Friday, January 20, 2017

Back to Bowling

I made my work’s bowling league again for the winter league.  They opened it up to more people, and they said they would prioritize those who hadn’t been in the league in the fall, but I still got in.  Actually, a lot of us who bowled last time got in.

I missed the first week, which was last week.  It was the night before a major deadline, so I couldn’t get away.

So last night was my first night with the new league and the new team.  Yep, they mixed things up, and I’m bowling with a couple of people I don’t know.  They are very nice, and we were having fun, so that’s nice.

The teams are three people each this time, so the games go faster.  We are also starting earlier, at 5:30.  It means I get home earlier, which I love, but I was enjoying eating out and reading some before we started last time.  Oh well.

I did my usual jump out to a great score and tapper off.  I got a 155 the first game, including a turkey in the tenth frame, followed by 135 and 116.  I know, I blew it by one pin in that final frame.

I’m looking forward to the next few weeks.  It sure was great to be out there again.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Travels for Work

Just like last year, I had a work trip to close out the year.  I drove back from Christmas with my family and flew out to North Carolina the next day.

I made three stops in the state while I was there, visiting all three of our locations.  And these are not close to each other.  I was driving at least an hour and a half to each location.  Fortunately, I was only trying to visit two in one day.  Then, after visiting the third the next morning, I flew home.  So it was a whirlwind trip with lots of driving and work and not any time to sight see.

On the other hand, I got most of an audio book listened to while I was driving.

I work with our locations in North Carolina, so it was nice to meet these people and see our locations there.  I certainly could have planned my hotels better, but I will fact that into my next trip for sure.  I stayed as far away from the clinics as I could while still being in the same city I think.

And I did have time my first night to eat dinner with a Trixie friend, which was lots of fun.

This also meant that I was out of the office for a week.  Granted, I was working three days (with a holiday and a vacation day in there), but it was still very odd to be out of the office that long since I so rarely miss work period.

But when I got back it was peddle to the metal as we have been closing out the fiscal year as well as the month of December.  Got to love this time of year.  Our deadline is Friday, so I will be very busy until then.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Wonderful Christmas

I’ve been busy for the last couple of weeks, but it’s been good.  It started with a busy but fun Christmas.

Naturally, I drove north to spend time with my family.  I drove up on the 23rd, enjoying my new car the entire time.  It rained about half the way up, but it wasn’t a bad storm.  And my car gets better gas mileage and has a larger tank, so I was able to go almost all the way home before I had to get gas.  In fact, I probably could have gone the entire way up if I wanted to.

I had three full days up there visiting with family.  My uncle and aunt were over for part of the time, and I got plenty of time with my parents, my brother, and his family.  We spent much of Christmas day with my brother’s in-laws which was fun as well.  Plus we spent some time Christmas Eve with good family friends.

We were always doing something, so it wasn’t exactly restful, but it was super fun.  I wouldn’t change any of it at all.  It was so nice getting to spend all that time with people I don’t get to see nearly often enough.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

New Car!

And just like that I have some news.  I bought a new car last night.  I went with a 2016 Honda CR-V, replacing my 2001 CR-V, which I bought in November of 2000.  Hey, if it lasts 16 years, why fix it?

I’ve actually been wanting to replace it for a few years now.  The AC went out about two and a half years ago, and that’s no fun here in Southern California in the summer.  Of course, now it’s winter, so I won’t get to experience the joy of having AC in my car again for a while.  My transmission went out about three years ago, and it was feeling shaky to me again, although my mechanic says it is fine.  And it was shaking pretty badly on the freeway.  All told, I would have had to spend some serious money to get it fixed.

Not as much as I spent on a new car, of course, but it is nice to have something new again.

Plus I have all the news bells and whistles, like Bluetooth and a backup camera.  Not sure how I feel about that last one yet, but I’m sure I will get used to it.

My old car was a pretty green, but they don’t make many green cars anymore, so I went with blue this time.  It’s really pretty as well, but not as nice as green.  I just wanted something other than white/tan/gray, which is what the majority of cars I see are.

So I will be enjoying that new car smell for the next couple of months.  And interest rates are so low thanks to promotions that I won’t be paying much interest over the next few years while I pay it off. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Word Association for December 13th

It's been over two months since I did word association.  I think we need to stop this trend, don't you?

  1. Patients :: Doctor
  2. Intentional :: Decision
  3. Envelope :: Mail
  4. Fear :: Scared
  5. Confidential :: Secret
  6. Mixed up :: Signs (as in Mr. Pine's Mixed Up Signs)
  7. Years :: Behind Us
  8. Branded :: Merchandise
  9. Biography :: Book
  10. Provoked :: Anger

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Pretty Quiet

I’m not holding back on posting.  I haven’t been up to much recently.  I did some Christmas decorating, but then I stalled out.  I really need to get more done tonight.  I’m probably not going to do too much more, but it would be nice to finish it up with enough time to enjoy it.

I’m mostly done with my Christmas shopping as well.  I need to order my aunt’s Kindle books tonight, and then I’ll be done with family.  I have a couple of friends and then I need to figure out what to do for my co-workers this year.  That will be the real challenge.

I looked at new cars for a couple of hours on Saturday.  I think I’m going to go with a Honda CR-V again.  Now to decide if I want to get a 2016 or wait until the redesigned 2017 comes out.

As you can see, my life has been a non-stop thrill ride, which is why I haven’t posted much of anything.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Wonderful Thanksgiving Weekend

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend with my family.

I headed up north Wednesday afternoon.  I’ve left then for years, but I was surprised at how light the traffic was.  Usually, it’s flowing but crowded.  It was actually pretty typical for a non-holiday time, and I hit no real traffic around towns like I was expecting.

I spent four full days up there with them.  Thursday, my brother and sister-in-law hosted Thanksgiving like they usually do.  It was them, their two kids, me, my parents, my sister-in-law’s parents, and a family friend.  We’ve been doing this since they moved back to California, so we have it down.  It wasn’t nothing super fancy, but it was a great time of all being together.

I spent Thursday night with them, and had a great time playing with my niece and nephew on Friday.

The rest of the time, I spent at Mom and Dad’s.  Naturally, my brother and his family were other there so I still got to see them.  We played games and just hung out.  It was very nice and relaxing.

I drove home yesterday, avoiding the worst of the traffic on Sunday by doing so.  In fact, there wasn’t really any bad traffic on Monday, so I sailed right through both ways.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Officially the Winners!

My bowling team won our work league on Thursday night.  We thought we had won the week before, but we misunderstood or they changed their minds or something because we wound up finding out on Thursday that we were having our final games of the league that night.

We went into the night in the number one position.  We were tied with one other team, but our total points for the season (the tie breaker) was what pushed us over the top.  We were playing the team we were tied with record wise, so when we won two out of three games, we knew we’d beaten them.

However, over in the other game, one team won all three games, meaning they were tied with us record wise.  Again, it went to the tie breaker, and we have the most points of any team in the league, so again, we won.

This is a very nice change from my recent ultimate Frisbee league experiences where we lose and lose and lose.  Yes, I think the teams wound up being stacked, but I’m not complaining in the slightest.

There is talk we will have another work league in January, and if so, I’m going to try to join.  They will give others priority, but I hope I can make it work because I had a lot of fun.  Plus it was nice getting to know some of my co-workers at the office across town that I rarely if ever interact with.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Thoughts on Last Night

Like many, I am shocked by the results last night.  I’m still trying to process my thoughts on where we are in the country.  I’m hoping by talking through some of my thoughts, I can figure it out.

I’m sure most of you reading this know me to be a conservative Christian.  As a result, I was in the Never Clinton camp since day one.  She is the most corrupt candidate we’ve ever had run for President.  Oh, I know she has never been convicted of anything.  That’s how much power she has.  You only need to pay attention to what has been coming out in the last few months to realize that.

Of course, that presumes that you’ve been watching any news media that would report it.  The news media has proved their bias so blatantly this election cycle it would be funny if there still weren’t people out there who refuse to see it.

But as a conservative Christian, I was also firmly in the Never Trump camp.  That man has made my skin crawl long before he ran for President.  The revelations about him in the last few months were as shocking to me as the revelations about Clinton.  In other words, I expected them.  It is sad that any human being would treat any other human being that way at all ever.  There is no excuse for it.  There is no defense for much of what he has said and done in the past and during this campaign, and I will not try to offer any.

For the first time in my life, I actually voted for a third party candidate.  I could not in good conscious vote for either of them.

Yet I am happy with the results today.  I am happy because voters seem to have seen through the lies that Secretary Clinton has been telling for years and the way that much of the media tried to cover it up for her.

On the other, I am scared.  I don’t trust Trump.  I don’t trust him to be a responsible adult.  Considering he was a Democrat until not too long before he decided to run, I don’t trust him to actually do any of the things he says he will do, and I worry he will do the opposite.  And I’m very upset by the racist incidents that I’m already hearing about.  It is very wrong, and there is no excuse for it ever.

If there is anything good that can come from this, it’s that once again we will have a news media that looks closely at what the President does.  We had that from 2000 to 2008, but we haven’t had that for the last 8 years.  Heck, I’m looking forward to descent and questioning the President being patriotic again as it was at the turn of the century instead of racist as it was for the last 8 years.

Which brings me to the biggest point from all of this.  There have been calls for healing and moving forward.  I’m all for that.  BUT IT MUST COME FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE!!!!!!  No, I don’t mean lie down and let President Trump do whatever he wants.  Believe me, I will oppose him when he says or does something I don’t like.  And I expect there to be plenty of that.

However, I have seen lots of hate coming from the liberals on my Facebook and Twitter feeds.  And I do mean hate.  Name calling and devise language will not help anyone or anything right now.  If we are going to move forward as a country, we have to stop looking at each other as baskets of deplorable and actually sit down and listen to each other and get to know each other.  Yes, Trump has said racist and sexist things.  But that doesn’t mean his supporters are racist or sexist.  It might just mean that they looked hard at Clinton and didn’t like what they saw.  It might be a vote against her as much as or more than a vote for him.  But how will you know that if you scream, shout, and threaten to leave the country instead of trying to find out why your friends voted for him?

It’s actually been very interesting.  I have seen very few gloating messages from my conservative friends.  Yes, I’ve seen some, but compared to the shock, horror, and anger coming from my liberal friends, it has been mild.  Of course, the mature comments I have seen from other liberal friends have given me hope that we can sit down and discuss our difference like rational adults.

Because we need to have many adult conversations about things that are happening in our country and in our world.  Trump is not going to have them or start them.  The news media certainly isn’t going to allow them to happen.  Those who aren’t invested in one side and invested enough in conflict to keep things going.  That means it is up to us.  And that starts with listening to your friends who disagree with you instead of labeling, name calling, and stalking away.

Earlier this year, I listened to the audio version of The Silencing by Kristen Powers.  Yes, she is a Fox News contributor.  However, she is a liberal.  She is a liberal I respect because she is willing to call out liberals when they are wrong, but she has logical reasons for her liberal beliefs.  I don’t always agree with her (in fact I rarely do), but I respect her because I can tell she has thought through what she is saying.  All that to introduce this book, which talks about how the illiberal left is trying to shut down those who disagree with them in our country.  Honestly, I think a lot of what is in this book might be why we saw the results we did last night.  And I’m already seeing it play out anew in the last 24 hours.  If you are interested, here is my review.  I challenge you to read the book (or listen to it like I did) and think about it.  It is possible that someone disagrees with you, has good reasons for it, and isn’t a racist or sexist or any other ist or phobe.  And until we are willing to realize that about each other, we are not going to move forward as a country.

At this point, I am rambling.  We are in for an interesting next four years.  But I do hope that we stop and listen to each other instead of just writing each other off because we disagree.  If that happens, there will be no healing and the divides in our country will only be worse the next time we go through this.

One last thought before I go.  As a people, we need to be praying for our leaders, even and especially when we disagree with them.  But when we agree with them, too.  Our hope is ultimately in God, not in who the President is or isn’t.  And He can change hearts and minds more than anything we say on the internet or face to face can.

Saturday, November 05, 2016

Work Bowling League

Wow, so I just went a month without updating the blog at all.  Let’s play a little catch up, shall we?  And let’s start by talking about the bowling league I joined through work.

There are four teams, all of them co-workers, although most are from the other location in town.  It’s actually been fun to get to meet them.  We play on Thursday nights.  Originally, it was going to be a night I had other commitments, but they switched it up, and needed a last minute replacement, so I jumped in.

Now here’s the crazy thing.  The teams were drawn at random, and I still wound up on a team with all people I knew, two of whom are direct co-workers.

I haven’t bowled for several years, and it’s been fun to be out there bowling again.  My scores have been all over the place, but my average has been 135, which I’m happy with.  High score so far is 187, which I got last week.  Last night, I had a mark in every frame, including closing out the game with a spare and strike in the final frame.  I mostly got spares, but I ended that game with a 183, which I was quite happy with.

The part that is a little frustrating is that everyone has a handicap.  The idea is that it makes it fairer, which it certainly has since all the teams are tied going into the tournament next week.  However, it also means that if one of the weaker bowlers, or especially an entire team, has a good game, there is no way for us to catch them.  Granted, the other team seems to have a strong game when we have a weak game, but it makes it hard to catch up when you are starting 100+ points down.

But that’s a minor frustration.  On the whole, I’ve really been enjoying this.

After the tournament next week, there’s a final week where we are playing as individuals being paired up with someone random.  I’m really looking forward to both weeks.

And if they have another one in the winter, I really hope I can join again.