Monday, August 25, 2008

This and That

Just a few quick updates. I think I said previously (too lazy to look up my old posts) that I saw the dietician a couple of weeks ago. Since then, I've been very good about watching the carb and sugar intake and sticking with the new lifestyle. I've also been trying to get 30 minutes of activity every day. I know rollerblade a couple of times a week (or hit the treadmill). I'm now using the fitness center at work and lifting weights again for strength training. As a result, I'm about 10 pounds lighter! My pants are now slipping off of me if I don't tighten my belt. I feel better than I have in a long time. I curious to know how my next round of blood work will come out but it's a couple of months out yet.

We got teacher assignments for both the boys. We had a potential issue with Grasshopper. We know his new teacher from when she used to be their day care provider, so that was cool. But we found out from her teacher web page that she was expecting a baby in August. Our concern was that there's be a substitute teacher and that Grasshopper would get a new teacher middle of the year and not deal with the change well. We contacted the school and after talking with them, the Wife is more comfortable. I was ready to march in and start telling the principal how it was going to be, but I got reigned in by the lady. I'm not a big fan of this principal anyway so I was perfectly prepared to put my foot down. Maverick found out his foriegn language assignment. He put down his preferences but you don't know for sure until the year starts. He got Italian! Now the boy can learn his grandparents native tongue. He's pretty excited. His other teachers look good as well so we'll see how things go. Wednesday the Wife is taking Maverick to school to set up his locker and Grasshopper to meet his new teacher.

On the personal/professional front, I happened to get the latest issue of Information Week (IT trade mag) and on the cover was the headline "Who's Your Next CIO?" My immediate thought? Me! So I did a lot of reading of the articles and got some good information on what I need to do to get there. One of the things that struck me was perhaps getting an MBA. I've never seriously thought about it but decided to get our CIO's opinion. When I mentioned it to him, his first words were "You got the gumption?" When I asked whether having an MBA would enhance my career opportunities he said "Hell yes! Do it." I asked around some more and prayed about it and all the feedback I'm getting seems to indicate it would be a good career move. So I'm working on my application to Empire State College. I can take on-line courses which I much prefer at this stage in my life. Stay tuned and I'll let you know how things go.



Finally, I wanted to put up the new Faith on Fire logo. As a reminder, you can check out our web page (such as it is, I know it needs work) at http://www.faithonfireband.com/. Hope you like it!







Sunday, August 24, 2008

Won't Get Fooled Again

It appears once more The Government is not looking after the average guy. Latest example? This. Here's what it means. It seems in NYS, they have things called Gas Zones, where wholesaler's such as BJ's can offer gas at $0.20 or more a gallon cheaper than everyone else. It just so happens that the BJ's about 7 miles from my home (of which I'm a member, BTW) charge something like $0.32 a gallon less than the gas station just 2 miles from my house. As a result, may of the other gas stations around that BJ's have lowered their prices to match. So I save big on gas by going a little out of my way, which usually isn't because these gas stations are in a heavy shopping area and I'm out in that direction a bit anyway.

Sounds great right? Capitalism at it's best. If the competition can offer you the same goods and services for less and the competitor can't, then they deserve to go out of business, right?

So what will happen if this bill becomes law? We all know that this will result in the wholesaler raising prices which means the gas stations can raise their prices so consumers will end up paying more for gas. Oil companies can make more profits and the state can collect more taxes. Yes, people, nothing about this bill protects consumers. Sure, local people are complaining about why is gas cheaper in one part of town but not another, but I respond to that, "Why can gas stations charge that much less and stay in business when the other guys charge so much more?". This bill is designed to make more money for the oil companies. And again the little guy gets screwed.

I haven't heard the Governor has signed this into law yet, but I hope he doesn't. But I wouldn't be surprised if he did.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Back in Business Again

Last night was the first real honest to goodness gig I've played with the new pickup in my baby. And I used my new gear setup for the first time. Let me tell you, it all kicked some serious ass! I got great tone on all the songs baby! And the gig went great. There was a larger crowd this year and they all appreciated the music. Even the Bishop and the Mayor were there! We also have a new logo, which I'll post when our designer has the "official" version for us. It's very hip.

In other news, the boys are in lockdown. The last two times I've been out of town they acted like total brats and made the Wife crazy. So I put the hammer down. I made it very clear that as members of the family they are required to help out and that we shouldn't have to tell them what needs to be done. Also I informed them that work comes before play. As a result, they've lost most of their priviledges, including TV. I've blocked all the kid friendly channels so they can't watch Nick or Cartoon Network.

They're slowing coming round. Grasshopper even starting helping out last night without being asked. So perhaps there's hope.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Is it just me?

Ok,

Saturday was a particularly aggrevating day. Lots of small things to annoy, from not having a newspaper to someone dinging my new car. But this is the story of the first thing.

First of all, is it too much to expect that my Saturday morning newspaper is on my porch by 8 am? Part of my Saturday routine is to read the paper while eating breakfast. Perhaps not the whole thing, but a section or two. So when it wasn't on the porch (or in the driveway, or in the bushes), I had to call customer service to report the non-delivery.

And I got their IVR system. In case you don't know what that is, it stands for Interactive Voice Response. That's where they make you talk to the phone even though no one is there. Perhpas it's just me, but I find talking to a computer EXTREMELY annoying (mind you, at work I only talk to my computer when I'm yelling at it, which isn't often since I'm such an IT guru). I had to tell the stupid computer my phone number, address, say yes or no to the stupid questions like "Did you recieve your newspaper today".

The absolutely most infuriating part of the entire process was after I gave all the information, I heard the sound of a keyboard typing before the pre-recorded voice came back and said it had entered the information for me. How stupid does my newspaper think I am? Do they really think I imagined for a second I was talking to a real person? Do they really think I find this interaction much better than just pushing buttons on my phone (which I'd have rather done)?

I understand how businesses want to automate tasks to save money, but this just went too far.

Or again, maybe it's just me.


Thursday, August 07, 2008

I think I found it

I'm always on the search for the "perfect" guitar. Basically a new model guitar like my Yamaha but that isn't my Yamaha. And I think I've found a candidate:



Here's a link to the site to get full specs and the ability to see it in the other color:

http://www.schecterguitars.com/spec.asp?id=244

This is the Hollywood Classic by Schecter. It features a mahogany body with maple cap, through the body neck, ebony fretboard, two humbucker pickups with coil taps. And it's a comfy strat shape which I like. Basically, it has all the features of my Yamaha without being a Yamaha. Of course, I'd have to get my hands on it and play one, but how cool does this guitar look? That's right, Rocker Guy cool.



Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Medical update

The Wife and I went to see a dietician/nutritionist this week. We discussed diet and portion control and managing diabetes. Bascially she told me that even with pre-diabetes you need to change you lifestyle as if you actually HAD diabetes. The most interestng thing she said was that activity was a diabetic's "medicine". 30 minutes of activity at least 5 times a week goes a long way in controlling blood sugar. We discussed my current diet and she said I was doing a lot of the right things (I've actually dropped 8 pounds already). So I know need to get on a regular regimen of excersize/activity.

The Wife and I agreed that the whole house needs to adopt a healthier lifestyle. I've already warned the kids that we'll have to find some alternatives to some of their favorite foods. For example, the boys love Pop Tarts for breakfast. Until you see the amount of sugar in them. Grasshopper was really disappointed and thought he wouldn't be able to eat anything for breakfast if he didn't have his Pop Tart. I reminded him there are plenty of other things, like cereal, waffles, french toast, etc and he gave me that "light bulb going on" kind of "OH!" We need to look at what the boys drink as well. One 8 oz glass of apple juice has the same amount of sugar as 3 or 4 apples. And none of the fiber.

I have to see my doctor again in a couple of months to see how the combination of diet and activity affect my blood sugar and we'll go from there.

In work news, things are getting interesting. Nothing I can really talk about, but suffice it to say that my co-supervisor and I are a united front in moving our organization to where we want it to be, and that the right people appear to be noticing who's getting the work done. We'll see how things go from there.