Thankfully K's dad has gained his strength back after his broken hip surgery. He came home from the hospital/rehab on Tuesday and today we're going to see him at his home in Foat Wuth. My task: Build him a wheelchair ramp so he can go outside instead of staying cooped up inside all the time. And it's a GREAT time to be outdoors, too. We've had temps in the 70's all week and it will continue thru the weekend.
The boss at work is on us because sales overall are slipping and he's looking to our group to make up the difference, since we're the strongest....up 20%+ last year. Of course I couldn't say anything yet, but with our second new home sale soon to be officially consummated with the @$%^&* bank, I'll be giving my notice soon to my Big Giant Corporate Employer. I'm SO ready to get back to building custom homes again. I'll honestly hate to leave my teammates as they're thrown into the grinder, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do. It's just too good an opportunity not to make the jump.
Cute side note: While I was writing this my phone rang. I saw it was from my youngest daughter, so I answered to hear my grandson Parker (age 1 1/2) just jabbering. I talked (?) with him for a minute, then finally realized his mother was not coming on the line. He had grabbed the phone and somehow speed dialed a number....me. I wonder if this is a regular occurrence? She'll know soon when her phone bill arrives. :)
My project for the day is awaiting. Y'all have a wonderful day.
OK, maybe my title pushes the creative license thing a bit far, but I just finished watching a show on The National Geographic Channel called Ultimate Factories. This episode highlighted the building of a Maserati Gran Cabrio like these:
I'm fortunate to be able to live in a neighborhood that attracts rich boys and their cool toys, or maybe it's gorgeous girls with beautiful curls who drive.....er.....OK, a poet I'm not, but you get the idea. These are just incredible machines. Don't you find things just out of reach to be even more desirable?
As best I can remember, George W. Bush told us his vision was to help Iraq and Afghanistan throw off their oppressive dictators and discover freedom. They would be so happy that citizens of other Middle Eastern countries would be inspired to revolt and taste freedom for themselves, too. It sounded pretty "pie-in-the-sky" to me since I doubted many of them would even know what to do with "freedom" if they had it. I felt most would support whoever would give them a paycheck and some food.
Now here we are in 2011 and The People have overthrown corrupt leaders in Tunisia and Egypt, and they're on the march in Iran, Yemen, Jordan, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates. Can Saudi Arabia be far behind?
So how will this play out? Will voices of moderation prevail as W hoped for, or will other equally corrupt, evil dictators (think Islamic extremists) seize power? If Bush was right, the world will be a MUCH better place. If Bush was just being delusional, we're SCREWED!
....that's what I look like trying to do yoga. K is always on my case to exercise more, as if the 5-7 miles I walk every day isn't enough. Ride a bicycle? No thanks. Having that sadistic wedge-shaped seat shoved up my a__ isn't my idea of fun. Running? Years ago I ran 3 miles a day, 4 days a week. Now I don't think my knees could take such high-impact stress. Weights? Reps bore me to tears after 5 minutes. Treadmill? HELLO....I walk 5+ miles a day!
Yoga? Hmmmm....that might just work. K does yoga every morning and she can twist herself up into shapes you wouldn't believe. (She is so limber....which could be an X-rated entry topic all by itself!) As I'm definitely not limber, this just might work.
Yesterday I tried out my Yoga for Dummies DVD that I bought on Amazon. I like it! Sure, I'm very sore today, but that will pass as I press on. But the twisting really feels good. The funny part is how I look trying to stand on one leg while I tuck my other foot up into my crotch and reach over my head. I look like a freak show attraction. Or try to stand facing north while my left foot faces south, without bending my knees. Hahaha! Fat chance!
Oh well, I'm gonna keep after it because I feel so great after a good stretch. And the instructor is kinda hot. :)
It's been one of those weeks, friends...very rough. One of my coworkers fell on the ice two weeks ago and hurt his knee and was off work all this past week. We all bucked up and got his and our work done, and it really wore me down. Today I have nothing but sitting around, drinking coffee, and reading my book....and maybe walking the dog and getting a car wash....on my agenda.
On a positive note, our homebuilding business is back up and running. One of our customers officially signed his financing papers on Friday, and we're beginning construction on Monday. I'll be moonlighting after my regular job to handle my construction oversight chores on this one. (My brother/bidness partner will be there full time to see and be seen.) Our other client is in the final financing stages at this time and will hopefully sign his documents within a couple of weeks. When/if that happens (and it looks positive!) I'll be able to tell my current Big Giant Employer thanks, but I'm moving on. *happy dance!*
K has become quite the accomplished chef. Recent acquisitions have included a professional quality mixer and food processor, but now she wants a larger slow cooker for things like brisket. Yesterday I bought her one as part of her Valentine's gift. Here she is bright and early this morning opening it as she has a recipe she wants to try today while she has the time:
In the interest of my physical well being I passed on getting her a new wash board, too. *wink*
I'm burning daylight....gotta go and do....ummm....nothing. :)
I'm probably one of the few people in Dallas NOT complaining about the new winter storm bearing down on us right now. Overnight...ice. Rush hour tomorrow...snow...3-5 inches expected. I'll just leave for work a few minutes earlier than usual tomorrow. No biggie.
More news: K was called into one of the BIG boss's office today and offered yet another responsibility. This is the second in as many months. He told her she was "very well respected" within the company. I say she's become their "go-to" girl. If they want something done pronto and done right, they call K. Of course she accepted the challenge, and on her way out of his office she said, "Of course I'll need more money."
No, not that kind of excitement, unfortunately. We were sound asleep at around 1:40am when the fire alarms in our building went off. K and I were textbook smooth. I pulled on some sweat pants, a henley t-shirt and a jacket, grabbed my wallet, keys, camera, and phone while K dressed and gathered a few things and the dog and out we went.
I felt the door up...oops, Freudian slip...and it was cool to the touch so we went out into the central corridor. All the fire doors had closed, so I made sure each was cool before I opened them, too. We made it to our 4th floor parking garage where people were starting to assemble. Before we could get our cars started and get well away from the building someone looked down the staircase to the first floor where they saw a torrent of rushing water. Obviously a large pipe had burst and the fire alarm apparently reverted to its default mode.
The cops arrived before the firefighters did, probably because Duncan Donuts was closer than the fire station. While we were all standing around trying to figure out what was going on K looked at me and started laughing.
Seems I had put on my oldest sweatpants with the bad elastic waistband and the broken drawstring, and the weight of my camera and phone in the same pocket was pulling my pants down, plus one end of the broken string was hanging down to my knees. Naturally, had it been a real fire, I would have been the eyewitness featured on the local TV news channel.
Have you ever noticed they always pick the goofiest looking, most redneck person possible to interview? "Yeah...uhh...ah seen this big 'ol fireball comin' at me and ah yelled, 'Hey Earlene, save the beer, save the beer! Ah mean, we coulda been killed, or even worse!'" That fifteen minutes of fame could have been mine. *sigh*
Years ago, before K, I dated a flight attendant with one of the big airlines based "up north". One late-winter day I was visiting with her on the phone and she was just going on and on about what a gorgeous day it was there. She said the sun was shining, everyone was out enjoying the fine weather, and how she even had the top down on her convertible. I asked how warm it was and she said, "mid-40's". Huh?? To this Texas boy that would be "coat and gloves" weather for sure!
Here today the temperature climbed up into the mid-40's after hovering between 8 and 18 for the four previous days. Wearing jeans, a T-shirt, and a light jacket, I took Emma Belle for a walk this afternoon. I almost felt over-dressed. It's amazing how quickly we, or at least I, can become acclimated to the cold. The mid-40's actually felt comfortable.
Our week of ice and snow is melting rapidly. This is all that's left in our apartment's central courtyard:
I'm sure by tomorow even that will be history, too. If I can just have one really good snowfall every winter I'm satisfied. The Winter of 2011 was good to me. I'm happy tonight.
While I'm hardly an Inuit Eskimo and Emma Belle is certainly no sled dog, we were outside this morning at 5 am playing the role. The 2 inches of ice covering everything has become old news after the 3 days we've been putting up with it. When we went to bed last night the weather guessers were telling us to expect a dusting to maybe an inch of snow when we woke up this morning. WRONG!! Instead this is what we found:
....about 8 inches here in Plano, TX. It was beautiful virgin snow when I first stepped on it....and Emma first peed on it. Driving on snow doesn't bother me at all, so I dropped K off at her work on my way to my work. It's supposed to be warmer tomorrow (40 degrees), so I'm sure all those who have been cooped up inside since Tuesday will be at the grocery stores tomorrow restocking. Trying to stay ahead of the curve K and I went to Tar-zhay this afternoon and got all our weekly shopping done early.
With all the groceries now put away, it's time for us to go out for our customary Friday Date Night.
Hope y'all are warm and safe this evening. Have a wonderful weekend, everyone.
EDIT: Brick House Tavern & Tap....atmosphere ****....food **....price $$$
What ever happened to Al Gore? For a while they couldn't shut him up, now he's just vanished. Remember 'ol Al, the High Priest of Global Warming? Then he got filthy rich selling carbon offsets or something like that, and poof...he's gone.
Is "climate change" the new euphemism for "global warming"? Seems like good marketing to me. I'm thinking "global warming" might be a hard sell these days in Chicago or New York or even here in Dallas.
I've always been a contrarian. I've never tried to be rebellious....I just see things a bit differently. I drove a tiny little car back in the '70's when everyone was buying big muscle cars. Most people are fixated on "the American dream" (home ownership), while I've learned to love the carefree apartment lifestyle. Most people absolutely detest winter, but I like it, even when I have to bundle up like this:
I love coming back to a toasty warm apartment after walking the dog. I love reading or watching TV wearing sweats. I love going to bed and pulling a thick down comforter up and making my "nest". I love listening to the wind howling outside. I love getting in my car in the mornings and feeling the seat heaters come to life.
And before I can get tired of winter, our Texas spring arrives and I can begin to look ahead to the next winter. It's a cycle I enjoy.
As I already had arranged to take today off work, the winter storm caused me no problems. K had to go in, but she works less than a mile away. Poor Emma Belle wasn't too enthused about going out to do her "business", though. We were out and back in no time. Basically we have a solid sheet of ice on everything with a bit of snow on top. It's 21 degrees @ 3pm, with a low tonight expected to be around 9.
Mr. Restless here couldn't stay cooped up inside all day, so I walked around the hood for a while. There weren't too many souls stirring. One unusual sight I did see was a young woman ice skating down Fun Street, but she was past me before I could dig out my camera....darn.
This was a far cry from last Friday night when Fun Street was abuzz with a movie premiere. The street was blocked off, huge backdrops were erected, searchlights pierced the night sky, the red carpet was rolled out, and fancy cars were lined up for a block. Seems the Angelika Film Center was chosen to premiere Slant 45. It's somehow supported by the NFL, and there were lots of big-name felons....er....pro athletes on hand. I can't wait to not see it. *snicker*
Hopefully you are all inside warm and dry this evening. Stay safe.
EDIT: K has pointed out to me AT GREAT LENGTH that I have slandered what is probably a very worthy film, and that not all professional athletes are felons. She is absolutely correct, and I apologize to the producers and the non-felon athletes playing in the NFL. I still can't wait to not see it.
One of my daily reads is Spiegel Online International, a German newspaper. Today I read this:
"A regional politician in Germany has been sentenced to pay a fine of 1,500 euros or spend 50 days in prison because he allegedly called Thilo Sarrazin, the author of an incendiary book about Muslim immigrants (and also a politician), an "ass." He....was overheard uttering the word at a demonstration outside a convention hall in the city of Dortmund where Sarrazin was speaking. Sarrazin filed a legal complaint when he heard about the insult."
So it's illegal to call a politician an "ass" in Germany? Jeez, I hope censorship like this doesn't spread to America. If it does I'll be locked up and never heard from again, considering my contempt for most politicians. Anyone want to contribute to my legal defense fund?