7-31-10 Saturday (The Job)

On Wednesday, I attended a career fair for “an un-named car care facility”. In the Carolinas they have “an un-named car care facility” that do many different types of repairs and maintenance. As “an un-named car care facility” member, you would receive a 2 year 24,000 mile warranty on repairs while non-members get a 1 year 12,000 mile warranty. Members receive discounts, etc. Most “an un-named car care facility” are large facilities that have other departments on site such as travel, insurance, member services and the like. I’m not linking to any “an un-named car care facility” sites via the blog just to prevent “an un-named car care facility” from reading about their newest employee.

With all that said, Friday late afternoon I received a call asking if I was interested in a position. When can I start? I replied anytime. How about tomorrow morning (Saturday)? I was stunned but agreed. Talk of pay, hours and such would be discussed on site. Just go there between 8 and 9 and see what “we’re” all about. Where’s the location? Rockhill, SC. We discovered that it would be a long drive (50 minutes each way) to/from for me so he mentions that they’ll work to find me a more suitable location in the future. If this was anyone else but a large corporation like “an un-named car care facility”, I’d be leery but I decided to “see what it’s all about.”

I arrived and found that this location was an old quick-lube shop. Not very nice looking. I thought, “awwww crap.” I ventured in anyway. Aside from the shop, the inside is just a room with some customer waiting chairs, coffee service, a counter where we all work from, and a restroom down the hall. No office. No breakroom. Nada. I will adapt. Tomorrow I’m going to buy a lunch-sized cooler. Many of the employees seem to walk next door to a McDonald’s. Ugh. I gotta do better than that. I’ll get unsweet tea and maybe a salad from time to time but I’m better off bringing my own food.

Saturday are apparently one of “an un-named car care facility”’s busiest days of the week. I met with my original interviewer who is a Group Manager. He and another Group Manager who was also at this store oversee many stores like a district manager of sorts. Both Group Managers were on hand to help out. Turns out the guy who I’d be replacing was terminated. A service writer on hand had just started in June, and the facility manager was on a rotating quarterly 4 day weekend. It was certainly an interesting day. Somehow I never ate anything all day. We were just too busy. I think what made us “busier” is that I’m learning a computer system, the “an un-named car care facility” mentality, the employees, etc. which slows us down. The managers were “cleaning up” the previous guys paperwork mess when they could.

It wasn’t until later in the day that I was able to discuss pay, and some other stuff with the Group Manager. I found out what I needed to know for now but still have more to find out.

Oh, so the staff. The shop consists of several technicians ranging in skill levels from oil changers (lube tech) to master techs. Inside is a Service Writer. Working the counter along side him would be me, a Sales Manager and a Facility Manager. In simple terms Sales Managers and Facility Managers are Service Writers who have more responsibilities and therefore are compensated higher. This is no desk job. This is a working management position.

I don’t know what my day off will be. I only know that everyone works on Fridays and Saturdays, their busiest days. Everyone gets Sunday off plus a day during the week.

I’m excited, I’m bummed. I’m a roller coaster of emotion. I’m filled with negativity but I’m going to work on turning this all into something positive. I’m excited about returning to work for another day on Monday. Confusing, I know. Maybe I thrive on fixing chaos? We’ll see. I can do this. I can do this. I can do this.

7-30-10 Friday (Who Wears Short Shorts?)

I managed to sell that video game, inFAMOUS on eBay.  I was happy with the price I got.  I bought it for $30, sold it for $15.50 + shipping.  The fee to list it was 87 cents.   I also sold my Atkins book.  I certainly don’t need that anymore.

For those of you dieting, I wanted to show you a VERY low cal salad dressing.  No oil.  It’s pretty good and 0 points.  Most of the times the salad dressing totally kills the healthy   attempt.  Not this one:

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I got my bottle at Walmart.  They also had raspberry vinaigrette and some other flavor.

I went grocery shopping (such as my life), returned those bones Dasher didn’t like and got him new ones.  He was pleased:

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Clea approves:

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Cover your eyes.  Here’s the front of a birthday card Jim received from his Dad:

Butt Got fabric

Ugh.  Makes me wanna hurl so I thought I’d share it with you.

OK, get past that the gravy mix below is Walmart.  Look at the English to Spanish translation.  English: Mushroom Gravy Mix = 5 syllables.  Spanish = 18 frickin syllables.  Why didn’t they just make up a new word?

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7-29-10 Thursday (Minty Birthdays)

For this week’s Weight Watcher weigh-in I was at 173.6 pounds.  Exactly the same weight as last week.  I wished I had lost a pound but I’m OK with it considering all the crap I ate this week.  The movie theater popcorn was a big deal.  It killed almost all my points for the WEEK. 


Not losing any weight is better than gaining weight…

Dasher got his bath today.  With that I washed his bedding and our bedding.  With towels and other loads of wash, I did about 5 loads.  Dasher gets a nice big bone as a treat.  It turned out he only ate half of it.  He doesn’t like “yogurt” all that much.

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Red Robin has a VERY appreciated customizable build-a-meal nutrition program on their website.  When you get to the website, click the “Build Your Meal…” at the bottom of the webpage (shown with an arrow below). 


“The Customizer” will load.  It has sound effects and animation.  Besides how cool it looks/sounds, it’s so useful.  You can delete things from your food.  Shown below is an example.  On the right side you can remove a condiment, delete the bun, etc.  On the left side you can add a different bun, different condiments, etc.  When done, it calculates the nutrition.  Kudos for Red Robin on making it easier to eat healthy!


Teriyaki chicken -Mayo

Oh and no, I’m not going to eat a chili burger.  Here’s my choices with what I think I’d like.

Item Calories Fat Fiber Points

Garden Burger +cheese, -dijon





Teriyaki Chicken Sandwich –swiss, –mayo, +cheddar





Garden Burger +cheese





Gourmet cheeseburger –mayo





Crispy chicken sandwich +cheese, –mayo





Bacon cheeseburger





Too much free time on my hands?  I know. 

I’ll let you know what I chose later (well another paragraph down I guess).  In the meantime, I’ll tell you about the other exciting things I’ve done today.  I took a trip to BJ’s.  Yes, really.  I did.  By car.  I drove.  Fun.  Later I went to a dentist’s appointment.  It was a quick visit to have a root canal filling changed to a permanent.  It had too much of a crater that food constantly got caught in.  Oh, so heavenly now.  The good thing about root canals is no need for numbing to have the filling done!  See, optimistic.  Great.

We’re back from Red Robin.  I ate the 12 point Teriyaki chicken sandwich which was yummy.  I ate too many french fries though.  I tried to be strong and only eat some.  No luck.  I do love me some steak fries.  Because of the birthday coupon we had, the server knew it was gyms birthday.  Jim whined about the possibility of a big production in delivering his birthday dessert.  She said they can skip the singing.  He agreed, I said “no, do it.  I need pictures.”  I won. 

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Jim didn’t want the free sundae and instead had this mint brownie shake.

7-27-10 Tuesday and 7-28-10 Wednesday

Tuesday 7-27-10

I spent a large portion of my day job hunting, filling out applications and completing assessments, all on-line of course.

As I walked by Jim’s recliner I noticed Clea.  Looking cute she deserved a photo session.  While snapping some pictures, the camera carry-strap dangled which enticed the kitty.

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Then of course I had to shoot a video:


Wednesday 7-28-10

imageToday I attended a career fair for a well known automotive business that has car care centers in the Carolinas. I filled out an application and then had an on the spot type interview.  I was asked if I could pass a drug test.  Yes.  Right now?  Yes.  I was a little nervous , not knowing for sure if I’d identify each drug properly.   I was taken to a different table and given a lollipop-ish type swab to keep in my mouth for 5 minutes as I completed the drug testing forms.  The results were instant.  I passed!  I’m expecting a girl.  Oh, sorry, that was a different instant test.  I assume I wouldn’t have had a drug test if there weren’t interest in me.  The test kit was iScreen.  Very interesting.  If you’re really interested to see more about it, then click here

image Tomorrow is Jim’s 39th birthday.  For one month a year he’s two years younger than me and he makes sure I know that.  Naturally when his birthday rolls around I let him know that he’s old AND that he’s now only one year younger than I.  It’s a vicious cycle. 

Anyone who knows Jim personally will say that he’s the thrifty one of the group.  Even if we “have money” he’ll usually be found with a coupon in his pocket.  Over the past year we’ve signed up for so many birthday clubs and restaurant sites to constantly get a flow of coupons, deals and specials in via email.  This year free birthday meal tickets are flooding in.  Yes, on his birthday he’s managed to pick a place that gives him his meal for free tonight and will use one of the “within 30 days” coupon another night.

7-25-10 Sunday and 7-26-10 Monday


We got up at a decent hour and took advantage of those AMC theater popcorn/soda coupons I shared the other day.  The 10:30 am showing of Inception was very early but always worth it.  On a Sunday morning, the theater is always empty. 

We enjoyed this movie.  Brilliant.  Lots of action.

Look at this weather today.  It doesn’t feel 102.  I love the LACK of humidity.



I spent a lot of the day job hunting.  I filled out 2 more user profiles on-line.  Entering previous employment and such can take a while.  I did 2 assessments.  I’ve mentioned assessments in previous posts.  I captured a few screen shots of the type of questions an assessment will ask.

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Click each one: A new window will open and the photo will be larger and readable.

I have such a hard time with these sometimes.  I’m never quite sure what the perspective employer is after.  Are they considering my insanity, independence, customer service, scruples? 

Within 3 days of my last grocery shopping, I suddenly had a list of 10 or more items.  What’s a house-husband to do?  Oh yeah, go to Walmart.

I’m not quite sure how I didn’t manage to get my ass kicked but I picked a fight with a fellow shopper.  If you know me by now, I hate litterbugs, people who toss gum, loud music playing, etc.  It’s typically things that I feel are inconsiderate of others.  It grates on my nerves.  I’ve scolded a man for littering a cigarette wrapper, a woman for tossing her cigarette butt on the floor, etc.  It’s not like I do it every time because let’s face it, some might kick my ass, pull out a gun or I’d just simply spend all day angry at the world.

So, the story.  I was online.  A woman in front of me and a big guy in front of her.  When I say big, he wasn’t necessarily fat nor muscular.  He was just a big guy.  He pays, puts his bags into the cart and stands there sorting through money and looking at his receipt, looking at a cart that had go-backs in it (looked like he was scoping it out to steal something).  The lady in front of me couldn’t move up.  I couldn’t get my stuff on the conveyor belt.  My thought was “MOVE!”.  The guy takes his 4 bags out of the cart and just leaves it right smack in the way of the lady in front of me.  The guy gets about 6 feet away and I grab his cart and angrily move it away commenting, “Thanks for blocking everyone guy.”  He responds with, “Obviously it wasn’t such a big deal since you moved it.” to which I said, “You’re just lazy.”   I couldn’t believe I said that.  Yes, I felt that way but to actually say it?  I walked back over to my groceries where it was now my turn at the check out.  He got all puffy chested and asked if I wanted to take this outside.  I said I don’t need to take anything outside.  A Walmart manager guy comes over and asks HIM what the problem is.  A few words were inaudible but it quickly ended with the man saying he’d never be back to this store again.  The cashier apologized.  I was thinking to myself, self, cause I often call myself that, I started it.  Was him leaving the cart in the way enough to piss everyone off and take my side?  Best I can tell, maybe he had some troubles at the register right before I got there.  Maybe that’s why he kept looking at his money and receipt?  The man walks out.  I’m thinking, “shit, I gotta walk outside.”  Luckily the door closest to the Jeep is not the same door he used.  As I exit, and load my groceries, I take notice of my surroundings without “looking nervous”.  I see that there are cameras and one of those portable police towers like:


I made sure I was alert, finished loading the car, got in, locked the doors and went on my way.  I still have no idea what set me off enough to get lippy.  Or why I thought it was OK to say something to this guy of all people. 

I get daily deal emails for the Charlotte area.  Some are just Charlotte, while others are National such as restaurant.com and AMC theaters.  Here’s a national deal on Cold Stone Creamery, Baskin Robbins, McAlister’s Deli, Bravo! and more.  None for me thanks – I’m dieting.  Sigh.  Each deal is in a separate link, click which place you’re interested in.  The website I get all this from didn’t have a link for the actual full page.  If you click here it will be for whatever day you click on the link.

Go get savin’!

7-24-10 Saturday (To The Caribbean)

Jim suggested we dine at Fuel Pizza Cafe in Uptown Charlotte again.  Why not?  We liked it last week and we had another coupon.  Aside from that, there’s a Caribbean festival going on that we can check out.  FREE parking was a little challenging probably because of the festival so we had to drive around looking for a spot.  Once we got lucky we had to walk several blocks.  It’s in the high 90’s this weekend but it certainly doesn’t feel like Florida’s high 90’s so I was happy with that.  Toward the end of the walk, sweat started to take over.  We made it to Fuel, ate our yummy pizza (1 slice each) and then walked over to the festival.


The music was very loud.  There were many vendors peddling their Caribbean wares.  The food stations appeared to house possible tasty foods but we just ate.  We walked around the festival for a short time and then hit the road.

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We drove around town, exploring some more.  Where’s that road lead?  Off we went to find out.  We drove through several neighborhoods checking them out.  Eventually we want to buy a house again.

Coupon Perhaps because we had a light lunch, we were hungry early.  We had some TGI Friday’s Stripes reward coupons ($8 off) so we headed over there for dinner.  We ordered some crispy green bean fries.  We like those.  We don’t usually order them because of my dieting but we misunderstood the usage terms of the coupon.  It read “Get an appetizer, get a dessert, just get here.”  We both read it like they meant whatever, just get here and use it.  The server said no.  Ugh. Jim had my favorite burger.  I had grilled chicken sans the Jack Daniels sauce, broccoli and a veggie medley.  Just because I don’t constantly post my point intake doesn’t mean I’m not on Weight Watchers anymore.

After dinner we settled in for the evening watching Tooth Fairy and finished off this past season of Desperate Housewives

7-22-10 Thru 7-23-10

As may possibly be the norm for a while, I’ve got a few days worth of entries lumped together:

7-22-10 Thursday

I’m so excited I could spit so let’s get this outta the way.  I reached my goal (as set up by Weight Watchers)!  19.4 pounds since May 20th! 


The program wanted me to move into “maintenance” but I’m not done.  I’ve adjusted the specs to a new goal.  I love Weight Watchers.  Have I ever mentioned that?

Today’s adventure: BJ’s and Walmart.  Uneventful.

I think the house on the corner is a foreclosure.  Maybe it’s just a rental that the tenant moved out of.  For several days they’ve been stacking this crap out in front of the house.

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The problem I see is that there’s too many smaller things not in trash cans/bags.  I also wonder if they called for a special bulk pick up?  Tomorrow is trash day, we’ll find out soon enough.  I’ll bet it’s all still there.  If so I’ll have to call the city or something.

*A year ago on this date were were visiting Jim’s brother John and his wife Tonia.  We swapped out an RV seat then returned to the campground for a non-existent swim in their icky pool.  See it here. 

7-23-10 Friday

Yesterday while at BJ’s I bought steaks.  Today I seasoned them, cut them in half to 5 ounce portions and then vacu-sealed them.  This is a first for me - a 5 ounce steak.  A first for Jim as well.  I’ve gotta get portion control under uhhhh control.  5 ounces of steak is still 8.5 points.  That’s one benefit.  The other = twice as many meals.  Bonus I guess.  We’ll enjoy them with side salads, baked potatoes and fresh broccoli. 

While blogging, I’m enjoying some fruit salad that I also bought while at BJ’s.  Delicious. 

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It’s a big ole container (3 pounds) so it will last for a few days.  The cantaloupe is sweet and perfectly ripe.  I’ve had 2 bowls of it today.

I went over to the RV (in storage) to check on it and add some water purification stuff to the tank.  The chemical will prevent the water from getting slimy.  On my way out of the neighborhood I was surprised to find that house with all that garbage was 95% cleared.  It looks like the guys left chemicals/paint behind.

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That’s a good thing!  I was willing to bet it would all be there after trash pick up.  See you should have bet against me.  Maybe next time.

image Mike, our friend who made that poem, “This Bed Is Bliss”, sent me a reformatted version per my request.  I wanted to print it, and frame it but wanted to give him the opportunity to put it into “correct” poetic format.  He finished it and emailed it.  I printed it on some nice paper I had, bought a frame yesterday and today hung it up in the guest room.  Hmmmm, I’m thinking I need more house guests to create decor for my home.  I love it!


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I finished playing a video game (inFAMOUS) twice over.  Once while being “good” and a second time playing as “evil”.  I loved the game.  I’ve listed it for sale on eBay.  While I was at it, I listed my Atkins diet book for sale too.  Depending on how the sales go it makes me think I should start walking around the house and “shop” for things to post on eBay.

When Jim came home from work, we ate dinner and settle in to watch Desperate Housewives.  We’re almost caught up.  We’ve also been watching America’s Got Talent.  That’s a great show.  Naturally they stretch it out beyond belief.  Anyone else watch it and think that the second night that they announce eliminations is majorly stretched out right down to the uncomfortable pause by the host?  Ugh.

7-19-10 Thru 7-21-10

I’m still alive, just not much to tell. 

Monday 7-19-10: 

I can’t even remember back to Monday.  I think I went grocery shopping.  I ironed tons of shirts.  OK, just 12 but still.  I applied for various jobs.  We went to the gym.  Uneventful.

Tuesday 7-20-10: 

Uhhhhhhh, I cleaned 2.5 bathrooms and went to the tag/license office to get our cars registered for North Carolina.  Naturally, Jim and I forgot to sign a form so no signature, no registration.  I applied for various jobs.

Wednesday 7-21-10:

image Today I retried the tag/license plate thingy.  With paperwork in order this time, I march in, well maybe strolled in, and got it handled.  We have real North Carolina tags now, not even temporary.  The personalized ones will be mailed (once the prisoners make them?) and then I need to drop off my loaner plates at some sort of drop box they have set up.  Interesting.

On the way home I stopped off at Big Lots.  I had 5 things on my list I thought I’d be able to get there.  As I finished shopping the store I found 1 item in my cart which wasn’t even on the list.  I didn’t bother buying it and left defeated.  Oh well.

Tonight being a gym night, I made a crock pot meal.  I got the recipe off the Weight Watchers site and let me tell you, it’s delish.  Both Jim and I think so.


I think there was too much liquid left over.  I guess it’s needed for the cooking process.  I scooped out all the stuff with a slotted spoon and put it into a bowl.  I think next time I’ll throw it all into a colander.

PSA – AMC Theaters

A few weeks ago Jim and I took advantage of an AMC theater coupon.  Soda or popcorn for $1.  We got 2 of each so we didn’t have to share.  It’s available to Facebook users only by following this link.   I copy and pasted the coupon into the blog so you can print it from here.


Happy movie-going!

PSA – restaurant.com

It’s that time again.  $25.00 certificates for only $3.  Read my explanation of how it works here.  To purchase, here’s the link that was provided in my email.


Does anyone else utilize restaurant.com?

7-18-10 Sunday (Fueling Up)

IMG_0004 Yesterday we missed out on enjoying pizza at Fuel Pizza Cafe so we thought we’d try again.  With coupons in hand this time, we headed to one of the Uptown locations.  We parked and walked around looking for it.  We used the GPS to get there but didn’t have the address written down figuring we’d just see it in the vicinity.  Nope.  Sometimes the large buildings house restaurants or food courts in their lobbies.  Jim remembered another location several blocks up.  Between he and I, we both remembered enough details about it’s location to find it on a map.  Off we went.  We found it.  We ate our pizza outside; it was beautiful out.  We walked a different route back to the car.  Every time we walk the downtown area, we notice things we hadn’t on previous visits.  Be it shops, or architecture.  We had a nice time walking around.

While Dasher was out in the yard, I spotted him barking at a deer.  The funny thing is that he’d bark at it and then walk away but the deer would “follow” him.

Deer2Above/Below: You can see the deer – barely.  It doesn’t photograph well through the fence.Deer1 




DIH - Smokey I roasted myself in the sun and played volleyball all day.  I was in all sorts of pain having to do with physical activity as well as sun burned.  Check it out here!