Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Worst Christmas Song

Congrats to "Christmas Shoes" for dominating the WORST CHRISTMAS SONG EVER poll.  

Christmas Shoes

Monday, December 29, 2008

I have been meaning to post this photo of two of the three* most important women in my life.

*Amanda not pictured

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Biggest Loser

We are going to start the biggest loser at work on January 1st.  I am going to take my second serious shot at weight loss.  Last time I did great for almost a year, I had lost 46lbs and over the last year I have found each and every one of them, plus three.  During this time, I would like to loose 30+ lbs but my overall goal will be to loose 55-60 lbs.  Even better, just a healthier lifestyle and a longer life.  

In the pursuit of this goal, I will need your help.  I will have my work family to hold me accountable while I am there, I will need all of you for the rest of the time.  I am going to post my weight every Monday on the blog, if I don't post call me out, make me.  If I step out in your presence, call me on it.  I will not take offense because I know you have the best intentions for my well being.  Other than that, if you have any tips, want to do something athletic or healthy, please include me.  I don't like to exercise for the sake of exercise, but I do love playing sports, riding my bike, all that junk that has a purpose.  So if I accidentally work out, then awesome!!!

That is all I ask of you.  This should be a lot of fun!  I loved the way I felt about myself when I was 49 lbs thinner than now, I look forward to feeling that way again.  

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Meeting someone you already know.. kinda.

On Sunday I got to go to a Charlotte 49ers game with Dawn, a long but not lost friend from Jr. High School.  While at the Northbeast, I shared several classes with Dawn, I know we ate lunch at the same table at times and would also talk in the mysterious wasteland that was the grouping of benches behind the cafeteria.  After leaving grade schools we never really had any contact.  Hence the beauty of facebook.  

Through facebook, I got to learn about what she was up to now.  I read through her profile and she even posted a picture of me from the eighth grade.  I would read her blog (to the right on my links) about parenting, she would comment on mine.  

I posted available tickets here, she took me up on the offer.  As an aside, we got four adults and three kids in for free, wicked awesome.  I met her husband and kids, got to know her a little bit about what she did in the 9 years or so that had passed between us.  

The best part and to me most interesting part was getting to know someone you kind of already know.  Most of time when you first meet someone you are trying to figure out if they are a good person, you are hoping that they are not crazy.  You are trying to see if there is something about them that would prevent a friendship.  This time is different because those questions were answered a long time ago.  So I just had to listen to what she actually had to say and get to know all about her.  So really, I was getting to know someone I already know.  
No clue wether that makes sense.  I look forward to hanging out with Dawn and family again soon.  

New Poll!!!

To the right you will find the latest edition of Jon's polls.

What is the worst Christmas Song?

If you do not see your worst song, please comment below.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

WINI's Extreme Makeover is complete (for now)

She has a new middle name now too, introducing:


Saturday, December 20, 2008

WINI's Extreme Makeover

Oh boy, 6:40pm and she is going to the plastic surgeon to get a nose job and new hair plugs... pictures tonight when she is all done.

***update 11:26pm, the car will not be ready tonight because it cannot be driven in the rain, hopefully tomorrow morning***

***update 9:33am, WINI is due back shortly***

***update 9:52am, WINI is home.  She needs a gentle bath (tough because I cannot get the graphics wet, then I will take photos and post them.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

49ers Tickets

Up for grabs, I have two lower level seats, I will be sitting in one of them and two upper level seats for the Charlotte 49ers game on Sunday @ 2:00pm.  If anyone wants to join me or wants the upper level seats, let me know.  100% free.

Jon's Opinion of the Big Three Bailout

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


I love Wiki, I am feeling blue today and I was looking for the reason.  I know people get sad in the winter time due to Seasonal Affective Disorder.  I know that it certainly had an affect on Amanda when we were in Chicago.  Ever since the forecast called for 70 degrees this week and I have worn shorts to work three days in a row, I have been in a very fowl mood.  I have diagnosed myself, I have Reverse Subsyndromal Seasonal Affective Disorder.  Basically, heat causes high levels of anxiety.  I am anxious for some cold weather.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Worst Part of the Holidays

I love spending time with friends and family, but the busy schedule of the holidays is absolutely nuts!!!  Here is what our Sunday looks like:

1pm- Steelers v. Titans (the new biggest game of the year for my Steelers)
2pm- Charlotte 49ers home game
Afternoon/Evening- Family X-mas gift exchange
Evening- Jason's Christmas Party

Of course, with the exception of watching the Steelers game, I will have perfect attendance, like I did that one year, 4th grade*.

*please note I was in love with my 4th grade teacher

Monday, December 15, 2008

Delinquent Poster

I guess I just ran into some blogger apathy. I have been working on some stuff. I have a rough draft of a letter to my 18 year old self that I plan to post on my 28th birthday. It just seems like with the house built, the election over, the economy in the tank, I just have nothing to talk about. Snippits follow.

We had some family, friends, and neighbors over for Amanda's birthday party this Saturday.  It was pretty fun but we did learn some lessons about hosting people in our house.  The first thing is that we have a sever seating shortage.  There are only four places to sit in our living room.  Six is max capacity if you include the rocker and ottoman as separate seating surfaces.  The kitchen is huge, but we need a table that seats six instead of the pub table we currently have that seats a meager two.  Lastly, the dining room seats six, which is great, but it is separate from the living spaces in the house so it tears the group apart.  The solution is to add a love seat in the living room, we want a big gathering height butterfly leaf table for the kitchen, and have some more folding chairs available for hosting.  

We are not going to host any holiday festivities unless asked to do so, so I guess we won't have to worry about that until the spring time house warming party.  Then we can use the garage and driveway for the guys to hang out... maybe we will have grass then so we can play some games.  

Speaking of yard games, I am searching for a "cornhole" set.  This game is the best for those who do not know.  I want a substantial set though, heavy and sturdy, either unpainted or with Steelers or Charlotte 49ers logos painted on.  I am a craigslist junkie and I know I will find some soon.

Okay, well sorry it was boring but it does break a long drought without posting.  I will post before Christmas, but I hope everyone has a very safe and happy holiday season.  I look forward to seeing my long time long gone friends.  

Thursday, December 04, 2008

TV Stand Shopping (update)

Oh boy, what a day!

It started off great, the alarm company showed to activate right at 8am. They gave me the time frame 8-12, I liked that I was first so I would not have to waste all four hours waiting and then another two hours while he did his thing. The crappy part, well it turns out that the phone jack next to the stove is inop. The required fix involved removing drywall, potentially all the way from our access panel to the outlet, including taking off cabinets. This broke me down to tears thinking about putting a band aid on our brand new house. I am thinking about leaving well enough alone and jut leaving it broke, my fear is that when we go to sell the house, it will have to be fixed after inspections are done, on our dime. I may just have them take out the phone jack and hope that when we sell the house, no one will notice in a decade that there is no phone jack downstairs. They are coming tomorrow between 8-12, so probably noon.

I then headed to the Max to pick up my pickup. Drove to Carolina Place to pick up the t.v. stand. I loaded it in and was very happy that it weighed a million pounds. I brought it home and brought it in the house. By then the anger over the phone jack worked a headache on me, I took some advil and took a nap for the first time in a while. I woke up feeling better and assembled the t.v. stand. Amanda came home, tossed the t.v. on top.

I will take pictures but I have to say, the best part is that I am in my chair, typing, I can look up and see the entire screen. It also helps the audio being up higher.

Icing on the cake, the price on the website today is $60 higher than last week. Holla!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

I motor to work... I do not drive or commute.

I am often explaining myself and my love affair with my car.  Unlike the horsepower muscle head guys, or those euro tuned Bimmer/Benz/Audi/V-dub dudes, or even the Evo/WRX/potato cannon rice rocket roadies, it is about motoring.  I have pulled this off of a fellow enthusiasts blog.

In the MINI community, the word ‘motor’ is used a great deal, but never in the same way it is used outside the MINI community. To most people, the word motor is used as a noun to define some sort of engine. To MINI owners, however, it means something entirely different. MINI owners use the word motor as a verb. When most people drive places, MINI’s owners (commonly known as motorers) motor. You go driving, they go motoring. It’s important to note that driving is not simply motoring and vice versa. Driving is getting from point A to point B. It is about the destination. You drive to the store. You drive to work. Motoring is about what’s in between A and B. It is about the journey. Motorers motor to the store. They motor to work.
Now that’s not to say that motorers never drive. Sometime you just need to get to a destination. For example, over the holiday weekend, I needed to get to the airport. It was about a three hour trip and because of time constraints, I needed to travel on I-95 (NOTE: I never drive on I-95 unless time is an issue). It was during this stretch that I had a bit of an epiphany. I’ve never driven on I-95 and enjoyed it, but this day was different. I wasn’t motoring (because the trip was mostly about the destination and by definition, that’s driving), but I was still enjoying it.
So, I set about to determine what was different. Everywhere I looked, people were angry. Everybody drives angrily anymore. How does this happen? And why am I immune (at least for the most part…my wife will argue that I’m not)? I think at least a portion of the answer lies deep within the creative minds behind particular automobile manufacturers. Take MINI for instance. It’s clear after spending a few minutes in a MINI that anyone who drives it can’t help but have fun. The feature that seems to entertain most passengers is the mood lighting. It’s basically a series of LED lights (activated by the headlights) strategically placed throughout the interior of the car that are designed to reflect off various surfaces giving the entire cabin a glow. It can be adjusted to illuminate in 6 different colors ranging from red to blue. This feature comes standard. MINI’s also come with a secret compartment that truly requires discovery from others who have found it. This feature is standard. To put a real thrill in driving, MINI also included a start button. It sounds small, but pressing a button to start a car is much more of a thrill than turning a key. This feature is standard. The convertible MINI’s come with a gauge that displays the percentage of time that the top is down on the car. This feature is standard.
The point is, that MINI has taken into consideration that for most people driving is a chore. So they’ve countered that attitude with more ways to make driving (or motoring) fun with (the key factor) standard features. My question is why haven’t other automobile manufacturers caught on and why don’t more people drive cars they really like? Is it so hard to take the time to make minor and inexpensive adjustments to put the joy back in driving? The brilliance comes in the fact that the features I outlined above are standard equipment. Which means you can buy a used MINI with no bells and whistles and still get the same nifty features. Again, I ask why more manufacturers haven’t caught on to this. Maybe once they do, more people will start waving with all five fingers instead of just one.

My poor niners

Uh-oh, one and six and Niner Nation seems to have given up all hope for decent year.

BOLD PREDICTION:  The Niners will end the regular season .500 or better AND we will win the conference tournament as a 4 seed upsetting Xavier in the semis.

Of course, Lamont Mack can not end up in the poster of some guy from Cal State Fullerton like below.  (Please note the huge crowd in the background)

Since the Tarheels have nothing but themselves standing between them and the NCAA tournament, I just want to do well in the A-10 and get rocked in the first round.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Holiday Festivities

I was sitting here wondering if I have anything to blog about.  I kept thinking that I was out of ideas.  I am in the new house, I really don't have much coming up, just waiting on WINI's graphics to come in a be installed.  Then I remembered, oh yeah, Jesus' birthday is coming up.  Our holiday schedule is nuts this year.  The calm of last year's holidays was so enjoyable I must admit.  I love seeing all of you, but, I have to admit it rocked not to go anywhere or have any plans.  It was a touch sad though.  So on to this year.  We have:

December 6th- Eli & Colleen's party, Tim & Sara's party
December 10th- Amanda's Birthday
December 13th- Amanda's Birthday party (details to come family and friends)
December 19th- David & Rege's birthday bash
December 21st- Family Christmas gift exchange, Charlotte 49ers basketball game.

Other than my retail work schedule, I will try to make all events I possibly can.  I hope to get invited to many more events and just forget to sleep.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

TV Stand Shopping (update)

Amanda and I have to give props to my mom for suggesting shopping @ J.C. Penny's for the television stand.  We finally found one that met all of our parameters including price.  That was way to complicated.

Friday, November 28, 2008

My Niners are terrible... 1-5, that makes me so sad.  I looked forward to being a season ticket holder, I am still die hard, I am still going to have 100% attendance, but I am not really excited anymore.  I hope they can bring me back with a strong conference schedule.  We have Cal State Fullerton, @ Southern Illinois, @ Mississippi State.... its going to be a long year.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Things I am thankful for (but probably shouldn't be)

A reoccuring theme in my blog is ripping crap off of Allison's blog, changing the words, and submitting them as my own.  I always try to give credit where credit is due.  I thought hers was awesome, my should be mediocre.  
... and I quote.

Okay, I could do a schmaltzy post about my extreme gratefulness for my family and friends but I don't want to. Just know that I am super thankful for my wonderful family and my awesome friends. But there are some things I'm thankful for that should probably be shared.

1. A girl working in my office.  I am a pretty girly dude, this trait is intensified when working in the automotive industry.  I am glad I can talk about my disdain for people wearing khakis and tennis shoes, mismatched belts and shoes, and my hatred for our work uniforms and the lack of professionalism they communicate.

2. Soft shell jackets.  They are a bit warmer than fleece jackets, not as hot as full coats.  They are water resistant, they block the wind, they are the utility infielder of jackets and the ONLY winter wear you need in Charlotte.

3. MINI Coopers.  It is dumb, isn't that the point of this post, but I love these little cars.  I really enjoy the community I have been surrounded with in two towns and I have a lot of fun commuting to work, who does that?

4. Chucks... f-n-cool. 'nuff said.

5.  The $5, $7.50, & $10 DVD racks at Target and Walmart.  I think about 75% of our movies come from there, and I love some movies!!!

"... turkey lurkey loo and turkey lurkey lickle, I wish turkey only cost a nickel..."

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

TV Stand Shopping

I never thought finding a piece of furniture would be so damn difficult.  I used to make fun of people who would leave a room empty for years waiting for the "right" piece.  To me I always thought it was just something you went and got when the time was right.  I was clearly misguided.

I remember in our big house on the prairie growing up we always had the formal living room empty.  As long as we lived there, we never had furniture in the room except for the console television that was replaced by a 21 inch Sony Triniton.  Keep in mind, in those days, that TV was the STUFF!  I remember asking mom why we didn't have furniture and I only remember walking away wondering what the right furniture for that room was.

Fast forward to today, I am looking for a television stand.  I walked to Target, I found one I liked, I started loading it into the cart.  Then some three-little-bears-syndrome hit my like a truck.  The stand was not wide or deep enough for me, I want something deep and sturdy, and since the TV is large, I don't want the sides to hang off, in fact, I would like to have 3-6 inches off each side so there can be some margin of error if someone bumps it.  

Then there is the color, it has to be black because our coffee and end tables are, and not that I feel married to them, they are cheap IKEA numbers but I don't want to have to replace them anytime soon.  I don't want shiny black, I want that wood-stained-black look.  

Now the shape, it has to be squared off with very clean lines.  I do not want fancy crowns or arches, our living room tables are very simple and I would love to the TV stand to blend in with them.  Furthermore, I do not want brass or oil rubbed hardware, stainless steel or brushed nickel only.  

Height, oh the height.  The matching one at IKEA is only 13 inches tall.  That is practically sitting on the floor (where the TV is now for free) and too low with animals and kids in the future.  I want it to be a minimum of 22 inches tall (coffee table height) but I would prefer even a touch taller than that.  The reason is that I want to sit in my chair with my feet up and not have to look over my toes or the laptop monitor to see the TV.  It should be above both obstacles when I am enjoying Palladia, a music channel I just discovered and am watching John Mayer in HD perform.  That guy is always on the tube.  

Okay, so, I guess I now have complete empathy for the crazy "perfect piece of furniture" people. The kicker has got to be that we do not want to spend a lot of money on it... ha, I found one Broyhill model that is a thousand bucks... that will NOT be coming home with me.  I should dent the crap out of the floor model and offer them a hundred bucks.  There a few on Target's website that I love but I think I can find them cheaper, not 400 bucks.  Someday, someday, I will find the perfect value packed TV stand.

I need to get that catalogue I left at the Malady's house at Halloween... see you Thursday!
Does anyone know when the IKEA opens here?
I love irrelevant statements at the bottom of my blog posts
Amanda and I are going to try to get NCDL's tomorrow
We have to register her car too.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Auto Show 2008

I used this title before, that was to cover the Chicago show... this is Charlotte.  I got to be a technical representative this year for MINI at the Charlotte show.  This was a neat experience I stumbled into with a Cooper club I just joined.  I got to talk to a ton of people about MINIs which I loved.  I ran into Eli and Colleen as well as Russ and his wife.  The most disappointing part of the entire day were the cars.  There was nothing new there, a few concepts from Ford, but who cares about Fords?  

Top 5 recent vehicles there:
5. Mazda6
4. Volkswagen CC
3. Jaguar XF
2. Pontiac G8
1.  MINI Cooper Clubman 

Worst in Show:
5. Hummer H3T (who needs a $40k mid sized truck?)
4. Toyota (the entire lineup has less personality than Suzuki)
3. Subaru Impreza WRX (edgy becomes dull)
2. Honda Accord (U-L-G-Y you ain't got no alibi)
1. Volkswagen Routan (the audacity of hope applied to Chrysler... really? A $43k Grand Caravan?)

Friday, November 21, 2008

I thought this was adorable... if I got promoted to Santa, I would "right size*" the reindeer team to a fleet of high power, great handling, and fuel efficient MINIs.

*right size is the corporate term for down sizing.
Sad News: ABC has decided to cancel Pushing Daisies... this show is so underrated. I feel sorry for all those who missed out.

The Steelers won!!! Too bad my Charlotte 49ers suck this year... oh well.

We have cable and internet, life is good. I dig it.

I do not have to go to Atlanta for a long while, I found out I am done going there effective two weeks ago

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Movie of Jon's Life IV

My "girls" from high school and beyond will see a lot of screen time.

Ashley: Teresa Lisbon

Dhara: Gwyneth Paltrow
Emily: Daniele Fishel


Just to chronicle the new house... we had our first neighbor visit today.  We were visited by Renee and her daughter Madeline.  They dropped off some brownies and we enjoyed them... immediately. They, with the husband/dad, are a very cute family from Michigan who moved in two weeks before we did.  
Tomorrow the plumber is coming to fix the dishwasher, the cabinet people are coming to fix... you guess it, the cabinet.  Then I am hopping on a charter bus and heading to Boone.  I am going to watch my Charlotte 49ers play the Appalachain State Mountaineers.  

The Movie of Jon's Life III

Uncle Rege: Sean Connery

Aunt Barb: Florence Henderson

Aunt Annie: Janine Turner 
mom would say before she let herself go

Paula: a special guest appearance by 
Sarah Palin

p.s. The Obama's new dog is going to be a bichon frisse named Whirlpool.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Movie of Jon's Life II

Allison: Alyson Hannigan

David: Steve Carell
shave the head, it is really all about comedic timing

Andy: Mike Myers

Re Re: Shirley MacLaine

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Movie of Jon's Life

I gave this idea to Allison to post, I am going to try it myself.  I think it would be fun to cast a movie of my life, who plays who etc.  Please do not be offended if you do not like the person picked to play you.  There may not be a correlation in their look but maybe I just thought they could capture you essence.  If you are not included, it isn't that I have written you out of my life, it is just that I could not think of anyone to play you.  I would LOVE to hear your suggestions on me, you, or anyone else... please give feedback and make this fun.

Jon: Jonah Hill
seriously, if I grew out my hair... seriously!
 Amanda: Anne Hathaway
girl next door hot, please meet girl next door hot, it's the smile

Mom: Kathy Bates
the look is kinda close, but the attitude is there.

Dad: William H. Macy
dye the 'stache and color the hair.. I can almost see it

When I continue, I will case Andy, Allison, David, and ReRe.... bet you cannot wait til the next post. :-)

Thursday, November 13, 2008


I still have a lot to do with the house, but it is coming along.  We had our first guests over, Mom, ReRe, and Andy came over to see the place.  They encouraged me to hook up the TV, awesome!

I completely ripped this from Allison tonight.

I am glad that tomorrow is my last day off work, I don't like spending all day in the house by myself, I miss work sometimes.

I worry about loosing my job, especially since we just bought a house and bought appliances, it just seems like now is the time that would happen.

I have a lot to be thankful for-- a superb family, a wonderful wife, great friends.

I miss my high school friends, I just don't see them or talk to them enough.  They were rare birds that understand me, really know me.  

I fear being useless or unwanted.

I feel a little drained right now.

I hear the refrigerator running... no I will not try to go catch it.

I smell the new carpet smell

I crave beer tonight, I could use one.

I cry less often than I used to, I think that is good most of the time, I miss it though.

I usually get to work before my shift starts, I try not to be Mr. Five Minutes like I used to.

I search for cheap lawn equipment on craigslist.

I wonder what my true calling is.

I regret a ton of things... I could not list them all here.  I keep a list in my head of every decision I have ever made, I eventually revisit all of them in my spare time.  I try not to spend too much time alone for that reason

I love the way I felt when I lost 45 lbs... I want to go back there sometime soon.

I care about what other people think way too much.  

I always want to be everything to everyone.

I worry that my fate is predetermined.
I am not a fan repeating myself.  

I remember spending endless hours with Dhara and Ashley in the bed of my pickup, staying in Dhara's driveway til 2am just talking about nothing.  Those were some of the happiest times of my life.

I believe in earning your keep... I hate when people complain about things that happen to them but never admit when they happened because of them.  I am not a millionaire because I have not made decisions and done the things necessary to get there.

I sing Sister Hazel songs while I am previewing cars at auction.  "Its hard to say what it is I see in you, wonder if I will even bid on you."

I don't always put in enough effort at being a good husband.
I write in my planner all the time, I never look at it again, but it creates a date association in my head so I know what I have to do.

I win rarely, I am built for comfort not for speed.

I lose my mind when I use the wrong word while talking, I become Ted Mosby, Architect when other people do it too, I love to correct them.

I listen NPR all the time, I used to hate it when I would get picked up from Jr. High and my mom would have on Talk Of The Nation.  Now it is one of my favorite shows.

I don't understand women.

I can usually be found at work or on the computer.

I need to work on my patience with others and my weight.

I forget everything all the time.  I should have put that on the "I need to work on" lead but I forgot to.

I am happy in these little moments when I am not thinking about a lot of stuff, sometimes it is when I just wake up, sometimes it is that moment before falling asleep.  Sometimes it is right after I kiss Amanda on the head, sometimes it is while I am driving up I77 in WINI.  I just try to hold on to those little smiling moments as long as I can.

Friday, November 07, 2008

insert cricket noises here...

An ere calm has beset me, a first in a while. I am not longer pensive about the campaign, I am no longer fretting about closing costs, down payments, and appliance shopping. We seem to have all of that squared away. I am not concerned about moving day, I think we have the trucks and the help required for such a job. I am only slightly worried about not being worried... the scariest thing in the world is not knowing what you are scared of*. Where will that big shoe drop?

*please note that for the last 8 years, the Rovean Republican Religious Right (my english teachers would be so proud of that alliteration) has told Americans what to fear, so there was little wonder about what to be scared of... mostly it was Muslims, homosexuals, non-religious types, and minorities. I woke up this morning scared of none of those things, so I guess I should worry about what flat screen to pick out on Monday!!!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


I have no idea what to type here. I know there have been a thousand posts per minute about the results of this campaign, I do not need to add my commentary to the world wide web. I will merely sum it up for me with some bullet points below.

  • Winning is just the beginning. It is a luxury to have the other party in power, it gives you justification to piss and moan. When it is your guy, he as your surrogate, you are responsible and accountable for the promises made.
  • I am so proud of North Carolina, who could have guessed that this ruby red stalwart would have been this close. Even if they eventually call if for McCain, I am impressed that the Tarheel State is last to be called and was this competitive.
  • I really respect John McCain's concession speech, if he had run his campaign with that kind of poise and grace, he may never have had to deliver that speech.
  • I pledge to remove the Obama/Biden after the first 100 days in office. Nothing on the road would piss me off more than a Ford Explorer with a W 04 sticker on the back. I would yell "quit gloating, he is horrible." I don't want to be that guy.
  • I hope that Barack Obama's election ends the race victimization feeling within the African American community. I pray that children are inspired and encouraged by what they see. I hope that he acts as a role model to all children. With Clinton's womanizing, W's drinking, drugs, and unprovoked attacks of sovereign nations, kids have not really been able to look to the President as a role model.
  • I am glad I got to see the President speak the night before he was elected into office.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008



Monday, November 03, 2008

Speeches: Motivate & Influence

Power is truely the ability to influence and motivate other people. I witnessed power tonight that I have never felt in my life.

Tonight, with my gorgeous wife and best friend, I watched the man who COULD (and God willing WILL) be our next President, Barack Obama, speak at my alma mater.

This is easily the biggest thing to ever happen at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. I know we have made the Final Four, I know we have won conference championships, I know we have hosted world leaders and Presidents before, but this, this was really special.

The three of us met at 4:30... waited in line at Verizon Wireless Amplitheatre to catch the busses to get over to Campus. We boarded busses at 5:45 and made our way over. At 6:15 we made it to the recreation fields where the event was set up. After two periods of rain and phone calls to Andy to track Obama's progress through Charlotte, the motorcade arrived. Like a rock star he wasted little time taking the stage and lighting it up.

Barack's grandmother died today, he talked a bit about her. He really touched me with sincere pain as he rememberd the way she has affected his life. I wish she would be alive if he could have taken the oath of office. The speech touched us all. Amanda and I were both really excited the the good parents of the world brought their kids to witness this history, brave the rain, and give them a real civics lesson.

The rally served its purpose, I am going to find a way to volunteer and canvas for Barack tomorrow. If you need a ride to the polls, call me, if you need some info, I will find it for you.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Halloween Costume

So I went as Sara, not Palin, Smith for Halloween... how'd I do?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

New House Photos

Our house @ sunset! The front yard and plants were done today.

The view of our foyer taken from upstairs. Just an angle you have not seen yet.

Mom checking out the baby's new house 11 days before closing.

WINI enjoying her new driveway, she has yet to pull into her new house yet,
waiting until we own it first.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Housing Update

Some new grainy images from my camera phone for your enjoyment. These were taken last Wednesday. I need to get out there with a real camera, my phone cannot take a photo of the outside. You will see in about (look to countdown ticker to your right) days the end result anyway, who cares.

His and His closets... where will Amanda put her stuff?

Well, there is one place in the house that is Amanda's, this is it.

The stove is on the right now, we still need to buy the refrigirator.

You can see the living room from the kitchen, this is a good shot of what the cabinets and countertops look like.

WINI turns 40 (k)

I know I am a total tool for posting this... but I am sad.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Amanda, poor girl, has proven her high threshold for pain by staying married to me for one year. A lot has changed since then:

  • The economy was strong even thought he houseing market was slowing down.
  • The thought of having a black president was still a distant one, it was going to be Hillary facing Rudy.
  • We were living in the Chi, never thought of moving back
  • It was really warm in Charlotte that day
  • Sergeant Libro was still alive and teaching students
  • UNCC was no closer to football than they had ever been
  • The Patriots were undefeated

I am sure I am missing a million things since then. My first year of marraige has been wonderful, I forecast no changes for that in the future.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Funny comments from Countdown

"Are You Smarter Than A Third Grader."

Q: Finally governor we've been trying to engage some local grade schoolers for the last few elections. We do a feature called 'questions from the third grade.' Brandon Garcia wants to know, "What does the Vice President do?"

(Palin)"Aw, that's something that Piper would ask me, as a second grader, also. That's a great question, Brandon, and a Vice President has a really great job, because not only are they there to support the President agenda, they're like a team member, the team mate to that President. But also, they're in charge of the United States Senate, so if they want to they can really get in there with the Senators and make a lot of good policy changes that will make life better for Brandon and his family and his classroom. And it's a great job and I look forward to having that job. "

(Olberman) Oh! I'm so sorry, Governor!

The correct answer can be found in the Constitution of the United States...
Article One, Section Three: "The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided."

So, the Vice President is not in charge of Jack, Governor, let alone in charge of the Senate.

And you are not smarter than a Third Grader.

Monday, October 20, 2008

House Update

Sorry I have been absent from Blogger. I will write more later but just wanted to pass on the good news that we will be doing our final walkthrough on November 5th and CLOSING IS NOVEMBER 10TH!!!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

House Update

Here are some photos of the work done on our house.  They have painted, put all the trim up, the front porch posts and roof are up, they have trimmed out the windows and fireplace, hung up all the doors.  So much work has been done, here is a guy laying hardwood floors in our foyer and dining room.
This is the view of our bathroom from the bedroom
This is the other side looking at our shower and tub, there will be a glass wall there
Below you will see our kitchen cabinets hung with care.
We are tentatively scheduled for our final walk through on the first week of November, closing would be about 2-5 days after that. 

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


  • Barack Obama looked like a President, McCain looked like W with the laughing, wandering around aimlessly, I wonder if he can correct that.  No one wants a statesman like W.
  • You can see Barack channeling Bill Clinton circa 1992 (that is a good thing btw)
  • It took McCain 75 minutes to say "we don't need a President that needs on the job training."
  • Why did McCain bring up Herbert Hoover, he was negative & old, he was the only person in the room that was alive in Hoover's day
Just thought I would post some of these immediate responses.

Debate Observation

Here is what I am yelling at the TV, since everyone is in bed, I typed them instead of yelling.  

"The Straight Talk Express lost a wheel on that one."  

BO... HA, 

JM, stop talking about taxes, you are in favor of Bush tax cuts for wealthy people, just admit it and hope that your 5% of wealthy friends will help you retire even better.  

BO- I know it is difficult, but don't look so damn smug when McCain lies again... you will only have smug still shots if you grin every time he fibs.

JM- I agree, nuclear power rocks

BO- I agree, I we cannot drill our way out of the problem.  Rudy is retarded.  Thank you for bringing up China's new coal plants, that hurts the west coast's environment.

JM- I know you are old, but you need to concentrate on the question and answer them in less than 20 minutes.  When did Barack become the direct one and you become the rhetoric spewer?

BO- I love that you have a plan that works.  I am interested to know if anyone calls themselves a one-issue voter on healthcare AND will vote for McCain... I want to meet you and pick your brain on how you think this privatization is acceptable.

JM- You repeated Barack's line on reducing medical errors.  YOUR HEALTHCARE PLAN SUCKS!!!  The open market will not work for the lower middle class and will not provide equal access, a FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT.   Equal access to healthcare is a right, free healthcare is not, but access is!

BO- Thank you... healthcare is the right of every American!  We need to crack down on insurance companies.... 

JM- You looked childish when you asked about "did we hear the size of the fine?"  You are supposed to be my representative in the world arena, will you talk to the leaders of countries like that.  

BO- Please point out that JM is on the loosing end of the judgement argument, he should stop bringing it up.  Nice job.... hit him hard... liberators ha!!!!  You lost me on the Obama doctrine?

JM- McCain Doctrine... still not your friend, you called me that again and that is disrespectful!  Talk about your policy, not Baracks... or is it... that just maybe... he is the only one with a policy so all you have is the opportunity to beat down his... get creative GOP, its called a platform, build one and stand on it.  Note: Quit changing the direction the platform faces.

BO- I am happy you linked the Pakistan problem to the Bush/McCain foreign policy.  Be tough on Pakistan.... okay, that was the Diet Coke of tough.... nevermind... kill Bin Laden and crush A.Q. 

JM- Is your hero Teddy Roosevelt or Ronald Reagan?  You have said both are your biggest hero.  Oh, you accidentally admitted Barack was right, you may want to fix that.  I am okay with your policy on that.  Big kid, you want the follow up too... wah wah!!!

BO- Wow, you just fought with McCain head on. I liked you calling him out on the speaking softly, you cannot be a quiet maverick.  That is like being a fat skinny chick.  Wow that was brief.

JM- That was not brief, but you did say that "it is the same strategy."  The surge did not really work, you put a wad of gum in a leak in the Hoover Dam, how long will that hold?  I do agree with you that we have to support Georgia and the Ukraine.  We still however need to punish Georgia for starting it.

BO- Thank you, we do need to help Georgia's economy.  Thank you for talking about looking ahead.  Both of you talk about putting out statements... neither of you did shit about the Russian invasion.  

JM- I liked your answer best on "is Russia an evil empire."
Why wouldn't you seek permission from the UN, or at least try diplomacy?  Answer the question... would you help Isreal?  I am still not your friend.

BO- You better answer this lie about "without precondition" crap this old guy keeps bringing up..... I like that you said you would use diplomacy to try to talk to Iran.  You bring a multi-prong approach to trying to solve the problem.  Energy is part of the Iran answer.   Yeah... he said DIRECT TALK John, DIRECT TALK.  

BO- No really, what don't you know.  I love how you quantified this election as a referendum on the Bush/McCain policy.  

JM- I cannot wait for your response.  You just insulted my geography prowess.  You are trying to copy Baracks hope speech... you are a rich bastard.  

Please vote... I don't care for who, please just vote.

Thursday, October 02, 2008


I am not complaining about the lack of fuel, but WINI is.  She his a picky picky girl, only Chateau D'Petro 93 vintage (octane).  If you know where Premium Fuel can be bought, please comment.  All I can find is the regular stuff for the S-10, I will drive it until I can find WINI some go-go juice.

I cannot hold on....

Sarah Palin needs to resign, if the average person can be the President, I should be.  This lady is an idiot.  I don't have sympathy because she knows what I am going through, she is a main streeter, hockey mom, all that crap.  I want my President to be unique, I want my President to be smarter than me, I want my President to have been groomed their entire life for that position for one reason.  When they get there, they will know what to do.  

  • She did not answer a question directly unless she agrees with Joe Biden
  • She had no ability to defend McCain's healthcare plan, I am interested by it and wanted to hear it defended, she could not
  • Joe could have crushed her skull on a few answers, but was a great statesman and showed restraint.  I would have blasted her
  • She tried a few zingers, she failed
  • I enjoyed when she tried to make it look like only a mom raises children and he turned that on by saying he was a single dad for a long time  His values were obvious
  • I love Joe Biden (in case you didn't notice, I wish he were President)

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Random Bullet Points on the debate and others

  • Damn Cubs, lost game one 7-2
  • Isn't foreign policy supposed to be John McCain's strong point?  Why didn't he sound like he knew what he was talking about?
  • Barack Obama only answered one question directly, one more than McCain, but only one nonetheless. 
  • Why wouldn't John McCain look at Obama?  He looked like the plantation owner who was embarrassed to be in the same room as a black man, not a good look. 
  • Overall, it was a draw, this week I give the nod to Obama, not because of anything he did, just because John took credit for the bailout, until it failed and then it was the Dems fault.

Friday, September 26, 2008

G (double) A (double) S (double) R U N Gas Run!

Your resident idiot gas-will-be-here-when-I-need-it blogger finally accepted that his pride must be swallowed (insert gulping sound here) down like the gas in the tank of a Ford Excursion.  I went on a gas-run.  

With the D.T.E. (distance till empty) gauged queued up in the car, the a/c off, and the radio up, I headed out at 12:30 am.  I had enjoyed watching the #1 college football team in the country, the USC Trojans, get beat by the Oregon State Beavers and was feeling very optimistic.  I thought if one under dog can win, so can I.  I took a cursory glance at my own exit, knowing the BP had fuel at 9pm but not wanting to wait, it was out.  My roommate Tim informed me that Mooresville, exit 36, had gas at multiple stations I headed north.  There's gas in them there tanks, I know it paw... I need to start shootin' at some food.  

I pass by exit 25, dry, exit 28, dry and dead at this time of night.  With 40 miles registered on the DTE, I had a choice, do I go home with enough fuel in the tank to make to work, but not back from work was the logical choice, I would have better shot of finding gas during the day on the way to work.  Choice two was to head to Mooresville, hope they still had gas, if not, I would go home and call out of work until my exit had confirmed supplies of gas.  I chose the second.  I felt like I was on a quest for the Holy Grail, by God, I had to find out the nationality of the swallow.  

I pulled into three stations, no gas, upon the hill, high upon that hallowed hill I had the Marathon and the Hess station.  These holy parishes of liquid goodness surely possess the cure to what ails me.  Indeed, the Hess had gas, cheaper gas, but no premium, WINI is a woman of sophisticated taste, and she drinks '93 Chateau D'Petro.  Marathon had it for a bargain at $4.39 a gallon.  A sixty dollar drink of Chateau D'Petro later, we were on our way.  

I still would like to avoid the editorial, but I thought it brilliant that I just paid $4.39 for gas and didn't care, I was happy to have it.  The oil tycoons are way smarter than me.  If you want me to pay four bucks, give me the choice between that or none at all and see what I do.  

On the way home I enjoyed a faster pace in my 36mpg rocket car.  DTE said 464 miles, I was hooked up.  I ventured to exit 25 and decided to see if the Cashions had fuel, it would figure that the one I did not check would have it, but alas, dry!  Going down Sam Furr Road, I saw a figure from my peripheral vision, I slammed on the brakes in the curve and the deer entered the beam of light from my HID's I then steered to where the deer had come from hoping that she would continue running.  She did, I heard her tail slap the WINI's bonnet and I began to correct my over correction.  I looped the car completely around and came to a complete stop facing Concord, I swear my boot was just facing that way seconds ago... oh.. yeah... it had been.  
A little note here:  I cannot suggest enough a defensive driving course.  It gives you the reflexes you need to avoid accidents.  I would never have known how to correct and re correct the car, modulate the brakes, control the skid, and intentionally spin a car to a stop without my instructors.  Thanks!

I returned to the Smith's house at 1:30, heart racing, blood pressure high, and a little weary of this shit.  

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Ultimate Frisbee in the News

Oh yes... cracker jack jon is beyond white... check out the latest entry on Stuff White People Like.

Gas Shortage

I did not want to join the thousands who are currently editorializing the mysterious gas shortage coupled with the economic slowdown... so I won't.  I will however record here my feelings so that when the archives of the blog are read by my kids, they will know what Dad thought.

I am scared... I am very scared.  I know that we will have gas tomorrow, somewhere, I am scared that my stuburn butt will try to push the envelop and get stuck on the way.  The S-10 is out of gas, the MINI has about 60 miles left and I have a 50 mile round trip commute.  I do not want to buy into the hysteria surrounding the temporary shortage of gasoline, but I am concerned.

Moreover, I am scared about the affect on our weekend economy.  I watch every day when Independence Blvd. fills up from 4:30 to 6:30 full of Monrovians heading back home.  Today, I assume because of the lack of gas... cars trickled by, one by one, at 5:30.  There was no backup, there was no one on the road.  The traffic seemed down more than 50 percent, the customer count was down over 60%.  This weekend will suck.

Tertiary concerns lay with the economy.  I am now thinking in the back of my head about my stock holdings, my retirement, my mother's retirement, my business.  I have not reached panic mode but Amanda and I have began to talk about ways we can scale back and set ourselves up to weather this downturn if it lasts longer than the spring of 2009.  We have also suspended entertaining thoughts of bringing a child into this world... we will eventually... but the next couple years are not promising.  

New & Notes From The Bradshaw's
- Our house has insulation, gas lines, and has the back windows done.
- We have canceled this weekends plans of going to the Cleveland County Fair
- The responsible adult side of me has won out and the MINI will be for sale soon... well.. maybe.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Mean Muggin'

I am not sure if any of you are familiar with the term "mean muggin.' " Mean muggin' is defined by the fine folks at urban dictionary as "the evil eye, lookin at someone hard." I was not very familiar with this term until one of my co-workers in Chicago used it regularly and I began to incorporate it into my vernacular. Below you will find the male in the picture clearly mean muggin' while his date (prom maybe, thanks photobucket) is unaware.

Rational thought would make you think that in land of "Southern Hospitality" that this phenomenon would be much less prevolent that in the millions deep midwest city I hold dear. In the ten weeks since Amanda and I's return, I have actually noticed it to be a more common practice. Maybe, before having defined and quantified the action, I was just oblivious in my last tenure of residence in the Queen City.

One of the hourly associates at my place of work has a tendency to mean mug all day long. His is a scowl, a slightly apathetic stare, when coupled with his rugged exterior creates a menacing look. I was assigned to be his mentor about 5 weeks ago and during our first meeting, I brought up that his look may prevent him from being as successful as he wants to be. He has been actively trying to overcome is non-intentional disadvantage. After some scepticism, he realized I was being honest and his persona on the outside finally matches the inside.

Earlier last week, I was mean mugged by a customer I was trying to explain something that was very beneficial to him. The sad thing is he could have gotten some freebees, an oil change or something, if he has been pleasent. Instead of that route, I raised my intensity to match his. On Friday I was mean mugged by a construction worker who was building my house. I thought to myself "if it weren't for me, would he be working right now." After getting off my Republican-esque high horse, I decided that I was intruding on his work space and maybe I deserved it. I did create a good deal of extra work for him. On Saturday, I was mean mugged at a 3 year old's birthday party, I am not sure of the provocation for said "muggin.' "

I conclude with this... people of the world. Stop MEAN MUGGIN' people!

Monday, September 22, 2008


My Big (but slightly shorter) Brother Andy just got accepted to Robert Morris!!!

I am very proud of you!

Friday, September 19, 2008

House Update

Thought I would tell you guys about the pre-drywall meeting I had today. The weather was perfect, of the four houses in our section of the neighborhood, we are a week ahead of all of them. Good because I want in our house badly, bad because we won't be the last ones in. The only boo-boo's that we found were that they forgot to run the gas line for our stove, he thought we had electric. He was wrong, Monday all will be well. A positive boo-boo we noticed was that they ran two rough-ins for dual sinks in the guest bathroom... we didn't pay for that upgrade. He has to find out what type of cabinet we ordered, they may or may not go ahead and put the second sink in. If not, we will know it is there and if/when we want to remodel, it will be ready to go. The previously noted issue with the stairs, the half wall was about six inches higher was fixed as we walked around the upstairs, consider it done. The tenative schedule is now:
Monday: Frame Inspection
(add missing gas line and cable outlet)
Tuesday: Insulation
Wednesday: Insulation Inspection
Thursday: Drywall Begins
Friday: We may get a completion date!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Charlotte 49ers Football

This is the editorial cartoon from the observer after Charlotte's rally for a college football team.  I will buy PSL's when we get one, I will have season tickets, I will support it.  I do not understand why people are complaining that the students will bear a lot of the start up costs.  Guess what,  as a graduate, I feel that my degree will appreciate in prestige with the notoriety that comes with a football team.  When more people have heard of your school, the higher the value of your degree seems to be.


During last year's NCAA basketball championship tournament, I was asked by more people what I knew about Davidson.  Davidson, a great academic school, had made a deep run but no one knew if it were a special ed school or a school that made your education special.  Have you ever heard anyone wonder if it is tough to get into Duke, no, Dick Vitale always reminds people that the Cameron Crazies have all scored 1500+ on their SAT's.  

Sunday, September 14, 2008

poof, weekend gone!

Amanda and I passed our weekend in our favorite place, the mountains!  We went up to Blowing Rock Friday night, slept in, then went off to the Shoppes on the Parkway because my silly butt forgot to pack underwear.  After a stop at Banana Republic to pick some boxers up, we headed on to Boone for some Mellow Mushroom pizza.  
We motored down 221 where in 20 miles I took 500 miles off my tires and carved up the twisties.  I know I am rocking it when I begin to hear a noise on the right side of WINI, that would be Amanda giggling in the passenger seat.
After getting lost in the Linville area, we finally found ourselves at the Linville Caverns.  This is one of the few attractions where you walk out feeling like you really got your money's worth.  We spent $6, Amanda and I decided we would pay $10, but no way $11.  The best part of the day was stopping in at Linville Falls where the guy at the information hut lectured us on how we should leave Charlotte.  His solution for Charlotte is and I quote "I think they should wall that city up, give everyone a gun and let nature take its course, then we can get in there and clean it up and make it nice."  Uh yeah, we were reminded we were in mountains.
Today we got up, had breakfast, motored a little more, then came back to the Inn.  We made the trip up to Grandfather Mountain, ate some lunch, saw the bears, eagle, and otters.  We got dropped off in a lower parking lot and Amanda and I hiked up to the mile high bridge, meeting her Dad up on the bridge.  We sat and just chatted out on the far rocks overlooking the hideous "monstrosity on the mountain" hotel.  After some afternoon naps we headed back, coming down the mountain it went from 69 to 85 degrees... and back to reality.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

MINI Travesty

This is sad... I don't want them to dilute my favorite brand... I know market share is great, just don't forget to dance with the one that brung you, the motoring enthusiast.  

Allow me to introduce the 2010 MINI Crossman... SUV sellout.

Many Mini Plans...

Picture the car & cross in silver, to match the exterior of my car.  This is the roof/bonnet scheme that I have come up with to cover WINI. The knotwork will be die cut.
These are the alloy wheels I want, they are off the John Cooper Works GP.  
*note- these modifications are post-house pending and have not been approved by Amanda Bradshaw

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


Amazing that I have yet another reason to hate the city of Atlanta.  Below are photos of my wreck in Atlanta on Monday Night.

The smoke you see above is from the airbags... without my glasses I thought the car was on fire... I am so dramatic.
It is hard to tell from this angle, but the front fender & headlight are shifted about six inches outside, so the front of the car sticks out further than the passenger mirror.
After the initial contact, the back of her SUV came around and hit the back of my car.
The airbags did the most damage, knocking my glasses off and burning my arm, but I am sure in the split second I hit them they helped absorb some impact.

Bye Bye Acura TL, I will never see you again.  Essentially, a lady just pulled from the left lane right in front of me.  I was in the far right lane, going about 45 mph, and boom!  

Injury List:
Boo boo on head, slight cut
Airbag burn on my left arm
Seat belt related bruises
 (my chest looks like a negative photo of a dive flag)
and worst of all...
My right Pinky Nail was broken!!!

The 6-7 month pregnant driver of the SUV was okay as well... Thank GOD!