Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Refund Checks

I remember getting some refund checks a few dollars, and rebate checks of $5 or $10. But this story is pretty funny:

http://blogs.moneycentral.msn.com/smartspending/archive/2008 /01/23/how-far-would-you-go-to-cash-a-35-cent-check.aspx

Would you cash a 35-cent check? Two days ago I wouldn't have known the answer to that question. Now I do, and, I'm sorry to say, the answer for me is yes. Yesterday I spent 30 minutes traveling to my bank and back to cash a 35-cent check.


Racking my brain to remember where the next closest Citibank branch was, I reversed course and headed back the other way for five blocks. Entering the Citibank branch, I marched up to the teller and triumphantly tendered my 35-cent check.

"I'd like to cash this check, please. I'd prefer quarters and dimes." The teller looked at the check and without missing a beat said, "Are you sure you're comfortable walking around with this much money?" Nice.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Resolutions and music

I know, I know... we're a month into the big oh-eight already. Is it too late for "New Years" resolutions? Not at all!

I only have one resolution so far this year. Well, losing weight doesn't count, it's always a resolution without a solution.

This year, I've been reading the Daily Bible. It's a chronological NIV broken down into 365 daily readings with brief commentary. I've been (nearly) faithful every day in reading. For the day or two I've missed, I've made up the next day.

Occasionally, I may post about what I've read. Right now, God just stuck it to the Egyptian Pharaoh and Moses and the people high-tailed it out of Egypt, just in time to camp out in between the Red Sea and the charging army. Guess who didn't want his cheap labor leaving?

I wonder what Pharaoh was thinking. He's got his army on one side of the Red Sea, with the Israelites running through the sea on dry ground to the other side. The Bible says God held the sea back with a strong east wind which enabled them to walk through on dry ground. I wonder if Pharaoh noticed that this was an unusual event. Maybe his heart was so hard that he never even stopped to think about it.

In other news, I received my copy of the sheet music and practice CD for Keith Lancaster's upcoming Praise & Harmony Holy God album. I'm so stoked to get to participate in the March recording in Tulsa!!! I've been playing the practice CD it to get familiar with the music. All of the songs are older hymns that I grew up with. Most of them I haven't heard since I was worshiping at Wilshire Blvd in OKC. It's refreshing to pull out some old "top 40" favorites.

Saturday, January 26, 2008


It's been nearly a year since I've gone bowling, I think the last time was in the basement of the Kansas State University student union. I was floored that they had a 16-lane bowling alley. Sometimes I wish I had gone to a school like that.

I was asked today by my friend Justin if I'd fill in on their bowling team. I thought it'd be fun, so I agreed. We had a great time. I didn't realize that two of my good friends from the chorale were also on the team. Evidently, this is a league of bowlers all from my church.

How'd I do? Well, I bowled my 2nd and 3rd best games ever. I led off with a suprising 176. Although on one of my three open frames in that game, I was 'iced' by some technical difficulties. We had lots of issues with the automatic scoring system. I followed that game up with a 190, my 2nd best game ever (after a 192). I kept trying to tell people I'm not this good. LOL. They didn't believe me. My second game was funny, it went something like this:


Talk about crazy. I was a little bummed because I didn't pickup any of my possible spares. I mean, a 190 isn't bad at all, but had I picked up one or two of those other frames, I would have definitely broken 200 for the first time ever. :o)

I haven't been able to get out and take pictures lately, or atleast any of note. I can't wait for spring and some green foliage! However, I have updated my pictures here with some larger ones on my Flickr account.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Quick Thought of the Day

The quick thought for today: if you laugh at someone's joke after they've passed away, are you honoring them post-humorously?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Sore Legs and Fingers

I did get to ice skate on Saturday. It's been a little while, but I had fun. I forgot how many kids have their birthday parties on Saturdays at ice rinks. It was odd being there all by myself when everyone else is a parent, or 8 years old, or part of a small group of teens. I enjoyed it a lot, it gave me a workout. I was most worried about my ears. When I was 7, I had tubes put in my ears, and they seem to be sensitive to cold weather if I'm out in it for long periods of time. I believe the last time I went ice skating, my ears hurt so much I had to stop. While they did hurt a little this time, it wasn't unbearable. I took a few breaks and I think it helped.

At Pepsi Ice Midwest, there are 3 rinks, and at one of the other rinks there was a hockey game going on between high school-age traveling club teams. One was from Wichita, the other... well I couldn't tell. The Wichita team dressed 18 skaters in nice, matching sweaters. The other team had atleast 3 different types of sweaters on, and I couldn't read where they were from. They only had 10 skaters, leaving them woefully thin on reserves. After two 15-minute periods, the Wichita team was up 10-0. Ouch. I watched for a few minutes, while taking breaks from skating. The Wichita team had one fan (a mom I'm guessing) who was rather loud in support of her team. It brought back baseball memories, although it's funny, in hockey, there's an 8-foot high glass that reflects the sound back at the fans, unlike baseball where the sound dies out on the field.

After 2 hours of skating (plenty for me), I stopped for lunch at Panera. It's one of my favorite places, and normally reserved for my weekly Sunday outing with my good friends. I couldn't pass up a good asiago roast beef sandwich. I took my laptop and listened to music. I had every intention of finishing up a book review, but alas, listening to music is just more fun. :o) I copied a lot of MP3s over to my phone and that drained my laptop battery quickly. So much for music.

After a trip to Costco (I bought a cookbook!), I headed over to my co-worker and friend's house for a night of Guitar Hero and Rock Band. You can't beat that! (Unless you play the drums, yuk yuk yuk). I got to play drums for a few songs, I can do decent on some medium songs, and i'm 95-97% or so. I still don't like the Rock Band guitars, I guess I'm just partial to the Guitar Hero ones. I feel like they're easier to play. I got to play Guitar Hero 2 for a few games (until an unfortunate, shocking, incident involving static and the green button), and then Guitar Hero 3 on Wii (which involved another incident involving a dark cola and new Italian leather sofa).

I finally got home and to bed around 2am. And it was reeeeaaaalllly cold, about -4 F. Now let me tell you, that is cold. But I think if you get below about 20F, it's all cold from there. When it gets cold, you just have to keep moving. Even if it means your legs get sore.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Sunset in Eudora

This is a two-picture composition, one pic that I got the foreground on, and another that I got which highlighted the sunset and sky. Additionally, I photoshopped out some power lines. :o)


Cool Eh? I took this photo with a Nikon D40x, manual focus 18-55mm lens with a 1.6" exposure time. I took the RAW file, highlighted the red with photoshop, and made the rest black and white. I kinda like the effect. :o)

A new beginning

This week begins a new chapter in my life. My divorce was finalized this week.

A lot of people don't know what to say to me, offer congrats or offer sympathy. Well I don't know what I would say to me either. I've tried to explain to people how I feel, and the best I can do is say I feel 5% happiness, 5% sadness, and 90% relief that this whole nightmare is over. I can't describe to you what I've gone through, I just hope you never have to experience it.

So what have I been up to? Fitting with my blog title, I'm addicted to Guitar Hero 3 for the Wii. I've played it a lot since October 27th. The Weezer song is one of my favorites, along with the instrumental "Cliffs of Dover" by Eric Johnson.

My life has been blessed very much so. I got a new Vizio LCD HDTV (hockey looks so good in HD!!), and a new Nikon D40x digital SLR camera. I'm learning how to use it for my upcoming cruise in May. I plan on posting some pics. The other night after work I drove around, found a good spot and took some pictures of the sunset. It was beautiful! I took another one a different night, I walked out on a overpass and took several time-lapse shots of the traffic below. With some Photoshop, I think I added something to the shot.

By far, the best gift I received for Christmas was from my Grandma. She gave all the kids and grandkids a copy of The Daily Bible. It is a chronological NIV Bible, broken down into 365 days. When you get to areas such as the gospels, you read the parallel stories each day from the different accounts. So far, I've read every night this year, except for one (and I made up for it). I've read nearly all of the Bible, but never read it all the way through like this. It was funny at work the other day, I found out a lady on my team (she's the wife of a minister) is reading it too! I feel very fortunate that so many of my co-workers attend a church of some kind. Obviously no one is perfect, but I think it's really cool that I work with good-hearted people who aren't out to get each other.

I have a busy 3-day, MLK weekend coming up. I've decided to treat myself to ice skating on Saturday afternoon, then later that night I'm going to a Guitar Hero/Rock Band party. Church Sunday morning, my ritual plain bagel/cream cheese at Panera with some dear friends, and then I'll head home for a relaxing afternoon of cleaning and football. I had a crazy idea this morning about going skiing up in Weston on Monday. I'm a little undecided. I don't have anyone to go with, and don't really want to go alone. I almost had two people talked into going with me, but I think they've backed out. I'm trying to get out and do things I've always wanted to do. I think it will help me from becoming depressed and lonely. Plus it helps to get out and do stuff, rather than sit at home and do nothing!

That's all for tonight. I'll try to take my camera with me this weekend, maybe get some shots to post.