Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Last 2 months, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years

OK, so I got chastised for not staying in the 21st century and keeping up my blog. Ssoorryy!! So I guess alot has happened that you peeps are curious about. If not I'm gonna tell you anyway.

Thanksgiving was so long ago that the memories have faded. I need more dressing!! It was a good time though, we saw everyone we needed to see, but not everyone we wanted to see. Then we got to watch GA tech beat GA. YEEEEHHHHAAAAAA!! 45-42 loser dawgs!! Much celebrating was done over this, as it has been 7 years since we have beaten a dawg. We are animal lovers you know. I ate myself into a food coma at least 4 times and promptly had to take a nap each time. That darn Triptophan. I have the cure for Triptophan, it is triptocaribean. :)

On into December, work is sort of slow right now. Lockheed is still on a stop work situation and the church didn't start till the week of Christmas. So i have been able to shop for some stuff along and along. Donna and her mom are out a couple of nights each week and so we aren't seeing each other much. She turns into a pumpkin at 10:00 pm ya know. So she comes home and goes to bed. Oh well, it is now over and we are none the worse for wear. It seems like everyone had a great Christmas. We did as well. Notable gifts from my wife - my new metal detector (which will be awesome at the beach), and a new spiderco (that;s a knife for you laymen), lots of movies, which I wanted, some clothes and various and sundries. Anyway, the best present was seeing my little buddy Ryker ALOT!! That rocked!!

Hollie came to town and that was awesome to see her. I know everyone has to know by now, but they are being transferred to Ft. Lauderdale (THEY SUCK!), which is really great for them and we have a place to stay ON THE BEACH!! YES! Anyway, she stayed with Jay and Kimi, then came to our house. We cooked some steaks for dinner and had some adult libations. However, I clearly miss my sister, as we stayed up till 5:00 AM talking!! Tuesday was hard for us both, I think Jules mentioned the "gettin' old thing". Yeah, it sucks. I would not trade that time with her for all the sleep in the world though. We laughed and talked and just had the best time being together. I took advantage of it as we will probably not see her for some months. We spent New Years Eve at Jason and Lisa Hakim's. A good time was had by all until the boys woke up screaming. That ended the party rather quickly. Thanks Jason and Lisa for a great time!! Watched a LOT of football (not Foosball Jules) this past weekend and then it was back to reality on Monday! Yuck. We are planning the cabin trip, so we will see each other soon. Hope everyone is doing well.

Ciao' for now!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Cabin and Halloween

The weekend before Halloween, Donna and I, her folks, and her Uncle Carlton and Aunt Jean went up to Scott's cabin. We had a great time!! We drove up on Saturday through north Georgia, got lost (luckily) so it shortened our trip to Franklin and the Sheffield Ruby Mine. We went Ruby mining for about 3 hours. It is chilly, wet, work, but it is a great deal of fun. In another few years Ryker, E., Kaylee, and Brennan will really enjoy it. No one found anything large, I found the biggest two stones a 5 carat Ruby and a 3 carat Garnet. Someone there found a 30 carat Ruby while we were there, it is basically the luck of the draw, or which bucket you pick. I found all in total about 19 total carats in about 10 or 11 stones. Everyone found something and had a great time doing it. We will have to schedule the trip between March and October as that is the only time they are open. The rest of the time it is too cold. Google the Sheffield Ruby mine and the site will come up for you to check it out. Some guy found a 300 carat ruby in August I think it was. That could make some jewelry, ladies!! Anyway we drove back across NC to Murphy and the cabin, it was about an hour away. The drive was GORGEOUS!! The leaves were in full change and it was spectacular. I almost wrecked about 3 times trying to look at the scenery. Tried like you know what to start a fire that evening, but waited too late to gather kindling and small stuff to get one going. The wood was wet from the rain they had on Thursday, so I was pretty unsuccessful, I had one for about an hour, but then we ate dinner and it went out and so I left it as we were all pretty tired.

We got up the next morning and cooked a big breakfast and just kind of walked around the river and the property. I finally got enough small stuff and started the fire in the early afternoon. Got it going so well it still had coals at 9:00 the next morning (that's more like it). Anyway, we had another great dinner and sat out by the fire for a long while and had a great time with the four of us. Carlton and Jean had to leave that afternoon, so it was me, Donna, and her folks. The weather was perfect!! We got up Monday morning to the coldest weather we had seen so far and it was crazy windy as well, so we made the best of the weekend and left on Monday. Stopped and got some apples and fried pies (OH MY GOSH WERE THEY GOOD!! Nothing like Memaw's, but they hit the spot). The cabin is for sale (MAN THAT SUCKS!), although it is a tough market for things like that right now, but keep that in mind as we plan future trips. He has it listed for $485,000. And it is probably worth that. After talking with him, he would probably sell it completely furnished for about $425,000 after his real estate contract runs out. Food for thought.

Halloween was an adventure of a day. Christopher closed on his first home at 10:00 that morning and spent the day moving stuff in. I ended up helping him from about 4 till 7, and Donna and I went back and helped him for a while on Sat. He is about 15 minutes from us off of Dallas highway. He really stole this house. It appraised for $220K, and he paid $160K. It is an older home, but completely refurbished. He got a refurbishment loan and is going to go ahead and finish his basement the way he wants it and build all of that into the loan. He is pretty excited and has his own place now.

Our neighbors in the cul-de-sac always do a Halloween cook out with chili, hot dogs and everyone gathering. We set up a table and all of the candy goes on it, so it is one stop shopping for the kiddies! :) We always have a good time and enjoy some beverages and good company and the kids really like seeing all the bowls of candy and not having to go to every house, saves valuable trick or treating time, dontcha know. We loved all the photos and everyone was totally cute and cool! From Spidey and bat girl, down the the engineer and Tigger, everyone looked great except bad Santa - that was totally you Cuz! We need to get together, we are missing you guys something fierce...set it up and we will be there. My only challenge this month is our tourney is the 16Th. I also know J,K, and Ryker are out this weekend at the cabin, so whenever we can. Maybe the weekend after Thanksgiving if all are in town and not busy. Let me know....Bye for now!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Happenings and Other Stuff

Wll, I haven't posted in a while, so here is what is happening in our world as of lately. Not much to report, but we did have our bi-annual neighborhood camp out this past Saturday night. One of my bud's in the 'hood bought his house and lot and it backs up to Pumpkinvine Creek. No one can build behind him and the other side of the creek has not been built up as of yet. His lot is 2.5 acres and about 1 acre is his yard. The rest back to the creek is woods. He cleaned it all out for the most part back to the creek and cleared out areas for tents, a large fire pit (about the size at the cabin) with about a 2 foot offshoot that has a cooking grate across the rocks. We drag coals under the grate and cook whatever you want. Donna and I were not hungry as we had had a huge Thanksgiving dinner at Memaw's (yes in October, for those that weren't there) and it was REALLY yummy!! I don't eat like that often, but it is sure fun when I can. It is, however, close enough to the house that we can run 500' of cable and 500' of power cord to hook up the TV for the football games!! We were roughing it though, we had a regular TV, but no flat screen, what a shame.

Anyway, there were about 15 adults and at least that many kids. About half stayed the night, I went ahead and went home as sleeping on the ground is tough for us old guys with bad necks and backs. I really haven't invested in a whole lot of camping gear as my idea of "roughing it" is Scott's cabin. :) The kids all mobbed me when I got there as I am the scary teller of stories. They all wait for me to get there and then drag me deep into the woods to tell them all scary stories. I usually make them cry and run yelling back to camp they are so scared, but they want me to do it every time we camp out.....kids are hard to figure sometimes. The funniest part was that this time, the stories didn't so much scare them as me roaring at the top of my lungs right in front of them. But, hey, I enjoy it and so do they. After that we all watched some football and kept the fire going pretty good. It was a great night for this, just cool enough to need the fire, but not so cold you could not have a good time. Then we cooked grilled cheese sandwiches over the fire and had some more beverages. People drifted off in ones and twos and about 4 of us shut it down about 1:30. It was a great time and we love to do it. Best part.....home in 5 minutes and asleep in 5 more.

I think Donna and I may take her folks up to the cabin this weekend and go Ruby mining. It can be a lot of fun, but they are only open March thru October, so we are running out of time. They want to get some apples anyway, so we may as well make a trip out of it. Still a bit up in the air though. All for now............CIAO'

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Car update and General Junk (Salute Please)

Well, the car saga continues, it has been back in the shop since last Thursday and I have not heard from them since Monday. Ya'll pray they blew it up and have to give me a new or newish car for free. :) I hope to hear from them today, but am really enjoying driving their new A3 Turbo. I am trying not to enjou it too much, as I WILL have to give it back. CRAP! I will keep you posted.

Had a pretty good weekend, I dealt on Friday nigth till about 3:30 AM and only made $200 because the players were CHEAP!!! 1st place was $2700 and the jerk tipped me $70. I was stunned. Scott was pretty pissed too, but there wasn't anything he could do at that point. Well it was $200 I did not have and I thank God for it especially after the Audi expenses lately.

Saturday I did nothing but watch football all day and sadly the GT Jackets got beaten by VT. It took a couple of adult beverages to drown my sorrow. Donna Gamechickens got beaten as well, so she joined me in the beverage drowning, er downing. Something.

Sunday was my little buddy Ryker T.'s 2nd birthday, but most of you know that. We had a great time at J,K and Ryker's house. The boy hauled in a ton of loot again. Donna picked out his Wonder Pets Fly Boat and he really liked it, so Well Done, Baby! Stayed around and hung out with the Fam for a while and then motored my way home. I love that kid!

Otherwise things are going well, we are getting ready to be really busy at work. We are about 2-3 weeks away from starting phase 2 on the church. Lockheed is in full swing. we priced and bid a law office for about $250,000 that we have basically been awarded. Also we have a couple of other small jobs to work on over the next month or two. THANK YOU LORD!! Other than that we are just living and enjoying what we do and what God has blessed us with so, we'll keep at it.

All for now, CIAO'!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Car Trouble!! UUUGGGHHHH!!!

Well, after 10 years of no problems with the Audi, it decided to be a pain in the butt the last couple of weeks. I went to get my emissions done and it failed due to a "secondary air intake" problem. I (not getting much of the car gene from my dad) had no idea what that was, but figured(rightly so) that it was not cheap. So I take it to Audi and they give me a loaner. The next day they call and tell me it is fixed, so I drop off the loaner and pay them $250 for a little bit of work and an oil change. WHEW!! Not near what I thought.

The next morning I crank it up and, guess what, the check engine light is back on!! CRAP!! I take it back to Audi, this time they did not send me to the rental place, but give a 2008 S3 turbo as a loaner (tricky bastages, putting me in a new Audi). It was really sweet and pretty damn fast for a 4 door hatchback. They know what they are doing. So this past weekend goes by and I get a call Monday afternoon about 3:00 telling me the car is ready. Damages? $1005.54!! HOLY CRAP!! The tech told me WORST CASE would be around a grand. Guess What? It was worst case! I am now the proud owner of a brand new, Audi installed, $1000, secondary air injection system!! YEEHAA!! Apparently it uses valves and various other parts to push air into the fuel system, during start up and under load, to "reduce emissions". What a bunch of CRAP!! Anyway, according to the emissions guy, I needed to drive it about 2 weeks to reset all the sensors, chips, and computer stuff. So I still could not get my tag.

Guess What? I crank it up the next day and THE CHECK ENGINE LIGHT IS ON AGAIN!!! AAAAARRRRGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!! I just dropped it off again and they sent me back to the rent a car place, I guess I did not rate another Audi loaner since I did not buy the S3 on the spot. I tried to trade them even, but they said no!! Imagine that. So here I am waiting to hear from them about what the problem is this time. This one should be on their dime, as they said they ran a full diagnostic and everything was "good to go". I guess I cannot complain too much as I haven't had a car payment for 5 years, but it is still aggravating. Donna's car will be paid off in March and we will hopefully be able to go a couple years without a car payment and then I will get something new again, probably another Audi. MAN it has been a good car.

CYA Sunday at Ryker T.'s Birthday! 2 years old already! Wow my little buddy is growing up fast!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Birthday and Other Stuff

Well I did not get to go crawl around on the airplanes last Thursday as my buddy was just too busy.......BUMMER DUDE! Oh well, we are out there for at least another 6 months, so I have plenty of time. I will not let this one go though, as I really want to see an F-22 Raptor up close. Don't look for any photos of the experience as Lockheed tends to frown on photos on their air bases (can we say Jail time). I will keep you posted as to when things will go down.

I also turned the final corner of my 30's on Thursday......39!! Thanks all for the calls and cards!! They were much appreciated (although you SLowe's, I could have gone the next 39 without having to see that!!). For my birthday I got some clothes, which I needed and some money from the parent's and my wife(believe that?!). In her defense she said I told her 4 or 5 things I wanted or needed and that I "kept changing my mind". I will however be getting some more cloths and since Football Season starts next week (ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?!?!), I usually get myself a new jersey for the start of the season and my fantasy draft, so I will pick one up as part of my B'day haul. I am thinking about Matt Ryan (KIDDING). Seriously, Calvin Johnson - Detroit(former Tech WR), Clinton Portis - Washington, Jason Taylor - Washington, and maybe others depending on availability.

OK, wake up now!! Went to a pretty good neighborhood party Sat. night and a good time was had by all. We had a pool tourney and I finished 2ND, no money, but still a lot of fun. I miss shooting on a regular basis. That was all we could afford to do growing up. So after late night poker on Friday and a late Saturday, I slept a lot on Sunday. Then of course we watched the closing ceremonies of the Olympics, which were really pretty cool. We hate that they are over, Donna and I are such JUNKIES for the Olympics. We thought about trying to go to Vancouver for the 2010 Winter Games. Who knows, but it won't be cheap.

All for now. CIAO'

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The 21st Century

Well all, I am finally into the 21st century and have set up a Blog!! I know, I know, no applause please, just throw money (hint: you have to wad up the big bills so they get to me). Anyway, I thought I would jump on the latest bandwagon and have a place to post thoughts, prayers, photos and other pertinent info that will mainly be for my family and friends. I had a break at lunch and set it up. Easier than I thought (I am not the techno geek Stephen is), so that is big for me.

Things are going really well at work and at home. God is doing amazing things in our lives and we are very thankful. Work is busy and we should be signing the contract for the church sanctuary addition by the end of the month. This has been a great project for us and with this contract, we should be able to run for at least the next year. It is a 5M contract so we can really use it. The lender also wants us to go to NOLA (as Hollie calls it) and rebuild the church there that just burned down about 6 weeks ago. It was over 100 years old and an electrical fire started it. It went up like a roman candle, unfortunately. That could be a 7-8M job and could be another HUGE blessing. So, keep us in your prayers for both of these projects as we could really use them. Lockheed has started and we are just getting to some of our jobs at this project. A poker buddy of mine is an engineer out there and has been there for 30 years. I am supposed to meet him on Thursday to go crawl around some airplanes!! How frigging cool is that!!

Not a lot goin on at the home front, although we did celebrate Dad's 60Th birthday at PF Changs on Saturday evening, most of you were there, so I will spare you the details. He had a GREAT time and really enjoyed everyone showing up for his big day. I think he was really surprised at the turn out. We have planned a little mini beach vacation with Hollie and Collin for the 2ND week of Sept.. We have rented one of my subs condo in Gulf Shores for about 4 nights. We are looking forward to it and looking forward to relaxing. You all know if I do not get my wife to the beach at least once a year, then my name will be mud for a while!

Well, that's all for now, CIAO'