Sunday, September 30, 2007

Walking is harder than you think

OK. So I had my first "real" training session on Friday. You would have thought I hadn't lifted weight in two years the way I feel and today is Sunday! The first couple of steps are the worst, and today my abs are feeling it. I didn't want to stand up straight, now did I?

Truthfully, it felt good. Plus, Keds and I are going on regular bike rides, so those are fun. Look out Teri! We'll be riding on over in no time! The nutrition plan is going OK. Logging my food is a PITA, but it's a good pain. Keeps me honest.

Weekend is going well. Most of our new furniture is in, we are slated to have our respective offices painted this week and can't wait for the rest of the furniture to come in! Jo and Steve were in town from LA, and it was good to visit with them as well.

Today is a little bitter-sweet. My Bills finally won! 17-14 over the Jets. It was a tense final three minutes, but they pulled it off. Bring on the Cowboys! Sure, they are 4-0 and just blasted the Rams, but they are coming into OUR house. I did catch a little of the Cowboy game today, and it looks like Wade Phillips is finally wearing a headset and washed his sweatshirt. I didn't notice a mustard stain, but it was early in the game.

Today is also the last day of the baseball regular season, while I love the playoffs and World Series, my beloved Oakland A's will not be a part of the post-season. They won't even finish at .500, but hopefully they'll start loosening the purse strings this off-season as they get closer to opening their new ballpark.

Tonight, we are off to Jennifer's to have dinner with her and her kids (and maybe her sister in law). We enjoy our time over there and the kids are a hoot!

Have a great week! I'm getting opinionated, so there may be some other posts during the week so keep an eye out for those.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Back in the Saddle

Well sports fans, if you haven't picked it up from Keds' blog, we are making a full-court press to get back into shape and drop a few pounds. About 4 years ago I had great success with personal training at 24 Hour Fitness. My initial trainer was a flake, but I got serious and became religious about following the meal plan and exercising regularly. My goal is to repeat the same thing this time, only keep the weight off. My initial goal is to get under 200 pounds. From there, I want to get back down to around 180-185. That's a good range for me.

They've changed a couple of things since the last time I used their training. Their nutrition program is entirely online now. Makes keeping track of the food you eat a lot easier. Plus, if you are logging it, you are conscious of what you are eating. We start the weight training piece tomorrow. We are starting with legs, which I hate. I'm expecting to not be able to walk much on Saturday or Sunday.

Add the new bikes that we've got, and I'm hoping to drop some serious weight in no time!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Wait for it...

So last night's HIMYM season premiere was a bit monotonous. The obligatory "Ted and Robin's breakup isn't going to be as smooth as they made it look" episode. Don't get me wrong - I'm glad they didn't have a horrible breakup and I'm sure there are going to be some additional pratfalls this season, but as Lora mentioned in her blog, I'm guess we get to meet "Your Mother" this season.

But just when I was about to write off the episode for being somewhat predictable, came the last bit as the credits were going to run. Slap Countdown. Barney's look of utter horror nearly knocked me off the couch I was laughing so hard...

As premieres come out this week and next, it will be interesting to see what else sticks this week. I've got Bionic Woman, Private Practice and Cane as potential new shows to get into. We'll see what sticks.

Friday, September 21, 2007

A Friday Morning Rant

We were talking to our friend Jennifer the other night. They are now trying to sell or rent out a lovely 2800 sq ft house about a mile from their current residence. To a certain extent, she's not thrilled with the idea of selling it. They originally had the house built to be their primary residence, but then came across their current house with a ton of land and really decent price. So they rented their original house out.

Fast forward two years. Their ARM was getting ready to adjust, as many are right now. However to refinance now would mean to refinance at an Investor Home interest rate, which is higher than a primary residence. Their renters moved out, and they decided to sell instead. They priced it under market value and have not really gotten much traffic. So now they are looking to rent it and which ever happens first, they'll go that route.

She was showing the house to some prospective renters the other night. They are people who are in the process of letting their home go into foreclosure. Their reason is that they "got caught up in the ARM Scam."

WHAT? ARM Scam? Adjustable Rate Mortgages are great products if used right. They can help people get into houses quicker, rebuild their credit and then refinance. Lenders are required to provide you a truth in lending statement that highlights what your payment would be after the rate adjusts. You are required to initial these documents when you receive a Good Faith Estimate. You are shown these documents when you go to the Title Company when you sign all of your documents to purchase your house.

I hate the fact that people are not taking responsibility for their own actions and taking steps to remedy the situation before it gets to foreclosure. Call your lender and see what terms can be worked out. If your lender can't help you, call around and see what other options are available. Are there bad lenders out there? Yep. You need to be careful. But also make sure you are actually reading the documents you are signing and ask questions if you don't understand.

OK. Rant over.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

A life too short

I think I'm still in shock. It can't possibly be true. He was a pain in the ass and a little bit of a drunk, but he can't possibly be gone. But he is. I spoke to his mother. She confirmed it. Tom Newman, of my best friends, a groomsman in my wedding and someone who was there in the beginning of mine and Keds' relationship passed away on Friday.

I knew that Tom wasn't doing well. His last e-mail 10 weeks ago indicated as much. He had double hip replacement about a year and a half ago, but then told me he had both of his shoulders replaced and was looking at knee replacement as well. I knew the Bionic Woman was coming back, but not the Six Million Dollar Man. I've made attempts since then to get in touch with him. Pings through Google Talk, e-mails, phone calls and text messages. Hell - Keds and I were just talking about him this afternoon. I missed him so much, but it hurt that he wasn't responding.

It started off as rumor. An e-mail from someone to someone who called Keyser who called me. Since I was in Costco at the time, I couldn't really check but then I decided to call his cell phone and his Mom answered. How horrible is that? To ask a mother if it's true her baby boy is no longer with us. I can't imagine how besides themselves his parents must be. To lose a son at 32 is inconsolable. No word on funeral arrangements yet and they still aren't really sure what happened. But she did mention that he didn't communicate much - he was still in that much pain.

I know that Tom would not want us to grieve for him (OK, maybe a little grieving). He'd rather we all drink a shot of Crown Royal at the Skyline Casino and celebrate life.

Tommy...I miss you and love you. You were like a brother to me. I still can't believe he's gone...

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Which one?

I'm torn. Seriously torn. When I got my new phone in September of last year, one of the reasons I got it was because it came bundled with iTunes, but with a 100 song limit, regardless of the size of the SD Card in the phone itself. While I'm not really close to butting up against that limit, the idea of the really low limit is frustrating for me.

So enter Apple. Fresh with the release of the new line of iPods and the iPhone, I'm really really torn. Part of me wants the iPhone, if only because it looks really cool and I like the idea of having one device for both phone calls and as my MP3 player. With the recent price cut, they are even more affordable. But, they only come with 8GB of memory and the idea of having to use a touchscreen to type makes me a little nervous. However, the iTunes Wi-Fi store also looks pretty cool.

But then there are the regular old iPods. The iPod Touch is basically an iPhone without the phone, and is priced accordingly and still has all the web-surfing features that I love about the iPhone, you just need to be in a wi-fi area. The new iPod Nano looks pretty cool. It's a fraction of the price of the iPhone or iPod Touch, and does what I need it to. Then, there's the good old iPod Classic. It has more capacity than I would ever need and would probably work just fine.

So which one should I add to my Christmas list?

Monday, September 10, 2007

We aren't in Kansas anymore

Well, Keds and I are back from the Emerald City. Noooo....not Oz, but Seattle. Originally intended as a trip to mix a little business with pleasure, things changed about mid-week. My business meeting was canceled, but Keds and I still ended up going to visit Janell and George.

Keds went into some of the finer details about the weekend, but my big thing was the purchase of my new laptop. With my current job situation and my only real PC my work laptop, I am goign to need something else. So Saturday, while Janell and Amy were at Janell's stamping party, we went PC shopping. After visiting Costco and a local computer shop, we ended up at Circuit City. They had a nice HP 17" laptop with 200GB of hard drive space and 2GB of RAM, with dedicated video RAM. Pretty sweet machine, at a pretty sweet price. After going back to George and Janell's, talking to Keds about it and comparing against HP and Dell direct prices it was decided this was the way to go. So I hopped onto Circuit City's website and bought it, selecting in-store pickup at the store closest to my house. I got it up and running last night and it's pretty sweet.

All in all it was a good trip, but it's good to be home - for a couple of days at least. We are off to LA this weekend for Rosh Hoshana and to check on the house. It should be almost finished, which is exciting.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Licking my wounds

I usually don't complain and I typically don't like to feel sorry for myself, but right about now I can't help it. One of my accounts is in pretty dire condition. Some issues are of my own doing, most are not. They are operational issues like making sure we have enough agents hired to handle incoming call volume, making sure the agents that are handling calls are achieving their performance metrics and processes aren't being followed. Where I've been falling down is asking the operations team hard questions and keeping an audit trail.

So now this troubled account is being taken off of my plate - which is something my boss and I have talked about - but the positioning will most likely be that I am being made to be the scapegoat and that sucks. I am always one to admit to my mistakes. But instead of the operations team needing to take the drastic action, I feel like my boss is making the dramatic gesture at my expense.

Don't get me wrong - I love getting to work out of the house and it gives me a lot of freedom. But I think it may be time to re-evaluate things.