Thursday, September 29, 2011

Fall is in the Air

The fall season is upon us.  There is starting to be a little bit of a chill in the air.  This weekend, we are expected to have the coldest night in several months with temperatures expected to drop in the 40's.  It really is one of my favorite times of years, because I really do like the cooler weather.  I love going to sleep at night and waking up wrapped in the comforter because it is so cool in the house.

Pretty soon though, it will be time to think about firing up the furnace to heat your home.  Inevitably, there will be a news story about some family who either had to go to the emergency room because they got sick, or worse yet, a family that dies because they have suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning.  It is one of the reasons that I am glad that we have all electric heat and appliances in our home so that we do not have to worry about that.

In most cases, those sorts of tragedies could be avoided if the home had been equipped with some sort of carbon monoxide meter.  In a lot of ways, a carbon monoxide meter could be a more vital piece of equipment than a smoke detector.  At least in the case of a fire, you can sometimes be alerted to the potential danger through the smell of something burning.  With carbon monoxide, there is no smell or warning without the meter.

The safety of those around you is of the utmost importance.  Sometimes dangers are clear and obvious.  Other times, like with carbon monoxide, they are unable to be detected by the human senses.  They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Having devices that can alert you to smoke or high concentrations of carbon monoxide can be worth their weight and then some in gold.
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Wednesday, September 28, 2011


This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of T.G.I. FRiDAY'S for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

EntrĂ©es For OneSeveral years ago, I used to be a frozen food buyer for a local grocery chain.  I was responsible for deciding which items our store would carry in the frozen food departments.  One of the more successful items that I added to the product mix in our stores were T.G.I.Friday appetizers.  There was nothing better than having a taste of T.G.I. Friday's available to me to enjoy while at home.

Ever since those days as a frozen food buyer, I have always looked for new and exciting frozen food items.  Frozen food has come a long way since the days of the TV dinners in those aluminum trays.  The overall quality has gotten to the point where a lot are as good as anything you can prepare from scratch or get in a restaurant.  Now, T.G.I. Friday's has gone beyond their appetisers and have their T.G.I. FRiDAY’S “EntrĂ©es for One”.

These new Entrees for one bring the taste of T.G.I. Friday's home to you whenever you want.  There are times when I either have to work or my wife has a meeting to attend so we eat dinner separately.  These entrees give us a quick and easy meal solution with a wide variety of choices that we both can enjoy.  I like a little spice, so I would go for the Cajun-Style Chicken Alredo, while my wife might opt for the Grilled Chicken Mac & Cheese.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Got My CPAP Machine

Full face CPAP maskImage via WikipediaIt has been a long road to discovering about my sleep apnea and my need for a CPAP machine.  It all started a little more than three months ago when I had a small scare while taking the garbage out to the curb for pick up.  While carrying the bags, all of a sudden my whole left side started tingling.

I went to the doctor that morning and my doctor ordered a series of tests.  First, he did a full blood workup and discovered that I had a low Vitamin D level, which could put me at risk for high blood pressure (which I have), heart attack or stroke.  I have since been taking Vitamin D supplements on a daily basis.

Another test ordered was a sleep study to test me for obstructive sleep apnea.  Untreated sleep apnea can also put you at risk for those same health problems.  I had the first study in July.  That study showed that I had sleep apnea.  I had a follow up study in August so they could determine the level of pressure that I would need from the CPAP machine.  Last week, I met with the doctor who ran the sleep clinic, and he wrote my prescription for the machine.

Finally, after three months of tests and doctors visits, I got my CPAP machine.  My insurance company required a particular company to provide the machine. A technician came to my office yesterday to show me how to operate and care for the machine.   The care of the machine seems to be pretty straightforward and simple.  The company also set me up for automatic replacements every few months for my mask, tubing, and filters.

My wife, and I, were both concerned about how loud the machine would be.  The good news is that the model they provided for me is whisper quiet.  The other good news is that my wife told me that I did not snore last night either.  It is obviously too early to tell if the machine will improve the way I feel during the day and how I sleep at night.  Last night, I stayed up too late watching football, so I was pretty tired today.  Still, no snoring and a quite machine are a good start.  If nothing else, the lack of snoring will make sleeping better for my wife.
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Monday, September 26, 2011

Music Monday-Eddie Money "Walk on Water"

When I was a kid and I used to go grocery shopping with my parents, I remember the Muzak that used to play as background noise in the stores. It was awful. I never used to hear any of the music that I liked to listen to. Usually, there was no vocalist, just that insipid MUZAK soundtrack.

Thankfully, all that has changed.  These days, I even hear a lot of tunes like Bob Marley that I would expect to hear on a classic rock station.  Sunday, I was in my local grocery store doing my weekly shopping when this old Eddie Money song came on.  I started singing along. 

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. Rules are simple. Leave ONLY the ACTUAL LINK POST here and grab the code below and place it at your blog entry. You can grab this code at LadyJava's Lounge Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.

PS: Because of spamming purposes, the linky will be closed on Thursday of each week at midnight, Malaysian Time. Thank you!
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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Herman Cain Wins Florida Straw Poll

Herman CainImage via WikipediaLast night, I was doing my usual Saturday night gig of delivering pizzas.  Unfortunately for me, we were not very busy, so I did not make a lot of money.  As the night was dragging on, I decided to take a look at a few sites on my phone when I saw that Herman Cain won yesterday's GOP straw poll in Florida.  Not only did he win, he won handily.

I have been a Herman Cain fan for a few years now.  His candidacy is one that I have been watching with particular interest.  There have been very few politicians out there that I can say that I like and trust.  The fact that Cain is not a politician is one of the reasons that I have an interest in hearing what he has to say.  It is also one of the few drawbacks that I see as well. 

One of my biggest complaints of these early debates of those that are in the hunt for the Republican nomination for the presidency is that in several of the debates, the questioning has been geared to those who are ahead in the polls. I have been very interested in seeing how some of the lesser known candidates would perform in the debates. There is just something about Mitt Romney that doesn't sit well with me, so though if given the choice of him or Obama, Romney would get my vote.

I was extremely interested in seeing what Rick Perry had to offer when he finally threw his hat into the proverbial ring.  I have not totally decided on how I feel about him, but in the debates that I have watched thus far that he has participated in, I have not been too impressed.  I have blogging friends in Texas who speak well of Perry and say I should not put too much into what we have seen in the debates so I have not completely ruled him out.

Anyway, back to Herman Cain.  As I have said, I have been a fan of Cain for a few years now.  I have been a little upset that he has not gotten too many opportunities to express himself in some of the previous debates.  In the Fox News/Google debate last week, Cain finally got an opportunity to answer more than a few questions.  The more that I hear from Herman Cain, the more I like what he has to offer, which is common sense solutions.

I hope that Cain's victory in yesterday's Florida straw poll will result in us getting to know more about the man and his ideas.  He is one of the few potential candidates that is offering specific solutions.  In my mind, Cain and Newt Gingrich are two of the smartest candidates that are currently in the mix.  I would like to see more of each of them rather than the ones that the media and GOP establishment are pushing.  Congratulations to Herman Cain, and I hope we get to see even more of him in the future.
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Saturday, September 24, 2011

My Memories Digital Scrapbook Giveaway

A few years ago, my wife was into scrapbooking as a hobby.  She had a lot of fun putting together books, but it got to be an expensive and time consuming hobby.  Eventually, because of the time and expense involved, she lost interest in it.

Like so many things we do these days, scrapbooking has entered the digital age.  Personally, I enjoy just about anything that I can do on a computer.  So, when the folks at contacted me about trying out their digital scrapbooking software, I couldn't wait to give it a test run.

As soon as I loaded the software, I was able to start creating pages for a scrapbook.  The user interface is very intuitive. The software comes with several page templates built in.  You can also find a lot of additional designs on the webpage, some that are free and others that they charge a small fee to download.  You will see some of the pages that I create from things we did this summer when my son was home from school.

In addition to creating digital scrapbook pages, My Memories Suite has a lot of different options for sharing your creations with others.  You can create calendars and photo albums that you can give as gifts.  There is an option to add music in order to create movies that you can save to your computer and share on YouTube, or you can even burn them to DVD.  There is almost no limit to how creative you can get in sharing your memories with your friends and family.

The best part about getting able to try out the My Memories Suite digital scrapbooking software is that they are giving me the opportunity to give away a free copy of the software to one of my readers.  To be entered into the giveaway contest, please visit the website and check out the different digital scrapbooking kits available.  Just leave a comment here about which ones you like best.  Or just leave a comment about what kinds of things you would use the My Memories Suite to create.  Entries can be made with comments through October 14th and the winner will be announced on October 15th.

The folks at My Memories have also provided me with a special promotional code that will allow you to take $10 off the cost of the My Memories Suite 2.0 software.  In addition to the $10 off the software, the code will also give you $10 coupon off the price of anything in the store.  That's a $20 value!  Just enter the promo code STMMMS68967 at checkout.

I would also encourage you to follow My Memories Suite on their social media sites.  You can catch all of their updates on Twitter and Facebook.  Here is a little hint, by liking them on Facebook, you can get a free scrapbooking kit to incorporate into your templates in My Memory Suite.

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sleep Apnea Results

The Cycle of Obstructive Sleep Apnea - OSAImage via WikipediaBack in July, I started the process of getting checked out for sleep apnea.  I had my first sleep study done on July 27th.  Two weeks later, I received a call stating that they needed me to go in for a second study.  At first, I thought something had gone wrong with the first study, but instead they told me I had mild to moderate sleep apnea and they wanted to see how I would respond to a CPAP machine.

On August 11th, I had my second sleep study so they could determine if the CPAP machine was the right treatment for my sleep apnea.  It usually takes a couple weeks to get the results back from the study as they have a lot of data to analyze.  Two weeks ago, I received a call from the doctor's office that runs the sleep clinic saying I needed to schedule an appointment to go over the results.

He proceeded to explain to me how when we are awake, that the air opening in our throat remain open because we are alert.  When we sleep, our muscles relax, and the opening narrows.  In my particular case, due to the shape and position of my chin and jaw causes my throat passage to be a little more narrow than average.  When sleeping, the passages can completely block the passage.

He then went over each of the two sleep studies with me.  First, he showed me the charts of the initial study.  He could identify each episode that occurred throughout the evening when my air passages were blocked and I stopped breathing.  During each occurrence, he showed me how my heart rate increased and my oxygen level dropped.  These episodes happened several times over the course of the night.  

Another thing that he showed me from the initial report were incidents that he called "brain arousals."  Each time that my air passages were blocked and I stopped breathing, the brain responded.  I would wake up enough for the brain to send a message out that would allow me to breath again, without fully gaining consciousness.  It was a lot of stress through the night, so no wonder I never feel refreshed when waking.

Next, he showed me the results of the study with the use of the CPAP machine.  Through out the night, they monitored my snoring and as my snoring would increase, they would increase the air pressure from the CPAP machine.  In the early part of the evening, I had more blockage episodes, but as they increased the pressure, those episodes decreased to less than one per hour.  This way, they would be able to identify the proper pressure to set the CPAP machine to.

The doctor said that normally with my mild sleep apnea, he would recommend some lifestyle changes including weight loss.  However, due to some other conditions that I have such as my high blood pressure and a history of blood clots his recommendation is to treat the sleep apnea with the CPAP device.  My insurance requires that I get my machine through another company other than the clinic doing the study so I was unable to get my machine right away.  I should have it early next week.  I am anxious to see if if it helps.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The George Costanza Plan to Save the Country

Obama TalkImage via WikipediaMonday, I had to leave work early to meet with a doctor to discuss my treatment for my sleep apnea, more on this in a later post.  On the way to the doctor's office, I was listening to Rush Limbaugh talk about Barack Obama's latest plan to promote class envy and raise taxes.

It really wasn't anything that Rush had to say that got me to thinking, but I think I have an idea to help solve the country's problems.  In the spirit of bipartisan cooperation, I am offering this idea up to President Obama in the hopes that he will seriously consider adopting the following strategy in his decision making on future policies.

I call my plan "The George Costanza Plan to Save the Country," and it is based on a particular episode of the Seinfeld television series.  In this particular episode, George realizes that every decision that he has ever made in his life had been wrong.  In an effort to change his luck, George decides to do the opposite of what he would normally do.  Consequently, his luck changes for the better.  That is until he reverts back to going with his first instinct.

It is in the spirit of George Costanza and doing the opposite of what you would normally do that I am calling on Barack Obama to think about what he would normally do, and then do the opposite.  I mean, things have not exactly been working out very well the way he had been going.  Mr. President, I implore you, for the good of the country, adopt the George Costanza plan.
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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Contract Hell

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Net10 for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

My wife and I currently are in a two year contract with one of the large nationwide wireless providers.  We have one of those plans where we share minutes.  Even though we have the lowest shared minutes plan with our provided, we never use even half of the minutes provided for us.

Our shared voice plan costs us about $70 per month.  We each have smartphones, her's is a Blackberry and mine is an Android phone.  The unlimited data plan on both of those phones is another $60 per month total.  After we had our text message plan, and taxes, our wireless bill runs us around $160 per month, not counting my plan on my tablet.

At one point, we were both on the same cycle in being able to upgrade our phones.  About a year or so ago, my wife's phone basically died so we needed to get her a new phone, so we have gotten off cycle in terms of our contract.  We still have over a year left on our current contract, so I do not see us changing plans any time soon.

If I were able to switch my wireless provider, NET10 would be a company that I would have to look at.  They offer a wide variety of plans and phones to meet just about any need.  NET10 has an unlimited voice, text, and mobile web plan that costs only $50 per month.  If you are not a big user of cell phone, you can get 200 minutes for just $15 per month.  You can even switch between plans any time depending on your needs at the time.

With NET10, you can choose from phones from popular manufacturers like LG, Motorola, Kyocera, Nokia and Samsung.  Those phones can be basic phones with just voice and text capabilities or full featured phones with touch screens, mobile web, cameras, and more.  You can get a basic phone from as low as $15 or a full featured phone for around $60.

You could save a lot of money each month with a NET10 plan.  The great thing is, without a contract, if you need to end your service for any reason, there are no penalties.  You also do not have to have a credit check and no surprise charges on your bill.  You can follow NET10 on both Twitter and Facebook.  Check out this Cute NET10 commercial and this testimonial from a Real NET10 customer and get out of contract hell.

Visit Sponsor's Site

Monday, September 19, 2011

Music Monday-Dierks Bentley "Am I the Only One"

I remember the days of my youth when every Friday and Saturday night, my buddies and I would hit the bars for a good time. Eventually, as everybody started getting married those days drew to a rapid close.  The group dwindled in size until eventually one member was left to ask the question, "Am I the Only One."

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. Rules are simple. Leave ONLY the ACTUAL LINK POST here and grab the code below and place it at your blog entry. You can grab this code at LadyJava's Lounge Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.

PS: Because of spamming purposes, the linky will be closed on Thursday of each week at midnight, Malaysian Time. Thank you!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Hail to the Redskins

Redskins logo 1972-1981, 1983-presentImage via WikipediaA few weeks ago, I entered my name into a raffle for Redskins tickets at my office.  My company either has, or was given, season tickets.  They gave away a set of four club level seats and a parking pass for each game of the season.  I was fortunate enough to win the set of tickets for today's Redskins/Cardinals game, which the Redskins won 22-21.

Sports have always been an important part of our family life.  My wife and I had our first date on opening day of the Baltimore Orioles season 20 years ago.  Since our son is away at school, and we had two extra tickets, we invited my brother in law and nephew to go with us since our nephew is also a huge sports fan.  I don't think that he had ever been to a Redskins game so it was a big deal for him. 

To be honest, we have sort of soured on attending professional sporting events.  We much prefer the atmosphere of minor league and collegiate events.  I think part of it is the fanaticism that is often on display at professional level.  A lot of it probably has to do with the amount of alcohol consumed by the fans in the stands.  Sure there is alcohol served in minor league parks, but the atmosphere is such that people rarely get out of hand.  It could also be that with the much higher cost of a ticket at professional games that the fans feel a little more entitled to fanatical behavior.

Maybe fanatical behavior is the wrong choice of words to use.  After all, the word fan is simply a shortened form of the word fanatic.  I guess what I probably should say is that at pro games people are more prone to what I consider obnoxious behavior.  I am not talking about just simply being loud and screaming at appropriate times during the game.  Nor an I talking about folks wearing the team colors in support of their favorite team, though I may have to draw the line at face paint, especially on fat, middle age men. 

All too often at the professional games, there seems to be an increased amount of foul or abusive language.  Or there is the example of the type of person who was sitting a few rows in front of us.  While just about everybody else in the stands would sit and watch the game, cheering loudly or standing during a big play, this guy felt the need to direct the crowd.  Before every play he would stand up and wave his arms and turn to his fellow fans exhorting them to get louder.

I don't know, maybe I am just continuing to get more cranky as I get older, but the guy just looked foolish to me.  OK, not as foolish at the guys that were wearing the burgundy and gold face paint, or the person wearing a Tigger costume.  The other thing that happened today that had not happened before, and I think is an indictment on where we are as a society, is that every fan was patted down upon entering the stadium.  The NFL claims it was not in response to an idiot Cowboys fan (I know idiot and Cowboy fan is redundant) sneaking in a stun gun in to the Jets/Cowboys game last week, but you have to wonder.
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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Herman Cain's 999 Plan

Herman CainImage by Gage Skidmore via FlickrI first heard of Herman Cain in 2007 when Neal Boortz's book "Somebody's Gotta Say It" came out.  I read Boort's book and started listening to his radio show on the internet in my office.  Cain was a frequent guest and substitute host on Boortz's show.

Herman Cain has been a big proponent of the FairTax as advocated by Boortz.  In the past, I have generally been a supporter of the FairTax plan, though I do have some questions regarding some of the assumptions and the transition to the FairTax.  Cain's support of the FairTax is one of the reasons he intrigues me as a potential Presidential candidate.

Under the FairTax, all payroll (FICA) and federal income tax withholding is eliminated, along with eliminating the IRS.  You get to keep your entire paycheck.  You also get a prebate each month based on the size of your household.  Taxes are collected through a national consumption tax of 23% embedded in the cost of all goods.  It is designed to be revenue neutral.

During the recent GOP Presidential debates, Herman Cain has introduced his 999 plan to help the economy.  The plan imposes a 9% income tax on everybody, a 9% tax on business, and a 9% national sales tax.  It eliminates  the payroll tax for everybody.  Cain's 999 plan is designed to be a transition to the FairTax by, as he put it, bringing the supporters of the FairTax together with the supporters of the Flat Tax.

I heard Cain yesterday on the Sean Hannity radio program discussing the meat of his plan.  On the surface, I liked the general premise, however, the more I think about it, the more questions that I have.  I would like to see some sort of calculator similar to the FairTax calculator to ascertain whether or not the plan would negatively impact me financially.  I always do a little better under the FairTax than under the current system.

With the elimination of the payroll tax and the flat 9% rate on income, I would lower my combined tax burden considerably.  The remaining question would be whether or not the new 9% sales tax would in the end cause my total tax burden to increase or not.  It could be close.  Still, Cain is one of the few people out there with specific plans and proposals as opposed to making general statements of "we need to reform the tax code." 
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Friday, September 16, 2011

The Missionaries

Mormon Missionaries MenImage by More Good Foundation via Flickr
I try to be respectful of other people and their religious beliefs.  There are, however some limits to my tolerance.  You see, I take a live and let live approach to life.  You are free to live your life according to your beliefs, but do not feel the need to preach to me if I don't want to hear it.

First, a word about my own religious background.  Currently, I am not active in any particular religious denomination.  In the past, I have been active in Baptist churches.  I still mostly subscribe to Christian beliefs, with a touch of Buddhism here and there.

My wife, on the other hand, comes from a Roman Catholic background.  A few years ago, she made the decision to leave Catholicism and pursue other denominations.  She ended up settling on the Mormon faith.  It was not a choice that I would have made, but if it makes her happy then I support her in her decision.  She knows that I personally do not have any interest in joining her faith, and she is respectful of that decision as I am of her decision to join it.

She has told me on more than one occasions that her church's missionaries have asked to speak with me.  She has told them in no uncertain terms not to because I am not interested in the Mormon faith.  One time, they showed up while she was out under the guise of visiting her.  She had told them she would not be home and she thought they might have made the visit to see me.

This brings us to today.  I needed to run out to Target to pick up a prescription for our son before we head out to the beach this week.  As I was getting my shoes on to head out, I heard a soft knock on the door.  As I opened the door to leave, their stood the missionaries.  I told them I was just on my way out the door.  I was in a hurry because it looked like a bad storm was on the way.

I stopped briefly and told them that I would see if my wife was available.  She was not feeling great and was lying in bed.  I told them she was a little under the weather, resting, and was not available at this time.  I then proceeded to make my way to the car, as I had already told them I was already on my way out.

As I walked past them towards the car, one of them spoke up and felt the need to introduce himself as Elder so-and-so, as did the other.  I can not remember their last names, nor did I want to.  I just wanted to get on the road to Target before the rains came.  I shook their hands and turned back to head to the call.  I heard one of them say, "and you are," in hopes of starting a conversation, but I kept walking.

I just can't bring myself to address a 20-something year old as an "Elder."  To me, and elder in the church is an older person who is wise due to their wealth of experience in living in the faith.  The last thing I heard one of them say was asking if there was anything they could do to "help us."  I did not respond.

They had a bit of a stunned and dejected look as they walked away.  Ever since the day that my wife had told me that they wanted to talk to me, regardless of her telling them not to, I have wondered how I would react to them if they were to approach me. One part of me thought about debating them and telling them why I was not interested in their faith. Another part just wanted to avoid the subject entirely.

As I drove away, I started to feel a little guilty about the way I treated the missionaries.  I did not set out to purposely be rude, but the last thing that I wanted to do was to engage in a conversation with them while they attempted to proselytize me.  I told my wife what happened.  She told me that I did the right thing, as that was exactly what they were trying to do.
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Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Sense of Smell

NoseImage via WikipediaOur sense of smell serves us in many ways.  The smell of certain foods cooking can illicit responses within us.  For instance, whenever I smell my wife's chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven, I immediately start salivating.  There are other food aromas that can bring about similar responses.

Smells can also alert us to potential danger.  There have been times when I have awakened in the middle of the night because I thought I smelled something burning.  Fortunately, it was something that had fallen on the burner while my wife was cooking so it was nothing to be alarmed about.  There were other times when somehow my wife's laminating machine was turned on accidentally, and I could smell it heating up.

There are other smells that alert us to things that might need attention.  My son still has issues with his toileting thanks to his special needs.  So there are certain obvious smells that tell us when he needs to have his Depends changed.  Smell can alert us to when foods have gone bad and are no longer safe to consume or prepare. 

There are certain smells that I am particularly sensitive to and can cause an adverse reaction.  At times, I often wonder if I am perhaps a bit to sensitive to olfactory stimulation.  One of the odors that I respond to negatively is when somebody wears too much cologne.  I am not talking about getting a subtle whiff of perfume or cologne when you are near somebody, but the overwhelming smell of somebody who seems to bathe in the stuff.

In my opinion, there is an appropriate amount of cologne for somebody to wear.  When applied correctly, perfume or cologne can be quite pleasant.  One should apply just enough cologne so that if you are in the near vicinity of that person that you can get just a sense of the aroma.  In some cases, it can even help to spark a sense of arousal.

Unfortunately, there are some who seems to think that the more smell good you put on, the better when in reality the opposite is true.  When I get into an area with somebody who has too much cologne on, I tend to have a negative physical reaction.  This reaction includes getting headaches, having my eyes itch and water, and a general sense of nausea.

Lately, I seem to be experiencing a lot more folks who are using too much cologne.  I will give you a few examples of the types of things that I have been experiencing.  At work, I park in a parking garage and have to go through a door to a small area where there are five elevators to take us upstairs.  I have entered that area to see nobody else around, but the strong smell of perfume remains in the area.  I have intentionally avoided getting into elevators with some that I recognize as heavy users.

The other day, I was sitting at my desk in my cubicle.  Somebody walked past my cubicle with an extremely strong odor of cologne.  More than a half hour later, I could still smell the cologne. I have also walked into an empty mens room to the overwhelming smell of cologne.  Sometimes I wonder which is worse, the smell of too much cologne or the smell of what is supposed to happen in there.

Years ago, when I worked at another job, we had a senior VP who used to bathe in  expensive cologne.  We could always tell where he was by the smell.  One time, I was walking near him in the hall of the building when he slapped me on the back and asked how I was doing.  I went to my office and he went another direction.  While sitting at my desk, I thought I smelled him, but I didn't hear him enter the office.  It was then that I realized that when he slapped me on the back he left his cologne on me.

I am not anti-cologne.   In fact, just the opposite.  When applied subtly, it can be quite an effective enhancement to one's persona.  However, when you scent lingers long after you have left a room, you have crossed the line from sensual to offensive.
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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Time and a Place

According to the Book of Ecclesiastes:
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NKJV

To everything  there is  a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck  what is  planted; A time to kill, And a time to heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up; A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing; A time to gain, And a time to lose; A time to keep, And a time to throw away; A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence, And a time to speak; A time to love, And a time to hate; A time of war, And a time of peace.
To paraphrase, there is a time and place for everything.  This next story is neither the time nor the place.

I think that at one time or another, every guy has taken matters in his own hand, so to speak, and um, pleasured themselves.  Any guy that says he never has, is probably fibbing.  I would like to think that most guys would take care of that business in the appropriate setting such as the privacy of their own bedroom or maybe in the shower.  Unfortunately, some guys do not always show such discretion.

Last night, I was checking out a number of different news sites looking for interesting news stories.  I came across one on The Smoking Gun that caught my attention.  On August 28th, police were called to the First United Methodist Church in Niceville, FL in response to a complaint that a 14 year old male had his penis outside of his pants and was allegedly spanking the monkey, as it were.

Due to the age of the alleged perpetrator, his name was removed from the police report.  He apparently admitted to beating the bishop during the service because he was bored.  He also admitted to doing it the previous week.  Hopefully, the young man has learned his lesson and will take care of these things in the proper place, but it does give you something to think of the next time you are at church and greeting one another with a handshake.
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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Republican Debates

Herman CainImage via WikipediaI make no bones about the fact that I do not like the policies of the current President of the United States.  There has been very little that he has done since entering office that I have agreed with.  Consequently, I have had a great deal of interest in following those members of the Republican Party who have declared themselves candidates for the Republican nomination for President.

There is a bit about each of the potential candidates that I like.  While there is a bit that I like about each of them, each has their own individual flaws.  I do not feel like I know enough about any of the candidates yet to make a decision one way or the other for any of them.  I do know that I know enough about Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman that I can't bring myself to vote for either of them come primary time.

It is for that reason that I have been watching all of the Republican debates.  It has been my hope that I would be able to see enough of the remaining candidates that I could make an informed decision when the primary elections roll around.  Unfortunately, the debates themselves have been a disappointment in trying to learn more about all of the candidates.

The two debates that have taken place since Texas Governor Rick Perry entered the race have been a bit of a disappointment.  The one that was broadcast on MSNBC was absolutely awful for learning about all of the candidates.  That was Perry's first debate, and the questioning was primarily directed at the two candidates that were polling the highest, Perry and Mitt Romney.

Last night's debate on CNN was a little better.  Wolf Blitzer was able to get a little more air time for some of the other candidates, but it was still mostly the Perry and Romney show.  Michele Bachmann also got a good bit more time to speak than in the MSNBC debate the week before.  Unfortunately, there still was not enough from Rick Santorum, Herman Cain, and Newt Gingrich.

During the last two debates, I spent a good bit of time on Twitter following tweets there along with the actual debates.  I even exchanged a couple of tweets with syndicated columnist Mychal Massie about the lack of face time for some of the lower polling candidates, especially Herman Cain.

It just seems that the media that are moderating these debates is stacking the cards in favor of the front runners.  If Perry and Romney are getting the majority of the face time during the debate, those will be the names that a lot of folks will choose between.   Everything I have heard from Cain and Santorum I have liked, but if they do not get the opportunity to express those ideas, then how can we decide who is the best choice for the GOP?   

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Monday, September 12, 2011

Music Monday-Paul Simon "Sound of Silence"

Yesterday, during the ceremonies that commemorated the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Paul Simon performed one of my favorite Simon & Garfunkel songs, Sound of Silence.  It was a haunting and appropriate song to be played during this most solemn of occasions.  It is my choice for this week's Music Monday.

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. Rules are simple. Leave ONLY the ACTUAL LINK POST here and grab the code below and place it at your blog entry. You can grab this code at LadyJava's Lounge Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.

PS: Because of spamming purposes, the linky will be closed on Thursday of each week at midnight, Malaysian Time. Thank you!
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Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11th

September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City: V...Image via WikipediaI was not sure whether or not I was going to post anything today in commemoration of the horrific events that took place 10 years ago today in New York, Pennsylvania, and just down the road at the Pentagon.  There will be so many others that will post regarding what happened that day.  I did not know what more that I could add.

Ten years ago, I was sitting in my office working on some reports when my wife called to tell me that an airplane had crashed into one of the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York.  Shortly thereafter, a second plane crashed into the other tower.  A third plane crashed into the Pentagon.  A fourth plane crashed in a field in Shanksville, PA thanks to passengers storming the cockpit and overcoming the hijackers.

I remember sitting in my office stunned.  I had a boombox in my office that I used to listen to CDs, but on this day, I turned on the radio to try to follow the events of the day.  I was really in a state of shock, and unable to concentrate enough to do any work.  My son and nephew were both attending a school in Baltimore a couple blocks from Baltimore's World Trade Center building.  Concerned that another attack could occur there, my brother in law went to pick up both boys from school 

One of the public affairs managers came down to see if we had enough water in the warehouse to provide a truckload of water for those rescuers and workers at the Pentagon crash site.  That was the good of my company.  Most of our upper management was in California for a meeting.  Later in the day, one of our VPs sent a voice mail encouraging us to capitalize on the event by making sure we had enough of emergency items like bottle water in the stores because there might be a run on those things.  I thought it a rather callous and inhumane thing to do.

A lot of things have changed in the 10 years since the attacks.  I remember being able to have my wife and son sit with me at the gate while waiting for my flight to take off, or being able to greet me at the gate when I returned.  Now, you can't get through without a ticket.  Security is such that we have to take off shoes, belts, and coats to get through.  We are subjected to pat downs usually reserved for criminals and we are subjected to various scanner devices.

After the events, the country stood resolute and united in wanting to track down those responsible for the attacks.  There was near unanimous support from both sides of the political spectrum for the war that would soon follow.  Ten years later, we still have our military forces in the Middle East fighting the war on terror.  Our political leaders are severely divided on nearly every issue that comes before them. 

It saddens me that as a country we can now stand so bitterly divided when a relatively short time ago, we stood united and strong.  Now, both sides are looking for every political advantage that they can garner to maintain and achieve more power.  It is no longer about what is best for the country.  I am reminded of Abraham Lincoln, who quoted Jesus, when he said "a house divided against itself can not stand." 
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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Shrouded in Silence

I like a lot of different types of books.  In the past, I would primarily read books on Christian theology or living, or books about other religions and philosophy.  Fiction was not something that I read a lot of, though I have been working some more of that genre into my reading.

The type of fiction that I usually gravitate to are books that have a lot of actions.  I have really been reading a lot of Brad Thor and his Scot Harvath series.  I also like to read books that have some basis in fact and teach you something while reading a fictional work.  An example of which would be works like Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons, and The Lost Symbol.  Books like those cause you to think while enjoying a piece of fiction.

During one of my many visits to to search for new books to add to my Kindle, I came across a book by Robert Wise that I thought looked interesting.  The book is entitled Shrouded in Silence, and is the story of husband and wife biblical scholars Jack and Michelle Townsend and their quest to find the original ending to the Gospel of Mark.

One would not think that the scholarly pursuit of studying ancient biblical documents would lead to an adventure tale, but in this case it does.  The Townsends follow clues through the streets of Rome in pursuit of their quest.  Eventually, they are dealing with dangers from an anti-American terrorist group and one of their rivals in the study of ancient documents.  They survive gun fights and explosions while exploring historic Roman sites.

While I did enjoy the book and the story line, it definitely did not live up to the hopes that I had for it when I downloaded the book.  There was a lot of dialog in the book, primarily between the main couple.  As you were reading the book, it became all too clear the direction the author was taking some of the characters.  The ending of the book wound up being all too predictable.

Shrouded in Silence was one of the several books that I have found for my Kindle that I was able to download from Amazon for free or a very reduced price.  Currently, it can be downloaded for the normal Amazon Kindle price of $9.99.  The book is one of the reasons I frequently search for free books on Amazon, a book I enjoyed reading for free, but I would have been disappointed had I bought it at full price.
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Friday, September 9, 2011

Dancing With the Stars

Chaz Bono at the 2010 GLAAD Media Awards, Apri...Image via WikipediaGenerally speaking, I do not watch so-called reality television.  There have been a few exceptions, but for the most part it is not something that I usually watch.  I can say with all honesty that I have never watched a single episode of American Idol.  Nor have I watched shows like Survivor, Big Brother, or The Amazing Race.  They just do not interest me.

As I said, it is a general rule for me.  There have been a few exceptions over the years, usually if there was a celebrity participating in the program that I had some sort of affinity for.  For instance, last year, I got caught up in watching The Biggest Loser when it was announced that Olympic gold medal wrestler Rulon Gardner would be a participant.  I watched Celebrity Apprentice the year that Trace Adkins was a member of the cast.

Dancing with the Stars is one of those programs that I rarely watch though I have watched with some interest in the past.  I think the only full season of that program that I watched was the year that Kristi Yamaguchi was a participant and eventual winner.  I watched a good bit the year Sara Evans was on the show.  As much as I like Sarah Palin, I did not watch much when her daughter Bristol was on the show.

The cast for the upcoming season of Dancing with the Stars was revealed, and in looking at the cast, I can safely say that I don't believe that I will be watching the show.  Their is just no person on the cast that I am even remotely a fan of.  I will say that the inclusion of Chaz (nee Chastity) Bono as a member will make for an interesting study of human nature and the tolerance of the country as a whole.

Chaz was born as a woman, the only daughter to Sonny Bono and Cher.  A few years ago, she began the process of gender transformation, identifying herself as a man, taking hormone shots and having sex change surgery.  A year ago, she had the court recognize her gender as male and legally changed her name from Chastity to Chaz.  Henceforth, for the rest of this post, I will refer to Chaz in the male gender as is his preference.  Chaz will be participating in the show as a man with a female dance partner.

Personally, as a Libertarian (though very conservative leaning) I could care less how Chaz identifies himself gender wise.  To each his own is my motto.  If this is what Chaz needs to make himself feel whole and happy, then more power to him.  When it comes to gay issues, I usually tend to be more neutral than hostile to their causes.  I do, however, also understand the issues that some more socially conservative folks have, especially withing the religious community.

I do believe that the majority of this country is center-right in their social and political views.  While I personally have no qualms with Chaz participating in the show as a man, there are those out their calling for ABC to remove Chaz from the programming and calling for boycotts of the show.  As I said, I will not be watching this year, but not because of Chaz Bono.  I do think it might be interesting to see if ratings suffer at all due to his appearance, or if there would be a concerted effort to see him eliminated from the show.  Then again, their could be a push from the gay community to vote for him.
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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Basement Waterproofing

GOES 8 satellite colored infrared image of Hur...Image via WikipediaTwelve years ago, I was heading off to work like any normal day.  We were expecting it to be a rainy day, with heavy wind and rain, since Hurricane Floyd was working his way up the east coast.  While I was fully expecting the inclement weather, I was not expecting everything that was to come that day.

I was in the office for our weekly departmental meeting.  I had just gotten into the conference room to begin the meeting when my cell phone rang.  It was my wife calling to tell me that I needed to come home.  Our basement was flooding.

When I got home, there was about an inch of water on the basement floor in the laundry room.  Fortunately, we never lost power that day.  I went up to the Home Depot and bought a shop vac so that I could start trying to clean up the water.  Unfortunately, it seemed like the water was flowing in faster than I could remove it

I went back up to Home Depot and spoke to somebody there to try to see what else I could do.  They told me that I needed to try to make sure the water was flowing away from the house.  I bought some downspout extenders.  I also bought some sort of gravel to try to grade the area near the house to help things drain away from the house.  I was quite a site working outside during the hideous weather.

Once I finished working on the outside of the house, I went back inside to work on the inside.  I would use the shopvac to suck up the water from the floor, then when it was full I would dump it down the drain.  After several hours of this I had all the water off the floor.  I set up a dehumidifier to help dry the carpet area and remaining moisture.

I was going to have to be traveling soon for work, and I did not want my wife to have to worry about a flooded basement again while I was gone.  It was at that time that I made a call to a local company that specializes in waterproofing basements.  It cost me a few thousand dollars to get the work done, but it was well worth the investment.

Shortly after we had the work done, we had a couple of minor trickles of water.  We had to have the waterproofing company come out a couple more times.  Finally, one of the technicians found a spot in the front foundation that was slightly cracked which he sealed with cement.  Since then, we have not had a single issue with water in the basement.

Even though for the past 12 years, I always get a little paranoid during heavy rains.  I always end up going downstairs during particularly bad storms just to make sure we haven't sprung a leak.  After the past two weeks, though, I think my worries are over.

First, we had Hurricane Irene come through.  Even though we lost power for half a day we stayed dry.  The last few days it has been raining constantly with the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee.  In the last 24 hours we have had over 6 inches of rain.  Still bone dry.  Yep, waterproofing the basement is one of the best investments I ever made.

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Summer Break is Over

I always get a tad melancholy whenever my son has to go back to school.  It has been 10 months since my son was accepted and the county agreed to have him attend school away from home.  While intellectually we know it is the best place for him to get an education, emotionally it still takes it toll, especially on me.

When we first began this journey, I wanted to go with him every time we took him back to school, and I wanted to go with my wife to pick him up whenever he had a scheduled break to come home.  My office was very willing to work with us to allow that to happen, however, we eventually decided that I did not need to go to pick him up.  This way, I could build up my leave in order to be able to take a family vacation like we did in August.

We soon discovered that my son was very much in tune to my normal work schedule.  He knew that it was normal for me to be home on the weekends.  He also knew it was not normal for me to be home during the work week.  Consequently, if I stayed home on a Tuesday he knew it meant he was going back to school.  He would refuse to get off the ground.  We would try tricking him by having me leave and go somewhere until my wife gave me the sign that he was in the car.

After a couple of wasted days off where we could not get him back to school, we eventually came to the decision that I would go into work on the days he went back to school and my wife would try to get him back to school on her own.  So far, that has actually worked fairly well.  She has been able to get him back to school on time, though she has had to resort to a little trickery and/or deceit to do it.

As I said, I always get a little bit down when he goes back to school.  Yesterday, however, I was moping around the office a bit more than usual.  I don't know if I was more tired than usual, which certainly could have contributed to my malaise.  The big part of it is that I did not get to say goodbye to him before he went back.  Yesterday, he was still sleeping when I left for work.  A lot of times, he is awake and I can at least tell him I will see him later, even if it is a few weeks later. 

I suppose I should dwell on the positives.  In the past 10 months we have seen some improvements that we had not seen previously, though we still have a long way to go in a lot of areas.  I could also think about how much easier it is around the house when he is at school, and how I have the freedom to watch what I want on television or do what I want on the computer because he isn't around to take those things over.  Or perhaps I feel guilty because I do think about those things.
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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Bowie Baysox Ripped Off

Bowie BaysoxImage via WikipediaThis will probably come across as a little bit of sour grapes, but being a rule of law guy here goes.  I have mentioned many times here that my family and I are huge Bowie Baysox fans.  As the baseball season was drawing to a close, the Baysox were in the hunt for a playoff spot.  Going into yesterday's games, the Baysox needed to win their final game of the season, but needed the Altoona Curve to defeat the Richmond Flying Squirrels in order to make the playoffs.

For those that are not familiar with the game of baseball, a game typically consists of nine innings played.  In the event of a tie at the end of nine innings, they do play extra innings.  However, their are occasions when a game can be shortened due to rain or other circumstances.  In order for a game to be considered official, at least five innings need to be played.  There are other rules that govern when a game is considered official.

In baseball, the visiting team bats first and the home team bats second.  If the home team is ahead after the visiting team has their final set of at bats, they do not bat.  In the event of a rain shortened game, if the visiting team scores runs in the top half of an inning, the home team has to have an opportunity to take their turn at bat to have the opportunity to win the game.  In other words, each team should have the same number of at bats, unless the home team is ahead.

That brings me to the point of my rant today.  Both the Baysox game and the Richmond game were shortened yesterday due to rain.  In the case of the Baysox, they were the home team in their game.  Going into the final inning, the Baysox were ahead in their game 3-1.  The visiting team scored one run in the top of the inning making the game 3-2 when the rains came halting play.  The game was called due to the rain and the Baysox got the victory.

In the case of the Richmond/Altoona game, Richmond was the visiting team and Altoona the home team.  The score was tied 1-1 going into the top of the 8th inning.  Richmond took a 2-1 lead in the 8th inning when the rain started and halted the game.  It was determined that Richmond was the winner of the game, even though baseball's rules would dictate that Altoona would need to bat in order for the game to be considered official.

Now it is very likely that Richmond would have managed to hold on and win the game anyway to secure their spot in the playoffs.  Had the game not had any importance in terms of the teams that would make the playoffs, it would probably not be that big of a deal to me that it was decided that Richmond was the victor in this case.  However, I can not help but feel that my Bowie Baysox were royally ripped off in this case. 
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Monday, September 5, 2011

Music Monday-Victoria Justice "Best Friend's Brother"

My son's August break is just about over.  He is scheduled to go back to school tomorrow if my wife can get him in the car.  During the two plus weeks he has been home, we have had a lot of activity.  There was the trip to the beach, a few baseball games, and the Baltimore Grand Prix.  There has also been a lot of watching Nickelodeon on the television.

Before he went away to school, we rarely watched Nickelodeon.  We thought we had missed the whole Spongebob Squarepants scene.  However, at school, they watch a lot of Spongebob in his dorm area.  They also watch a lot of other Nickelodeon shows at home.  Consequently, when he is home, we get to see a lot of Spongebob, iCarly, Victorious, and Big Time Rush.

While my son enjoys Spongebob a lot, he really likes the other shows because they have a lot of music in them.  He has CDs of Miranda Cosgrove from iCarly, and he has a few songs from Victoria Justice from the Victorious show.  Here is one of the videos he watches a lot on YouTube from Victoria Justice.  It is a catchy little tune, but I can't help but wonder if there is some other reason he likes it.

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. Rules are simple. Leave ONLY the ACTUAL LINK POST here and grab the code below and place it at your blog entry. You can grab this code at LadyJava's Lounge Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.

PS: Because of spamming purposes, the linky will be closed on Thursday of each week at midnight, Malaysian Time. Thank you!
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Sunday, September 4, 2011

Another Long, but Fun Day

Steamed CrabsImage by JasonTromm via FlickrWe have had a lot of activities this Labor Day Weekend.  Friday night was Autism Awareness night at the Bowie Baysox game, so we naturally had to attend that.  Yesterday was our day at the Baltimore Grand Prix.  We originally were not going to do anything after that, but the house was hot because the air conditioning isn't working again, so we headed out to the Baysox at the last minute for baseball and fireworks after the game.

The Baysox lost each game on Friday and Saturday nights.  They have been fighting for a playoff berth, but they really hurt themselves with the two losses the past two days.  Still, they have an outside chance of making the playoffs if they win their last two games and the Richmond Flying Squirrels lose their last two games. The Baysox did their part by winning their game this afternoon.  As I write this, Richmond is tied with the Altoona Curve 0-0 in the 6th inning.  Come on, Altoona.

We also went to today's game.  It was "Meet the Team Day" and "Fan Appreciation Day" at the stadium.  It was also the day they have their annual crab feast for the team, front office staff, and the Baysox Boosters.  The Boosters do a lot of work for the players that the team does not do.  They provide dinners after every Sunday home game, provide travel bags for road trips, and give each player a personalized scrapbook at the end of the season.  As members of the Boosters, we get to attend the season ending crab feast.

It was another hot day at the stadium.  Still, it was better than sitting in a hot house without air conditioning.  On this particular day, they have all of the players sit on the concourse level for about an hour before the game to sign autographs.  A member of the ground crew that we are friendly with gave my wife a game used, cracked bat used by Ronnie Welty.  We got to the game early so that she could wait in line to get him to sign her bat.

Another feature of Fan Appreciation Day is a series of raffles sponsored by the team.  There was no charge to enter the raffle, and they had a lot of different memorabilia from autographed baseballs and bats, bobble head dolls, and gift certificates to local restaurants and businesses.  My name was one of the first ones called.  I walked away with a black Louisville slugger baseball bat signed by the team. 

After the game, we were treated to an all you can eat crab feast. In addition to the crabs, they also had hot dogs, hamburgers, grilled chicken, assorted salads, and a lot of different desserts. Oh, and you can't have crabs without beer so they also had Bud and Bud Light on tap.  My wife provided a big batch of her chocolate chip cookies.  That is usually her contribution as a booster for the dinners each Sunday. 

We also had the opportunity to say goodbye to one of our favorite members of the Baysox front office staff. She has accepted a new position with a minor league hockey team and will soon be moving to Norfolk VA. We have known her for four years and she has always been very sweet to our son. She talks to him, and teaches him all of the between inning dance steps. When he nearly back out of his ceremonial first pitch, she was the one who got him down on the field. I nearly teared up when I thanked her for all she had done for him.

We left the house this morning just before noon and got home a little after 7:30pm.  All of that time was spent outdoors in fairly hot and humid weather.  My son usually would lose patience quickly on a day like today, but he was well behaved the whole day.  The Baysox have one more game tomorrow unless they manage to make the playoffs. We were originally planning to go, but they are saying that it may be stormy most of the day. We will either be at the game or at Dave and Buster's playing skee ball followed by wings at Hooters.  
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Saturday, September 3, 2011

Baltimore Grand Prix

Today was a new experience for our family.  We had tickets to the inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix that is taking place over this Labor Day weekend. They set up a temporary track on the streets of Baltimore for the event.  Our seats were right in front of the Baltimore Convention Center as you can see from the photo below. One of the companies that my company does business with, Muscle Milk sponsors a car in the American LeMans Series.

There were five different racing series running different events over the course of the weekend.  Since Muscle Milk had their car running the Le Mans race this afternoon, they provided us with tickets for the day.  The racing concludes with the Izod Indy Car race on Sunday, featuring my son's favorite driver Danica Patrick.

Even though the Indy car race was tomorrow, there were a couple of opportunities to see Danica driving.  One of the first events of the day, at 9am, was practice for the Indy Car race.  Shortly after noon, they also have the qualifying laps for the race.  My son's eyes lit up and a smile came to his face as soon as she drove by.  I was able to get a few nice shots of Danica racing around the track during those times.

Our day started fairly early.  As I said, we wanted to see Danica during practice at 9am so we had to leave the house a little bit before 8am to head to the light rail system to go to the event.  After the early practice, I met my contact with Muscle Milk who took us to the garage area where they were working on the car.  They had some mechanical issues earlier in the week and were frantically trying to get the car ready for the race.

I did not take any pictures because I did not want to get in the way of their work, though they did show us the chassis of the car and showed us the rest of the parts that would need to be reassembled once the car was repaired.  We also were able to meet a couple of their drivers, get some hats and t-shirts, and get a few autographs.  The good news is they were able to get the car repaired in time to start the race.

Because we had such an early start to the day, and my son was getting pretty tired, we did not stay very long for the Le Mans series race.  It started some time after 4pm.  We did get to see one short race of one of the minor car series.  The cars roared past us in front of the Convention Center and one of them had an accident in the first turn.  I did get this shot of one car making a pass on another during that race.
All in all, it was a very enjoyable day, but tiring and very loud.  We had to buy some ear plugs from one of the concessionaires.  We were also able to find one concession stand dedicated strictly to Danica Patrick.  My son walked away with a Hot Wheels car of her #7 Go Daddy Indy racing car.  We are all looking forward to attending another race in the future.

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