Monday, January 31, 2005

y'all come back, now...ya' hear?

It happens to us all. Sooner or later, we become our parents. The metamorphosis usually doesn't happen overnight; it occurs over time. I see more and more of my dad in me every year. Friday night, another piece fell into place.

Meg had a going-away party Friday night for a friend who was leaving for California Saturday morning. There were about 15 kids, all 14- and 15-year-olds. (Sara was in the middle of the party most of the night, and loving it.) Each person was responsible for bringing some kind of snack food. At around 10 PM, the party ended at our house and was to be resumed (by the girls only) at Starbucks for another hour. As everyone stood at or near the door in our foyer, all the girls were sobbing, already missing their friend. Of course, all the guys stood around with this "um, what's going on/what do I do" look on their faces. So the bride stuffs 8 girls in the van and whisks them off to Starbucks. I went upstairs to assess the damage in the bonus room, then started cleaning up. As I began cleaning, I noticed the snacks. They were snacks that we don't usually keep in the pantry, especially when we're trying to stay away from snacks. White cheddar popcorn; peanut butter M&M's; Doritos; cheddar Chex mix; barbecued baked Lays. So I'd take down a streamer, then eat some M&M's; put a plate in the trash, grab a handful of Chex mix; pick some frosting up off the floor, eat a cookie. This went on for about 20 minutes. I gathered up all the leftover food and took it downstairs to the kitchen. I intended to bag everything up, put it in the pantry, and leave it there. But I continued to snack as I closed up the bags. And I ate more on Saturday and Sunday. I ate so much that I made myself sick Friday night. I ate so much that I wasn't hungry for breakfast Saturday morning. I ate so much that my pants feel snug this morning, over 48 hours later.

How does this make me more like my dad? Whenever any of us kids go home, Mom stocks the pantry with stuff that they don't normally eat. And she fixes food that they don't normally eat. So whenever his kids are home, not only is he happy to be with them, but he knows he'll get to eat the foods that he loves to eat but doesn't normally get to eat.

Meg's friend called from California last night, and she seems to be doing well. Everyone had a great time at the party, all the kids were very well-behaved. And if they promise to bring more wonderful snack foods, they're welcome in our house anytime.....

Friday, January 28, 2005

shallow end of the talent pool.....

Our family has enjoyed American Idol together these past two weeks. We actually missed the first season, but we've been loyal watchers ever since. The bride had never enjoyed the preliminary stuff until this year, but the rest of us had always found it to be entertaining. She's changed her mind this season.

While some of the talent has been as good or better than what we've seen before, there seems to still be alot of people out there who think they can sing. Why is there not someone in these peoples' lives to be real with them? They need someone, before they get critiqued by Simon, to sit down and say, "it's just not there, try something else, anything else."

One thing I've noticed this year is that more of the wanna-be-contestants are being honest and saying that they just wanted to be on television. We've known that was the case all along, but at least they're coming out and saying it now.

Remember Leroy Wells from Tuesday night? He was the head-bobbing, gibberish-speaking, "can you dig it" guy. His "performance", which Simon deemed "ridiculous", was taped in New Orleans sometime this past summer. We're not sure if Leroy was able to see his television debut. Turns out he was arrested January 5 on charges of assault and firing a weapon, and is serving time in a Mobile prison. Man, I thought we had our William Hung for 2005.....

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

i'm not an animal.....

I first noticed that my right eyelid was a little tender Sunday afternoon while watching the league championship games. The next morning I work up and it was swollen, and even more so Tuesday morning. After lunch yesterday, I looked in the mirror and saw that my right eye was completely bloodshot and swollen even more. Off to the internet for self-diagnosis - looks like conjunctivitis, or pink-eye. Yep, I'm 40 and I've got pink-eye. Called my doctor, he prescibed drops, so no contacts for a few days. I woke up this morning, looked in the mirror, and saw the elephant man staring back at me. Yep, I'm 40, and I've got pink-eye.

Reminds me of a MASH episode. Colonel Potter contracted the mumps, to which Charles replied, "A childhood malady? For a man of your advanced age?" Later, Charles catches them and is forced to bunk with Potter. When Potter learns about the illness, he says to Charles, "Well, Major Winchester, a childhood malady for a man of your advanced WEIGHT?!?"

I had this faint hope that after two rounds of drops last night, I'd wake up and my eye would be back to normal. Wrong. Guess it takes a couple of days to get started. Until then, maybe I can make a few bucks as a sideshow.....the circus is coming to town soon.....

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

i forgot he was in that movie.....

I stopped by the Brentwood Library on my way home from work yesterday. I needed to pick up a new book (just finished Grisham's "The Testament" and it was great; picked up his book "The Kind of Torts) and also a couple of dvds for Sara. She's had a fever on and off since late Saturday night, and she needed some new viewing material. I picked up the original "Peter Pan" and "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang."

CCBB is one of my favorite movies of all time. I remember seeing it in the theater when I was about five. The fact that a car could go from land to water to the air was thrilling to me. Hey, I was five, I didn't know it wasn't a documentary. I always wished my dad would buy a car like that.

Meg and Sara settled in to watch the movie upstairs. The bride and I had a bunch of stuff that we had taped over the past week, so we decided to catch up on all our shows downstairs. I went upstairs around 9:00 to tell the girls goodnight, and ended up watching the last 15 minutes of the movie with Sara. It's the scene where Chitty comes into the castle to rescue everyone. I look and on the left-hand side of the screen is the toymaker - BENNY HILL!!!!! The same Benny Hill that I stayed up late on Saturday night to see as a teenager! The same Benny Hill that I thought (and still think so) was hilarious as a teenager! I immediately started telling Sara that the toymaker was one of the funniest people ever. Would I want to sit down and watch an episode of "The Benny Hill Show" with her?

Isn't it funny to see people in movies where their characters are nothing like the roles that made them famous? It's sort of like Michael Chiklis. His character on "The Shield" (new season starts in March on FX!) is nothing like the character he played on "Seinfeld" in the episode "The Stranded" in 1991.

It was great to have that memory come back last night about Benny Hill. I can still remember being in my room, hoping my parents believed I was asleep and wouldn't come in and catch me, with an earphone plugged into the television in my room, trying my best to hold back my raucous laughter. Ah, yes, good times.....

Monday, January 24, 2005

it was johnny's and dave's fault.....

I was channel-surfing during commercials of the Eagles/Falcons game. (Guys, women find this to be very attractive. The bride lunges at me every time I do this!) I came across MSNBC, and saw Johnny Carson's face with the years 1925 - 2005 below it. The bride was reading a book and I said, "Oh, no, Johnny Carson died!" We were both sad to see and hear this. We watched some various clips from his show and laughed. Later in the day, I realized something: as much as I enjoyed The Tonight Show when Johnny was on, I actually held a little bit of resentment towards Mr. Carson. Although the problem wasn't really with Johnny Carson.....

For three years, my sophmore, junior and senior years at ETSU, my roommate Chris and I would put off studying every night. We'd have dinner, hang out with friends or dates, then end up back in the room sometime during the evening. We'd open our books and attempt to study with the television on. Eventually, he'd move from the desk to his bunk, and I'd move from the desk to my bunk. We appeared to be studying, but the television actually held our attention. The news would come on, and we'd "take a break" to watch the sports. After the news, we'd turn WCYB channel 5 to watch Carson. One of us would always say, "OK, we'll watch Johnny, then we'll study." We'd watch and laugh at/with the guests and skits. Before we knew it, it was 12:30, and Letterman was coming on. "OK," one of us would always say, "after Letterman, we'll start studying." It would soon be 1:30, and one of us would say, "I'm too tired to study, I'd going to sleep." This went on 90% of the time on Monday through Thursday nights for three years. One could easily come away with a simple assumption - Johnny Carson and David Letterman were responsible for my poor grades in college. Yeah, I wouldn't stick with that too long if I were you.

Watching Johnny Carson was a tradition with Chris and me. Whenever I think of The Tonight Show, I aways think of Johnny, not Jay. I get up so early now that I rarely stay up to see either The Tonight Show or David Letterman during the week. Occasionally I'll watch Dave on Friday nights. Of the two, I think Letterman's style is closer to that of Johnny's. If you like the whole thing of how Letterman and Leno jockeyed for the Carson job, and to find out how Johnny felt about who he wanted his successor to be, see the movie The Late Shift.

Thanks for the laughs, Johnny. You will be missed.

Friday, January 21, 2005

charlie daniels reports.....

Not much creativity flowing today, so I though I'd share something I received from a friend via e-mail yesterday. Very interesting stuff here.....

Once again Charlie Daniels speaks his feelings and once again he is right on the money. Charlie needs to be writing for a major news magazine.

The Straight Scoop from Charlie Daniels

I've just returned from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba Naval Air Station base where we did three shows for the troops and toured several locations around the post visiting with some of the finest military personnel on planet earth. The kids seemed to really enjoy the shows and especially liked "This Ain't No Rag, It's A Flag" and "In America". We had a great time with them.

We saw Camp X-Ray, where the Taliban detainees are being held only from a distance, but I picked up a lot of what's going on there from talking with a lot of different people. The truth of the matter is that this operation is under a microscope. The Red Cross has an on site presence there and watches everything that goes on very closely. The media is not telling you the whole truth about what's going on over there. The truth is that these scum bags are not only being treated humanely, but they are probably better off healthwise and medically than they've ever been in their lives. They are fed well, able to take showers and receive state of the art medical care. And have their own Moslem chaplain. I saw several of them in a field hospital ward where they were being treated in a state of the art medical facility.

Now let's talk about the way they treat our people. First of all, they have to be watched constantly. These people are committed and wanton murderers who are willing to die just to kill someone else. One of the doctors told me that when they had Taliban in the hospital the staff had to really be careful with needles, pens and anything else which could possibly be used as a weapon. They also throw their excrement and urine on the troops who are guarding them. And our guys and gals have shown great restraint in not retaliating. We are spending over a million dollars a day maintaining and guarding these nasty killers and anyone who wants to see them brought to the U.S.A. for trial is either out of their heads or a lawyer looking for money and notoriety. Or both.

I wish that the media and the Red Cross and all the rest of the people who are so worried about these criminals would realize that this is not a troop of errant Boy Scouts. These are killers of the worst kind. They don't need protection from us, we need protection from them.

If you don't get anything else out of this soapbox, please try to realize that when you see news coverage much of the time you're not getting the whole story, but an account filtered through a liberal mindset with an agenda.

We have two fights on our hands, the war against terror and the one against the loudmouthed lawyers and left wing media who would sap the strength from the American public by making us believe that we're losing the war or doing something wrong in fighting it. Remember these are the same people who told us that Saddam Hussein's Republican guard was going to be an all but invincible enemy and that our smart bombs and other weapons were not really as good as the military said that they were.

They also took up for Bill Clinton while he was cavorting around the Oval office with Monica Lewinsky while the terrorists were gaining strength and bombing our Embassies and dragging the bodies of dead American heroes around the dusty streets of Somalia. It's a shame that we can't have an unbiased media who would just report the truth and let us make up our own minds.

Here I must commend Fox News for presenting both sides much better than the other networks. They are leaving the other cable networks in the dust. People like being told the truth.
Our military not only needs but deserves our support. Let's give it to them.

The next time you read a media account about the bad treatment of the Taliban in Cuba, remember what I told you. Been there done that.

Footnote: I got an e-mail from a rather irate first cousin of mine the other day who has a daughter who's a lawyer and she seemed to think that I was painting all lawyers with the same brush. Please understand that I'm not doing that at all. That would be like saying that all musicians were drug addicts. There are a lot of good and honest attorneys out there. I happen to have one of them. But it seems that they never get any airtime. It's always the radicals who get their opinions heard, who fight the idea of the military tribunals and cite The Constitution and the integrity of America as their source of justifying their opinions. Well, first of all The Constitution says "We the people of the United States", it doesn't mention any other country. And secondly as far as integrity is concerned, I don't think some of these folks would know integrity if it bit them in the posterior.

What do you think?

God Bless America.
Charlie Daniels

Thursday, January 20, 2005

first rockports, now this.....

I'm not one of these guys who goes around bemoaning my age. I'm 40, and I get older every day, and it's no big deal to me. And getting older just means I'm still alive, and that beats the alternative. But lately, I'm starting to see some older-guy tendancies about myself.

It all started with my first pair of Rockports a couple of years ago. Very comfortable shoes, even the dress shoes. I once heard John Boy say that as you age, comfortable shoes are one of your top priorities. I wouldn't say they're a top priority, but I do seem to put comfort higher up on the list over fashion. Since my first pair of Rockports, I've bought at least 2 other pairs, and even had one pair resoled.

The bride recently bought me a new pair of black dress pants. I needed new ones because the zipper on my old ones broke one day while at work, and she had to bring me a another pair of pants to get me through the day. That was a FUN day! So anyway, she bought me these new black pants, got a good deal on them, so I was pleased. These pants, however, are different than any other pants I've ever owned. They have the "comfort bands" or whatever they're called in the waistband. I didn't need the comfort bands, and the bride wasn't suggesting that I needed comfort bands. 34's fit me just fine. It just so happens that these pants have this feature in them. As I took them off the hanger and grabbed them by the waist, I could feel the waist give. Strange feeling. I started to zip them up and button them, and I felt the waist give again. Uh, yeah. Still got a little bit of that Christmas binge left in the gut. Turns out I DID need the "sconch" more around the old waist.

As for the other characteristics of an old man, I'm trying to guard myself. I've seen older men who could braid their nose and ear hair, so I keep mine at bay. I don't pull my pants up so far that it requires me to unzip them to eat. And I try not to make noises when I'm either getting up from or sitting down in a chair. I make enough noises while I'm just sitting still. And if that's a sign of getting old, I've been an old man for almost 40 years now.....

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

i'll get that right to you.....

Technology is amazing. Wireless phones can keep you in contact with anyone in the world, practically anywhere on the planet. The Internet brings information to you from all over the world. Playstation II's EyeToy lets you use your body to play games instead of using game controllers. I'm looking at a new handheld/PDA that will allow me to have wireless Internet access. Amazing stuff. Evidently a large corporate bank that I have my corporate credit card with isn't up with the rest of the world.

About this time every month, I complete an expense report. I usually get my card statement around the 12th of each month. Then I gather my receipts, match them up with my statement, and submit my expense report to the board chairman. As of yesterday, I had yet to receive my corporate card statement for the month. I called to ask that they fax me a copy of the statement. The representative of the bank, who was very cordial, told me that he'd be glad to get that to me. He then said something that caught me by surprise. "We'll have that to you within 24-48 hours." I thanked him and hung up. I then realized what he had said. 24-48 hours? To fax something? Are they hand-delivering it to me? Yes, I know, "within" is the key word. But why even say 48 hours? It takes you two days to fax something to me? Are there chisels and stone tablets involved?

Poor customer service is a pet peeve of mine. Do something right the first time and the customer is happy. If there's a problem, don't just fix it; fix it in such a manner that the customer is so impressed that they'll want to do more business with you. I used to have a boss that said, "If you make the customer happy, you're making me happy." How were we making her happy? First off, it was her job to see that customers were taken care of. Second, the happier we made the customers, the less griping and moaning she heard. I'm the same way in my office. Consider how you'd like to be treated, then treat that customer the same way. It's simple, Golden Rule stuff. I love the way The Message translates Luke 6:31 - "Here is a simple rule of thumb for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them!" Maybe if more businesses operated like this, there'd be more satisfied customers.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

plants don't stand a chance.....

I always tell people that they need to go with their strengths. If you're a klutz, be a klutz with gusto. If you're an overeater, go all out. If your a smart alec, be a wise guy to everyone. One of the things I'm good at is killing tropical plants in my office.

Just across from my desk, in the right-hand corner of my office, sits my latest victim. When I brought it in almost 6 months ago, it was vibrant - the picture of health for a plant. I remember going to Home Depot during lunch to compare carpet prices. On my way in, I noticed that they had several tropical plants out front. They were priced at just $4.99, and I'm all about a bargain, so I began my search for the right plant. (I had recently killed an office plant, though this one hung on for over two years, so it endured a slow painful death. One of my employees took it home and tried to nurse it back to health, all to no avail. It was too far gone.) After talking with a sales associate about which plant would be the most hardy, I chose some type of indoor palm. When I picked it up, I thought that I felt it shudder, as if it were Clarice Starling and I was Dr. Hannibal Lecter. I was very proud of my $4.99 purchase. My employees marveled at the great buy and the seemingly healthy plant. Little did they know that the palm actually started dying the minute I paid for it. I've watered it; not too much, not too little. I've tried to do all the right things to keep it growing, but it grows more yellow by the day.

I'm not an evil person. I don't enjoy killing plants. I'd love to be able to make plants flourish here in my office. It just doesn't work out for me that way. The bride does well with indoor plants. My employees seem to do a pretty good job with their plants. Maybe it's just me. But maybe word has gotten out in the plant kingdom that plants don't stand a chance in my office, and they come in expecting to die. Yeah, that's it; it's the plants' fault, not's their poor attitude that leads to their demise.....

Monday, January 17, 2005

good weekend.....

It was great having my family at our house for supper last night. Mom and Dad were in Middle Tennessee for the long weekend, and they came down for the night yesterday. It's nice to be able to have everyone together and just enjoy each other's company.

I didn't roll out of bed Saturday morning until after 9:30. It's been awhile since I've been able to do that, and it felt great. The rest of the day was spent doing things around the house and watching football. The Falcons looked great, glad to see them win. The Steelers got lucky, and the Jets' kicker is needin' some love. Gotta' feel bad for the guy.

Sunday was church and class. Then more football. The Vikings didn't show up, and neither did most of the Colts. All the "expert" analysts will say that Peyton still can't win the big one. There were an awful lot of dropped balls that Peyton couldn't control. Plus, the defense was man-handled all afternoon. Blame it on the weather? I don't think so.

The bride was an excellent host last evening. The supper was excellent. Have I ever mentioned how much I love my wife? I think she's wonderful.....

Friday, January 14, 2005

clean sweep.....

January is the time for many people to clean, organize, and dispose of things. It's a new year, why not take the time and make some things like-new around you?

I came home the other day and didn't recognize the walk-in closet in our bedroom. The bride had thoroughly cleaned it out. We didn't know we had a floor in there before she rearranged all of our stuff! (Anybody else out there who would love to have the guys from Clean Sweep come in and transform their house?)

A friend of mine spent a couple of days cleaning his office, and even posted pictures on his blog. I commented that even though it had been awhile since my last visit, there was no way those pictures were of his office. Much too clean!

I've even caught a bit of the organization bug here at work. Installing new computers, getting rid of old ones. Stuff I'd thrown behind my cradenza and shelves just to get out of sight are being placed somewhere else or thrown away.

Here's the thing - why do we feel like we have to wait until January every year to do these major things? I'm the same way, but I still don't understand the reasoning behind waiting to make changes. Sure, we're creatures of habit, and we don't like to change our habits because it requires us to change things for the future, also. There's alot of effort behind changing something for good. Maybe it's because we're afraid we can't really do it. Maybe it's because we feel like it's just too much work and not enough reward.

But I can say with confidence that anything I've really wanted to do to better myself, regardless of how difficult it was to do, the exertion was always worth the effort. Waiting and putting off doing something worthwhile only delays the reward. Since I need to drop a few pounds, I'll try to remember that the next time I start to fix a hot fudge sundae for the bride and me while watching TV at night.....

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

sad survey says.....

Lately I've been completely drained of my normal energy level. I get home from work and I'm zapped for the rest of the evening. Then I read an article the other day about something called SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder. Some doctors are recommending that their patients get "light therapy" to combat the malady. I did some research to learn more about the illness and to see if I've got it. My comments are in parentheses:

What is SAD? Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of winter depression which affects millions of people every winter between September and April, in particular during December, January and February. SAD is caused by a biochemical imbalance in the hypothalamus due to the shortening of daylight hours and the lack of sunlight in winter. For many people SAD is a seriously disabling illness, preventing them from functioning normally without continuous medical treatment. For others, it is a milder condition, causing discomfort, referred to as sub-syndromal SAD or winter blues. There is also a rare reverse form of SAD, known as summer SAD, where symptoms occur each summer and remit in winter.

a desire to oversleep and difficulty staying awake, but in some cases, disturbed sleep and early morning wakening; (yep, I want to sleep; as for early morning awakening, is there anything earlier than 5:25 a.m.?)
feeling fatigue and an inability to carry out normal routine; (fatigued, yes; normal routine? I live with three women, there's no such thing as "normal")
a craving for carbohydrates and sweet foods, usually resulting in weight gain; (that's a symptom of this? really?)
feelings of misery, guilt and loss of self-esteem, sometimes hopelessness and despair, sometimes apathy and loss of feelings; (could be, but I really don't care)
an irritability and desire to avoid social contact; (leave me alone, stop accusing me of this stuff!!!!)
a tension and inability to tolerate stress; (we're out of peanut butter again? great, just great!)
a decreased interest "physical contact"; (what am I, dead? please.....)
and in some sufferers, extremes of mood and short periods of hypomania (overactivity) in spring and autumn (just watching a UT game will do that to me).

So it turns out that I don't have SAD. I have no doubt that there are people who truly suffer from this illness, but I'm not one of them. I just need some more daylight time outside. Maybe I'll go get some light therapy, just in case. I wonder if my insurance will pay for that.....

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

beware the blue bars.....

The next time you need a word for something large, huge, gigantic or massive, try this:

Monstramental - mahn-struh-'men-tuhl
1)highly significant
2)having extraordinary, often overwhelming, size
3)shockingly wrong or riduculous

What's the origin of this new word, you might ask? This is word was actually manufactured by my lovely bride the other day while explaining to me what could happen with our AT&T Wireless bill. Here's the semi-short story:

On November 10, 2004, I purchased two wireless phones on-line with AT&T Wireless. Not only did we want to move the bride's plan from Sprint, but we also wanted to add Meg onto our service as a surprise Christmas gift. (You might find this hard to believe, but until December 25, 2004, Meg was the ONLY 14-YEAR-OLD IN THE WORLD WITHOUT A CELL PHONE.) We had the phones delivered to the bride's parents' house to maintain secrecy. The bride's phone worked just fine, and we put Meg's phone back in hiding. About 10 days before Christmas, we decided to make sure Meg's phone was OK. On December 17, after fully charging the batter and doing all the things the manual said to do, we discovered that the screen was dead. Over the next two days, we talked with SEVENTEEN different customer service reps, and spent FOUR HOURS AND FIFTEEN MINUTES on the phone before having everything fixed. Since then, we've had THREE MORE PHONES shipped to us. They're not doing this because they like us, but because their customer service process leaves alot to be desired. It's so bad, in fact, that my quiet, docile bride actually semi-screamed (not a full scream; she stayed in control) to someone who was around the 14th rep, "YOUR CUSTOMER SERVICE STINKS!" The February issue of Consumer Reports ranks AT&T/Cingular at the bottom of almost every customer satisfaction survey. We know this firsthand, now, and wished we had known it two months ago.

So unless you like monstramental screw-ups with your wireless service, I'd stay away from AT&T Wireless/Cingular, at least until these merger logistics are finalized. The deals may be great, and the plans may be desireable, but there's always a cost. And if a deal sounds too good to be true, well......

Monday, January 10, 2005

remembering names.....

Our phone rang Saturday morning, and the bride answered. The lady calling wanted Meg to babysit later that evening. When the bride picked up and said hello, there was hesitation on the caller's part.
Caller: "...........Hi, Sara?"

the bride: "No, this is Susie."

C: "Oh, Susie, hi! I'm sorry, you have such a youthful voice!"

Uh-huh. Just admit it - you forgot her name. Don't you just love it when people try to cover up their boo-boos with some lame remark? No, I'm not saying that the bride doesn't sound young over the phone. But does she sound nine?

I attended a funeral recently, and was talking with a friend before we went in. An executive with a company that we work with walked up an started a conversation with my friend. He called my friend by the wrong name! And the tone of the conversation was like he'd been best friends with my friend for years and years! Me? I got snubbed by this person. Happens all the time with this guy, and I've learned that it's not just me. He's one of these people who doesn't speak to you unless: a) you speak to him first; b) he's your best friend; or c) he wants/needs something from you. I guess I could put forth a tremendous amount of effort and try to become friends with him, but I don't see the point. I'm not sure I'd want to be "friends" with someone like that anyway.

So which is worse? To have someone call you by the wrong name, or to be snubbed?

Friday, January 07, 2005


The commercials are true, you can buy anything on E-bay. I even bought pants recently. Yes, pants. Dockers that Hecht's normally sells for $60, I bought for $5. Yes, $5. Including shipping, the total cost was $11.25. For a brand new pair of Dockers. They arrived yesterday, and they fit and everything.

I guess one of the reasons I like E-bay so much is that I thrive on deals. I hate paying full price for anything. (I come by my bargain-shopping naturally. Growing up, my mom didn't buy anything unless it was on sale. And she still doesn't.) I target my item(s), compare prices, track the prices, then start to bid with a minute left in the auction. So far, I've bought $500 golf clubs for $200; a couple of cable amps that retailed for about $125 for $47; a $60 memory stick for $42; and the list goes on.
Another reason I enjoy E-bay so much is that I like trying to convince the bride that we can afford certain non-necessities because I can get such great deals. I've been tracking some dvd-recorders with hard drives for the past few months. I think she's tired of hearing about them. Could be that I'm wearing her down......

I've yet to venture into the realm of selling on E-bay. Heaven knows we've got some stuff that could be sold around the house. I know a lady who recently sold a non-running car on E-bay. She said the last 20 minutes of the auction the price of the car went from $170 to over $700. She and her husband had hoped to get $250 for it.

I wonder if anyone's looking for a good used Basset/Beagle mix.....

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

242 days until the vols kickoff.....

The 2004 college football season ended last night, as USC completely shredded Oklahoma. It's a sad time for me. I will really miss college football.

The Vols completely dominated Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl, winning 38-7. It was their most complete game since their bowl win against Michingan 3 years ago. The offense, led by 3-string quarterback Rick Clausen, ran on all cylinders. The defense was a brick wall, with solids hits and wrap-ups all day long. It's always a great day to be a Big Orange fan, but Saturday was particularly fun for me. 18 of the 22 starters return this fall, so expectations are high. But the road schedule will be tough - Florida, LSU, Alabama and Notre Dame. I can't wait.....

Things are starting to get back to normal around our house. I was ready to come back to work yesterday and get back into a routine. The girls have had a hard time adjusting their sleep schedules, but they're getting there. We did alot of shopping and errand-running last week, and as much as I honestly like doing that, I've had my fill for awhile. I also realized that I'm more of a sprint-shopper rather than a long distance shopper. I like to shop in spurts. The bride and Meg can go out shopping for hours and come home with very little to show for it. Sara and I can be gone for 30 minutes and come back with more. Neither practice is right or wrong, they're just different. Different personalities. It's amazing how the girls' personalities mirror ours in so many ways. Actually, it's more scary than amazing.....

Warm weather continues here in Middle Tennessee. Temperatures in the upper-60's and lower 70's in January? I've got a feeling we've still got plenty of real winter weather to come. I hope we get a few heavy snows, but the temps will have to drop significantly. However, this warmer weather sure is good on the ol' gas bill.....and I'll take that for now.....