Friday, December 30, 2005

New Year's Post

OK. I've been stewing on this one for the better part of the last day. I'm trying to come up with a post that is a little sappy, but clever at the same time. Not really sure if it is possible, but let's give it a try.

It's amazing how much can change in a year. I'm engaged, buying a house, have a new job and my parents out here now. That's a lot for one year. It's been mostly a good year. Having old friends leave town was hard. However, gaining future in laws (even though they are in LA) is pretty cool. My folks seem to be building quite a relationship with Amy's Mom and I think that is cool. Both my sets of grandparents got a long and often visited outside of functions that didn't include my folks, my sister or I. It seems that's where this is headed. That's pretty exciting.

The year ahead is going to be one of change. First off, I'm selling my house in January and moving in with Amy. I have to schedule a trip to India, but that is client dependent, but that's hanging out there. Amy and I are buying our house (with a pool!) and moving in there late April/early May. Then there is the wedding. We have moved well beyond the "let's elope" point, but that's OK.

Anyway, Happy New Year to you all out there in Blog-land. This wasn't the most original of posts, but it got the job done. Wishing you the best in 2006!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Who'll make the donuts now?

For those of us that grew up on the East Coast, or at least in the same market as a Dunkin' Donuts, a mainstay TV commercial was the "Time to Make the Doughnuts" commercial. Well, yesterday, the man who constantly had to make the doughnuts passed away. Michael Vale made Fred the Baker famous.

So the question now is, who will make the doughnuts? This has to be Homer Simpson's worst nightmare...

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Let's Go Buffalo!

One of my trials in life is that of being a Buffalo sports fan in all sports but baseball. Since Buffalo doesn't have a Major League team, I'm an Oakland A's fan. That doesn't make it much better. 2005 has been quite the wild ride. The A's weren't supposed to do much of anything after trading away two of their best pitchers, and after being 15 games below .500 at the end of May, that they were able to compete for the division was something amazing.

The Bills were supposed to contend for the AFC East, at least contend for a Wild Card. They are sitting at 4-10, completely out of playoff contention and now playing for a better draft pick. I know their vaunted defense and questionable offensive line has taken more than their fair share of injuries, but good teams overcome injuries.

The Sabres were getting crucified in the local press before the start of the season. They didn't make enough "big" moves during the offseason in the "New NHL." However, with the team they did put together, they have the second best record in the Eastern Conference and are playing better than I've seen them play in years. Plus, I get to listen to a few games on XM Radio this year.

Last but not least, I can't forget alma mater. The Canisius Golden Griffins may very well have THE best mascot in sports, and certainly the most original and one that stands up to the political correctness test. They were picked to contend for the MAAC championship in men's basketball this year. They were picked for ESPN's "Bracket Buster Saturday" later this winter. However, they can't seem to buy a win. They are already starting to get into conference play and while they are 1-1, their inability to win non-conference games is disturbing to say the least.

Looks like I'm in for another long winter. Oh well, I'll still be there routing for my teams. I can't help it - it's in my blood.

Thursday, December 22, 2005


I've been tagged by Lora. Five wierd things about me:
  1. I'm a freak about doing things my own way. Once I decide the best way to do things, I will do it without fail, even if there is an easier that is pointed out to me later.
  2. I budget at least 30 minutes of travel time. If I'm supposed to be someplace at 5, even if it's only 10 minutes away, I leave at 4:30.
  3. I used to play bass clarinet, along with violin, clarinet and saxophone. Bass clarinet parts are pretty boring and you get stuck with crappy parts in band, so I switched to saxophone. Besides, it's easier to explain.
  4. For as organized as I can be mentally, I'm so not that way in every other way. I don't file anything and my car has a ton of crap in it.
  5. I actually measure out my food, especially when I'm watching what I eat. I will weigh chicken and lunch meat and the like. If a meal plan calls for a tablespoon of mayo, I get the measuring spoons out - I don't eyeball it.

That's it. I'm tagging Kyria and Darryll...

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Crazy crazy

OK. So our crazy week is really winding down. We have a group dinner tomorrow night with my best friend, his wife and a bunch of our friends, but for the most part the craziness has past us. Dinner with Steve was pleasant. Amy got her ring, which was exciting. Saturday was intense, but productive. The reception was pleasant, if not a little odd (sorry Teri - there was nothing you could do about it). And the Holiday Party was an absolute blast. We over bought on food, but that's to be expected I think. It was a good evening, even though Amy's ex-boyfriend showed up for a bit but I survived that.

This coming week should be pretty laid back. Dinner with Keyser and the group tomorrow will be fun. A trip to SoCal for business on Wednesday. While I'm glad to be spending Christmas with my folks this year without going to Buffalo, I really do wish Leni could be here since the First Night of Hannukah falls on Christmas night. Maybe next year. My Christmas shopping is all done. I hope Amy likes what I got her...

Anyway, off to bed to crash. Good night and have a great holiday if I don't talk to you.

PS - Sorry Lora about the Cowboys. At least you aren't a Bills fan. It's Bledsoe. Protect him in the pocket, he can kill you. However, he really can be Frankenstein back there.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Busy, busy, busy

As expected things are getting just a little bit crazy. Amy and I are both in the process of finishing up most of our holiday shopping and to-do's. We had dinner with my friend Steve last night. I see Steve usually once a year at the most, so it was good to see him last night. I've got almost all of my Christmas shopping done. I have Amy's gifts, but I did manage to give her one gift last night - her engagement ring. For those of you that don't know the story, while I proposed to Amy on November 6th, we were in the midst of qualifying for a mortgage. The loan officer told us to hold off on purchasing it. Well, last week I was fully qualified for the mortgage and the loan officer gave me the all clear.

I picked the ring on Saturday, but unfortunately the setting was sold in the hours between the time I was in the store and the time I called to start the purchase process. They FedExed the setting in from another store and it was ready yesterday. I really wanted to take Amy back to our lot re-do the whole proposal. However, once I saw the ring, I couldn't wait. Besides, I needed to surprise her. So last night, after dinner as we were getting ready for bed, I got down on one knee and re-popped the question. While I don't get the style points like the first time, I did manage to surprise her.

She is thrilled, and the ring is absolutely gorgeous. Pictures will be posted soon.

Saturday, December 10, 2005


OK. So I shouldn't have put three substantial posts up in one day. That was a mistake. I hadn't blogged in a while and I was driven to put every random thought I had the other day online. My most sincere apologies.

This being said, here I am enjoying a lazy Saturday morning. This is pretty nice. Amy decided to hit an early sale at Robinson's May, get her haircut, have breakfast at the Bagel Cafe (YUM!) and then go wedding dress shopping with her friends Teri and Shannon. My only appointment is an 11 a.m. with Dustin. While that will be some work, I'll get something out of it as well.

I've got a couple of things to do this afternoon, but it's pretty non-stressful. Not too bad considering I really need to get a jump on my Christmas shopping...

Thursday, December 08, 2005


As we are coming up on Christmas this year, I am once again reminded of the changes that have occured in my life. I am engaged to a beautiful, wonderful woman who I love so much, my folks sold their house and moved out here and I am in the process of buying a new house. That I don't have to travel this year to see my folks for the holidays is fantastic. I've been here eight years, and gone back to Buffalo three times over that span. Each of those times, there was a weather snafu that caused me issues. Last year's by far was the worst. Stuck in Cincinnatti for a whole day was not fun at all - although I did get to eat some Cincinnatti-style chili. Yum.

Anyway, I am finding it hard to believe that Christmas is nearly hear. I can understand why my folks don't quite feel that way - they are used to much colder temperatures and even a little snow on the ground by now. In my case, I think it's just been so busy with all of the wedding plans, house plans and new job.

Regardless, I'm looking forward to my first Christmas w/Amy and not having to go to Buffalo to see Mom and Dad.


OK. I'm superstitious. I admit to it. I don't pay attention to all the old wives tales, but I respect to certain things. As an example, with Amy I do not want to know anything about her dress prior to seeing her walk down the aisle. Another behavioral pattern I've begun observing is that any time I am in the neighborhood of our new house, I drive by and visit the lot. One day, I visited the lot 4 times. Considering that Amy's best friend lives about a mile from the house, and my folks are relatively close as well, you can imagine how often I visit the lot.


It's been a while since I've posted, so this will be may be a bit varied.

First, I got my mortgage approval letter. What a relief that is. I don't have to stress about that piece for a while. We can move forward with buying this awesome house. Speaking of the house, we think they are getting ready to start building. The lot was grated over the weekend. Since it was released to construction a month ago, they should be getting ready to start building soon. This will be exciting!

Second, I am generally feeling better. Still have a nasty cough, but that happens.

That's about all right now.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Losing badly

Well, my efforts to stave off this cold are not going very well. I have progressed from simple post-nasal drip to a runny nose and a cough as well. My house sounded like a TB ward last night with Amy and I hacking away. I took some DayQuil this morning, and that seemed to help, but I need to go get more. I'll do that after work.

Monday, November 28, 2005


I don't like getting sick. I've got a lot going on right now, and getting sick just isn't in the time budget. However, after Amy got sick and developed bronchitis, I figured it was only a matter of time. Well, yesterday, it started with my usual tell-tale sign - post-nasal drip. I started popping Airborne last night and am drinking more than my share of fluids in an effort to stave this off. I don't want to get sick. It isn't fun. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, November 25, 2005


This was one interesting Thanksgiving. I had known for some time that I wasn't going to be alone on Thanksgiving this year. Mom and Dad were planning to move out here as early as Thanksgiving last year. However, this year was not what I could have imagined. It was mine and Amy's first Thanksgiving, and I couldn't be happier. Her Mom was here, and that was pleasant. Amy invited my roommate and his girlfriend over, and that was great. Some of our friends that Amy works with. All in all, it was a very Happy Thanksgiving. If only I didn't have to work on Friday...oh well...Hope yours was happy as well.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Have I mentioned?

Disclaimer - I apologize on the front end if my blog and Amy's comment on this past weekend are very similar. When you do cool stuff, you want to tell everyone about it. We just doing a lot of cool stuff together.

This weekend was pretty cool. Amy and I went to San Diego for the weekend. The centerpiece event was going to see my favorite football team, the Buffalo Bills, play the San Diego Chargers. The Canisius Alumni association arranged to get a block of tickets together and plan some events. I got this notice months ago - before I started dating Amy. So I reserved two tickets figuring I could get someone to know. When the Bills played in Phoenix a few years back, Canisius did the same thing. What I forgot about was they booked the seats WAY UP in the nose bleed section. While you can see everything, you just can't see the ball. Oh yeah - and I'm afraid of heights.

So we get to the Stadium yesterday, pick up my tickets at Will Call, and see where the seats are located. The sections lists were in an earlier communication that I have long since disposed of. Guess what - they are in the top section of the stadium - 13 rows up. Needless to say, I wasn't real happy. We get to our level and seats, and I am petrified. I know I went pale. Add to that it was 80 degrees out, I was wearing jeans and a dark polo shirt, and I was very, very uncomfortable. Once we got up to our seats, all I could do was focus on the field. I calmed down some as the stadium filled up, but I never got comfortable.

The moral of this story - always check the seats before purchasing to ensure they are somewhere you can enjoy the game. Oh yeah - and the Bills got their butts handed to them. 48-10. The game ended up being the least fun part of the weekend.

The weekend was pretty cool otherwise. We went to the beach - twice and saw the sun set over the Pacific Ocean. We went into Old Town San Diego and had some great Mexican food. And I got to spend it all with Amy. Pretty cool. All in all, a pretty good weekend. Except for the heights.

Thursday, November 17, 2005


Today was just one of those days. First, I'm having client issues. One client is making it overly difficult to go live. While it's true that we aren't hit the targets we agreed to, it's just getting frustrating. Luckily, my boss keeps advocating our case. I just don't know how much longer he will.

Then there is my communication-friendly client. One individual is either from China or Taiwan. He is extremely difficult to understand on the phone. Plus, I don't think he is understanding what we are trying to communicate. Very frustrating. I feel like banging my head against the wall every time I'm done talking to him.

Finally, got a call from the mortgage company today. Maybe I've gotten lucky with my initial purchase and my refinance. I just feel like I'm going through a proctology exam. And while that can be fun enough, it's just one more stressor.

At least I can look ahead to a nice weekend in San Diego. Yay! San Diego!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Weekend Update

Well, another weekend is in the books. It was a pretty good weekend, with one really notable low point. This was the closest thing to a lazy weekend that we've had in a while. Friday was low-key, Saturday wasn't packed solid and neither was Sunday. We got to spend time with friends, see our house, tell our Pulte salesman that we got engaged, picked out our flooring for the new house and had some really good food. The best part was that I got to spend it with Amy.

The unfortunate piece came about on Saturday. I got a call from my roommate - who, by the way, is one of the nicest guys Amy or I have ever met - saying that his skanky stripper second ex-wife can't go back to her house until Monday. My assumption is that's code for either her utilities have been turned off again or she has neglected to pay her rent. He mentioned that he was going to watch her two girls until about 9 p.m. and then there was a pause. He asked if she could stay at the house. At this point, if I would have said no, I would have been a monster. So, against my better judgment I said yes. This woman has done quite a bit of evil things to Dave and other people in my life that I care about. I don't really want her in my house. In the end, she didn't end up staying over, which was good, but I didn't sleep very well on Saturday night when I thought we was coming by at any minute.

I feel really bad for her girls. The older girl is not a cute kid. I think she clearly knows that something isn't right, because she is sullen and not very talkative. The little girl is oblivious to what is going on. I have half a mind to call Child Protective Services next time I hear that their Mom has had utilities turned off or is on the verge of getting evicted. The kids need a stable environment while their Mom sorts out her life and gets herself back on track. While the foster system isn't necessarily the best place to be, it's got to be better than what's going on now.

Anyway, that's enough for now. I think I got it out of my system...

Saturday, November 12, 2005

New Blog!

Good morning! Amy and I have set up a new blog for wedding related activities. I've linked to it at the side. Click this link to go to For Better or Worse.

Friday, November 11, 2005

War and Politics

OK. First, let me say that I realize this conversation took place at a bar and people had been drinking for quite some time before this conversation started. I should have known better than to get involved in this conversation, but I jumped right in. It started off with someone saying they don't believe in the Marines. That's just a ludicrous statement. The Marines exist. We were able (with an ex-Marine present) to get him to agree that yes, the Marines exists, but he doesn't see the need for a military. His point was that everyone should be able to get along. Unrealistic, but at least it's a defensible position - sort of.

That's where it got interesting. Someone said that the whole reason we have war today is because of religion. While I can see how you can come to that conclusion, I think it's just surface analysis. Judaism, Christianity and Islam all start from the same place. The real reason for war is economics, pure and simple. Look at many of the great conflicts in history - the Crusades, the 100 Years War, the Seven Years War, the American Revolution, World War I and II and the conflicts of today. They are all about land and money.

As much as we'd like to think that the American Revolution was all about freedom, it wasn't. The original line in the Declaration of Independence wasn't that all people are entitled to "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" it was they were entitled to "Life, Liberty and Property."

I realize this is kind of a diatribe about a bar conversation, but I was annoyed. As my uncle used to tell me, just follow the money trail. That's the root cause of the war.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Aspen Update

For those of you out there that are concerned about my roommates cat Aspen, I thought I'd give you an update on how he's doing. Dave has been around a lot more often lately, so Aspen is much less mopey. While I think all the cats are a little attention-deprived when their respective owners aren't around, they all seem to be coping well. I think in Aspen's case though, he misses my folks' cat Minx. They got pretty friendly when Minx was boarding at my house.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

A new chapter

Sunday night, Amy and I started a new chapter in our life together. Standing with her on "our dirt" I got down on one knee and asked her to be my wife. Suffice it to say, she said yes. We are both very, very excited.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Is that it?

While I travel for work frequently, I'm still somewhat of a nervous flier. I figured today was going to be my biggest test - Orange County's John Wayne Airport. I've heard that they don't let rookie pilots fly in and out of there. I've heard the descent is practically straight down, and finally that upon take off, they kill then engines and you feel the plane drop until they re-fire them over the ocean.

Well let me tell you. My OC experience was very disappointing. The landing was relatively smooth. The take off was not that big of a deal. Yes. They revved the engines as we started our take off. Yes, you can hear them cutting back on the engines, but they are still going. And there is no substantial drop. You feel the plane level off until you are over the ocean, and then the engines are brought back up, and you go on your merry way. I felt robbed...

Also, had a variety of work-related issues once I got off the plane tonight. I was looking forward to dinner at home with Amy and maybe Tom, Shawn and/or Dave. However, tonight we also had Dave's second ex-wife's two kids. Not exactly my ideal for a stressful day as my adrenaline level drops off, but I'll make do. If only I could find a way to get Spongebob Squarepants off the TV downstairs...

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Things that make me...

There are things in life that make sad, and there are things in life that make me happy. Here are a few of each.

Things that make me sad...
  1. My roommate's cat Aspen. When his kids moved to Colorado, Dave agreed to take their cat in. Aspen is a good cat. He's easy going and just wants a little attention. However, Dave hasn't been home much lately, and I think he's a little lonely. He's just mopes around the house on the days that Dave isn't around.
  2. The orphaned pets at PetSmart. Need I say more?
  3. The nights I spend without Amy
  4. Fighting with Amy over stupid things
  5. Seeing my Mom cry.

Things that make me happy

  1. Waking up with Amy in the morning
  2. Being able to wake up 10 minutes before my first conference call and stroll into the "office" and make it on time
  3. My cats - even when they knead my belly and leave clawmarks. Even my step-cat Aspen.
  4. Kissing Amy
  5. Knowing I'm going to be spending the rest of my life with Amy. Even when we do fight about stupid things.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

So I think we are back in Kansas

I had a hard re-entry to contact center account management last night. Chennai was getting hit with the front end of a cyclone that basically flooded the city and surrounding areas. I got the call at around 10 p.m. last night, and ended up working until 2 a.m. waking up my clients in the process to notify them of the potential issues. Went to bed for a couple of hours to get up in time for a 6 a.m. call this morning. My clients were understanding, but I can tell they are frustrated.

It was an adjustment for both Amy and I last night. It's been a while since I was a day-to-day account manager so I'm not used to being on call 24x7 like I was two and a half years ago. It was Amy's first look as well.

In other news, we went to go stand on our piece of dirt yesterday. Very exciting. We even saw the little "sold" house on our lot. Even more exciting.

Monday, October 24, 2005

The road home runs through Long Beach

So it was a very successful weekend. Received the necessary blessings (YAY!) Amy's parents were both gracious and really cut to the chase. Needless to say, I think the pie helped calm my nerves. We also had a really nice evening at Mitch and Samantha's house. The drive home was something of an adventure though. Her Dad sent us south on the 405 before heading north on the 605. We were pretty frustrated. Plus, the directions said 405 east, when the only option of 605 north. Ugh.

On a separate note, we watched Desparate Housewives last night. Saw Felicity Huffman's little table-top dance. All I have to say is William H. Macy is a lucky man.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Is that what that sinking feeling is?

As I sit here unable to go back to sleep thanks to the models of modern technology - my BlackBerry buzzed a couple of times with new e-mail at like 2 in the morning with folks from the UK and India e-mailing me - I'm sitting here thinking about this weekend. I'm going to LA to meet Amy's Dad and we are going to see her Mom. The purpose of the visit is to ask for their blessing. I know that her parents love her and want to see her happy. That's what I want for her as well. I'm just hoping she'll be happy with me as happy as I am with her. I'm just real nervous here. If I ask a yes/no question, they (she) could say no. I don't really want to risk that. In talking to some of my "people" the general recommendation is to avoid the yes/no question but I to present this as if it's a question and make them feel important. I pretty much know how I'm going to approach this. I'm still just nervous, that's all.

Anyway, sorry for the ramble, but what do you expect at 3:30 a.m? I'm going downstairs to have a piece of pie. Chocolate Cream from Marie Callendar's. Yummy. I figure if I'm going to be awake at this ungodly hour I might as well have some pie.....mmmm....pie....

Monday, October 17, 2005

Family building

As Amy and I move forward in our relationship, we are starting to build our own "family." However, the question comes, after being single how do you begin to assert your own "family" or "coupleness" with others? As an example, is it best to decide items for ourselves, and inform others such as our parents of those decisions? Or is it better to continue to include people in our decision making process? I know that people are just trying to give us the benefit of their years of experience and they are only providing input because they love us.

This being said, how is it appropriate to assert our independence in these matters without pissing people off?

Monday, October 10, 2005

Past, present and future

Amy and I had a productive weekend. I'm not going to go into great detail because I don't want to bore you. There are really two key things that I want to share. First, the Bills beat the Miami Dolphins 20-14 yesterday. THANK GOD. I'm not one of those losers who lives and dies with their team, but I enjoy rooting for my teams and like to see them do well. Besides, I really hate the Dolphins. Really, any self-respecting Bills fan does.

The second item is that Amy and I made a number of key decisions about things we've been talking about lately. All will be revealed in due time, but during my workout on Saturday, a buddy and I were talking about signs. How do you know that the person you are dating is "the one?" He's been dating this girl for a couple of years and isn't sure if she is "the one." I told him in my case, I just knew and everyday we are together, I am just more and more convinced of it. I know that my past helped make me the person I am today, and I want Amy in my present and future...

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Working from home today...

First, let me get out there and say it - I LOVE working from home. Prior to fleeing, er - leaving, ClientLogic, I worked from home more days than I actually went into the office. It was just easier. I had no real reason to be there. I was more productive at home and I didn't have to worry about finding a matching shirt-khaki combination. Pretty nice gig if you can get it.

However, working from home does create it's own source of challenges. First, other people have a hard time believing that you are actually working. With all the potential distractions folks often assume you are sitting on the couch watching TV. Along with this, people often don't believe you when you say you need to be at work by a certain time. Now in this, I need to be a little more flexible - just ask Amy. I wanted to be up and working by about 7:30. However, both of us overslept and we haven't worked out a decent morning system yet. The process gaps were glaring this morning. And while I love my cats, they are occasionally a distraction. Either walking across the keyboard, sitting on my hands, purring into the phone during a conference call or digging their claws into me at inopportune times.

In the end, it takes the same, if not more discipline to work from home, but I'll take it over going into the office any day...

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

New places, same faces

So I had my ClientLogic going away party on Friday. The funniest part of the whole evening was that there were more former ClientLogic folks there than current ClientLogic employees. Add to that, I got calls from several former ClientLogic employees to see what the deal was. Add to this that my new boss is a former ClientLogic employee, it makes for a nice little fraternity.

The evening was a lot of fun, and there was even cake, which was cool.

My first day was a long one - day trip to corporate. Not too bad though. Just trying to get up to speed.

That's all for now. I know it's boring. I promise - my bloggings will get better...

Monday, September 26, 2005


I think the title says it all. This was, far and away, the best weekend I've ever had. We took our first vacation together. A long weekend in one of my favorite places - San Francisco. We got there Friday around mid-day and left Sunday afternoon. We took in a baseball game in Oakland (the A's lost), spent a whole day in the city and took an awesome tour around the city on a motorized cable car. The best part of the weekend was that it was just Amy and I, and we did things on our own schedule. It was a nice relaxing weekend away.

On a separate topic, yesterday was also my Mom's birthday. This is the first time since 1996 that I was around for my Mom's birthday. We took her to Bob Taylor's Ranch House. If you haven't been there, it's a nice special occasion type restaurant. It's one of those places that are becoming harder and harder to find in Las Vegas - a non-chain restaurant. It also gave my parents an idea of someplace to eat that isn't Kavanagh's.

Well, Amy and I both took Monday off as well, before the week starts. It's going to be a hectic week. Friday is going to be my last day at ClientLogic, so I'll be busy transitioning all my projects once I get back into the office. My current boss is in Las Vegas today, so Amy and I are having dinner with him. I like Ted. I can honestly say he's the best boss I ever had. A couple of my friends from other offices are in town this week, and they want to get together. We'll see what materializes there. My goal is to have everything transitioned by the end of the day Thursday at the very latest. I'm not going to be one of those dopes that gets stuck working late on their last day...

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


Mom and Dad's stuff arrived today. This is welcome news since they have been staying there with only a mattress and box spring. Now all they need is the DirecTV folks to show up tomorrow. The phone company will be back on Tuesday to fix the jacks upstairs, and then Mom and Dad will be fully operational.

Woo hoo!

Monday, September 19, 2005


Well, change is in the air. I gave notice at ClientLogic this morning. Ironically, on the day after my 10th anniversary. My boss took it OK. I'm just a little nervous. Change is always nerve-wracking. The opportunity is great for me. Ted (my current boss) even said there was no way he could match the position or salary increase. It's very exciting, but makes me anxious at the same time.

Bottom line - I'm moving on and I don't regret it. I'm just nervous about the change. That's all.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Old habits die hard, I guess...

Every once in a while, my Catholicism comes out. I'm Catholic and I admit to it. I still have a hard time grasping that the current Pope is NOT John Paul II. I was reading today how Turkey invited the Pope to come visit next year. My initial reaction was to help heal the emotional/diplomatic wounds from when the Pope was shot bu a Turkish (or was it Bulgarian) national. Then the light bulb went on. The current Pope isn't John Paul II, but rather Benedict XVI.

I guess if I went to church more often I would know these things...

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Corporate fire drills

Over the course of the last few days, I've run into more than my share of corporate fire drills. For the most part, people were running around for no real reason. One person was freaking out because our COO asked a simple question. Others were panicking because of other silly little issues. And of course, people had to call my cell phone without leaving a voicemail on my landline.

I guess that's what really bothers me. Once upon a time, cell phones were for emergencies. In today's day and age, this is less and less the case. However, I pay for my cell phone out of my own pocket and the company only reimburses for $50 a month. I use my cell for personal reasons too, but since when did mundane details like how to respond to a simple request become life and death?

Monday, September 12, 2005


I can start seeing light at the end of the tunnel. My folks place should be painted today, unless you listen to my Dad's way of thinking. They are going to go shopping for flooring tomorrow, and Dad and I are pulling the existing carpet out of the downstairs on Wednesday.

I really do feel for my folks. They are coming up on two months of living out of suitcases and in un-homey conditions. The drive back and forth is killing them. This being said, on the positive side, their place is feeling more and more like their home. The bedrooms and upstairs bathrooms along with the kitchen are all painted. They have ordered their bedroom and dinette sets. Mom and Amy have bought sheets, shower curtains, dishes and stuff. Once the floor is in downstairs, I think they'll be set. I honestly believe that if they had a mattress and box spring on site, they'd be living there now.

To make a long story short, I think everyone involved is ready for them to be in their own place and settled. This being said the time in front is shorter than the time behind us.

For the record - Bills 22 and Texans 7. The A's lost yesterday. They are 2 games behind the Angels in the AL West and 2.5 games behind Cleveland for the Wild Card. They open a three-game series in Cleveland this evening.

Thursday, September 08, 2005


My phone service is switched back to Sprint! This is welcome news for anyone that's tried talking to me on the phone in the last couple of months. Vonage was OK, but having my phone service tied to my internet connection really sucked. Given the amount of time that I work from home and the number of conference calls I am on, I really need something more reliable.

Now I can go down to just one router on my Internet connection...

Friday, September 02, 2005

Home again.

Well, I'm back from Canada. For all my bitching and complaining, it was a good trip. The client was pleased with the smoothness of the launch, which is always good. The flight back was long, two hours to Montreal, 2.5 hours in Montreal, but part of that was eaten up clearing US Customs, and then 5.5 hours from Montreal to Las Vegas. However, at least I got home last night.

Mom and Dad's tenants have moved out. This is welcome news. Now they have stuff to work on! There is plenty of stuff that needs to be done, given the condition the place is in. They are getting ready to head out to buy their bedroom set and stop at the Home Depot before heading out to their homestead and start cleaning things out. Right now it looks like their stuff will be here sometime between 9/17 and 9/22.

Anyway, I'm glad to be home - just in time for the long weekend! YAY!

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Oh Canada...

I'm off tonight for my first business trip in nearly four months. I can't really complain. Many of my peers fave traveled for more extensively. This being said, I have mixed feelings about this trip. I know I need to go to Bathurst. I have a major client going live on Tuesday and it's my job to make sure that everything goes smoothly. However, I'm not looking forward to leaving Amy for the week, my parents are still getting settled, and spending about 14 hours either in airports or on airplanes. To make the flight from Montreal to Bathurst, I have to catch the red-eye out of Las Vegas and connect in Toronto. It's at least not that bad on the way back. Bathurst-Montreal, Montreal-Las Vegas direct.

I just really hate traveling. Eating out three meals a day, sleeping in hotel beds and the time differences just wreaks havoc on your body. I at least stocked up a Tylenol PM, so I should be in good shape to get some sleep along the trip...

Anyway, this is just one long complaint about something that I have no control over. In good news, Oakland blasted Baltimore 10-3 today, which combined is the Angels' loss, moved them into first place by 1/2 game. Worst case scenario, when the A's arrive in Anaheim for their series with the Angels on Tuesday, they will be in a first place tie. Pretty cool, huh?

Friday, August 26, 2005

Old friends

I met a couple of my buddies out for a drink last night, before heading over to Amy's. I've known Tim and Brian for about as long as I've known anyone in Las Vegas. Tim's boss Frank, who used to be my boss at ClientLogic years ago, was there as well. It was good to see Frank. It's been a long time.

However, it got me thinking (I know that's kind of scary) about old friends. In the last three months or so, I've seen a lot of old friends. First, it was my 10 year college reunion. Then, it was my last trip to Buffalo in July and then last night. There are so many people that we touch and that touch our lives. In everyone's own way, we have an impact on each other's lives and it helps make us the person we are today. That's kind of cool, if you think about it.

Basically, it has dawned on me over the last couple of months that I'm a grown-up. How the hell did this happen? In college, it was how was I going to get through this exam or paper; where we were going out that night, and did I have enough money to pay the cover charge AND get suitably sauced. When I first moved to Vegas, we were worried about some self-imposed issue at work or how we were going to ever be able to buy a house. Now, we are worried about retirement funds, how are we going to raise our families, taxes, what jobs have the best benefits. Basically, grown up stuff. That's pretty freakin' scary. Pretty soon, we'll all be having families of our own. Heaven help me if I turn into my parents...

Monday, August 22, 2005

Weekend update...

Mom and Dad seem to be adjusting to life in Las Vegas. They are very relieved to be here, and beginning to feel more and more "normal." This is a good thing. I've introduced them to Capriotti's (we all split a Bobbie. I told them if they didn't like it, to lie to me) and Blueberry Hill. They seem to have a little plan today, so we will see how that goes. Plus, they bought about $130 worth of stuff at Target for my house. Mostly paper products, but that was still pretty nice.

The real point of this posting is to say, once again, how cool Amy is. First, she invited Mom and Dad over for breakfast on Saturday mostly to make life easier for me. She already had company coming over for breakfast. It was great to see Lora, Carl and Madison. She then suffered through construction on the 95 on both Saturday and altered her route on Sunday to compensate for the construction. She put nearly 200 miles on her car this weekend. She sat and chatted with my Dad one on one last night, even after he had a few beers (you can usually tell - that's when the stories of the AFL Bills and the Beach House come out). Saying good night to her at the car Saturday and Sunday SUCKED. I forgot how horrible it is. The good news is that we will only have to deal with it this week, and maybe two weeks after I get back. It'll be tough, but I'm really beginning to believe the line "absence makes the heart grow fonder..."

Friday, August 19, 2005


For the past eight years, I've been out here in the desert pretty much on my own. I had to build my own support network pretty much from scratch. It took some work, but I got there. I have an fantastic girlfriend, great friends and a job that lets me work from home whenever I want.

For those that read the blog, you know that my folks arrived at my house safe and sound yesterday. I was very relieved that they made it here. However, now the reality of having Mom and Dad live with you begins to set in. The first adjustment is that I lose my office. Normally, this wouldn't have been a big deal, but I've gotten accustomed to working out of the house at least three days a week. Plus, my Dad didn't want to come out with us last night for Ice Cream. To be fair, we didn't tell him we were going for Ice Cream, but he was still anti-social and wouldn't go, even though I was paying. He probably wouldn't have been happy there anyhow - the don't carry Maple Walnut...

My Dad is very set in his ways. He is very much a "Meat and Potatoes" type of person, except he will eat Italian food. Amy mentioned making Chinese food at home, and he immediately turned his nose up at it. I really want to take them for Mexican food, but my Dad refuses to go. Mom really wants to try it. I even tried showing him a menu once showing that real Mexican restaurants (other than Mighty Taco and Taco Bell) serve steak, chicken, pork and fish. The problem is that it is served with Rice and Beans...I think I am going to have to trick him somehow.....

Thursday, August 18, 2005

They are here!


My Mom and Dad made it to my house about 11:35 a.m. this morning. I am very excited to see them and glad they made it here. Minx was very happy to see them, as they were to see her.

First thing Dad did was crack open a can of beer. He's home.


Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Flagstaff, AZ

Wow. They are heading into the home stretch. Mom and Dad reached Flagstaff, AZ today. They can see a really big mountain, but not sure what mountain range they are in. Pretty uneventful drive, I guess. They should be here around lunchtime tomorrow.

So, Amy and I will be putting the finishing houses on the house tonight. It will be a mad dash tonight to make sure the house is ready. We'll be in good shape, but I just need to make sure that everything is done and ready.

Look out Las Vegas - here come Ken and Kathy Kraft!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Tucumcari, NM

Wow. They are starting to get close! Mom and Dad made it past Amarillo to Tucumcari, NM. Today was an adventure. They ran into a good deal of rain from Oklahoma City through to about where they entered Texas.

Mom commented on the lack of anything between Oklahoma City and Amarillo, and then from Amarillo to Tucumcari. They saw more oil fields and saw some cattle farms. She was very impressed with some of the ranch houses they saw on the side of the road.

I asked Mom what it was like driving across the Mississippi River. "It was driving over a bridge." Talk about a non-event. Oh well.

Anyway, they are in for the night. I figure they'll be here on Thursday

My weekend

I had a great weekend. Friday night was the 51s game followed by fireworks. Saturday, Amy and I met her friend Sara out for breakfast. We then ran a couple of errands before heading back to my house for a bit. During this time, my Mom called essentially saying they were on their way (see previous posts). That prompted the "oh crap - they are really on their way" response and I started cleaning. Amy was great. She cleaned my bathroom. While not out of control, it was definitely not as clean as it should have been. We went out for dinner and ice cream and watch a movie. A pretty decent day.

While I was cleaning my house, I got a call from Keyser. I haven't really heard from him since he and his family moved to Eagle/Avon, Colorado back at the end of April. Mike's phone was stolen on the way up, so he lost all his contact numbers. His step-son Matt had an orthodontist appointment on Tuesday, and he was coming to town with his family. We chatted a little bit, and we were going to get together on Sunday. We ended up getting together on Sunday, and then again for dinner on Monday. It was great to see Mike. Prior to Amy coming into my life, Mike was my sounding board on most things. I really do miss him. Plus, now we have each other's contact information again, so it won't be so long until the next time we speak.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Joplin, MO

Mom just called. They made it to Joplin, MO. I think they were hoping to have made it to Tulsa or Oklahoma City, but that was just too far for today. I think the goal is to get to Amarillo, TX tomorrow.

They had a pretty interesting drive today from Indiana, through Illinois and across most of Missouri. I didn't ask what it was like to cross the Mississippi, but it had to have been something. My Mom was excited to see power-generating windmills. I believe she called it poetry in motion. And they also saw working "barney googles" (sp?). I didn't know what she was talking about, so she told me they were working oil rigs, really. Still don't know what the actual name is, but she was really excited.

They seem to be really enjoying their drive across the US, which is great.

At this rate, it looks like they will be here some time on Thursday.

It's getting closer...

Sunday, August 14, 2005


As I am settling into my life with Amy, I am learning more and more how much I love her and how much I really see us spending our lives together. Today is a case in point. First, we made a decision to not look at houses or even talk about houses. Looking at model homes has become something with do. Well, low and behold, we went, with Teri, to look at "our" house. I love this house. It's everything Amy and I want in a house. Enough square footage. Enough bedrooms. Perfect.

Amy was great today. After we left Teri's, we stopped at her house, then went to meet up with Keyser and Newman before meeting up with Brian and his wife Sharon. Amy isn't really a bar person. Cigarette smoke bothers her, but she toughed it out. I'm not sure if she freaked out about what it means come football season, but she was really cool tonight. I really do love her a lot.

Terre Haute, IN

I was really impressed with my folks today. They made it to Terre Haute, IN! That is so cool. When I talked to Mom last night, her goal was Dayton, OH. At that rate, they wouldn't have been here until sometime in October. I'm not sure where their target is tomorrow, but they are making good progress.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Bedford, PA

Mom and Dad made it to Bedford, PA this evening, which is pretty much due south of Buffalo. I guess Dad wanted to drive a little longer, but Mom was pretty tired. They had a good visit with my Uncle Tom, who gave them a little quicker directions through Philadelphia. They had a decent drive through the Pennsylvania hills and through some tunnels. They are hoping to get an early start tomorrow morning and get in a full day's worth of driving.

More updates tomorrow...

Friday, August 12, 2005

Quick update on Mom and Dad

Mom and Dad made it to my Uncle Tom's house in Cherry Hill, NJ safely. According to Mom, they didn't get there until nearly 7 p.m. They got going a little bit late, then hit traffic on the NJ Turnpike. They spend about two hours in bumper-to-bumper traffic going about 15 miles an hour.

That's all for now.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Attention to Detail and other musings

I love baseball. The American pasttime is one of the most unpredictable competitive sports known to man. Nine men on each side, (10 if you are in the American League) pitted against each other.

My favorite Major League team is the Oakland Athletics. I'm asked why am I an A's fan. After all, I grew up in Buffalo. Most folks are Yankee or Met fans, Toronto is two hours North, Pittsburgh is four hours south and Cleveland is about three hours southwest-ish. I started following the A's during their late 80s/early 90s renaissance. The Era of the Bash Brothers, if you wish. Once I relocated to Las Vegas, I just couldn't get into following any of the SoCal teams. On a business trip to the Bay Area, I went to an A's game and I was hooked. Year after year, I've seen star after star leave, but Billy Beane keeps putting a quality product on the field.

Initially I thought this year was going to be a tough one. A "rebuilding year" if you will. On May 29th, the A's were 15 games below .500. On July 18th, they were 8.5 games out of first place. The Wild Card was a pipe dream, much less leading the division.

Well sports fans, today Oakland took the division lead with a 5-4 win over the Los Angeles Angels of Canoga Park or whatever their name is. They are also 18 games above .500! It was a fluke play in the bottom of the 9th that one it. A routine play, actually. Something as simple as the catcher tossing the ball back to the pitcher on the mound. Today, the pitcher formerly known as K-Rod muffed the catch as he steamed over an umpire's call. He booted the ball out towards second base, and the Jason Kendall sprinted in from third.

While I am truly enjoying this moment - I do realize there is a lot of baseball left - this particular incident shows that you can't take anything for granted and even the most routine detail needs to be paid attention to. You never know where your opportunities are going to come from, and you need to seize them when you get them.

That's all for now. I think Minx and Midge are getting into a little tift that I need to go break up.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

A message from the Travelers...aka Mom and Dad

Hi everyone - This is from the travelers.

We had a wonderful week with Beth and Jim. They took us to Lake George on 8/2, Saratoga Springs Race Track on 8/4 & 7. Friends of theirs, Mary Ann and John had us for dinner on the sixth. Also on the sixth we went to Thatcher State Park for Lunch and Ken and Jim went to the Giants - Jets practice on the morning of the 6th. On Friday, Beth and I went mall walking and shopping. We had some great meals and a wonderful week. Monday morning, the 8th, we drove to Maureen's. Exit 14 on the Mass pike always said Rte 128, US95 and Cape Cod. They Changed the sign on me. The route signs are still the same, but now Cape Cod is South Shore. So much for no guesswork signs. The rest of the ride was uneventful.

Our time here at Maureen's has been terrific. More great meals, and good times. Maureen was able to take an extra day off, so we have been tooling around. Yesterday the 9th, Maureen, her friend Jan, and I went shopping at the Wrentham Outlets. Good bargains to be had. While we were out pounding the pavement, Ken repaired the sash cord on her living room double hung window. By the time we got back from spending our money, Ken had completed his job for the day.

Today, we went shopping again, but took Ken with us. We shopped, Ken went to the nearby Mexican bar. We got to see the ocean and had dinner at Sky Lite on the boardwalk at Marina Bay. Right now we are sitting in the den with our feet up and rehashing the last couple of days.

On Friday, the 12th, we head to New Jersey to see Tom. I will be so happy to see him and Mary. On Sunday we begin our western adventure. We will be calling Beth and Ken each evening to keep them updated.

Will write/call everyone when we get to Vegas.

Kathy and Ken

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Changes and Updates


First, I wanted to thank you as I am making changes to the site. This is a work in progress, and I'm trying to decide the template that works best.

Second, I've had a couple of requests for updates on Minx, my folks cat. First and foremost, she did very well on the trip from Buffalo to Las Vegas. Aside from having to get out of her carrier in Buffalo so I could take her through the metal detector, she did great. She slept almost the whole time, until we were coming in for a landing in Las Vegas.

I kept her locked up in the office the first couple of days she was here, but her curiousity, coupled with Midge's desire to get back into the office brought that to an abrupt end.

I've been able to consolidate down to one food dish and one litter box. She seems relatively well adjusted, but has been getting into some trouble here and there. She does like to get up on the counters. Her and Midge are still working out their differences, but her and Aspen seem to be getting along just fine. On Sunday, it was classic. Aspen was sitting on top of the kitchen table, which has a glass top. Minx was trying to play with Aspen by swatting at his tail - but through the glass. Classic.

Anyway, she's doing fine and the herd of pets here seem to be none the worse for wear...

Monday, August 08, 2005

Kathy and Ken are on the move

As a part of their Westward migration, Mom and Dad left Albany today headed to Boston, MA. They'll be spending a few days with their friend Maureen. They made it in one piece.

They both seemed to really enjoy themselves in Albany, and had an incident-free journey to Boston despite some heavy traffic. They were able to pick up CBS Radio and were able to listen to the Price is Right en route.

Here is a photo of Mom and Dad at the party, and then Mom, Aunt Dolly and Therese's daughter Natalie.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

House of Blues is something of a truism

Went to my first concert in years last night. Amy and I had free tickets to see Howie Day with Anna Nalick and someone else (I can't remember her name) at the House of Blues last night. We had no particular interest in any artist. I only know one Anna Nalick song (Breathe) and one Howie Day song (Collide). Amy's friends Shawn and George met us out. George has been following Howie Day for years, and well, Shawn just wanted to meet us out.

If you've ever seen a concert at the House of Blues Las Vegas, it's a horrible place to see a concert. It's a small venue, which is OK depending on the show, but either you are standing on the floor (and in our case right in front of a speaker) or in the balcony where you can't see anything of interest. We were on our feet for over three hours. By the end of the night, I couldn't feel my right foot and Amy's legs were killing her.

This being said, we enjoyed the performers. The opening act was a little acoustic set. She was Australian and kind of angry, but that's OK. Anna Nalick was GREAT. In her words, she had a "pirate ballerina" thing going on. She was very interactive with the crowd, and was a decent on stage performer. Howie Day was good too. I wouldn't buy his CD, but maybe go see him in concert again at a different venue. The thing I thought was funny is that while there was plenty of bottled water for the performers, the keyboard player had two bottles of Heinekein that he was working on! Good for him.

I also felt kind of old at the concert. We were standing next to this couple who was 16! I am twice their age. I guess it's time to start getting used to that.

On the Mom and Dad front, Mom spoke with one of her tenants yesterday, and he said he thought they could possibly be out by September 15th. This is welcome news. While I'm happy to have them stay with me until their place is vacated, they really want to get into their own place and start making it their home. Plus, this way they'll get all their stuff.

I'm meeting Amy's best friend from college today. I'm looking forward to this. We are going to breakfast. Blueberry Hill I think. Yum. Best Blueberry Pancakes outside of my Mom's. After that, we are going to buy baseball tickets for our group outing next Friday and then go look at houses.

That's all for now...

Friday, August 05, 2005

Mom and Dad update

For those of you that are interested, Mom and Dad left Buffalo Sunday afternoon, and were headed to my sisters house in Albany.

The arrived safely and should be there through Monday, August 8th before heading to Boston to visit their friend Maureen. From there, they will take some time to visit my Uncle Tom on August 12/13th before heading West.

Stay tuned here for more updates as we track their journey across America!



Hi. Welcome to my blog. I'll be posting random thoughts and updates from Ken and Kathy's trek across America...

Post your updates!