have my Rhapsody player going and I threw on the CCM (Contemporary Christian Channel). I lucked out because they threw in the Randy Travis song, If You Only Knew. All of a sudden, I hear this really beautiful voice that I am not familiar with and is definitely not the fluff that you get with mainstream CCM (either hyper-poppy or gangsta-rap wanna be).

By my grandfather's bed, my mother is reading,
Psalm 62, God is our refuge,
My grandfather stirs, could it be,
He is waking, one final time,
He has something to say,

If you only knew what lies awaiting
If you could only see what I can see
If you could only hear the music playing
The angels singing sweet victory
Oh, if you only knew, if you only knew,
How much he loves you

The next song up was the Newsboys. Oh well.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

IAMNOWHERE

Depending on how you read it, you're either lost, or you have just arrived.

Dialated


The wonderful trip to the eye doctor, where, afterwards for two hours, I get to look like a Japanese Anime Character with big, round, dialated pupils.
During the evening, I like to then go out and watch car lights pass by while listening to Pink Flloyd's Dark Side of the Moon album. Very Tripy.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Weighing In

Last night was my second weigh-in, and I am back on the Weight Watchers plan. A few years back, I topped the scales at around 260. I wanted to blame the weight on being a stress eater, but, truth time here: I just like to eat. Even after getting down to 195, I still like to eat. Weight Watchers helped me to know how much I can eat and still maintain that weight. Of course, I fall into the trap of figuring out a meal that meets my points requirements and then I have that combination: every day!

Now that I've added 20 pounds to the frame it's time to deal with 20 (instead of forty, or sixty). The hardest part was going in last week – being a lifetime member who is a repeat offender. That was my pride getting in the "weigh" (sorry). Last night's saw 2 pounds off – so I am heading in the right direction. And, 2 pounds per week is "safe," but I will not count on that number for each week.

Todd, I am right there with you!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Your All Clear Kid!


My Ebay glasses arrived today: three remained in mint condition, but alas, Darth Vader did not survive the transit. Apparently, the Rebellion attacked the glass using snub fighters. Navigating along the surface of the glass,they fired a proton torpedo into a drinking port approximately two centimeters wide. Prior to the sortie, one pilot proclaimed the task to be impossible. But new comer Luke Skywalker pointed out that it wasn't impossible, bragging that he used to bullseye "Shot Glasses" back home.

Flux Capacitor


Larry, from Mobile Appliance Repair, came back to the house today to repair our AC. I like Larry. We had him over this past week to fix our Ice Maker, and before that, our stove and one other time our Clothes washer. He is a real standup guy and I enjoyed swapping stories with him from our military days: we both worked on aircraft.


The problem with the AC was that capacitor went Tango Uniform, or, in civilian terms, "Tore Up" (yes, I know there is more colorful translation, but, my wife reads this). The top of the cylinder is supposed to be flat, and not convex. Personally, I blame the shoddy construction facility in Mexico were this was assembled. But, I can not prove that.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Hot!

We came home last night to the Air Conditioning being out! It was a long hot night that turned into a long hot day. I can honestly say I am looking forward to the cool that will be afforded by my workspace.