Monday, December 31, 2007
Monday, December 24, 2007
If this video doesn't play the first time, try clicking 'Play' again. I have to click 'Play' twice for some reason for it to work for me. Merry Christmas!
at 11:05 PM
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Friday, December 07, 2007
Alicia and I went to the last ASU football game of the regular season last Friday. The ASU - UofA game is the biggest rivalry in the state! We were sitting at about the goal line about 30 rows up. The seats were great and we were with Alicia's parents and one of their friends from Pinetop, George.
ASU won 20-17 and finished the season with a 8-2 record which is great! The new coach, Dennis Erickson, really made a difference.
We found out that ASU will be playing Texas in the Holiday Bowl on Dec 27. We are going to try to go to the game. I will be routing for ASU and Alicia will be routing for Texas. Go Devils!!!!
at 2:53 PM
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
On Thanksgiving day, when Alicia, Jimmy, Julie, and I were at Alicia's aunt and uncle's house in Silver City, NM, Biscuit suddenly passed away from this life.
Biscuit lived a good, long life of 15 years. She was Jimmy's favorite dog of all time, along with his childhood dog Spot. Biscuit was a good friend to Jimmy and was his shadow...always there wherever Jimmy was and if he was gone, Biscuit would be waiting for him to return.
We will miss you Biscuit!
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Since I skipped last week's weigh in, I am not sure how much I lost this week vs. last week, but my total weight loss since I started is 25 lbs. So, that is 5 lbs in the last two weeks! I am excited by my progress!
The holidays are approaching, so my goal is to not gain any weight...and possibly still lose some weight. I am confident I can do this because in the past weeks I have still eaten what I want to on the weekends, but have just kept my portions under control. So far it is working great!!!
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Monday, November 05, 2007
I took some pictures of Alicia's birthday party. Unfortunately the camera's battery died early on in the evening so there are only a few.
at 8:14 AM
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
I am now almost half-way to my goal of losing 40 lbs. I have lost 18.5 lbs. This past week was about half Nutrisystem and half my own food. This coming week will be almost completely my own food. I just have to be more conscious of the calories and the content of the food that I eat.
We'll see if I can do just as good as on Nutrisystem. This last week proved to me that it can be done. Now that I am used to smaller portion sizes and snacking less, I'm on my way.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
I lost 2 more lbs last week on Nutrisystems.
After this month, I might try it on my own...the whole secret is portion control. I had to force myself to eat less for each meal on Nutrisystems. Now that I know the right portion, I should be able to do it on my own.
at 1:36 PM
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Last Saturday, Alicia and I signed a contract on a new home in Chandler! We are very excited to move out of the bottom floor of Alicia's parents' townhouse. We will have to get comfortable there, however, because the build will take 6 to 8 months. We're hoping to be in the house in April 2008.
Here is a computerized image of the home we're building:
Here's the floorplan:
at 4:30 PM
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
I started the Nutrisystem diet (I want to be like Dan Marino) last Tuesday 10/02/2007 so every week on Tuesday I'm going to weigh myself and report the results. This week I lost a whopping 9 lbs! I'm still shocked and skeptical of our cheap little scale we have at home...but that's my story and I'm stickin' to it!
The NS diet has been extremely tough at first, but I'm slowly getting used to it. There are some "gotchas" that I didn't know when I signed up:
1) You have to compliment or add to the NS meals. So, when you pay over $300 for a month of food, you will also have to buy additional food, such as salad, other veggies, maybe wheat bread, etc.
2) Be prepared to feel very hungry at first. I was starving for the first few days, especially during work. Now I am still hungry around 4pm, but that was the case before NS.
3) Don't just get the pre-selected menu from the "Favorites" list. Maybe go onto the NS website to the forums and see what others like...and most importantly what they DON'T LIKE.
Well, I'm on my 2nd week and hopefully will see some good results in the weeks to come!
at 3:40 PM
Friday, October 05, 2007
So, my surprise on Wednesday for Alicia's birthday was 2 tickets to the first post-season playoff game between the Dbacks and the Cubs. The Diamondbacks won the game 3-1...there were 2 home runs by the Dbacks so it was pretty exciting!
Our tickets were section 305 row 3, so we were in the upper deck, but only 3 rows back, so the seats were actually pretty good. We were both happy about that!
A couple of interesting things happened in the game....There was this lady in front of us who kept standing up. It was annoying since we like to sit and enjoy the game. I mean, we're in the upper deck! You don't stand up in the upper deck! I can understand if you're down there close to the field, but the upper deck is reserved for us who just want to sit, relax, and enjoy the game....not the fanatics!
So, these Cubs fans behind us yelled "Sit down Lady!" She ignored them for a while, but eventually sat down. I cheered, not for the Dbacks, but because now I could see the game.
Later the lady turned around and said, "Can you believe those jerks telling me to sit down?" I said, "we wouldn't mind it if you sat down either" to which she looked surprised and said simething like, "we all have a right to stand up and I think it's rude to tell someone to sit down." I was as nice as possible and said, "well, I'm not telling you to sit down...I'm just saying we wouldn't mind it if you did."
She didn't stand as much after that, so it was a success!
When we left the stadium, right after we got outside and were on the sidewalk, we heard feet pounding behind us. I just figured there were some teenage kids running to get back to their car...screwing around...but then a Cubs fan and two cops brushed by us!
One cop said, "get down on the ground or I'll have to taze you!" I could see the red laser spot on the Cubs fan's back. The cops tackled him and started handcuffing him right there in front of us.
at 12:15 PM
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Today is Alicia's 30th birthday and I know she is partly excited and partly depressed. I remember that for my 30th birthday I was up in Redmond, WA with my sister and her family.
I have a surprise for Alicia this afternoon...we're going to do something fun!
at 9:38 AM
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Yesterday I got my big box of Nutrisystem food. It is supposed to be a 30 day supply of food, but I think I could put it all down in about a week! There are all these little snack bars and little cups that remind me of the Cup O' Noodles. I was excited to get my food and to be honest was expecting the serving size to be a little bigger.
Another thing I realized after reading the instruction booklet that came with the food is that I will have to supplement my meals with fruit, salads, dairy, carbs, etc. For example, this morning I had a few granules of low fat granola cereal (I think my cereal bowl actually laughed at me) and I provided milk, a piece of whole wheat toast, and a banana. Most of the food for breakfast was provided by me....heck, I could have had a piece of toast, a banana, and a glass of milk and been fine.
I committed, so I am sticking to it. I'm thinking of this experience as training myself to eat smaller portions more times a day. I've known for over 15 years that this is how I should be eating, and have only been successful for short periods of time. This will be one of those times, but hopefully I can stick with this philosophy longer this time.
Sunday was our 2 year anniversary, so Alicia and I celebrated by dining at our favorite high-class restaraunt....T. Cooks. This was the place where over two years ago I proposed to Alicia, so it's a special location for us.
Dinner was wonderful...we sat on the back patio at a table that had been specially prepared with rose petals. Our waiter congratulated us on our anniversary and gave us special anniversary menus. We both ordered the fillet because you can cut it with a butter knife and it melts in your mouth. Our dessert plate had "Happy Anniversary" written on the brim with frozen chocolate, which was a nice touch.
After eating, we went back to the place where I proposed to Alicia, which was a small gazebo that overlooked a grass courtyard. She reminded me how I got on both knees and begged her to marry me. I don't remember that, but I do know how nervous I was and that I didn't know where I was going to actually pop the question beforehand.
at 10:16 AM
Monday, September 24, 2007
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Rachel came to visit on Memorial Day Weekend (I know that was a long time ago). We went to Williams, AZ and the Grand Canyon. It was a great time! We love you Rachel!!!
at 7:37 PM
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Friday, June 29, 2007
Last night was one of the longest and most boring evenings of my life. I had to rush from work, stop at a Circle K to take out $140 plus a $2 charge to pay $0.99 to purchase a $135 money order to pay for a Defensive Driving course, drive through the parking lot to the building where the course was held, weed through parking spaces that were "Reserved" for the various businesses that shared the lot, and finally find and park in my own parking space.
It was 5:32 and I was two minutes late for the Defensive Driving course that would remove my Red Light Violation from my record. As I reached the front door I stared with disbelief at a small printed sign taped to the inside of the glass which said, "The Entrance and Parking for the Arizona Traffic School is Behind the Building." That was the theme for the whole evening, "You are in the wrong place, and we don't care that we could have made your life easier in some way."
So, I huffed and puffed and walked back to my car and pulled around to the back of the building, parked and walked into a rather plain room with long tables and fold-up chairs. Since there wasn't much of a sign at the back door I wondered for a second if I had opened the right door, but when I saw the faint words scribbled with a worn out red marker on the dry erase board that said, "Write your Drivers License number in the top right corner of your Ticket," I had a good feeling that this was the place where I would spend the next 5 hours of my life.
The first fourty-five minutes we waited as every individual in the room went to the front of the room and signed in with their ticket and drivers license in hand. At 6:10, the instructor, who during the first 40 minutes was multi-tasking (Signing people in, talking on her cell phone, accepting and paying for chinese food, and probably three or four more tasks at the same time) informed us that the court required that we be in class for the next 4 hours. It was amazing that she was able to do so many things simultaneously, but at the same time I was rather upset that if she would have concentrated on the main task (signing us in) that our required 4 hours would have started 30 minutes ago and we would be able to maybe take breaks and get out earlier.
Our instructor decided for us that we would take no breaks so we could leave at 10:10 pm. She told us that if any one went to the bathroom or went outside to smoke that she would have to stop the clock and continue when we got back. I really hoped that I didn't need to use the restroom, or I would get the evil eye from everyone in the class!
For the next five hours I listened to the instructor, who actually had a pleasant voice, was enthusiastic, talk about safety, seat belts, right turns, left turns, air bags, DUIs, right of way, yielding, green lights, red lights, yellow lights, stop signs, cross walks, intersections, and more than I wanted to learn. However, the most annoying thing was listening to the students and their comments. "In California the law is this....in LA this happens....blah blah Cali blah blah LA blah blah" Who really cares about California when we are in an Arizona Defensive Driving School? I do not see how it applies.
The guy in front of me thought he was a comedian and would make level 2 funny comments on a scale of 1 to 10 and then turn around look at me and others and laugh uncontrollably. I would smile and try to laugh to keep peace, but inside I was confused. Maybe his comments were funny in another context...maybe I just wasn't in a laughing mood...I don't know. Then there were two 21 yr olds in the front who told stories about how they got so drunk their friend crapped himself.
Right when I thought I couldn't take any more, Becky energetically told us that we were halfway through the class!!! I looked at my phone and sure enough, it was a little after 8pm. After that I blanked out so I don't remember much. All I know is:
I WANT THOSE 5 HRS OF MY LIFE BACK!!!! :)
Monday, June 18, 2007
I just received this email from a friend of mine who is Christian:
This is a beautiful photo of a giant American flag in Arizona The photo is authentic, UN-Touched and was taken on regular Kodak 35mm film. The person who took the picture couldn't believe the image created by the suns rays.
Nice of them to share it with the world!
Read what is says under the picture....
For those who prefer to think that God is not watching over us...go ahead and delete this.
For the rest of us...pass this on.
There's a rock formation near Silver City, NM that people call "The Kneeling Nun". People think that this rock that sticks up looks like a nun kneeling at an altar and praying for the sins of the world.
I guess whatever increases one's faith works for me....if seeing light through a flag strengthens someone's faith in God then that's great!
To be honest, to me, just seeing the beauty of nature increases my faith...nature doesn't have to look like a cross or a virgin mary.
at 9:06 AM
Saturday, May 26, 2007
We're all moved out and living at Alicia's parents' condo which was only abou 7 doors down from the one we just sold. Everything went smoothly with the selling of our house. We put most of our stuff in a POD and then some things in the in-laws' garage. Alicia's parents have a house up in Lakeside-Pinetop area and stay up there most of the summer, so we pretty much have the place to ourselves. We are very thankful for their generosity in letting us stay here for a while.
at 9:48 AM
Monday, April 16, 2007
Well, we got an offer on our house last week, which we counter-offered and they accepted! So, as long as there are no hitches in the inspection and the loan process, we should be out of our townhouse by May 15th.
This last weekend Alicia and I looked at a couple of houses, both in the Awatukee area, which is south of South Mountain in Phoenix. One of the houses was almost 2300 sq feet and had everything re-done inside and out. The floor plan is split, which we like, and they even have a new Trane AC unit. We are both very sensitive to AC issues because we struggled with our AC and finally just replaced the unit even though we were moving.
We'll see what happens...I want to take my time because the housing market is slowing, but there is also talk of the interest rates rising, so maybe now is the best time. We will be moving our stuff out into PODS, which are portable containers which they deliver to your house and store for as long as you need and then re-deliver them. In the meanwhile, we will be living at Alicia's parent's townhouse, which is only a few doors down from our current place. Pretty convenient, eh? :)
at 9:42 AM
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Last week (Mar 19-23) Alicia and I were in Dallas to visit some friends for the weekend...Katie and Greg. We had a great time with them in their new house in Frisco, TX! Greg and I had the chance to play some golf and Greg even bought a new Cobra driver that he broke in.
at 1:55 PM
Friday, February 23, 2007
Last weekend, Alicia and I went up to Pinetop to visit her parents and go skiing at Sunrise Resort, which is located nearby in the Arizona White Mountains.
Some of our friends were up there for the weekend as well, so we met them at the mountain and skied with them. The day was sunny and warm. I was frequently taking off my hat and gloves and unzipping my jacket to cool off. It felt like spring skiing. The good thing about the warmth is that it softened the packed snow so it was nice for snowboarding.
Alicia rented her ski equipment from a local rental spot and her boots were killing her shins and calves all day. That's one big reason why I switched to snowboarding. The snowboard boots are so much more comfortable than ski boots, so it was an easy switch.
Later that evening we went over to our friends' house and played poker and a game called "Catch Phrase". The game is mostly luck, but it was fun because we played men against women and even though the women kicked our butts, it was fun to see how we describe things and become competitive. I think all of us guys want a rematch! :)
Monday, February 05, 2007
On Saturday, Jimmy and I went to the FBR Open, which is a PGA golf tournament held in Scottsdale, Arizona. Jimmy's good friend's son-in-law got us tickets for free, so that made it even better.
The weather was beautiful! I would say it was in the mid-70's and sunny skies. The first thing we did was go to the famous hole #16....the loudest hole in golf. It is a par 3 that is surrounded by grandstands. We were to the left of the tee box (if facing the hole) and midway between the tee box and the hole. The seats closer to the tee box, and those closer to the hole were taken because that's where all of the action is. The crowd would cheer if the golfer hit the ball onto the green, but was booed if otherwise. No golfer was too good to be booed...even Vijay Singh was booed when his ball hit the left edge of the green and rolled off. We stayed there to watch some of the famous golfers we knew, such as Vijay, Fred Funk, Mike Weir.
We spent most of the day near the green for hole #14. The hole is far enough from the entrance where it is actually quite peaceful and it is a strategic location because there is a hill where you can sit and watch putting on hole #14 and then walk a few paces to see the smashing drives on hole #15. On the top of the hill is a concession stand and the other side of the hill is the tee box for hole #14 and the green for #13. The highlight for me was seeing Bubba Watson hit a monster drive on #15 that faded to the left (he's left handed) and rolled into the lake. There were only two birdies on #14 the whole time we were sitting there. That was very disappointing.
On the way back to the car we had to dodge drunks and fight crowds, but we made it safely back to lot #8. We were lucky we had a parking pass to a lot that we could walk to because the lines for the shuttles for public parking were horrendous. One of the guys said that last year they waited an hour and a half just to get on the bus! The public parking is about 3 or 4 miles away though, so pick your poison.
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
My aunt Gertrude passed away on Monday. Coincidentally, it was my brother Anthony's 33rd birthday....Jan 8 2007. Gertrude is my dad's older sister. My dad, who is 64, is the youngest of 12 children. His brothers, sisters, and their spouses (my aunts and uncles) are getting older and are being taken at a rapid rate it seems lately. This saddens me because they are great, outstanding people and unfortunately I don't know them very well.
For some reason, my dad's family is very close geographically, but not very close personally. Maybe my dad is close to his brothers and sisters, but I don't feel as close to them or my cousins as I would like. There is definietly love and respect between all in the family, but not a closeness like I see in other families. In the last few years one of my cousin's and I have been working on being closer and keeping in touch, but for the most part I don't feel close to my aunts, uncles, or cousins. It baffles me why this is because growing up we went EVERY month to a family gathering. You would think since I saw my extended family every month for all the years I was growing up that I would be close with all of them.
Please don't misunderstand me. I do not place any blame on anyone but myself....and I'm just more curious and asking myself "why" more than anything here. I feel a little guilty for not knowing my aunts and uncles better. Even though I am deeply saddened by deaths in my extended family, I love going to their funerals because I learn so much about their lives that I didn't ever know before. Is that terrible?
The good news about my Aunt Gertrude's death is that she will be able to be with her husband, Bob, who died a few years earlier. Bob was a great man and I'm sure she is anxious to be with him. The other good news is that my work allows two days bereavement for deaths of aunts or uncles, so I am going to be able to go to the funeral and see my family and extended family.
I would like to put some memories of Aunt Gertrude here, but unfortunately I have something working against me here. I have a terrible memory! I just know that Gertrude was a very friendly, kind, and gentle person. I can say that about all of my aunts...I have the greatest respect for them. I remember having family gatherings at Bob and Gertrude's house. We would meet in the basement, I think. I also remember that Gertrude was always smiling. I feel terrible for Gertrude's children because I know how hard it is to lose a mother. I pray for them that they will be comforted and wish that I could do something to ease their pain.
at 9:14 AM
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Oh my! Where do I begin??? This was the greatest sports event I have ever witnessed! My wife and I lyed in bed last night in awe; thoughts of the Fiesta Bowl dancing in our heads! "Do you believe what just happened?" we kept asking each other over and over again....
A small part of me is upset at Boise State for giving up their 28-10 lead and letting Oklahoma get back into the game. OU tied up the game 28-28 with a 2-point conversion with about 1:30 left in regulation! The OU fans were going wild!!!
Ok, so the game is not lost. Boise State has 2 time outs and can go down and maybe score a field goal, or if not they can win in OT, right??? Oh no, that's too easy and not spectacular enough, so Boise State's QB, Zabransky, on the first play throws an interception that was returned for a TD. Now, the OU fans were ecstatic!!! The BSU fans were in shock, upset, and disgusted all at the same time. I couldn't believe that we had lost the game. There was no way that BSU could score a TD in less than a minute in regulation!
BSU, with 2 time outs, goes down to around mid-field and gets into a 4th down situation with like 16 yards for a 1st with only about 20 seconds left in the game. I was still sick to my stomach about what had happened previously. It was over. Sure, Boise State would get some credibility for ALMOST beating a good team in the Big 12 in a bowl game, but they also couldn't hold onto a lead. I could see the headlines now.
Then! oh....and then! Zabransky throws down field to a receiver...enough for a 1st down and that was great...but wait! Why is the receiver stopping and not going out of bounds? Or at least trying to get more yardage? Just as soon as my question was asked, the receiver answered by pitching back a flea-flicker to the trailing receiver who ran it down the left sideline into the corner of the end zone!!!! Do you believe it???? With the extra point kick, BSU tied the game with 7 second left in the game!!! The pooch kick was successful and we're in OT baby!!! Now, the BSU fans were going wild!!! My hand still stings from all the high fives!
Boise State won the toss of the coin in OT and decided to give OU the ball first at the 25. Adrian Peterson, who BSU was able to contain the whole game decides to do what he does best and run it into the end zone on the first play! What a table turning, tide changing series of emotions!!! We Boise State fans were just plain worn out. The Oklahoma fans were again, annoying.
Now, it was BSU's turn to try and score a TD from the 25 yard line in hopes of keeping the OT alive. The great thing was that this was all happening at the end zone nearest to us, so we could see everything. Boise started running the ball and plugging ahead, and just barely getting a 1st down. Whew! Ok, then BSU was stopped on 3rd down when the running back got tackled with 2 yards remaining and the ball coming loose! No! The play was ruled down, but went for a review. I didn't see the replay, but everyone said that it looked as if it was a fumble...and the game would be over. Luckily, the referees looked at it carefully and ruled that the play stands as called....4th and 2 at about the 5 yard line! Ah! Please!!!
Now, the next play I will have to go back and see again because Zabransky (QB) shifted and the ball was actually hiked to the Wide Receiver, Peretta, who tossed the ball with incredible touch and accuracy into the Tight End in the End Zone for a TD!!!! Again, a change in tide of emotions! Boise State fans were now cheering their lungs out!
Without a hesitation, the offensive team stayed on the field, yes, I could see #5, Zabransky, out on the field with #41 Ian Johnson. They're going for it! Then Oklahoma called a time out. Ok, I thought now that Boise State was bluffing and would now kick an extra point and go for a 2nd round...but no! They were going for it!!! I was so nervous and was questioning the call.....why not get the 1 point and go for a 2nd round. Maybe BSU could stop OU next time?
The game rides on this one play, and Boise State's coach Chris Petersen had the juevos to put it all on the line! The ball was hiked to Zabransky and with all the action going to the right, he fakes the throw with his right hand, while hiding the football in his left hand behind his back.
Ian Johnson acted as though he had thrown the ball and was pass protecting...but then grabbed the ball from Zabransky and ran the ball to the left corner of the end zone for A SUCCESSFUL 2-POINT CONVERSION!!!!! THE GAME IS OVER!!!!! BOISE STATE WINS!!!! I'M HUGGING SOME SWEATY GUYS THAT I DON'T EVEN KNOW BUT I DON'T CARE BECAUSE....I DON'T BELIEVE WHAT JUST HAPPENED!!!! OH MY!!!! EVERY ONE'S FACES ARE PALE AND IN DISBELIEF!!! THIS IS THE BEST SPORTING EVENT I HAVE EVER WITNESSED!!!!
End of scene, after the game we walked a half a mile to the car and were talking the whole way about how we can't believe what just happened. We continued the conversation in the car and my wife and I were still talking about it in bed when we couldn't sleep. I'm at work now and I'm still in shock and need psychological help I think! :) ha ha! Well, I'm out! Peace!
at 8:52 AM