Category Archives: vacation

Taxing Thoughts

-Yesterday, Marcela and I filed our taxes.
-After dropping about $200 on tax preparation, I believe we will go ahead and purchase Turbo Tax.
-Tax time is stressful, especially when you have not completely prepared everything.
-It’s also stressful when you owe money. We owed.
-I enjoyed reading Ritz’s review of TSP’s Anthems for a Broken World.
-One week and three days from now, Marcela and I will be sailing across the Caribbean, making stops in Cozumel, Grand Caymen, and Ocho Rios Jamaica.
-Dunns River Falls will be one of our excursions.
-We will also do some snorkeling with stingrays in Grand Caymen, and maybe some snorkeling on the reefs in Cozumel.
-The NCAA Tournament is about to start up the round of 16 and then 8, and as of now I am sitting nicely at 40-8 in my picks.
-This is my best start ever, but I know things can change fast.
-D Wade barely missed a 3 at the buzzer that would have won the game for Miami. In the last couple minutes, Miami out scored Indiana 8-0 and ended up losing by 2.
-Jeopardy is fun to watch. This week was their annual Tournament of Champions where first prize is $250,000.
-This was the youngest group of contestants ever on the JTOC.
-Yes, I also watched some Dancing With the Stars this week. I want David Allen Greer to win it all. He’s one of my favorite all time comedians.
-The outage is in full swing. After two weeks, the work schedule is almost 60 hours behind.
-That means a possible extended outage and overtime.
-I am working OT today, and I’m loving it.
-I don’t love missing Sunday morning at Life Pointe Church.
-President Obama seems to be completely lost, and just throwing money at everything that moves while claiming to be for fiscal responsibility. Excuse me? Fiscal responsibility is not paying off large corporations and calling for regulation. Who’s regulating him?
-I think my crock pot is wearing out on me. I made a pot roast with potatoes and carrots that took over an hour longer than normal.
-I’m interested in seeing Slumdog Millionaire, but I haven’t decided whether to wait for the DVD or go see it at the theater.

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Filed under basketball, Blogging, food, life pointe, money, movies, music, NCAA Tournament, politics, religion, snorkeling, sports, vacation, work

Whatever Thoughts

-Today is day #4 of the outage.
-I am getting OT on the days of my choice right now.
-Good news, I got invited back for a second interview.
-I’m totally digging Anthems for a Broken World.
-Saturday’s Top 5 is all about TSP!
-I’m craving some football again.
-I guess I’ll have to settle for the NCAA Tourney and NBA season/post season.
-Miami Hurricanes really blew it toward the end of the season and had to settle for a lousy NIT appearance.
-Max has destroyed two harnesses by chewing the front part. What a little dork.
-Vacation is two and a half weeks away. Caribbean here we come.
-Of the two movies that I have seen this week: Underworld Rise of the Lycans and Mirrors, neither was great.
-Obama and the congressional Democrats are really having a hard time continuing to shift blame for the AIG bonus mess considering they created it.
-I am sick of hearing how all our problems are everyone elses fault. Obama is making a mess of the mess he inherited.
-I plan on seeing all my LPC buddies this weekend at Flagship Cinema. I’ll be there at 7:30, Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise!

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Filed under animals, Blogging, Max, movies, music, NBA, NCAA Tournament, Pets, politics, schedule, vacation, work

Free Thoughts

-Thursday is the day I post my thoughts. It’s pretty simple, I just type whatever pops in my head.

-The shooting at Wal Mart yesterday was all the talk yesterday at work. Apparently an angry boyfriend walked into the garden center and shot his former girlfriend who had just taken out a restraining order against him. He then fled to his home where he shot himself.

-The stock market doesn’t seem to like the US move toward socialism. Our economy was sick under President Bush, Obama apparently wants to finish it off.

-Hurricane season is just around the corner. I think I am going to start getting my supplies together now. Be prepared!

-Only 2 months since football season has ended, and I am having withdrawals. I hate football offseason. The Dolphins and Canes have a lot to look forward to this year.

-We are going to be even more organized in this year’s fantasy football season.

-The major football related news right now is the boat with the NFL players and agent whose 21 foot boat capsized in the Gulf of Mexico in up to 15 foot seas. Friends of mine suggested that probably they plowed the nose of the boat into a large wave going too fast while rushing to get in, or they got sideways and were flipped by a big wave.

-Max had his little bit of masculinity removed this past Friday. It’s not bad enough that everybody mistakes him for a her, now he has been altered. Poor fella.

-My vacation cruise is exactly one month away from today. Snorkeling, hiking, and relaxing here we come.

-Marcela really hooked me up on Sunday. She made some excellent paella mixta with chicken, chorizo, octopus, little necks, muscles, shrimp, and scallops.

-I have said it before and I’ll say it again, I cannot wait for the TSP Anthems CD to be available.

-The work that Trav, the guys from TSP and the People for Care and Learning are doing for the people of Cambodia is God’s work. I’m so proud of them.

-I will see some of you this Sunday at the theater as we come together to worship, enjoy and learn from each other, be inspired, and be the church.

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My Own Thoughts

-For 5 months, overtime has been virtually non existent for me. I have worked 2 days of OT since September.

-New graduating classes, rough job market (people are hanging on to the job they have), and projects closing out combined to turn 5-10 overtime slots into 3 or more extra personnel every day, more or less.

-The only way to get overtime was to wake up on your off day at 4 AM and call in to see if the shift was running short from call outs or new projects that popped up.

-Today will is the third day of OT for me in the past 3 weeks. It’s very helpful considering that I am going on vacation.

-Today also marks a raise for me, which is going to be amplified by my OT.

-I interviewed on Monday for operations. I have been told that 40 people are fighting for 15 job openings. In all, I feel my chances are pretty slim this go around, but if this door is shut then I trust God.

-Hind sight is 20/20. I have learned so much from all my mistakes and even successes. God is so good even when (especially when) I don’t deserve it.

-This year is about 18% over. It seems like we just celebrated New Year’s Day. Wow!

-I can’t wait to get my $13 extra each week in my paycheck. This is what Democrats call a substantive tax cut.

-What’s up with Pelosi dancing around like a giddy school girl during Obama’s address to the congress? How did she get where she is?

What is the website number to track porkulus spending?

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Head Movie Thoughts

-The weather last week would have been perfect for a trip out on the reef.

-Winds were under 5 mph, bay was glassy, and there were under 2 feet off the reef.

-Unfortunately I was not feeling my best during that time and wouldn’t have been able to enjoy it anyway.

-Marcela and I have been on another movie trip for the last week. We have watched at least one movie every day for the last week.

-A neighbor has been supplying us with movies, some of which aren’t even out of the theater year, free of charge.

-We also picked a few up from Blockbuster.

-We saw some comedies (Paul Blart: Mall Cop, Soul Men, and Tropic Thunder), some action (Rambo, Eagle Eye, and Wanted), and drama (Bella, Pride and Glory, and Deception.

-I recommend for everyone to see the movie Bella. It’s a very loving family movie about life and giving life a chance. I loved it.

-There are a few that I would not recommend for others to see due to their graphic nature: Rambo, Soul Men, and Tropic Thunder. Tropic Thunder was one of the funniest films I’ve seen, but it’s pretty much intended to offend.

-The irony of the movie is: Robert Downey Jr plays the part of an award winning actor who has surgery to become a black man for the filming of a movie which is intended to win him an award. Robert Downey Jr was nominated for an Academy Award for actor in a supporting role for this movie, in real life.

-Paul Blart: Mall Cop is also funny. I recommend this for all ages. It’s a comedy about a single dad who is a security guard who wanted to be a cop but flunked out due to hypoglycemia. He turns out being the only person who can stop a heist of roughly $20 million from the mall’s accounts.

-I am finally about to kick this cough that accompanied a fever, chills, fatigue, and body aches over the past week. Marcela got the same thing. The most effective relief came from Mucinex DM 12 hour and tylenol.

-On Saturday, I coughed so hard, I felt like my head would explode. We never really appreciate feeling good until we feel bad.

-Marcela and I will be getting new passports for the cruise although they won’t be necessary since the ports we are stopping only require birth certificate and picture ID.

-I have a big interview on Monday. Whatever the result is, I thank everyone for their encouragement, help, and prayers. Big thanks to my dad and Mark Similey.

-See y’all at church Sunday!

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Filed under family, fishing, health, humor, life pointe, vacation, work

Many Thoughts

-I think I am losing my voice.
-Yesterday I got a bit of a cough and today my voice is cracking.
-I sound like I’m 13 years old.
-Overtime was offered to me Tuesday for Friday, I said yes.
-Yesterday, my overtime was cancelled.
-This morning around 5 AM, I received a call offering overtime for today. Sweet!
-Last night I parted ways with my green Glock 19. I plan on purchasing a black model 17 or 19 Glock as soon as one comes in to Lou’s (5-8 weeks).
-My vacation is approaching. April 5 is right around the corner.
-I will be snorkling, hiking, relaxing, and eating.
-Last night Marcela and I went to Capri in Homestead and used our Christmas gift certificate.
-The restaurant was packed. I was surprised to see so many people.


-After our delicious spaghetti dinner, we enjoyed a real treat… Canolis! They were so good.
-I got to see my old buddy Oral Beason last night at the Dolphin Mall.
-Oral and Dee are having twins, one boy and one girl. That will make 4 for them.
-It feels like years since I have gone fishing out on the water.
-Max is going to get a puppy cut. We are taking off his long fluffy coat since he hates being brushed so much.
-Valentine’s Day is two days away. I will work that day but I have something planned.

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Filed under fishing, food, Homestead, Max, Pets, schedule, snorkeling, thoughts, time, vacation, work

Chilled Thoughts

-The weather station on the front porch read 42 degrees this morning. My front porch is facing west so it captures and holds some heat in the afternoon. I estimate that it was below 40 degrees F this morning.

-I was prepared thanks to Chris’s cold weather alert this week.

-I’ve had a second jacket come up missing at work. I left it in one of the security waiting areas and it disappeared. It’s frustrating that I can’t even leave my jacket on a designated coat hanger at work without someone just straight up stealing it.

-I’m taking Kourtney and maybe McKenna to the Metro Zoo on Monday. Kourtney is excited to be going to the zoo for her first time. We’ll see the chimpanzees, tigers, and elephants for sure! Hopefully we will get a chance to see my favorite part of the zoo, the Wings of Asia aviary.

-I’ve booked my cruise for April 5-12. We’ll be departing Miami for Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Ocho Rios Jamaica. I got an excellent deal on a private balcony for less than $600/person. If anyone wants to go, there’s still plenty of tickets available.

-We will snorkel in Cozumel and Grand Caymen (with the stingrays), and hike Dunns River Falls in Jamaica. It should be a fun-filled and action packed time on land with plenty of relaxation time on the ship at sea.

-Last nigh, Marcela and I got a head start on the cruise by having one of the best dinners I have had in a long time. We had rib eye steaks medium rare on the grill, and Bahamian rock lobster tail with drawn butter. I could have eaten 2 more of those lobster tails even though they weighed in at around .4 pounds a piece.

-I’m looking forward to my third week in a row at church. Last week we were over staffed and this week is my regularly scheduled weekend. I’ll see you there!

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Various Thoughts

-I enjoy this blog entry because the topics are whatever pops in my head while I write.

-There is a lot of junk in my head sometimes; it’s nice to get it out.

-I am working overtime for only the second day since September. The only other time I worked OT, it was on a call in. This time I actually signed up and got notice Tuesday that I would get the OT. This comes in very timely since I lost almost 4 hours of work last week due to training and qualification.

-Also, I’ll be working this weekend so I will not be able to join you at the theater for our weekly Life Pointe Sunday party.

-I requested two more vacation days and it was ultimately approved. I now have all of Spring Break off.

-I will be looking for a 7 day cruise to fit my scheduled time. Right now I am leaning towards MSC Cruises (The Orchestra) to Key West, Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Dominican Republic.

-There are some serious deals right now, even on Spring Break. I assume that it is due to the economy. Check out Vacations To Go to see what I am talking about.

-Speaking of the economy… My stand by for my first political rant since the new prez took office.

-ACORN was accused of voter fraud in the presidential election this year and years past. In this new so-called economic stimulus package ($890 billion), $5.2 billion has been set aside for neighborhood foreclosure relief. $4.19 billion of that is supposed to go to ACORN.

-How does this pass the smell test? ACORN helps perpetrate fraud, then gets a $4.19 billion cash kickback. Like they say, “Dance with the one who brung ya.”. It makes me sick.

-Max really hates being brushed. Marcela normally does it, but I figured I would help her with that duty. I don’t want the little mop to despise her because she wants to keep his hair looking handsome.

-The little runt growled at me and then snapped when I was trying to take out a knot.

-I work Super Bowl Sunday, but I should get home before the end of the first quarter. Anybody hosting a party? Naw, you guys should be down in Plantation Key, right?

-My heart wants the Arizona Hurricanes (Cardinals) to win, but my head tells me that the Steelers are going to win this with their dominating D.

-I want Edgerrin James, Calais Campbell, and especially Antrel Rolle to win their first Super Bowl rings.

-The Edge left Indy the year before they won their Super Bowl title. I’d love to see him not only win a ring, but to be a major part of the victory.

-Last night I watched a show called “I Shouldn’t Be Alive” on Animal Planet. I am sure they embellished a little, but the show was riveting. They told a story with reenactment of a couple who were hiking a trail in the Amazon Basin when they got lost. Using a compass, they actually went in the opposite direction because the map was flipped with North at the bottom and South at the top. They were stranded 6 days before finding their way to a river where they were rescued by a boatman. I highly recommend the show, but be warned that it contains some disturbing and mature content due to the nature of the material.

-I’ll see you at LPC a week from Sunday if not sooner!

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Qualifying Thoughts

  • Good morning Homestead (at 2:30 AM).  I had to get up to be at work by 4 AM today for day one of Training and Qualification (T&Q).
  • When I woke up, the temperature on my front porch weather station reported 43.2 degrees F.  I am not sure if that was correct because I heard that it would be in the 30’s today.  Either way, it was cooooooooold!
  • Of all the days to have to be outside shooting my AR 15 and 9mm Beretta, it had to be one of the coldest days in several years.  I actually shot my night fire course with the rifle wearing gloves.  It definitely got in the way and slowed me down, but I still got a perfect score.
  • I wasn’t so good with the pistol.  I took my gloves off for the pistol so I could more easily manipulate it.  My frozen fingers only allowed me to score a 38 out of 40 which was still a qualifying score (32 or higher).
  • Around 7 AM, we had to perform our physical agility test.  I admit I was sweating it a bit since I had not prepared for it at all.  It’s a 40 foot climb and back down from the tower, then a 200 yard run while carrying about 30 pounds of gear.  The whole course must be completed in 2 minutes.
  • One of the guys running in front of me paced me and told me to keep on his bumper.  I turned in my personal best time out of the 3 times I have had to run in over the past 2 years.  I qualified easily.
  • By 8 AM, it had warmed up a little and the sun was coming up.  It turned out to be a beautiful day.
  • First we shot the rifle.  Today was the first time I shot in the tactical vest.  While it made the run easier because of weight distribution, it made the shooting a little more difficult due to the pressure on the shoulders.
  • I qualified with the rifle, but since I rushed several of my shots, I was not able to match my perfect score from the last time.  This time, I scored 295 out of 300.  Not bad, not great.
  • With the pistol, I didn’t have a great day by many people’s standard.  I am not great with the handgun but I am ok.  I scored 225 out of 240 (my previous high was 227 out of 240).
  • So the short of it all is that as for the shooting and physical qualifications, I am good to go for another year.  Tomorrow I return to the classroom for the Training portion of the T&Q.  This is the area that I don’t have much issue with.
  • More good news: my vacation for the week of Spring Break was approved!  I wasn’t really expecting it since I requested it late.  Most people request vacations at the end of December.  It’s seniority at that point.  After then, it becomes first come first serve unless there is a vacation blackout.
  • Even more good news: due to the fact we all completed shooting qualifications, I don’t have to be in until 6 AM tomorrow.  That means I get to attend worship practice tonight.
  • I will see all of you Sunday at Flagship Cinemas for a great Sunday morning at Life Pointe Church!

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Christmas Day Thoughts

-Today is my first full Christmas day on the job.
-Last year I worked Christmas Eve on night shift and spent Christmas day in a haze.
-Yesterday, Marcela and I spent the day celebrating Christmas with my wonderful parents.
-We enjoyed a day of food (brown sugar and honey glazed ham, sweet potato casserole, broccoli casserole), gift giving, games, and watching “It’s a Wonderful Life”.
-As you probably have read, “It’s a Wonderful Life” is my favorite Christmas movie, and to me is one of the greatest movies ever made.
-My mom and dad did not get each other any big Christmas gifts this year, well, not in the sense that you wrap a present and give it. They each agreed to skip that and give a child the gift of freedom. I could not be at church to see for my self, but Bill Wilson gathers resources to free children in the far east from the sex slafe. I believe the cost is around $300 dollars. What a precious gift.
-I just want to mention how much I love my mom and dad. My mom is the most giving, caring, and selfless person I know. My dad has always done everything he could to shield his children from tough times growing up. I never felt the strain of tight economic struggles, family disputes, or “hard time” because my dad made sure that while I was a child I saw the world through a child’s eyes. There were definitely hard times, I just never knew about them.
-Marcela hooked me up with a couple of great DVD’s: Iron Man and The Dark Knight.
-My mom and dad gave me tickets to Mannheim Steamroller, two pairs of flannel pants, a new thermos, a bag full of coffee goodies including a pound of my favorite St. Arbucks coffee (Italian).
-I came in to work today and I was listed on the roll as being on vacation today. I could have gone home, but it’s hard to pass up the 2 and 1/2 time.
-In a couple weeks I will have an opportunity to take the operations exam at work. If I pass, it could really change things for me.
-A friend from here at work will be studying with me so we can pass this thing.
-See you guys and gals at church Sunday. Feliz Navidad, Merry Christmas! Remember the reason we celebrate. Jesus stepped into a robe of flesh, took on suffering and pain, and gave his life that we could be free. Presents, dinners, music, and movies are all fun. But Jesus is the “reason for the season”. Don’t forget it.

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