Thursday, October 29, 2009

A look back

The last couple of days I’ve had writers block for a post. So since we are quickly headed to the end of 2009, it seems like a good time to review over my “resolutions” for 2009. Let’s see how I’ve measured up this year.

1. Spend more time with Family and Friends – Well I think I’ve accomplished this one for the most part. We managed to get out for a vacation with my brother’s family locally to Busch Gardens & Colonial Williamsburg in Williamsburg, VA. So that was more than we normally do – so we’ll count that as a win.
2. To be more lighthearted and have more fun – Don’t think I have accomplished this. I am not really sure how I could have measured this, but I know that I have been pretty stressed over this past year and haven’t felt particularly light hearted about anything.
3. Fit in Fitness & Tame the Buldge – heh… Well I didn’t do either. I trained for the MS ride which I felt was a huge accomplishment for me. The 60 mile ride this year definitely kicked my butt. I got out a few times with the cycling group panhandle pedalers and did the local rides (about 22 miles) which were nice. I really like riding with that group, too bad our schedule was so busy that I couldn’t fit in more rides. So for this one I will call it a tie – because I wasn’t stagnant, but not as active as I would have hoped.
4. Learn to Snowboard – Well, this didn’t happen this year because of the logistics of bringing a baby to the ski resort.
5. Spend more miles each month on my bike – The long and the short of this is that I didn’t get on the bike as much as I would have liked. Boo…
6. Get Organized – I am not really sure what I meant by this, but I will count this as a win. I feel that I am pretty organized for the most part. I’ve put forth more of an effort to keep the home calendar updated with my activities and my work calendar updated with the home events as well. So we’ll call this one a wash too.
7. Go away on vacation – This was accomplished with item # 1.
8. Finish the basement project – not yet, and it’s not looking good for 2009. The project is about 98% there. There are a few punch list items that I don’t think I will get to this year.
9. End 2009 with less pounds - Well if I am going to accomplish this I better get a move on. I am still in the same neighborhood that I was, but I really need to get a move on if I am going to loose... heh
10. Stick to more than 50%.... and the winner is... well it appears that I am at a tie right now, so we'll have to make a push to satisfy #10

Friday, October 23, 2009

Cost of Living

Found an interesting book in the break room today called “Remember When”. It has all sorts of information about the year I was born. In looking through it, I came across a page titled “Cost of Living” and was amazed at how much the average prices have changed in 35 years. Here are some that I wrote down.

New House - $27,600
Average Income - $11,859 / year
New Car - $3,853
Average rent - $165 / month
Tuition to Harvard University - $2,800
Movie ticket - $1.75
Gasoline - $.55 / gallon
Postage Stamp - $.08
Bacon - $.83 / pound
Eggs - $.45 / dozen
Ground Hamburger - $.64 / pound
Milk - $1.20 / gallon

Wow – How times have changed. It makes me stop and wonder sometimes about why the cost of living has gotten so out of control. Modern Technology and such is great - but at what cost. If you have to make 10 times the amount of money to keep up with the changing times, is it really worth it? Tough times ...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Song still in them

“Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them” ~ Henry David Thoreau

I really love that quote. I want to do everything possible to avoid going to the grave with the song still in me. Let’s unpack this a little – What does it mean to go to the grave with the song still in you? In my mind it means failing to find your true passion and purpose in life. It means never discovering your potential and pushing your limits. It means that your dreams die when you do. What is the point in living life if this is how it is going to wind up? I want more for myself, my family, and for my friends. I believe that each and every person has a unique and perfect song they were meant to present. It does sound a bit corny and idealistic, after all how many of us (me included) find themselves daily doing things that you don’t have a passion for, but do anyways because it’s “what you have to do”? Why shouldn’t we strive for an ideal life? Why accept defeat before you enter the game?

I want to work to squeeze every drop of satisfaction and significance out of life as I possibly can. “sing my song” as the case may be….

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sit for Ideas

Many of the greatest thinkers, inventors, and entrepreneurs in modern history scheduled time to simply “sit for ideas”.

Andrew Carnegie would spend hours sitting alone in a room, un-distracted, to solve problems.

Thomas Edison would go down to the water’s edge each morning, throw out his line (with no bait) and then watch the bobber for an hour until his thinking was ready for the day.

What is your version of “sitting for ideas”? Mine has been my commute for a while – now that I am not commuting as far, I don’t get nearly the time to ponder solutions or new ideas. I think it is important to figure out a way to get away from all of life’s distractions and allow your mind to solve problems, create, and simply replenish itself.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Facebook

Facebook has been a great tool for catching up with old friends. Don't get me wrong, my friends aren't old, but rather friends that i have known for a while (heh).

I am sure i could ramble on about it, but I am tired and wanted to hit my blog a day quota...

Night - I'll write more tomorrow.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sad Day in Mudville...

It was a sad - sad day in Mudville today. Like many of the last few weekends, I sat and watched with great anticipation of a Redskins win. and unfortunately they provided the same results that they have the last few weekends. The defense made a great effort - didn't allow a single touchdown the whole day. The offense, well they were miserable. They had their few glimmers that they had a clue of how to play, but for the most part they looked like they were playing a pre-season game.

The skins definitely make it difficult to be a

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Eagle has flown the coop


Well the kitties have a new home. Michelle worked on Friday to find some place that would take them. She found a rescue in Chantilly, VA that was willing to take all 3. Friday afternoon one of our neighbors came over and "adopted" one of them. So that made it easier on the rescue since they only had to take 2 rather than the 3. We took the ride out to Chantilly today and met up with the lady from the rescue. She was nice and seemed like she was going to take care of the kittens (well as much as you can judge someone in the few minutes). She said that she thought that they were closer to 2 weeks rather than the 3 - 4 that the Petco person told us. It was nice having the kittens here. It would have been nice to keep 1 or 2 of them. It would have been a tremendous amount of work, since they weren't able to feed or clean themselves, and it would have made things terribly hard around here for a while. I hope they grow up to be healthy and have a good home.

It's been raining the last few days. I am tired of it already. We want to decorate and I still have some fall cleaning to finish - I hope it stops soon.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Choices...

For the last couple of years we've been toying with the idea of a move to Colorado. The timing has been junk. When we have had the opportunity to sell the house - I wasn't able to locate work out in Colorado. When I found job opportunities in Colorado, the housing market tanked and we wouldn't be able to sell the house for enough money to make the move.

Life feels irritatingly difficult. I'm stuck with how to make these tough decisions. I think to analytical at times and get mired in the details. I am not sure if I am supposed to be more "free willed" and make the move for desire and let everything else work itself out.

The Positives:
I like the area. Michelle's family is out that way. Her mom could use the help. Her mom loves to spend time with the kids, so baby-sitting would be a bonus. My sister and her kids are out there. We enjoy the area. The school systems are ranked higher than our current area.

The Negatives:
I don't have a job "network" there. The housing market is still pretty depressed here so the equity that we could walk away with is pretty sad. My brother and his family are out here - although he's usually a tough one to get together with since their schedule is pretty hectic with his in-laws family business. I like the area here too - Washington DC, New York, Beaches, Disney, etc..

So what's a boy to do... yeah, that's a tough one... I think our long term desire is to move and set up in Colorado so we can be closer to family. I'm just stuck on how to get from point "a" (where we are now) to point "z" (where we want to go).

Thursday, October 15, 2009

3 little surprises

I came home today and Michelle told me that she had seen a cat in the area and wanted to leave some milk out for it since the weather has been particularly nasty lately. I took the saucer of milk down to the drainage pipe that runs under our driveway since that's where she's seen the cat hiding out. The big surprise when I leaned over to place the milk inside the opening was to see a fuzzy head. I looked closer and it actually was 3 fuzzy heads.

I went in to get Michelle and the kids to show them what I had found. Since the our area has frost warning tonight, we made the decision to bring them in and keep them warm. Here is where the drama begins tonight. Albeit, I brought most of it on myself. I didn't want them to find their own bathroom, so I made the trip to the store and bought a cheap litter box. After dinner we thought we would go to Petco and look at what we should be feeding them. When all was said and done, we have spent $30 on these cats that we aren't looking at keeping.

Ugh - It's always something around here.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Change is inevitable…

Recently I have gone through another job change. Unlike a lot of the stories you hear these days, this was a voluntary change. The biggest motivation behind the change is commuting. For the last 2 and half years I worked as a senior consultant with Deloitte & touché, LLP. Deloitte was a good company to work for from a benefits perspective. They did a lot for their employee work / life balance (or at least that was my experience). My 2 biggest beefs with the Deloitte experience stemmed from the commute and the politics surrounding advancements. Commuting was a way of life for me for many years. The employers that my IT Security job function was located with all required some sort of commute. For the better part of the last seven years I have been commuting 70+ miles / way. That commute was not fun. I learned first hand what road rage is and the many miles took their toll on my body as well.

Through an alignment of the stars and planets (being in the right place / right time) I have gotten a position with the Department of the Treasury. I have moved over from being a government contractor to a full time government employee. The biggest upside (outside of job security) is my commute. Door to door is 14 miles. WooHoo. In a week of commuting to the new job – I drive less than I did in 2 days of commuting to the old one. So far the position is interesting, and the options that this position will provide me is hopefully worth the aggravation of changing jobs.

Friday, October 9, 2009

I'll have to get better at keeping up.

I appears that it's been quite a while since I've actually posted. I've been bouncing around twitter and facebook - but I think I'll try and start to blog more.

Till then.