Saturday, September 25, 2010

How DOES She Do It ?!

It is a shame that I have wasted 45 blogs thus far
and have not yet taken the time to write about
the single
most important
and best part of my life:
my loving, underappreciated, overworked, amazing wife
Karen Joy "Lockard" Case.

So through some amazing "stupor of thought" I was able to convince her to marry me 12+ years ago.  I think the Spirit must have been still lingering from my missionary days (or is the spelling "daze" more appropriate?) and it was just enough to hook her for time and all eternity.  No matter what it was, I got her and I'm keeping her and there's nothing anyone can do to stop it!  Bwa ha ha!  Oh wait ... the evil laugh really doesn't work so well here.

Karen is AWESOME !!!

There is no correct place to start and there is no end to how amazing she is.  So I'll just highlight a bunch of things that come to mind right now and you'll just have to expect MANY more blogs (or at least comments on individual and seemingly unrelated to her blogs) about how great she is and how lucky I am to "have" her.

Karen is absolutely beautiful.  Her face is strikingly pretty, but in a soft way (not some over-make-upped actress that deep down is not pretty or beautiful at all).  Her hair always smells so good it makes me want to have her head on my chest and be running my fingers through her brown locks.  I'll spare any TMI (too much information) and just say that many other parts of her are very noteworthy and extremely attractive.

But it is her smile and her laugh that get me EVERY time!
I love to watch movies or tv shows with her, especially those that make her smile and/or laugh.  I can't describe her laugh but there is just something about it that makes me feel so good when I hear it.  When some people laugh it is forced and fake (I am guilty of this at work and at family get togethers from time to time).  Karen's laugh is not forced.  It is not fake.  It is like that of a child who has been tickled until they almost lose their breath.  It is the laugh of a person who shows no pretense and doesn't much care if others find the same thing as funny as she does.  It is pure.  And when she laughs, I laugh ... and a part of me inside is made better for having been able to enjoy that often brief, but always fun moment with her.  I am so glad that we find the same silly things funny.  The way our kids phrase things.  TV shows like Friends and The Office and Psych.  Just plain awesome!

Beyond all the laughter and fun times, Karen is just about the most charitable person I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.  And our kids follow her lead in ways that just make me want to cry tears of joy!  She is too humble to take credit but I know they are not offering me part of ther snack because I do this ... it is from the example of their awesome mother!  She was the Compassionate Service leader for our ward for over a year and a half.  (For my non-mormon friends that is a huge responsibility within a congregation as you coordinate meals for families that are ill or recently had a child, coordinate babysitting or housecleaning for expectant mothers on bedrest, coordinate friendly visits for new members of the ward, and on and on and on).  True, she was not always the most excited to make dozens of phone calls for each "event" but she did an amazing job of asking others to serve, and just as often she stepped in to complete the assignment when something fell through.  Many women took the time to thank her for her efforts, but this was rarely directed at her and more at the "ward for helping me out."  So it was a very thankless responsibility but she did it with a smile and impressive organizational skills for a very long time.

Above all, Karen is concerned with how people around her are feeling.  She wants everyone to be happy all the time.  You can see how this might lead her to be pessimistic (because there is no way that goal can even come close to being achieved).  But she's not a pessimist.  She is a true-blooded optimist if I have ever known one!  She thinks anything is possible (and with her it almost always is!)  She finds a way to feed and clothe our family of 8 on the most limited of budgets.  She is not too proud to take advantage of things like free preschool and clothes from Goodwill.  She has a pioneer spirit about her that reflects the adage "Use it up.  Wear it Out.  Make it do or do without."  This may be the result of having married me and my somewhat meager salary, but I think she would be just as thrifty and happy with the "simple things" if she was married to a millionaire!  But back to the keeping everyone happy line of thinking ... she is just so aware of the needs of those around her.  Her empathy for others is so great it brings her to tears and incites her anger quicker than if something sad or tragic happened to her personally.

I wake up almost every day waiting for the other shoe to drop.  Waiting for her to realize she is getting the raw end of this deal and that she could have it so much better!  I remain so unworthy of her love and admiration that it sometimes is easier to head off to work and pretend to be good at something than to have to be near her awesomeness!  It's overwhelming at times.  I try so hard to play it off (because I don't want to help her realize she is out of my league in so many ways) but it is impossible to mistake or forget.

Karen, you truly are amazing!
Don't you ever let anyone (including me when I'm in "really stupid" mode) tell you differently!
You literally light up my life.
You give me reason to live and to change everything I hate about myself.
You inspire me to try harder
and to love more openly
and to forgive others more fully.
You are the best mother for our beautiful children
and the reason they are beautiful!
You are brilliant in so many areas and could be equally brilliant in any others, but you let me have my "smart moments" because you know I need them.
You have talents upon talents and could "go pro" in many different areas but have sacrificed that fame and fortune to be a mother and a wife ... and ...
I and our children will forever be in your debt as a result.
You deserve the absolutely best things in life and I promise you that you will have them!  It may take an eternity to bring them to pass, but you shall have your just reward if it takes everything I have to bring it to you.
I love you more than I could ever convey
and will strive to show you more often in word and in deed that
you cannot get rid of me!

Thank you.  Thank You!  THANK YOU !!!


Monday, September 20, 2010

Why all the running lately?

Well if you can't beat 'em (but I can) then join 'em (I did).

Big thanks to my little sister Jaimee for encouraging asking dragging inviting allowing me to come running with her this evening.  I have not gone "running" in ... wow ... at least 15 years, maybe 16 if I do the math right since my birthday was last week.

She was gracious in making me feel like a freakin' superstar runner, but we all know I was never that good.
I ran in high school for two reasons (and ONLY these two reasons!):
#1.  You could not really get "cut" from the Cross Country or Track teams.
#2.  Both teams were co-ed (for our slower readers, this means they had girls and boys on the team)

"That dude looks skinny but at
least he's slow enough to catch."

I have heard people talk about the joy of running ... but I think they're full of crap.  I run when something is chasing me, or when I'm playing a real sport (see: basketball, football, baseball, sometimes volleyball), or when someone did not hear me clearly call "SHOTGUN!" and so I have to beat them to the front seat.  In other words, I run when I have to not "just because."

But Jaimee has been on this running kick as of late (along with what seems like EVERY one of my Facebook friends and extended family members*) and so I thought this would be chance to support her healthy habit and exercise the old muscles once again.  *Huge props to my cousin Darrin who just completed a Triathlon!  Wow!  I don't care if the knee-brace wearing octagenarian bested you ... you'll get him next year!

I just want to beat the short old guys ... and my sister!  :)
So on October 16th, I will be joining my sister and a few of her friends (plus Chris Fark, a guy I work with who signed up too) for the 4th Annual Peace Officer's Memorial Valor Run (good luck fitting that on the t-shirts).  It is a 5K race (3.1 miles for those who don't use the metric system).  Jaimee's goal is to break 30 minutes ... and that will be my goal as well ... at least for this first race.  Personally I would love (that's way too strong a word since I kinda don't really care) to get back to "under 20 minutes" for a 5K run ... but that may be unrealistic at my advanced age.

Either way, 2 1/2 hours of full-court basketball this afternoon, mowing the lawn this afternevening, and then running 2.2 miles (in about 25 minutes) has left my muscles good and tired ... but I feel good too.  Hmmm ... maybe that's the "runner's high" everyone keeps fabricating.  Stinkin' liars!  :)


Saturday, September 18, 2010

What is going on here ?!

The other night I go downstairs to turn off the lights for the kids and I find this ...

Ben (almost 9) with his arm around Josh Jr (almost 11)

I suppose on some level it is cute.

But on another level ... they are going to HATE me for posting this!  :)

Here comes the punchline ...

It is a real life BRO-mance!  Get it?!  Since they're BROthers?!

Ha ha ha.  Oh waitaminute ...

Hope they don't get me back while I'm sleeping ... uh oh.


Friday, September 17, 2010

Happy Birthday to who?

Quick post tonight ... 'cause it's my birthday and I think sleep sounds like a great present!  :)

Mmmm ... so good!
My beautiful wife Karen made an "extra" Lemon Cake yesterday so that I could take it into work today for my team and peers.  I wanted to do this because it reminds me of birthdays in grade school where the birthday boy or girl would bring in treats for the rest of the class.  I always thought that was backwards, but now that I am older I actually like the idea.  Think about it ... if I'm bringing the treats for the day then I get to pick what we're having and I know that at least one person will like them ... ME!  :)

Thanks to all my family and friends who wished me a happy birthday and/or blogged about it and/or provided me with gifts (or at least pretended to like me more today).  Your efforts were noticed, appreciated, and made my day much better than it would have been.  Pat yourself on the back for a job well done.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

You're saying THAT is your Guilty Pleasure?!

Oh yeah ... I am!

Admitting it for God and everyone to know.

Not ashamed in the least about it.

I'll be on my deathbed
and asking for

I know it's not "good for me."

I know the risk I am taking with my health.


They're just irresistible to me.

I'd have them every day ... if I could afford it.

And I KNOW that I am not the only one who feels this way.

So let the world know.

Shout it out proud.

You're hooked!

I Just Can't Get Enough!

Mmmmmmmmmmm ...

McDonald's French Fries!

Ohhhhh ... soooooo ... goooood !!!


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Why did you do that?

The most common response I have received from people regarding my blog post yesterday (with the picture that I will be explaining shortly), is why?
Why did you do that?

To answer that valid question, I have to take you back in time a few years to one of my first experiences as a Supervisor at Progressive Insurance.  I could write forever about how cool I think the company I work for is, but that will just come out in bits and pieces throughout my blog posts.  There was a job fair that was going to be held at   UCCS (University of Colorado at Colorado Springs) and the recruiting department wanted to have Progressive employees run a booth there.  Through process of discussion it came up that myself and one other Supervisor (Brian Kimberling) had in fact graduated from   UCCS.  So we're the "perfect" candidates to represent Progressive, right?!  The jury is still out, but WE sure had fun!

I'll tell more of that story later but to "get to the point" (not my strong suit) let me explain how this ties in with the picture.  I drove us to UCCS for the "career" fair and after we were leaving Brian took his nametag sticker and stuck it on the ceiling of my car.  He said "Now you'll always have something to remember me and this day by."  And I left it there.  Weeks went by and I was sitting in a Sonic drive-thru (getting my Route 44 sized Watermelon Slush after an afternoon of playing basketball).  They handed me my drink and the receipt was taped to the lid with a Sonic Sticker.

A thought entered my head: I should just add this to the nametag that "BK" left here and start a collection.  And so I did.  Over the years (it has been at least 2 years now, maybe 3), I have added dozens of stickers to the ceiling of my car.  Almost all of them are Sonic stickers (I seriously get excited when they hand me my order and it has a sticker on it!) and you would never know they are there unless you have the priviledge of riding in my car.  A few of the stickers are from Odyssey Elementary events that I attended with my son Ben when he was in 1st or 2nd grade.  Good times.  Good memories.

So back to the question of "Why?"  The answer is simple ... just because.  Because I can.  Because it's something I would do.  Because it is silly.  Because Brian started it.  Because it gives me something to collect that doesn't really cost anything.

And my personal favorite:
... all parents say it with me now ...
Because I said so, that's why!  :)


Can you tell what this is a picture of?

The answer will be provided in tomorrow's blog.

So if you're curious, pop on back to find out.

If you're NOT curious ... good for you!

It's probably not worth your time.  Really!  The story behind it couldn't be that interesting.  You'll probably never wonder about it.  I bet not a wink of sleep will be lost by you.  In fact, you're probably not even going to look at the picture 'cause it's such a lame blog idea and you're WAAAAAYYY smarter and more mature than that.

Good for you!

Good for YOU!

If you DO know ... please don't post the answer ... it will just kill the suspense for tomorrow.
You don't want to be responsible for ruining the fun now do you?!  I thought not.  :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Is something wrong with your lawnmower?

If my neighbor had asked my wife that question today, I think her response would have been: No.  He's a little lazy sometimes but he still works.  (For those not catching the joke, it would be Karen calling ME her "lawnmower.")

But she didn't ask Karen, she asked me ... after seeing me struggle to push it back and forth again and again, stopping and starting the engine multiple times, while cutting the grass in the front yard.  She misunderstood what was happening, but I thought it was very nice of her to be concerned.  So I stopped and did my best to explain the situation she was seeing.  But first, a little background ...

There are many different arguments about what to do with your lawn once the fall season is upon us.  Some swear you have to water it until the first snowfall, others say the watering never stops.  Some say you need to fertilize every holiday, others believe fertilizer is a scam and does nothing for the hardy grasses most of us have nowadays.  Some say you should leave the grass at a reasonable length, while others argue that it should be cut very short a few weeks before the end of the growing season so it can begin to hibernate for the winter.  It can be very confusing and even so-called "experts" differ in opinions widely.

I am a believer in watering until the first snow falls (or if the grass is as yellow as the leaves of trees in the neighborhood).  I am a believer in fertilizing every holiday during the summer and haven't bothered in years with winter or spring fertilizer.  How different can the compositions of these chemicals really be?  Does the grass really know the difference?  Hey Blade, you're not gonna eat that "summer weed and feed" are ya?  It ain't no good for you after Labor day ya know.   Or perhaps it would be a married couple and the wife says "The Lawn Doctor said too much of this stuff will kill you!  Don't you care about our little sprouts?!"  I am also a believer in leaving the grass longer during the growing season (3-4 inches still looks very nice) but chopping it very short just before the real end of summer.  Then watering the heck out of it for a few weeks (optimally) until the first snow begins to fall.

So back to my inquisitive neighbor: Amanda is her name.  Her husband is a really nice guy named Chad and they have a 3-year old boy named Ian whom Catalina just adores (she had to hug him goodbye when she walked to preschool today and then gave him a kiss on his cheek.  He wiped it off as soon as she turned around.  Adorable!)

I explained to her that I was cutting the grass very short and probably should have cut it to a medium height and then down again afterward, but I was feeling lazy.  Thus every 4 to 10 steps I had to stop and empty the bag and I also walked the lawnmower forward and then backed it up just slightly before pushing forward again with every new section of grass I mowed.  I have to say that after shaving it down, it looked really good!
Not our house ...
but the lawn looks similar.
I was so impressed that I ran over it a second time in the opposite diagonal direction so it looked like a baseball outfield.  I drenched it immediately after mowing (and then later again this evening at dusk after giving the same haircut to the backyard).  I am proud of my lawn and it was a huge pleasure for me to just enjoy the way it looked as the sun set over the front range.  If I had been smarter (or more boastful) I would have taken pictures, but just picture a beautifully manicured lawn and dial it down a few notches and you'll have an idea of how mediocre (but nice for me) it looked.

Hopefully this will be my last lawn-mowing of 2010.  Next year I plan to service my lawnmower before the start of the season (sharpen the blades, replace the oil and spark plug(s), etc.) and I hope we will enjoy each other's company for years to come.  But I wouldn't cry if someone replaced her with a self-propelled drive train ... mechanical or in the form of one of my sons ... I'm not picky !

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Where have YOU been?

So I knew back in July when I first decided to start blogging that it would be idiotic of me to commit to "The 365 Days of Josh Case" ... so I didn't.  I do not mind reading the Lamentations (it is Sunday so we have to have some Biblical reference right?!) of my blog-buddies that are doing the 365-challenge. In fact, it makes me feel good knowing that I am not bound by the same requirements.

I say this often but don't get me wrong ... I am not mocking or putting down the 365-days bloggers.  I could, because I am free of that pressure, but I'm not.  I think it is a very admirable goal and I applaud those of my family and friends who have taken (and for many almost completed) that challenge.

It is days like the last two days that remind me how glad I am that I made the decision not to commit to that level of ... commitment.  :)

Friday, 9/10
It was the annual Fathers and Sons campout ... and in our family's time honored tradition ... we didn't go.  Instead, the boys and I set up a tent in our backyard and "camped" in the safety of a suburban neighborhood.  Believe me when I say that I tried to convince the boys to "campout" in safety (and comfort) of the movie room ... but Ben convinced Josh Jr that it would be so cool to sleep in the backyard ... even though that meant a much earlier bedtime.  So after about 15 minutes of tossing the football around we roasted smores over the fire (made in my charcoal grill which will likely end up being a very bad long-term decision).  I then got soft and the boys & I came in and watched "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" together before heading out to the tent for bed.  "Pioneers sang as they walked and walked and walked and walked."  My boys stayed awake as they talked and talked and talked.  But eventually (see: when I stopped responding) they rolled over and slept.  I, on the other hand, laid there awake for quite a while.  But sleep finally won out and later the next day Ben said it had been "the best campout ever."  Josh Jr is still undecided.

Saturday, 9/11 -- Patriot Day
I snuck out of the tent around 4:45am and after a quick (but very warm and thus extremely enjoyable) shower, I headed into work.  Why so early?  You'll find out later.  Work was great ... mostly because in the 2 1/2 hours I had of near silence before anyone else came to work I got virtually everything I needed to do done.  Then my team got to work and I met with several folks through the rest of my day.  Around 11:30am my dad and brother, Jordan, and the boys picked me up to go to the AFA vs BYU football game.

The game was great!  Well ... not for BYU or their fans ... but for Air Force it was spectacular.  The horrific looking Cougars (or whatever JV High School team they let suit up for them) made AFA look super fast and super good.  The weather was awesome though and Grandpa Jerry treated us to seat cushions and hot dogs and water and snacks.  Where was that generous guy when I was a kid?!  Just kidding dad!  You were always cool when we went to sports events!  Ben was ready to leave as soon as we got there (he is more like his mom and found more fun in watching the people around us than the game).  Josh Jr was witty as ever with his comments and questions.  And then it only took us an hour to exit the parking lot.  Notice no asterisk next to that time assessment.  It was abysmal!

On an unhappy note, I cracked my temporary crown (this is the 2nd temp crown I have had on this tooth!) chewing on a hot dog.  They said to avoid anything hard or sticky.  The hot dog was neither of those things.  I am now in somewhat severe pain because the prepped tooth under the temporary crown is exposed and VERY sensitive to air or liquids and any thoughts I have about anything to eat have to be carefully considered.  Can I cut it into small enough pieces to stay on the left side of my mouth?  Am I really that hungry or should I just start a long fasting period?  Ultimately I realized that if they need to try and complete the crown tomorrow I probably should not come fasting or the shot might cause bigger physical problems.

The rest of the evening and most of today is a blur of sorts.  I know we (the Oakwood Ward choir) sang a beautiful medley of two hymns in Sacrament meeting today.  I know we had a great meal and fun hanging out @ Grandma Julie's house.  I know Mindy and her kids were over Saturday night and I vaguely remember watching part of some Jennifer Lopez movie about getting pregnant.  But ultimately, the weekend was one that literally wiped me out ... so this blog is rather boring (in my opinion) and I just didn't feel compelled to bore y'all with it.

Hopefully tomorrow I will get my tooth fixed (finally) and after being able to eat normally again I will be in a better position to share something more witty with you all.  But don't hold your breath ... remember: I can't get that tooth numb so unless there is a miracle you might not see another blog for another few days.  Spend the time you save with your kids and you will thank me later.  Unless you go "camping" in the backyard ... or to root for the BYU Football team.  :)

Friday, September 10, 2010

How's that feeling?

That was the very question that my dentist (and at least 100* people that either work in his office or were just passing by and thought "when in Rome" and joined in) asked me at least 50* times today.

You see, he had stabbed* me with his HUGE* needle in at least 20* different places at or around the area where normal people get novacaine to numb their mouths.  And then like every 5 seconds* he kept hounding me about whether or not my lips were getting tingly and if my tongue was feeling fat*.  It just wasn't.  Not at all.

Now I have been to this dentist for a million* appointments and they have all lasted longer than 2 hours (note the absence of an asterisk on that one ... you'll get there ... wait for it).  Even the very first appointment, which was for a deep* cleaning and a somewhat* relaxing chair massage (I think the chair really enjoyed it).

Today, I was un-numb-able (oh it's a real* word ... trust me).  They ripped* my temporary crown off (it said "King James" on it and I just had to dump the traitor) and then mercilessly* caused me great pain and anguish by touching the tooth and asking "can you feel that?!"  YES I CAN !!!  And it hurts!

This was the small* needle he used.
PS - See if you can pick out the male assistant.
So after THREE (also note the absent asterisk) different shots of novacaine, with both the small and BIG needles (also no asterisks) and still no numbness (my tongue felt a little fat, but he's not exercising as much as he used to ... I blame some questionable mouthwash and the fact that Karen is really tired) ... where was I?!  Oh, yeah!  The dentist gave me 2 options: we can just "work on it and see how it goes" ... or ... I could "go about my business and come back an hour or two later when numbness would supposedly occur."  Being a tough-guy* I opted for the former* option.  The male assistant (don't judge me ... he was the ONLY male assistant in the place) suggested that we just head over to Indigo's and get hammered.  He then slurred his words a little too accurately and vomited* on* the* nearest* female* assistant* to* sell* the* whole* joke*.

I called the dentist back at 4:00pm (one hour later) to advise him that I could not move my right arm* but that my teeth were still not feeling any numbness whatsoever.  The receptionist advised me that he shouted* something about "never wanting to see me again"* and that we should let my mouth rest and try again next week.  So next Thursday you can expect a blog about the remaining 27* attempts to numb my teeth, as well as the male assistant's use of a baseball bat to "seal the deal."

*Please assume that anything marked with an asterisk
 may possibly* be an exaggeration or a complete mistruth
that was made up in some lame* attempt
to add humor to this dentist-themed blog post.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

What's good painting music?

Well I am sure everyone has their own preference but today I listened to my John Mayer CDs while I was painting Brooklyn's room (stage one painting that is ... there will likely be a dozen stages since she wants blue sky, white clouds, brown mountains, green grass patches, and every color of flower and butterfly imaginable).

I have mentioned before that I love all kinds of music and John Mayer's stuff is definitely on that list (sometimes my favorite and other times just nice to have in the background).  I listened to two of his CDs today while I painted:  Heavier Things (which I had not heard in a LONG time) and Continuum (which I only heard a few songs on because I listed to the first CD several times over).

My favorite song on Heavier Things has to be Come Back To Bed.  It is just a smooth song about making up and I like the message when he says "What will this fix?  You know you're not a quick forgive." and "You can be mad in the morning.  I'll take back what I said."  I just think it supports the theory of not going to bed angry and working things out when they happen and not days later.

But I enjoy all of the CD (two songs a little less than the others), especially because the tunes and words just beg you to sing along with them.  And I love singing!  I am not particularly gifted int hat area, but I can carry a tune and my mom taught me to harmonize quite well to virtually any melody.

Continuum has some very different songs on it but I love so many of them it is impossible to highlight them all ... so I'll pick two:
First, Gravity.  I have my own personal reasons for loving the message of this song, which I will not be sharing here.  But I will say this much ... the following words from the song have deep meaning for me: "gravity, wants to bring me down" and "twice as much ain't twice as good and can't sustain like one half could ... it's wanting more that's gonna bring me to my knees"
Second, I'm Gonna Find Another You.  This song doesn't have much meaning at all to me personally as I have found the only YOU that I ever want in my beautiful wife Karen.  But it is a sweet break-up song and I can picture myself back in high school and I would have loved to have this song to sing to a certain ex-girlfriend.  The lines "I hope she looks like you and she's nicer too!" and "I'm gonna do some things you wouldn't let me do!" really mean alot when you're in a break-up situation.

The "hot mama" of my Daughters (& sons too!)
Anyway, I could go on and on about other songs on these CDs but needless to say it made the time while I was painting fly by and gave me a chance to reflect on lots of things.  I have a super great life and I am so very blessed!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

So are we supposed to STOP? Ok, but where?

Short written blog tonight but the pics will tell you "the rest of the story" (c'mon, I know there are some Paul Harvey fans out there!)

I drive down Dublin Blvd to Shimmering Creek Dr / Black Forest Rd almost every evening on my way home from work.  I noticed one day that there are 3 Stop signs on Eastbound Dublin Rd at this intersection.

Note the lack of mountains (you are facing East)
So I had to ask "why?"  And then I had to check to see if those travelling Westbound on Dublin Blvd are equally blind and stupid.  Turns out they must be.  (No offense intended to anyone who is actually blind ... in fact, if you are blind and you are reading this blog then we should talk 'cause that's frickin' impressive!)

And note the presence of mountains (you are facing West)
And that would have been my blog ... except ... apparently we are too stupid to notice the three HUGE stop signs (coming or going either direction) ... so they had to add these about 100 yards before the intersection.  On BOTH sides !!!

Seriously?! Math is not my best subject (Karen says it's "kissing and stuff" but she's biased ... absolutely correct, but still biased) but I count a total of 10 stop signs and/or stop-sign-related warnings on ONE SINGLE ROAD within 100 yards of ONE intersection!

I also question the wisdom in giving
ONE ROAD two different names.
People already get lost as it is!
The moral of the story is that when car sales drop because of a recession, the inmates have to resort to making other road signs (instead of license plates people, please try to keep up!) and now the rest of us have to STOP excessively so their rehabilitative efforts are not wasted.  Hmmmm ... I was just wondering if maybe they can make warning signs about the stop-sign warning signs ... 'cause those come up awfully fast and I would hate to miss them.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Can it really be Fall already?

I have to begin today's blog with another shout-out ... this time to my little sister Jaimee.  It's her birthday today and she will remind me every day for the next 11 days (we were born 11 months and 19 days apart)that we are the same age ... although now that we're in our mid-30's I think she is not trying to keep up with me in years as much as when we were both 17.  I love you Jaimee and perhaps on your half-birthday (or on some other random date) I will have to start the first of many blogs committed to just my memories of times with you.  My favorite was still our "dates" to the Hallmark store in the Greeley Mall where we would try to find the most hilarious card.  So much fun!  Hope your birthday was awesome!

If the weather change from this morning (too hot for the balloons to go up) to this afternevening while I was grilling (seriously 20-30 degrees colder outside than in the house) is any indication, then Fall has arrived ... and he/she is ANGRY!

The winds were howling this afternoon.  So badly that while trying to play 500 with my boys (football players of all ages will know the game, if you don't ... ask a football player you know) it became almost impossible for me to throw a pass that either of them could catch.  It was like tossing a frisbee that is actually a boomerang.  I think I scored more points than they did, and I didn't even use the "dead or alive" points system much at all.

I saw a shooting star this evening on the drive back from dropping my mother-in-law and niece back off at their place (after an evening of dominoes that Karen was killing us on until she got Myra back and then her concentration and luck was OVER).  I haven't seen a shooting star in years so it was very cool.  But I forget if you are supposed to wish on them or follow them to their resting place and wait for Will Smith to do that flashy thing on you.  I just pulled in the garage and closed the door to be safe.

The pool is closed now and at the start of the summer it always seems like Labor Day is way to early to be thinking about closing the pool.  But it hasn't really been warm enough to want to swim in at least two weeks (especially if you add the chilly wind in).

No matter how you shake it ... fall is here and I am happy to welcome him (or her ... which is it?)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Is being spontaneous overrated?

I am a planner.  I plan things.  I think about what is coming in life, at home, at work, for school, at church ... and then I plan things.  When do we do this or when can we fit that in.  This usually works just fine for me, but I know many around me probably view me as very anal-retentive.  That's probably pretty true.

Here's my argument though, based on the "spontaneous" side of life in general.  If you don't plan then:
 - you will almost always pay more
 - it will almost always take longer
 - guaranteed you will forget something important
 - you won't be able to get as many things done
 - and what I believe to be worst of all ... people around you that plan will begin to resent your perpetual spontaneity

Don't mistake me on this ... I am a fan of surprises.  But think about it ... most surprises are well-planned events.  Not planned by the surprisee, but the person doing the surprising usually has put in lots of time and effort to make thing go off without a hitch.

I am also open to being spontaneous every once in a while.  The problem is that non-planners LIVE spontaneously.  Planning is the exception, not the rule.  I am probably just a stick in the mud, but I am not talking about planning EVERY detail ... but is it too much to ask for 80-90% of the BIG details to be planned?

My current role at work absolutely requires me to plan hours, days, weeks, even months in advance.  I could be mediocre at what I do ... or I could present myself poorly in most interactions by not planning ahead.  I choose not to look the fool and think ahead.  I doubt we were given our brains to just creatively solve problems that we likely created for ourselves by not planning ahead.  I think we were entrusted with this gift of predetermined thoughts so that we can eventually be more like Him.  After all, cleanliness is next to Godliness and isn't order cleaner than chaos?  Isn't it more God-like to think eternally instead of waiting until the moment has passed and then realizing you really wanted to do whatever passed you by?

At the very least ... the VERY least ... people who don't plan for their future will forever remain held back by their past.

So I apologize for all non-planners that are forced to interact with me at work, at church, in my large extended family, etc.  I am not trying to be holier-than-thou ... but don't expect me to be all smiles when you fail to plan and then get a less-than-excited reaction from me when you ask for my support or help in throwing something together last minute.  I'll still help, but if you mistakenly ask me if something is wrong prepare to be redirected to this Blog Post before you get to ask me any more stupid questions.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Are you guys hiring?

I got a call from my sister-in-law Tisne this evening, which normally never happens.  It's not that Tisne and I don't talk, just practically never over the phone.

The VERY moment I recognized her voice I thought "Why haven't you told her about all the hiring we are doing at Progressive?!"
Well, you will never guess what she was calling about ... really ... try and guess ... go ahead ... nothing?!

The Progressive Colorado Springs Call Center
Tisne has been working at her current job (in a call center that has horrible hours, mean managers, terrible training, and questionable quality) for a while now.  She doesn't really enjoy it but in this economy you take what you can get, right?!  Needless to say I was very happy to chat with her this evening about applying to work at Progressive (locally, a call center that has flexible hours, holistic leaders, comprehensive training, and a huge emphasis on quality care for customers).

Who doesn't know our current
spokesperson, "Flo" ?
I am very proud to say that
I love Progressive!  I love working there!  Sure we have our problems and issues (good luck finding a "perfect" workplace in this life), but for the most part I have been there 12 and a half years because it is a great place to work!  I will not bore you with the details ... but ... if you live in the Colorado Springs area and are not already working at Progressive, give me a call sometime (or send me an e-mail on Facebook) and I'll talk very candidly with you about why I love my job and company so much.

So tomorrow I will be refreshing my memory on how to submit an employee referral (for Tisne) and then giving her a call in the early afternoon to help her prepare for the interview(s).  Of course I cannot interview her myself, nor can I guarantee she would get hired or anything like that.  But I know she cares about her customers at her current job and gets most upset when she is not provided with the freedom to help them out.  That alone makes her a great fit for Progressive!

And the $500 bonus I would get if she is hired and works there for at least 90 days isn't bad either.  :)

What do all these words have in common?

A special treat today for all my loyal readers, but first a quick "holla" to my little brother Jordan who turned 29 years old today.  Jordan, thanks for holding out past 2:00am so that we could all have September birthdays together (no offense Jeremy, but you got to share with Grandpa so it's all good).

Today's treat is a game.

See if you can find out the common denominator of all these words and/or phrases:
12-step program     1980s     afternevening     Albuquerque low     aliens     all-knowing brother     aloof     animated movies     anniversary     anxiety     Atonement     awesome     backfill     Basketball     basking     bathrooms     Bill Cosby     Black Hole     blessings     Blog topics     boat     Bob     Bonus points     Boraxo     boring meetings     boundaries     boyz N da hood     bragging     Broncos     buzzer     BYU football     Captain Moroni     Card Club     cats     chair     challenge     charity     Chinook wind     chocolate milk     Christmas     cloud buddies     Colorado Springs     Come What May     comic     compasses     conversations     couch     crotchety     curiosity     Dangit     debacle     defense     Dennis     dentists     deposited     depths of my soul     Dilbert     dish     Diversity and Inclusion     divide and conquer     Dr Seuss     dream home     driving     dusty     empty nest     etc.     example     exercise     falcons     Family Feud     fantasy football     Father's Blessings     favorite     fighting     fillings     Finding Nemo     Flair     flavoring     fools     fretting     future     game night     Garden of the Gods     gardens     Geek in the Pink     glare     glorious and beautiful     goats     great day     Greeley     grievances     groceries     grudges     grumpier     hairstyles     Halloween     Hannah Montana     Happy Hour     Hawaii     helicopter     hold your breath     Hollywood     homages     Humpty Dumpty     I am a Child of God     I-25     ice cream for dinner     idiosyncrasies     idiots     imperfections     interesting     Jazzmine     Jesus Christ     just another day     Karen     ladies     laughs     laundry     leagues     left-handed     lemonade     lifeguards     lighter side     LinkedIn     Long Beach     Love     Love One Another     lovely     low self esteem     loyal fans     made my day     Mafia     mankind     Marcos     Martial Law     Matchless Sock Drawer     mediocrity     Mindy     missions     moisture     movies     music     musical chairs     My Blue Heaven     MySpace     national anthem     Netflix     Nicknames     nightmares     non-Mormon readers     non-sensical     nothing to say     offense     old friend     older     opportunity     Orem     outspoken     paraffin wax     parents     pavilion     peaches     peanut gallery     peanuts     peeking     perplexed     Phineas and Ferb     Pikes Peak     ping pong     pivot foot     playing chicken     porches     power steering pump      praying for money     precarious     pregnant     preschool     Pretty Lady     projector     projects     Prom dates     promise     Pull and Pay junkyard     pulley     puzzles     pwetty     quitting choir     rain     Raziel     real     redemption     rematch     reservior     rides     roller coasters     sabbatical     Scentsy     school     Scouting     secret love song     seminary     serpentine belt     shells     Shout-Outs     silly game     skipping     skirts     Sky Sox     slap-happy     sleep     sleeping     sleepovers     smiling     something better     Spectrum     speeding     stand-up     steak wrapped in bacon     stealing     stereotypes     Stetson Hills ward     straight     stretch     stupid     summer vacation     sums     suspense     sweating profusely     swimming     syrup     Temples     tendencies     testimony     texting     the list     the Office     The Princess Bride     throwing up     thumper     tickets     today     Tony     topics     tracking     train wreck     travelogue     trends     trifecta     trust     turn signals     Twitter     two     warning     waste     water     waves     weather     wedding     weeds     what the heck     Willow you idiot     winded     winning lottery ticket     wolves     wood chips     woodworking     Woooo     Yahoo     yesterday     YouTube     Zoo

Okay ... so if you seriously read all of that (or at least scrolled down to the end) here is the answer:  All of these words have ONE TIME and one-time only been featured as a "Label" for my blogs.  I specifically utilized different words and themes to create the most off the wall list of words and phrases over the first 30-days of posting.

What an incredible waste of time huh?!  Oh well ... it gave me a free blog post so I got that going for me.

Good night!  :)