Saturday, May 31, 2008

Shrinkage is Real

So, you would think that with the hot hot hot weather in Phoenix, the pool water would be toasty warm. Not so! The water temperature in pools varies widely based on where the pool is, how deep it is, and how big it is.

I found this out first hand when swimming at one of my wife’s uncle’s pool. (Is that too many possessives?) He has a deep pool that is mostly in the shade during the day. Therefore, when we “TRIED” to go swimming, the water was a chilly 66 degrees. To put that in perspective, the last time that I was swimming in the ocean, the water was a toasty 70 degrees. While trying to grunt out the cold, I most certainly had to retell the story of shrinkage. For those of you that don’t remember the Seinfeld episode about shrinkage, check it out here. Wowza, burrrr.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Boating is the BEST

I recently was able to go boating with an ex coworker and current friend of mine. We went to Canyon Lake in the PHX area which offered beautiful views of the red rocks and foliage of the desert. We were able to not only boat, but the lake offered a chance to beach the boat and hang out on the shore for a while and have lunch etc.

I also got my first opportunity ever to knee board. It was a blast – although I did get a bit beat up. I now have scrapes on most of my toes and parts of my knees. BUT, I would totally do it again. It was actually much more fun than skiing was (if I remember water skiing).

ALSO, it did get both Tiffany and I excited to get a boat. We have always talked about getting a boat, but I think that now more than ever we are jazzed about getting one. Hopefully, here in the very near term we will be able to not only get a nice used boat, but also buy the truck/SUV that it will take to tow the stupid thing!

Here are some pictures of a different lake that he has been to – but that offers the same types of views. Also, I’ve attached a picture of the boat that we were out on.

















Sunday, May 25, 2008

Eany Meany Miney Moe


I have spent a better part of the morning looking into the various stock trading companies. Specifically, I have been looking into eTrade, ScotTrade, and TD Ameritrade. (I suppose I also looked at a few other random ones as well, but those are the ones that I have focused on.)
I need to figure out some sort of online stock trading company because I need to get some of my money out of ACN. Right now, I have around 50% of my savings in it and it makes me a bit nervous. Plus, it seems like it would be a good way to save up for our next house - try to grow it slowly through stock trading.

Throughout my research, it seems that each of the companies have different pros and cons. eTrade seems to be catering towards the people who day trade - or trade very very often. Therefore, unless you trade 50+ times per quarter, their trades are $13 each. That really left ScotTrade and TD Ameritrade as viable options.

I ultimately chose ScotTrade. The main reason was that they did not charge a fee for withdrawing money like Ameritrade did. The charge was substantial - $25 - $75, and would likely eat up any low balance charges (ScotTrade has a $500 minimum balance) rather quickly. Not to mention the fact that their trades are $7 instead of the $10 that TD Ameritrade wanted. I was considering TD Ameritrade because they offer an automatic dividend reinvestment service that would have been really nice. Instead, I am just going to have to be conscious of when those dividends are deposited and reinvest them as I see fit.
Now, i just need to get all signed up and start making millions.

Ugly

I am watching golf with my father in law and one of the announcers just referenced a bad golf shot as "Amy Winehouse kind of ugly". I think that you have transcended into a new sort of tailspin if you make the golf watcher common vocabulary.


If the below picture isn't a good advertisement for not using drugs, I don't know what is. She used to be really cute. MAN OH MAN, what happened to her? Oh yeah - meth.

5/25 Run - PHX edition

I ran a pretty solid 6 miles today. 7:35 pace - or a little over 45 minutes. The interesting thing was that I was starting to find a groove at that 7:30 pace once I had been running it for around 4 or so miles. I wasn't sure if that was ever going to happen - so I am hopeful that I can start to build up the distances and meet my goal of 3:30 on the Chicago Marathon route. Here is hoping.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Professionalism? BLAH

Just when you thought that it couldn’t get any worse, I get forwarded these two email signatures by a friend / colleague of mine.


















Wow, just wow. I am at a loss for words.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Yes, Travel is awesome


For all of my travels to crappy locations (*cough cough Michigan*), I think that this week’s travel has most certainly made up for it. This week I have been in southern California. Specially, I spent two days in the LA area and two days in San Louis Obispo. Below is a picture from my balcony at the hotel in SLO.

Not only did I get to spend time in a hot tub with a guy on my team, but I have ate better than I should, I got to run on the beach (3 miles, 8 ish pace), and I got to drive by dozens of vineyards. Although, I will say that being in pacific time is a pain in the neck. It usually means that I have to start work around 7am and not start until way afterwards. Although, I have been getting a bit of flack for all of the driving that I’ve been doing – and the time that it takes away from work. To which I always answer………”I get more done by 10 am than you get done all day”. Ha!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Hey Peter Man!

Peter Gibbons: What would you do if you had a million dollars?

Lawrence: I'll tell you what I'd do, man: two chicks at the same time, man.

Peter Gibbons: That's it? If you had a million dollars, you'd do two chicks at the same time?

Lawrence: Damn straight. I always wanted to do that, man. And I think if I were a millionaire I could hook that up, too; 'cause chicks dig dudes with money.

Peter Gibbons: Well, not all chicks.

Lawrence: Well, the type of chicks that'd double up on a dude like me do.

Peter Gibbons: Good point.

Lawrence: Well, what about you now? what would you do?

Peter Gibbons: Besides two chicks at the same time?

Lawrence: Well, yeah.

Peter Gibbons: Nothing.

Lawrence: Nothing, huh?

Peter Gibbons: I would relax... I would sit on my ass all day... I would do nothing.

Lawrence: Well, you don't need a million dollars to do nothing, man. Take a look at my cousin: he's broke, don't do shit.

Monday, May 19, 2008

5/17 Run

3 miles - 7:37 Pace.

Wowza, the heat REALLY slows you down. I was twice as tired as I was with a much faster pace.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Gulp, glup, glup

I am back at watering the lawn! I didn't do much of this last summer but I did a ton of it the summer before. Unfortunately, the lawn took the brunt of the lack of water and therefore I have a lot of catch up to do this summer. I do however, really enjoy spending the time outside and therefore don't really mind the effort. Today specifically has two purposes. First, I am going to be gone for quite some time over the next few weeks and second, I put down some fertilizer that needed to be soaked in.

I thought this blog posting title served two purposes - both the lawn is gulping water as well as the water company is gulping my wallet.

Leave 'em alone

So, I feel almost obligated to post on the recent developments that the state of California overturned the gay marriage ban. First, good for them. There are many social and economic ramifications of this decision, but I think that overall it will be one that will be looked back upon as a great step forward.



Additionally, I really love the fact that the governator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger said that he would block any attempt to am mend the constitution to ban marriage. I am sure that this will not make him any friends within the republican party - and will probably cost him some cronies - but is ultimately the right decision. After all, he WAS the first one to accept girly men. Now, if we could just get him to accept bears as well, we'll be set!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

5/14 Milage

Ran 4.18 miles at a 7:17 pace. Not too bad. I think that I could have ran much further at this pace which is exactly what I would like to do this weekend. I am going to try to run 7 miles at about this same faster pace. I figure if I can run a 1/2 marathon at about a 7:30 pace, I should be able to run the entire marathon at a 8:00 pace - which is my goal for the Chicago race in October.

Additionally, I did walk 2 miles with my wife before the run - so it was really 6 miles - right? :)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Book Review: You’re So Money

I recently received Farnoosh Torabi’s book You’re So Money from a coworker/friend who knows the editor. The really cool thing about this was that it was an advanced copy – I read the book before it was even available for purchase! It is a personal finance book geared towards 20 something’s who have recently landed their first job and need a bit of help with all things financial.

Overall the book was a super easy and fun read. It had great concepts on budgeting, a section on the stock market by Jim Kramer, chapters on car/apartment/house purchasing, etc. Essentially all of the little and big decisions that us 20 something’s need to make on a daily basis. Farnoosh, with her very casual and funny tone, gives lots of real world examples which help to put a frame of reference around her advice. The great thing about her real examples is that they are not how she bought 500,000 shares of google and used the money to finance her own private island. Instead, they are examples of how she babysat on the weekends for extra money for an expensive pair of jeans.

I give this book 4 (out of 5) Shakespeare heads. I think that it was a really good book – even better for my little sister who I think that I may let borrow the book this summer.

Freaking Mother Nature

I need a new roof. Mother Nature huffed and puffed and my singles blew off. I now have a number of spots that are missing shingles and a number of spots where the tar paper is showing through. Not good.

There are many reasons why this makes me mad, so I will list them out!

  • It costs money – about 3500 to 4000 to be exact
  • I have to deal with contractors that don’t return phone calls
  • I have to work with insurance companies who drive me up a wall

BUT, I am happy to report that I think that I have found a good contractor to replace the roof who is willing to do it for what I think is a good price. So, hopefully by the end of next week I’ll be waterproof for another 25 years – even though I’m only planning on staying in this house for a couple more years tops.

NA Beer!?

I recently got a txt from my brother in law saying that his company (he is a pilot) recently changed their policy on drinking. Previously, it was 8 hours “bottle to throttle”. That is, you could not drink within 8 hours of flying. This is probably about what it should be. That way, even a crazy drinking binge would be out of your system by the time that you were flying the plane. However, they now changed it to 12 hours bottle to throttle. This means that for all effective purposes he cannot drink any alcohol during the week while he is flying. If he has a 7:00am flight, he would have to be completely done doing anything by 7:00pm. Not exactly the ‘peak hours’ for having a good time.


The solution? Nonalcoholic Beer. That is right – nonalcoholic beer! I have to hand it to him, I am not sure that I would be willing to 1) put up with those types of restrictions and 2) be dedicated enough to actually drink NA beer. So, he most certainly gets my respect for bellying up to the bar and ordering an Odouls. I am honestly not sure that I could do it. I think that I would probably order a ginger ale and try to make it LOOK like I was drinking a gin and tonic or something.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Running for Speed

Decided to see how fast I could run 3 miles. Not sure that I would want to run a whole lot further than this...

Distance: 3 miles
Pace: 6:55 min miles

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Get out of my brain Steve Jobs

I just noticed that iTunes has a recommendation feature. One can only expect that it goes based off of your previous purchases and recommends what specific tracks you will like. Well, I have to admit that it is pretty much spot on. Of the 10 or so that it recommended for me, I think that I could have bought 8 of them and been completely happy. One great example is one of the songs from the movie Cast Away with Tom Hanks. I love the movie and would probably put it in my top 10 favs. Either way, I am sure that I am not the only one that is a little bit freaked out about how Steve Jobs knows me better than I know myself. I wonder what tool will tell me what to eat for lunch – that seems to always be a tough decision too.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Back on the wagon

I am running again. I am going to try to post the distances that I run each day that I actually get out and clock some miles. Yesterday, I ran 3 miles with an average pace of 8:00, today I ran 3 miles with an average pace of 7:30.

I then proceeded to do lunges based on the recommendation of a friend of mine – and my ass is paying the price. (That is what she said) Probably all the more reason to do more lunges.

Chi Town Pics

So, I’ll admit – I’m not a fan of that abbreviation. But, I do know that there are a lot of abbreviations that I use that a lot of other people don’t like, so I tolerate it. As stated earlier, I recently spent a few days in Chicago for a wedding. I wanted to post a few of the pictures that we took. Specifically, the picture of the Trump Tower. It honestly was a pretty cool building. I do however think that it is interesting that it will be nearly 95 stories tall. That is nearly as tall as the Hancock tower, and something like 15 stories shorter than the Sears Tower. Trump really does know how to do it.




Check out my handy work here!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Beans and Garlic??

Cafeterias have some interesting food combinations. Today, at the client, I got the green beans and it had what I came to find out as bits of garlic in it. I mean, I would have never thought to put that in there, but I have to admit, it isn’t too bad! But, I have certainly never been accused of having an overly refined palate, so my culinary apathy may be starting to show a bit.

Other interesting combinations that I have been witness to are corn with olive oil, roasted potatoes with TONS of olive oil, and my personal favorite, just about anything covered in a creamy wing sauce.

I wonder if I could get olive oil on French Fries… I had better check tomorrow’s menu.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Tornado

Last night Kansas City was hit with a few random tornados and severe thunderstorms. There was some damage (none at my house), but overall, everything turned out OK.

That said - freaking tornado sirens are ominous. Last night they were going off with increasing frequency for most of the evening.

On a side note, there is no quicker way to piss of a person from Kansas than to make a Wizard of Oz reference. That is because, there IS a better place than home – it is called the beach.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Thin the herd

I have worked to thin the herd as much as possible and I think that I’ve gotten my TV list down to the few select shows that I ‘must’ watch. They are in order of importance:

  • The Office
  • Deadliest Catch
  • John and Kate + 8
  • Scrubs
  • CSI
  • CSI Miami
  • Lost


I am sure that there are other shows that I like to watch but don’t catch on a regular basis. For example, dirty jobs, modern marvels, and most recently some reality show on PBS about aircraft carriers. BUT, that was never part of the original goal. It was to reduce the amount of regularly scheduled TV that I watch. Which, I think that I’ve done a pretty good job with.

So, with all of my free time, I think that I might try to get back into golf. It is outdoors, it is sort of exercise, and it is something that my wife likes to do too. A triple threat really.