Thursday, November 30, 2006

Thursday Threesome for November 30th

Yes, I know I owe you a blog about Thanksgiving. But you aren't getting it today.

Instead, we'll do two Thursday Threesomes.

The first is brought to us by retail.

Onesome: Black-- I saw a white Christmas tree the other day all done up in "black and white"; I was thinking an Oakland Raiders fan might like it! Do you have any color preferences for your Christmas decorations? ...or maybe a theme you've found somewhere that resonates with you?
I don't have a color theme. I love colored lights and use them on my tree and outside. My decoration theme is hodgepodge. I've got ornaments that were gifts from friends. I've got some I bought on vacations. And I've got some that reflect my hobbies, like my collection of the Snoopy ornaments from Hallmark.

Twosome: Friday-- leftovers? ...or do you have plans to order a pizza in to counteract all that turkey ?
We had leftovers Friday night but none the rest of the weekend.

Threesome: Sales-- Okay, the big question: are you going to 'attend' any of the "Black Friday" sales? ...and if you are, are you hard core serious like the 5 am "be there" crowd?
I usually don't. Didn't again this year. Might in the future if there was a very good reason. But I would not be part of the 5 Am crowd. Seriously, I want my sleep!

And now today's.

Onesome: Sweet-- or sour? What type of sauces do you like on your dishes when you 'do Chinese'?
I guess sweet. I don't like Chinese good, so I don't get it.

Twosome: Baby-- back ribs? ...or steak? Tofu? Chicken? It's your choice; what would you like for your next meal "out"?
Steak, chicken, hamburger. I'm not that picky. I will not be doing tofu, however.

Threesome: James-- town flood? What do flood your mashed potatoes with, gravy or butter? ...or do you like them plain?
I love them with butter, but plain is just fine as well. Under no circumstances do I like them with gravy, however.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

You are such a fraud

So Friday night, I get home from the movie (I'll get to that in a minute) and there are two messages on the answering machine. One of them is from Sprint wanting to double check some info on a recent order. Um, I didn't place a recent order.

Then the second one comes on. "If you are Mark, press 1. If not, press 2." I almost just hit delete, but I was looking through the mail and didn't get to it before the voice continued. "This is your credit card company. We think there's fraud on your account. Please call us back within 24 hours."

You'd better believe I called them back the next day.

And they were right. Someone had gotten a hold of that credit card and was using it to charge all kinds of phone stuff. They'd already charged around $700 in two days. Which explained the call from Sprint.

Since they person obviously had my phone number, I have a suspicion as to how they got the info. But not enough to go on to actually report anything. But my credit card company has canceled that card and is sending me a new one. The biggest problem I can see is an item I ordered with that credit card still hasn't come. I might have a fight on my hands trying to get a refund. But we'll just have to see what happens.

That was a scary way to end my Friday night. The majority of it was quite fun. Debbie, Paul, and I had a great dinner at Souplantation before going to see Casino Royale. They liked the movie more then I did, but I didn't really enjoy it. Too long, drawn out, and boring. Guess I wanted more of an action flick.

I did indeed hang my Christmas lights Saturday, enjoying mid 80's.

Sunday night, we had the first SNYF we've had in months. It was lots of fun. Although Kurt needs to come up with a game besides 4 men on a couch. I'm tired of loosing to the girls. :)

Last night was a youth staff meeting, which went well.

And Reba is back! I had really been missing having a sit com of some kind on my schedule. Sunday night's episodes were good. I especially loved their in-jokes.

Tonight I have to go home and pack so I am already to leave when I come into work tomorrow. Tomorrow afternoon, I fly to Dallas for almost a week. See you when I get back, and have a great Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 17, 2006

I Knew I Lived Here for a Reason

It's day like today that make me love living in Southern CA. The weather is perfect. It had to hit at least 80 today, probably closer to 85. I sat outside and read on my lunch hour to enjoy the beautiful weather. I have my office window open. The big downside is that I was inside working instead of out enjoying it. Just makes me more determined then ever to hung my Christmas lights tomorrow.

Yes, I intend to hang my Christmas lights tomorrow - before Thanksgiving. Originally, I was going to be busy the 2nd, but those plans got postponed a week. Still, I decided I liked the idea of hanging the lights so I can just plug them in when I get back from Thanksgiving and enjoy. And the fact I'll get to enjoy our great weather is just an added bonus. Beside, I'd feel really stupid if I waited and it was miserably cold on the 2nd.

In other news, I have an exciting announcement for those of you who live and die by my reviews. Both Amazon and Epinions now offer RSS feeds for individual reviews. Epinions even offers the ability to put reviewers reviews on your "My Yahoo" and Google pages. Now you'll be able to see the reviews as soon as I publish them.

Thrilling news, isn't it? I'm sure I'd be a little more excited if I knew what it really meant. It's some internet term, but I can't figure out what it really does.

Meanwhile, there's not much else going on in my life. Bible study was fine last night. The big excitement is I can't believe Emmett Smith won over Mario on Dancing with the Stars. I sure thought Mario was the better dancer. Oh well, I am going to begin getting a bit of a break from my full time TV viewing now that November is drawing to an end. That show's off and Lost is on hiatis. Maybe I can focus more on my DVD's, like the Darkwing Duck set I finally finished this week. Only took me two months to get through it.

Right now, however, I'm off to watch Bond. James Bond.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Thursday Threesome for November 16th

Gotta get this in really quickly before I leave for the day. Brought to us this week by the rain soaked south and The Back Porch.

Onesome: A Day--or so ago? Oops, wrong meme. Wait, that might be cool... "A Day or So Ago, I saw ......" You fill it in !
The final of Dancing with the Stars. And, frankly, I'm surprised that Emmett Smith won. I thought Mario was the better dancer. And I thought he had the bigger fan base, too. Although I thought it was funny that for two weeks in a row the judges scores were identical.

Twosome: in-- case of rain, do you carry an umbrella? ...or do you just hoof it in a hat?
Umbrella? Hat? Real mean let the rain fall on their heads. (Of course, having a buzz cut helps with this.)

Threesome: the Rain-- in Spain? Nah, how about locally: has the rainy season kicked in for you yet? Snow? Nothing? Come on, it's almost Thanksgiving here in the States!
Nothing here. It's still in the 80's during the day. Normally, it's down to the 60's by now at least once. I think the lowest it's been is low 70's. Not that I'm complaining in the least.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Finally Behind Me!

I have such a feeling of relief. This morning was my court date about my ticket.

Since I had taken the tint off the two front windows, I was just trying to get the fine down to the $10 I thought I would have to pay. I get into the courtroom, they call my name. I'm showing the bailiff that I have corrected the problem (the sign off from two weeks ago) and tell him why I'm there. He tells me that tinted windows are now a non-correctable offense and I might have to pay the entire thing. Naturally, that didn't make me very happy.

They call every one else, and make us listen to a tape. Then finally the judge comes in. Makes a few remarks, then begins dealing with the tickets. I'm the second name he calls. "Dismissed. Just pay the $10." So I did.

I can not tell you how incredibly happy that makes me.

I got into work an hour and fifteen minutes late this morning. Still, I think that was totally worth it. Saved myself $107. And, since I worked through lunch, it's not making that big a difference in my schedule.

Health wise, I was feeling so good Sunday night, but I am doing better now. Can't seem to do too much, still. Took the youth down to the mall for an event this weekend, and then went to see Stranger than Fiction. Between the two, I think I wore myself out. Guess I just need to be more patient. Really wish I had that virtue.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Thursday Threesome for November 9th

Welcome to this week's Thurday Threesome, brought to us this week by reporters and The Back Porch.

Onesome: In--cumbents? Do you have any left after Tuesday's happenings here Stateside? You don't have to go all political, especially if you hit things yesterday, but where there any surprises to you? ...and if your area didn't vote, well then how's the weather ?
Actually, we have all our incombents here, which is really no surprise. The main reason I voted was for the ballot measures, and I think I did about 50/50 there. Which is surprising since I usually do worse.

Twosome: the-- Headlines can be a bit bizarre. Do you have any good ones you've run across lately?
None come to mind

Threesome: News-- at 4:30, 5, 6 and 11? When do you watch the news channels? ...or do you? Are you more on-line? ...or maybe even one who reads the paper?
I read a few news/opinion/politics blogs, and I watch Fox News Channel very regularly. Especially Special Report with Brit Hume.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Election Thoughts

So, the US mid-term elections were yesterday. I'm sure it's not big surprise to anyone who knows me that I'm not happy with the results. Yet I'm not as upset as I thought I would be.

I'm not happy with the idea of the Democrats running both houses of Congress. (I think they'll wind up with the Senate when all is said and done in Virgina.) I have started following politics fairly closely the last four years or so, and I honestly don't think they get the war on terror. And I'm not just talking about Iraq, but the entirity of the danger we as a country face. Frankly, them being in charge of my security scares me.

On the other hand, I was getting frustrated with the Republicans in charge. They seemed more concerned with appeasing the Democrats then actually acting like a small majority they were.

Then there are domestic issues. I know we'll get a tax increase. And no matter how it is spun, letting tax cuts "expire" (why were they temporary in the first place again?) is a tax increase. And, no matter how it is spun, it will impact me. I'm not happy about how much tax I pay already. I certainly don't want to pay more.

But I am happy with how the Republicans seem to be handling things. They talk about learning from this and returning to their roots. There will be new leaders for the Republicans in both houses of Congress. If this turns out to be more then just talk, I will be very happy by the next election. I am already happy comparing the Repubs reaction with the Dems from two years ago (How could we loose?)

Of course, everyone is promising to compromise and get along. I would expect nothing less on the day after the election. I expect that to be gone by January if it lasts that long.

I was shocked to learn today that Rumsfeld has resigned as Secretary of Defense. I'm one of the few Americans who isn't horribly upset over Iraq, but the idea of getting some new ideas certainly exites me.

No matter how things turn out, I think the next two years will be very, very interesting.

Monday, November 06, 2006

So Where Was I?

Why is it I keep intending to blog, but never make it here any more?

Anyway, here's the latest in my on-going sagas.

Last Tuesday, I went to take care of my ticket. The officer looked at my windows for 30 seconds and then signed off that I'd fixed the problem. So far, so good. Then I went to pay. There was supposed to be a $10 processing fee if I corrected the problem by the date nor a fine if I didn't. However, the officer checked the non-correctable offense box, which meant they were going to charge me the fine, too. Only way I can get it corrected is to go to court. So I have a court date for next Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the last area appears to have stopped draining! I am keeping my eye on another couple areas, but I think things are winding down again. At least I hope they are.

This weekend was a blur. Saturday, I had lunch with Debbie and Casey. Then I went to try to get Donna Andrews' signature on her latest book. Unfortunately, I arrived after the program started, but she signed the book for me really fast.

See, I was supposed to be half an hour away for a play. I barely made it as the play started. Debbie and Casey had saved me a seat, but I didn't get to join them until the second act. We saw Catch Me if You Can, which bears no relationship to the movie from a couple years ago. It was a great comedy/mystery with a twist at the end that I just loved.

Then Sunday, we met up again to see The Santa Clause 3. While it wasn't as good as the original, it was still very entertaining. We all really enjoyed it.

However, all this running around has made me pretty tired. Maybe I'll make it to bed early tonight. Well, that is, as soon as Heros is over.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Thursday Threesome for November 2nd

Brought to us this week by The Wizard of Oz and The Back Porch.

Onesome: Off-- to do something productive? What are your spare time hobbies? ...or do you have a life ?
Watching TV, reading, and writing reviews. Can't we at least count those last two as productive?

Twosome: to see-- beyond the horizon? Where would you like to take your hypothetical 'unlimited' vacation?
Some place with nice beaches and plenty of snorkling/swimming/sailing opportunities. Hawaii, The Virgin Islands, some place like that.

Threesome: the Wizard-- There's always (or should be) a fix-it wizard around the place; do you have one you can call on to take care of those minor repairs that crop up? ...or are you "it"?
I'm it, but only after lots of advise from others like my dad. I am so not knowledgeable on any of this stuff.