Friday, December 31, 2004

goodbye, farewell and amen.....

That's the title to the last episode of one of my favorite TV shows of all time, MASH. (It's tied with Seinfeld for #1; can't put one in front of the other.) And it's a fitting title for today as we say goodbye to 2004.

As you look back on 2004, remember the good things that happened. Sometimes the memories from bad and unfortunate times seem to overshadow the good times; I'm guilty of that myself. Even if 2004 wasn't a particularly great year, I'm sure a few good things happened to you. Here's my brief list:

From a personal standpoint, my favorite memories are the family gatherings we had, the holidays and our vacation with the Moffitts.

I've seen our daughters grow more beautiful over the past 12 months.

I started blogging.

I started reading for pleasure.

My business year started out slow, but ended up much better than anticipated.

So Happy New Year to you! May 2005 bring you many blessings.....

Thursday, December 30, 2004

ice is nice, but don't see unless it's free.....

We saw "Ice" at Opryland last night. Here's the summary - one million pounds of ice is sculpted into shapes ranging from snowmen to a life-size nativity scene, and it's kept in 16 degree rooms. Very impressive, but it's so cold (even with the lovely BellSouth parkas they provide at the door) that you don't want to stay too long. We were in there between 8-10 minutes. Had the tickets not been free, we would have spent $70 for the tickets, or roughly $1.45 per minute per person. There were 6 of us - the bride, Meg, Cole (that boy), Sara, Chloe (a.k.a. Charley, Chauncey, Clovis, Shallow, etc.) and myself. We all took at least one turn on the ice slides, my favorite part. I think we actually spent more time in the gift shop than we did in the ice exhibit.

Once we got outside, we had a decision to make - do we go see the lights in Opryland Hotel, or do we go shopping at Opry Mills? It was unanimous - we hit the mall. Yes, we're good Americans, attempting to help the economy any way we can.

Following the mall excursion, we decided to get a snack. We went into one of the nastiest McDonald's I'd ever seen. Had there not been a cheerleader competition at Opryland, and all of them hadn't been clogging up the lines in the food court, we would have gotten something to eat there. However, we were sort of stuck. The average service time on the register said 59 seconds - I think it should have been 59 minutes. When we did finally get our food, we all had a good time. McDonalds fries with a hot fudge sundae really hit the spot.

My opinion is that if you live in the Nashville area and can get free tickets for "Ice", it can't hurt to go. However, if you just have to go, be prepared to shell out $14 for adult tickets and $7 for kids under 12 (maybe 10). Also, if you want your outfit to coordinate with the parkas (not that anyone in our family was concerned, wink-wink), wear something that works well with electric blue.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

good to know.....

Ever feel a certain way about something and feel like you're the only one who feels that way? (Yeah, too many feels, but you're not having to pay for this, so what do you care?) And when you express yourself on that topic or subject, people look at you like you belong in a mental institution? Every once in awhile you find someone who feels the same way you do about this particular subject, and you realize that it's not just you.

We have a dog at our house, and his name is Wally. Notice, I said that we have a dog at our house, not "I have a dog." I used to think that I was a dog-lover. I'd see other people with a dog, and they'd look so happy to have a faithful companion. The owner would throw a ball or a stick, and the dog would retrieve it, tail wagging and ready to do it all over again. Seeing things like this, it makes you want a dog. Growing up, I had very bad alergies and therefore could never have a pet (other than fish), and I really thought I was missing out on something.

When I moved to Nashville, I really wanted a dog. But because I was on the road about 1-2 weeks a month, it just wasn't going to work out. So I got a cat. They're more self-reliant, and I thought it would be a good alternative. Bad idea. The first one I had ended up running away (a little too self-reliant), and the other one developed lukemia and died right after the bride and I met.

When we were first married, we lived in a 560-square-foot apartment - much too small for an animal, right? One day, the lady who cut our hair mentioned that a friend had a pure-bred English Bulldog who just had puppies, and was giving them away. What a deal! I'd ALWAYS wanted an English Bulldog, but they were always so expensive, so this was the perfect opportunity for us! We picked him up, brought him home and named him Radar (after Gary Burghoff's character on MASH). He had the Bulldog scrunched-up face, just like his mother. The father was obviously not a Bulldog, but probably something like a horse, because his legs grew about three inches in two weeks. When we left for work every morning, we had to pin him in the kitchen by propping our kithen table over the doorway to the kitchen. He liked to go to the bathroom at 2:00 AM, and I had to take him out. He liked to grab the bride's nightgown and tug at it as she walked through the house. He peed on the bride's pillow one night. That might have been the final nail in the coffin.

In 1999, after much begging from our daughters, we did a little more research before getting a dog this time. We decided that since we had a fenced back yard, we'd get a bigger dog. We told the girls that we'd get a dog when we got back from vacation. As we got off the interstate to go to our house, Sara, who was 4 at the time, said "Can we go get our dog tomorrow?" We ended up with a chocolate Lab, Coco, and brought her home when she was about 8 weeks old. She was a beautiful dog, and very playful. As a very young (and small) puppy, we all had alot of fun with her. However, as Coco grew, she somehow believed that she was a lap dog. At 8 months old, she weighed 53 pounds and would place her paws on the bride's shoulders whenever she went outside. All dogs, especially Labs, need alot of human interaction. Our girls are more inside-types, and because Coco was an outside dog, she didn't get the attention she needed, so she found things to do. She chewed off corners of our utility shed. She chewed through the cable wiring on the outside of the house. She liked to knock Sara down in the snow since Sara was about eye-level to her. I had to play the villain and find a new home for Coco. I wasn't too popular with my daughters for some time. We found a guy who owns a 150-acre farm with plenty of creeks and ponds about 35 east of Nashville, and now Coco is a duck hunting dog. And probably much happier, too.

This brings us to Wally. I told the girls that since our new house would have a smaller yard, we'd get them a dog after we moved, and it would be an inside dog. We decided that we'd get a dog from a local shelter, one that would obviously need a home. After several weeks of looking at dogs on the shelter's web site, we found Wally. He had been picked up wandering the streets of Clarksville, and was 1/2 Beagle and 1/2 Bassett. When we picked him up, he seemed to be the perfect dog. We brought him home, and he didn't bark at all the first 36 hours. He hasn't stopped barking and howling for the past three years. On his first trip upstairs, he toppled over a ficus tree and spread the wood chips, so we got a baby gate for the stairs. A couple of days later, he left a "present" for me behind my recliner. We finally had an invisible fence installed about 9 months later, and he's now an outside dog. As dogs go, he's probably a great one. The girls love him, and he loves them. He's very gentle and loves attention. But again, I've learned I'm not a dog person.

So I was talking to a vendor yesterday, and we got on the subject of having a dog. He said that he liked dogs, and liked to play with other people's dogs, but he didn't like having one himself. A light went off inside my head. "What's this? Another kindred spirit? Someone else who feels the same way about dog ownership as me?" He said he gave into his wife and daughter and they bought a dog. After 6 months, he told his wife that he just couldn't take it any more with the dog. And, as if on cue, he started naming off the reasons he didn't like owning a dog: the day-to-day care and responsibility, the smell, the hair, etc. As he's saying this, I'm checking things off the list, like I used to do when I collected baseball cards as a kid. I told him that I thought I was the only person on the planet who didn't want to own a dog.

It's good to know that I'm not alone when it comes to my feelings on dog ownership. Am I getting rid our Wally? No, he'll be around for awhile. But I seriously doubt that there will EVER be another dog at our house. In fact, I've given the bride SPECIFIC instructions on what to do to me if I even think about getting another dog. Let's just say that it would be very painful for me. Would she follow through with it? Probably not, but there have been days that she wouldn't have a problem with doing it.....

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

'twas 3 days after Christmas.....

Once again this year, another great Christmas! I love taking time off and just hanging out around the house, spending time with the bride and the girls. Here's a summary of the past couple of weeks:

We left for Mom and Dad's on Saturday the 18th. We'd actually planned to leave around 9:30 but didn't hit the road until 12:45 because of a HUGE problem with AT&T Wireless. Long story short - we ordered a phone for Meg for Christmas, checked it out and it was broken. We spent OVER FOUR HOURS on the phone, and finally went to pick up a new one at a local retail outlet. The bride logged most of this time. She's one of the most docile people I've ever met, but when she sternly told the rep (one of the 17 we talked two over two days) that "your customer service STINKS", I could have sworn I saw small wisps of smoke come from her ears. We had a great meal that night (fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans - my favorite) and enjoyed spending time with Mom and Dad.

On Sunday night we went to Chris and Kathy's and had dinner at their house. Seems that we always pick right up when we left off with them, like we just saw them the day before rather than months ago. The kids all love being with each other. We all watched "Desperate Housewives" together, and this was Chris' first time to see it. (I think he's hooked.) Too bad we live 300 miles from each other, or we'd get to see more of them.

The Monday before Christmas we went to Mamaw's to spend time with her. She'll be 84 in May, and still lives by herself. She doesn't cook much any more, and was excited that she had ordered a big Subway platter of sandwiches for us all. We went to pick it up, and she asked us if Subway was the kind of place where you could go in and eat. Mamaw is a very giving person, and she especially loves to give at Christmas. This year, we all went in and bought her a 32" television, and she was thrilled. Now she can really enjoy her "stories" (soap operas) in full view.

On Tuesday, we spent the morning running errands and returning things at the mall. That afternoon, we went ice skating in Bristol. This is the second or third year that the racetrack has done this. It's a small rink, and they were having problems with the ice that day. The zamboni was a John Deere lawn tractor with a zamboni attachment, and it took the guy over 30 minutes to clean the ice. However, out of the three (Meg, Sara, and myself) there was only one fall. Surprisingly enough, it wasn't me. Of course I didn't set any land speed records on the ice, either.

We left Wednesday morning drove back in rain most of the way, but we made it back before the nasty weather kicked in. Ice and snow, and we didn't even get it that bad. I really felt for the people stuck on the interstates and in the airport terminals. Thursday was spent wrapping presents and doing some around-the-house kinds of things.

Friday afternoon, I got the urge to go out and get "just one more thing" for my three girls. The whole time I'm venturing into the Cool Springs area, I'm thinking, "you're an idiot for getting into this mess at 2:30 in the afternoon on Christmas Eve!" but it wasn't too bad. I went to 4 different places before getting everything, then got back at about 4:00. We changed clothes and then went to church for the Christmas Eve service. Because of everyone's schedules this year, we didn't go to the bride's parents' house on Christmas Eve as usual, so this was our first Christmas Eve service at church since we had been married. It was nothing short of spectacular. We're so blessed to be living in this area with all the musical talent surrounding us. We found out that the guy who regularly plays keyboards on Sunday morning used to tour with Air Supply and Cher. And Billy Ray Cyrus, a fellow Peoples Church member, sang to close out the service.

So we got home after church and watched "Elf" again. Great movie. The girls got in bed, and we waited up a little before putting the Santa presents out. Meg's phone had been fully charged. We turned it on and hid it under the couch for the next morning.

While opening Santa presents, we could tell that Meg was beginning to wonder about the inequity of things. When Sara opened her aquarium, the look on Meg's face was bordering on funny. At a little before 8:00, the cell phone rang. I looked at the bride and said, "Honey what's your phone doing under the couch?" I reached under the couch and pulled it out. I said, "This isn't yours!" Meg realized it was hers and immediately squealed. The bride said, "Meg, aren't you going to answer it?" We got a few good pictures of the shock. Classic.

On Sunday we went to church that morning and then on to the bride's parents' house that evening. Jeff and Ellen have a new puppy, and Will brought Caity. Everyone ate to excess and had a great time together. It was an old tradition with a new date, and it worked out just fine.

Yesterday, my last day of vacation before coming back to work, we got Sara some fish at "Fins" in Franklin. She's really excited about her new pets - an angelfish, a mated pair of swordtails, and a molly. Last night, Sara went to a friend's house to spend the night, and the bride, Meg and I went to the mall to return some things. The crowds weren't as bad as I had anticipated, and we were able to do the exchanges.

Now it's back to normal for me. The week should be pretty laid back, so it's a good chance to clean out some files and stuff. It's good to be able to come back to work and not dread the job. It's one of the many things for which I'm very thankful. However, I'm more thankful for my family, and to be able to spend time with people I love and to have them love me back.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Merry Christmas to all.....

To all who might have wandered this way, Merry Christmas! May you find the true meaning of Christmas this season.....

Thursday, December 23, 2004

it's gotta be the east tennessee mountain air.....

My pants seem a bit tight after coming back from Mom and Dad's house. I'm not quite sure what it could be. Maybe my jeans shrunk in the washing machine and dryer. I'm sure it didn't have anything to do with the following:

chocolate covered peanut butter balls
chocolate covered coconut balls
peanut butter fudge
milk chocolate fudge
dard chocolate fudge
chex mix
m&m trail mix
chocolate covered marshmallows
moose tracks ice cream
homemade apple turnovers
sausage pinwheels
ham biscuits
potato chips
fried chicken
pecan pie
white chocolate macadamia nut cookies

No, it probably doesn't have anything to do with that stuff.....

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Merry Christmas from The Stapletons!

favorite Christmas memories.....

It seems that every Christmas instantly becomes my favorite Christmas with every passing year. With the girls growing older, every year brings something new. This year, the "mystery" has been solved by everyone in the house. Santa will still come, but it'll be different.

I love surprises at Christmas, and I especially like being the one who does the surprising. Seeing the look on someone's face when they get something they want and don't know they're getting it? Priceless.

Here's some of my favorite Christmas memories:

When I was 4, we went to my grandmother's house in Virginia on Christmas day, just like we always did when I was growing up. The great thing about Christmas in East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia is that there's a good chance for a white Christmas every year. I guess this would have been 1968. I was allowed to bring one toy on the trip with me that Santa had delivered to our house. I remember bringing this huge farm set. You remember the kind - vinyl-wrapped cardboard barn, equipped with dozens of plastic farm animals, a tractor and other stuff. The snowflakes were huge, and the snow was sticking to everything. I got out of the car, and the snow was up to my knees. True, I was four, so how high could that have been? (Even now, at my current height, how bad would that be?) We had to park up the road from my grandmother's house because we weren't sure we could get out of the driveway if we parked there. I remember having to make each step really high, while carrying my farm set by the handle in one hand and holding either Mom's or Dad's hand. I remember smiling the whole way, excited to see all this snow.

The next Christmas, all I wanted was the new Billy Blastoff toy and accessories. It was 1969, and the US had landed on the moon a few months before, so alot of the toys were space-related. I remember getting the Billy Blastoff, two different moon vehicles, and a small monitor that plugged into Billy's backpack. I took it to kingergarten and showed everyone when we got back to school.

One year, when I was about 18, my mom wrapped a big "family" present and put it under the tree. We tried to get her to give us a hint about what was in this huge package, but she wouldn't. My sisters and I were convinced that it was a computer, probably a Commodore 64. (I've got more computing power in my 3 1/2 year old Handspring Visor Platinum handheld than that computer ever thought of having.) For weeks, we anticipated playing games on our computer on Christmas morning. What was it really? An ottoman. An ugly, brown, vinyl ottoman. Have I ever mentioned that my mom can sometimes have a sick sense of humor? Yeah, we were disappointed, but it actually was funny.

There are so many more of these memories, but time won't allow me to write them all down at once. Anyone else out there have any great Christmas memories they'd like to share?

Tuesday, December 14, 2004


Meg's facing her first mid-terms as a high school student today. Algebra I and physical science. I don't envy her at all. I honestly don't remember having mid-terms in high school. Since I never did drugs, it's not that I "forgot" about ever having them; I just don't think they were required at my high school. Tests, although necessary, were never my strong suit back then. And I froze whenever I had to take them, therefore I hated them. And my parents suffered through the tests with me, mainly when the results were posted. That was always alot of fun.....

Teenagers can cause you headaches at times. The bride and I were watching one of our favorite shows, "Still Standing", last night. Bill and Judy were concerned that their 15-year-old daughter and her boyfriend were getting a little too familiar with each other. They called the other parents over to discuss the situation because they found a hickey on their daughter's neck. Turns out she and a friend gave them to each other with a vacuum cleaner so that kids at school would quit making fun of them. Yes, peer pressure can make you do weird things with household appliances.

As much as we parents think that our teenagers can be a challenge to us, can you imagine how Mary's parents felt over 2,000 years ago? I don't know this for sure, but they probably had a meeting with Joseph's parents to discuss the situation. Even after they were "clued-in" to what was about to take place, I can imagine that they still had doubts about everything. Plus, how would they handle all the gossip from their neighbors? Back then, Joseph had every right to turn his back and walk away from the whole ordeal, but he didn't. Sure, he had an angel fill him in on everything, but he still could have run off. He didn't. And what about Mary? She'd never done anything to have anyone question her morals, and now this happens.

Like so many things that happen to us in our own lives, God had a plan. I've known people who lost their job, only to have an even better one come along. Sometimes the most incredible things occur from bizarre circumstances. If you need help remembering this, just go back a couple of thousand years. But it didn't stop there. From His unusual birth all the way to His unjust death, God had a plan for His son. That plan? To get to know you, and for you to get to know Him.....

Monday, December 13, 2004

gearing up to wind down.....

You can see it on people's faces. Everyone's trying to rush to get things done before Christmas so that they can finally relax. Vendors in our industry know that almost no one buys products during the month of December, so their "sales calls" become either chat sessions or a time to drop off a Christmas gift. Our back office has all kinds of nuts, cookies and other types of food that vendors have dropped off. (We got a letter from one of our vendors that said a donation was made in our name to their company's scholarship fund. Remember George Costanza and the Human Fund? Yeah, I think so too......)

It's like there's some invisible "finish line" that people are waiting to cross. I'm no different. I'm on the last leg of the race, and almost looking over my shoulder because the most hectic part is over for me. When I leave the office Thursday afternoon, I won't be back until the 28th. And even when I get back, the office is usally pretty dead that week, so I can get caught up on things and work on getting ready for 2005.

I guess out of all the professions there are, I feel the most sorry for school teachers during this time of the year. Especially elementary school teachers. Kids aren't that focused to begin with, so when you add the anticipation of Christmas into the mix, it gets even worse.

Three more days of work after today. I can see the finish line from here.....

Friday, December 10, 2004

helpful people, they're the worst.....

Any time you're talking to someone and they start off a sentence with "I'm not trying to tell you how to do your job or anything.....", get ready to have that person tell you how to do your job.

This happened to me recently. Thankfully, this person wasn't talking to me about the job for which I get paid, but rather a job that I volunteer for at church. I called to talk about a question he had regarding this thing I volunteer for, and I explained my logic for setting things up the way I did. I knew it was coming, even though this was a phone conversation and not face-to-face. I could just feel it. Like when a quarterback tips the play at the line, looking at his primary receiver. The defense knows what's about to happen, and they adjust. So did I. When he told me that he wasn't trying to tell me how to do my job, I simply told him I'd look at everything and get back with him and everyone else involved this Sunday. Mind you, no one else has said anything else about this project.

Church staffs wonder why their church members won't volunteer for things at church. The scenario I mentioned has alot to do with it. Me? I'm thick-skinned when it comes to stuff like this, so it doesn't bother me. But some would take this as harsh criticism and vow to never volunteer again because they don't like getting their feelings hurt. Here's a clue - if you never want your feelings hurt, all you have to do it isolate yourself from the real world. The problem with isolation is that you're taking an even bigger risk - the risk that you might miss out on doing something you really enjoy......

Thursday, December 09, 2004

now it's time for Christmas.....

Our company helps sponsor LifeWay's Christmas show at the Ryman for downtown businesses every year. Susie and I always attend, and it's always a great show. This year, the show was a drama/musical called "Heirlooms", and it followed a family for four generations around Christmastime each year. Again, it was very good. Alot of great Christmas music over the past 60 years.

Following the show, the bride and I had lunch at Merchants downtown. Not at all crowded, we were able to sit upstairs at a window overlooking Broadway. Nice place for a romantic lunch or dinner. And the company was exceptionally nice. At least that's what the bride said.....(just kidding, dear....)

My morning started with a huge rain storm. Nothing quite like balancing a 60" golf umbrella while trying to open car doors and holding several items in your hands. I recommend everyone should try it at least once. We had our board meeting at 7:30 beginning with breakfast. Everything went well. By the time I got back to the office, the bride was waiting for me to meet her for our Ryman trip. It's been a busy day, to say the least.....

Now that the LifeWay show is over, I'm very ready for Christmas. Just five more workdays, and I'll be out of the office for 11 days. Oh, yeah, I'm ready for that, too.....

Tuesday, December 07, 2004


I'm not an idiot. I graduated from both high school and college. I have the college degree on the wall here in my office to prove it. I handle peoples' money for a living. It's what I'm paid to do. I work with numbers day in and day out. Not to brag, but I've been pretty successful at it for over 18 years, if I do say so myself. But 9th grade Algebra I is kicking my butt.....

I can solve for one "x" by just looking at the problem. I can usually solve for both "x's" on both sides of the equation by just looking at the problem. But lately, I get confused when I help Meg with her homework. And she's coming to me for help, and I'm not doing her any good. Very frustrating and humbling at the same time. Although I did find a web site that lets me input the equation and it spits out the answer. It even goes step-by-step, showing you how the problem is solved. This should make the homework a little easier, but I don't want to get ahead of myself and claim victory yet.

Here's my personality - I'm a problem-solver. Bring me your problem, I'll solve it. My biggest frustrations in life come from not being able to solve problems. Add to that things over which I have no control when trying to solve problems, and I'm a basket case. There, I admit it. So when I can't help my children with their homework, that frustrates me. When I can't take care of something for someone, I get frustrated. Oh, well, I guess this is all a part of growing up, even when you're 40.

Maybe that's the problem - age. I used to be able to do this stuff. Maybe some of the brain cells that I used for Algebra before have been burned off to make room for things like remembering how to change diapers or how to mix up baby formula. Yeah, that's it, that's what the problem is.....

Monday, December 06, 2004

a good day for sleeping.....

It's raining, the ol' sinuses are acting up, and I'm at work. As far as I'm concerned, this would be a great day to stay in bed and sleep. No such luck, however. There's work to be done.....

Ever have those times when you're awake but you feel like you're actually dreaming? Everything is sort of "fuzzy" and seemingly in slow-motion. When people talk to you, you're about 2-3 seconds behind on your response time. You try to concentrate on things, but the harder you try the worse it gets. That's me today. At least I think that's where I am today; maybe I actually am dreaming all of this.

We went to the children's Christmas program last night at church. It's amazing how talented kids are in the Nashville area. I remember Christmas programs in East Tennessee, and most of the kids were scared to death to be on stage. In Nashville and Franklin, it's like they all fight to see who can get closest to the microphones and center stage.

Busy week this week. Staff Christmas lunch tomorrow, board pre-meeting and my annual review on Wednesday. Thursday starts off with a breakfast/board meeting, followed by the LifeWay Christmas show at the Ryman at 10:00. The bride will be joining me for the show, and we'll head out for a nice lunch date following the program. Next week will be a 4-day week for me, as my vacation starts on Friday the 17th. I won't be back in the office until the 28th, and that will be very nice.

If anyone calls me today and I sound strange, just remember my dream-like state. I'm not being rude, I'm just not on top of my game today. Guess I'm glad I don't work around nuclear products on a day like this.....

Saturday, December 04, 2004

so close.....

I thought they might pull it out and win. The bride said that if they'd just played the first half like they did in the second half, they might have won. A couple of mistakes, a couple of calls made by the refs that shouldn't have been made. The turning point of the game? Auburn's got 3rd and 11, and we stop them with a great play by Rashaun Fellows. Only problem was we were flagged with pass interference. Horrible call! I came unglued. The next play, touchdown Auburn. So instead of UT getting the ball back on a punt, we gave up 7 points. 14-point swing. The only good thing that came out of that play was that Sara said I provided she and the bride quite a bit of entertainment. I guess I was a little vocal and animated, I don't know.

I'll have to say that UT showed up in a big way tonight. No one gave them a chance, but they stayed in it. Win or lose, I'm a Vol fan for life. I'm proud of their effort tonight.

Looks like UT will play Texas in the Cotton Bowl on New Years Day. At least it's an early game. I won't have to wait all day for it!

Got alot done today. Ran some errands, picked up a new vacuum. Raked leaves, mulched them, then mowed. All in all a good day. But then, any day I get to spend with my three girls is a good day.....

Friday, December 03, 2004

wonderful vacation day.....

I need a vacation day like yesterday about every three months. One that I can just hang out with the bride and enjoy being married to a beautiful woman. Not only were we able to finish about 85-90% of our Christmas shopping, but we also got to enjoy each other's company.

We dropped Sara off at school at 8:00, did a little shopping in the Cool Springs area, then headed out to Opry Mills for the bulk of our shopping. I refuse to go to Opry Mills on the weekend. They've been working on Briley Parkway for what seems to be 34 years now, and traffic has been horrible out that way. I've heard horror stories of hour-long waits on Briley Parkway, just to get to Opry Mills. I don't mind shopping, but I don't want to take forever to get there. Anyway, the shopping was good, several great deals. Lots of tour buses filled with senior citizens at the mall. It's tough getting stuck behind an elderly person when you've got serious shopping to do.

Well, it's been another fast and furious day. I'd better get a few things done before calling it a day in a couple of hours........

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

running on ice.....

Ever have one of those days where you just can't seem to get enough done? Yeah, I know, wah, wah, wah. But it's just been one of those days.

I was barely conscious when I left the house this morning. I got in bed at regular time, but I can't remember being so tired after a night's sleep. Got into the office, did my morning routine, then it was time for staff meeting. Nothing like "leading the troops" when you're half-asleep when you need to energize the crowd. Faked my way through the meeting, did some other stuff, then sat through 75 minutes of software compliance. Talk about performances they ought to charge for admission! The electricity in the room was like the Beatles had reunited, even George, for a one-time concert! In all fairness to the facilitator, it was the material and not his presentation. But there's nothing like hearing about corporations being sued for millions because their employees copied software illegally. Came back from the meeting, and I've been behind ever since. How a 75-minute meeting can make you 3 hours behind in your work is beyond me. That's why I'm blogging now as I eat lunch (a bag of tuna) and install some perfectly legal software.

Tomorrow's supposed to be a vacation day, with the bride and I doing some Christmas shopping. However, due to a roof leak, that may or may not happen. I had first said I'd just work tomorrow if the repair guy can't come until tomorrow, but I may actually just stay home and wait for them there. If we can't do our shopping tomorrow, we'll be forced to do it at night after work and on the weekends, and that's what we're trying to avoid. Oh, well, we'll do what we have to do and go from there.

24 more shopping days.....