10-21-12 Sunday (Pallets And Trailers)

On Friday our supervisor bought lunch (well the company did) for our team as a farewell to Ja-Nessa.  Free lunch is good, Salsarita’s (like a Moe’s) makes it even better. 

Speaking of food, I’m fat.  I’m nearly 220 pounds and am the largest I’ve been in my life.  Although I won’t post Jim’s info without consulting him, Jim is fat too.  Weight Watchers?  Atkins?  My friend, blogger and fitness guru Norma recommended I purchase “The Eat-Clean Diet For Men”.  I did.  Immediately.


Eat Clean

DietSo far I like the way it’s laid out although I haven’t read much of it yet.  I hate to read put I think this is going to keep my attention.  The format of this book is ingenious.  It feels like a magazine with articles through out and lots of high resolution photos.  I think the diet is similar, if not the same as “The Caveman Diet”… basically eat only natural stuff.  This is gonna be tough.  BUT no calorie counting.  No points.  I know there’s no easy diet.  Trust me, I know.  What I do know is how I’ve fooled myself into thinking that I can be healthy just by losing weight.  Diet X allows me to eat Twinkie’s, icecream, etc.  What I wasn’t realizing is what’s in those foods.  Luckily Norma points out all of the SHIT that’s in our food.  I just hope the book is spot on about what it says.

Thursday night we packed for Augusta.  Friday I left an hour early from work, packed up the car, picked up Jim and off to Augusta we went.  We stopped at a Harris Teeter for some subs that Jim had ordered in advance and then drove to a rest area and ate our dinner at one of the picnic pavilions.  Later we arrived at the resort, unpacked, relaxed and then socialized.  We haven’t been here since early September.  The weather will be upper 40’s at night and upper 70’s by day. 

Jim was in the mood for prime rib so for lunch on Saturday we went to Outback with a $10 off lunch coupon.  Naturally we found that they didn’t serve prime rib until 4pm.  Oh well.  I was totally creeped out in this place.  All the blinds were closed and it felt strange to not have natural light coming in when it was abundantly available.  I had this really strange feeling.  It felt supernatural.  That’s all I’m saying.

The rest of the day we napped, relaxed, etc.  Using a Living Social coupon, we went to Red Bowl Asian for dinner.  We started with the Red Bowl Ultimate Combo (For 2): Potstickers, Crab Wonton, Crispy Chicken Egg Rolls, Grilled Chicken Satays and Thai Jumbo Shrimp.  I had Bourbon Chicken and Jim had something he saw on their website, Pineapple Gai Pan: Sliced chicken breast stir-fried, sauteed with snow peas, bamboo shoots, carrots, baby corn and pineapple chunks in our home-made light sweet & sour white wine sauce.     

Above/Below: One is from the website, one isn’t.  Which is which?

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We both thought our entrees were a little lackluster.  I would still go back though because there’s so many other things to have there and I liked their ambiance.

Jim did a couple of projects.  He lined our white trash deck bottom with weed block (I’m too ashamed to snap another photo of it but it’s that pallet he rebuilt a month ago).  He hung the valance of over the doorway.  When the door is used for the bedroom, the top has a big gap (the way it was designed) at the top which allows too much light in from the shower’s skylight dome.  This totally sucks for naps.  We bought a clearance valance and Jim Grandmother altered it when she was in town. Now the gap is covered.  Let’s nap to celebrate!

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I bought a new light fixture for the bathroom.  12V fixtures are way overpriced but I got this from an eBay merchant:

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Friend’s Gene and Winston finished their deck and roof-over:

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That’s our rig next to them.

Well, that’s all I’ve got.  Dasher is very tired of typing:

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10-18-12 Thursday (Not Quite White Chocolate)

Phone-InterviewOn Wednesday I had a phone interview.  It was for a position within my company.  Not quite the underwriting position I’d like but I think it would be an awesome job that can get me where I want to be.  There’s 4 spots open.  I’ll know by next week if I get to move forward in the process.  Keep your fingers crossed.  How long does one keep their fingers crossed? 

The interviewed seemed to have went fine.  I was asked 2 situational or perhaps behavioral questions such as “if you were a shoe, what kind would you be?” and “Sally is your coworker by day and a hooker by night, do you solicit her evening services?”  I asked if I could phone a friend.  The line went dead but then the nice lady responded after I said, “hello?” several times. 

Jim hung our paintings up in the utility room.  He said he hung them there because it was the only wall available.  We still plan to get some decorative or vintage laundry room stuff to adorn the walls with.  In the meantime our paintings are displayed.

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The other day, managers came around handing out boxes.  Some people got them and some didn’t.  I got one but didn’t know why.   It was obviously too small to pack my belongings into.  Inside was a decorative box with my company’s logo on it.  Inside a gift pack of a company logo mug, 4 packets of Ghirardelli hot chocolate, 4 Ghirardelli chocolate squares and then some Walker’s shortbread packs.  Nice gift box.

I asked about the gift and it was for winning a blitz.  The prior month I sold 0, then next month I sold 1 so that qualified me.  Awesome!

I brought it home where Jim and I immediately ate all of the eatables.  Hmmmm, no spell check issue, eatables is a word!  And here I thought I created a word.  Hmph.  The Ghirardelli squares were totally whitened like it was old chocolate.  Sigh.  Thanks for the gift.  I hope the mug wasn’t colored with lead based paint.

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A couple of weeks ago I won something else at work and was given some reflector keychain thing with a built in flashlight.  The flashlight did not work.  I didn’t exchange it or anything since I didn’t think I’d really be using it anyway.  I just wanted to add it to my defunct freebie list.

All in all, as much as I complain (which is often) about the free this and that, I really do appreciate it all.  Aside from holidays, what does your employer do for you?

Next up, weekend in Augusta…

Look at this tree outside my desk window!


10-15-12 Monday (Weekend Alcohol Supporters)

After such an exciting Friday night art post, it’s difficult to top it.  I’m not even gonna try.  With the modern technology of scissors and tape, I put together this photo:

Garret Artist

OK, so no scissors and no tape.  More like photofunia.com.  That’s my secret.  Now you know and I’m going to have to kill you.  Please bring your face closer to the screen.


Where was I?  Oh yes, Saturday.  My back was hurting so we decided to skip our trip to Augusta.  I Googled Sciatica stretches and found an online video with some exercises.  I did them and the pain was GONE!  We decided to forgo Augusta anyway.  OK, the shooting pic above distracting and highly annoying.  I’m debating on deleting it but as I type the screen moves up and hides it so it gets about 5% less annoying every 30 seconds or so.  Ummmmm, so back to the stretching.  Here’s the website video I went to just in case you really really want to know. 

For our lunch we went to Mimi’s.  Yum.  Bloody Mary.  Yum.  We did some shopping including a waltz through the local home show.  It wasn’t nearly as large as our usual home show but admission was free so why not?  We did some shopping at Walmart.  Later at dinner time we went to 1900 Mexican Grill and then onto the cheap seats movie theater for “The Dark Knight Rises”.  

Rant Animated 1The theater was pretty full so we sat in the 3rd row which I hate. The guy behind us got 2 phone calls during the movie, he whispered and said 1 too many words. I made sure to keep looking behind me. What an f-ing idiot.  Sometime or another he and his clan of schmucks left the theater.  Gaggle of geese, herd of deer, clan of schmucks must be right.

Next movie theater rant… babies and toddlers.  Why in the world would you bring an infant to a movie theater?  Then… constantly I have to see you use your phone as a flashlight to check on the “darling sweet child” who is in a carrier on the floor.  I don’t care if you think you’re entitled to see a movie or eat out or whatever.  You had a child, you’re an adult, act like one.   If I wanted to be interrupted by you or your child I would have a) seen  a Disney movie or b) went to Chuck E Cheeses or maybe c) adopted a child.  And… while your child started to cry, you took the child outside you still annoyed the shit out of me with apologies as you squeezed past me with said screaming child and then I still have to contend with your annoying phone light when you squeeze past me yet again and sit back down.  Oh and on a final note, I really really don’t care if you think you somehow deserve to see a movie because you have a family, work so hard, have gray hair, or whatever else.  Rent the movie on Redbox and leave us movie-goers alone. Stay home.

Sunday morning I woke up with mild back pain.  I did that stretch video again and it was GONE! 

We picked up Beth and headed to Alton’s Kitchen for lunch.  We had a Groupon but of course.  The food was good, the Bloody Mary’s were yummy.  Jim had a Mimosa and said he could tell the Orange Juice was fresh squeezed.

On Monday it was back to work.  After work though a bunch of us met up at Fanz for drinks and grub to wish Ja-Nessa and Jason our very best on their move back to Florida.  Jim knew several of my coworkers plus he can strike up conversation with anyone.  We had a great time.  Oh and for those of you who were invited and didn’t show up, of course we talked shit about you so don’t ask.  Winking smile 

Yes, that means I drank Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.  Thanks for keeping track.

10-12-12 Friday (Intoxicating Paints)


I have back issues from time to time.  I’ve been to chiropractors throughout the years and it’s nothing more than adjustments.  No ruptured discs, herniated this or that, just out of alignment.  I’m happy with that!  While Mom was here, I was having my typical back pain.  After she left, the pain changed to my right hip lower back region.  Not typical for me and the pain increased.  I’ve just been putting off going to a chiropractor since I haven’t found one I like and trust just yet.  My last few visits to one was, well to summarize, left me with scarring animal deaths and their need to schedule me for every last bit of insurance approved visits totally wiping me out of insurance coverage. 

On Thursday, the pain was terrible so on a friend’s (Ja-Nessa) recommendation, off I went to Anderson Family Chiropractic.  I felt instant relief but it will take a few visits.  Later in the day, as expected, it started to hurt again, hence why the other visits are needed.  I checked-in to the chiropractor’s office and my friend and dentist, David, replied that he too used that chiro with much success.  This makes me happy.  Especially when a medical professional personally uses another medical professional. 

Bad Dog:

Dasher was naughty and peed on the living room area rug.  In one spot it warped the wood floor slightly.  Enough to infuriate me but not enough to leave the dog on someone else’s doorstep… yet.  I love that dog.  I did chase him around the house yelling at him without smacking him.  Jim and I have found that the best punishment for him is to ignore him and not allow him to lay with us or be near us.  He thrives on cuddle time.  Anyway this is the 2nd time this week.  No he doesn’t have an infection or bladder issues.  So this time we took the rug out into the garage so I could steam clean it.  This was at 11pm on a Friday night after painting.  Painting?  Yeah, I’ll talk about that later.  Stop interrupting me.  The rug will have to sit in the garage a few days lifted off the floor to allow air to circulate over and under it. I’m smart like that.

Electronics/Electrics/Gassy Things:

The carpet cleaner sound like the motor is gonna die.  It’s been like that ever since, well, I don’t even really remember.  Anyway, its newest issue is tripping a breaker or GFI.  It happened several times while using it and only added to my hissy fit with the dog.  So much so that once I finished I chased him around the house again.  Poor Dasher… my ass.  Little bastard.

I haven’t began troubleshooting just yet but the damn printer displays a printhead error. Luckily it still prints. I’ve Googled a little bit and found some steps to manually cleaning the printhead so I’ll try that at some point.

Last week while grilling, the flames went real low.  The tank had plenty of gas.  Jim disconnected the gauge part and it seemed to work fine.  It happened a few more times with the gauge disconnected during other grilling events this week.  We figured out that if you turn the gas off and restart then the flames are OK again.  Probably a regulator?  We bought one, Jim installed it and we’re hoping that with a few sacrifices of chicken to the grill Gods, they’ll ensure a smooth grilling process.


A month or 2 or 3 ago, a few of us (friends at work) bought some drink-wine-at-an-art-studio-while-you-paint type of coupon for Cajun Canvas.  An excerpt from their website says:

Bring a bottle of wine or a few beers to enjoy as you follow along with the artist to create a ‘Painting By You‘. Everyone that visits Cajun Canvas begins with a blank canvas. You will receive step-by-step instructions which are designed for all skill levels. At the end of the class you have a completed painting to take home. Don’t worry, even if you’ve never taken a painting class before, you will be able to follow along. It is Fun and Relaxing.

There’s several of these businesses in our town so there’s bound to be at least one in yours.  Google “paint party” or “paint with wine” or “Paint while drinking wine”.  It’s fun!  We had such a great time.  Besides, all of the cool kids are doing it.  It was me and Jim, Jason and Ja-Nessa, and Shanda and Jason.

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2012-10-12 026Above: Ja-Nessa serves up some wine!

2012-10-12 027Above: Our art instructor.  Jason (shown below) says he was a stoner.  We all agreed.  He was fun though.

2012-10-12 029Above: Jim and Ja-Nessa’s Jason.

2012-10-12 033Above: Shanda and Ja-Nessa

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Above: Shanda and Ja-Nessa background.

Jason and Jason foreground.

2012-10-12 038Above: Shanda save some for us!

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Above/Below: Shanda and Ja-Nessa.  I had fun with my camera OR you’re seeing this because you’ve had too much wine too?

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2012-10-12 048Above: Ja-Nessa’s Jason

2012-10-12 052Above: Jason & Shanda, Jim & Garret, Ja-Nessa & Jason.

We totally rocked it and had a blast!

Animated Painting

Workin’ It:

It’s almost a year ago that I applied for and was given a “promotion” or “step-up” into a “better” department.  Notice all those quotes.  It’s the same job (phone sales), different clients, selling one product more than I did previously.  It’s turned out that my department has actually had more restrictions than previous.  It also has been near impossible (but I still have managed) to achieve a quarterly incentive.  Recently, in both my previous and new positions, my company has stripped away our ability to send out emails and soon will cut off our external internet.  If we never had it before it wouldn’t be a big deal but since we have indeed had it, when they take it away, it will feel like punishment.  What’s next?  A common question.  90% of my department wants out.  Recently, management has said that they are aware of the issues, frustrations and such but things are going to change.  “Hold on”, it’s gonna get better.  I think it’s too late.  Sometime next week, we’ll lose 5 of our bankers to another department.  A department that promises less baby sitting, more pay, better advancement, and less junk coming through the phones.  I didn’t apply.  It’s still phone sales and the hours weren’t favorable.  My year in my department is almost up and I’ll be able to post outside of the sales department.  Right now, if under a year, I can post to some jobs within my group and I’m just not interested.  Well, there’s a few I was interested in so I applied.  One position was withdrawn (a training position that I really really wanted) and another I was turned down for.  So I’ll wait my turn.  I’ll wait for what I truly want.


Ja-Nessa has given her notice.  She’s moving back to Florida.  Her and her husband, Jason, has missed it so much.  They’ll be a going away party on Monday after work.  I’ll miss her.  Our department will miss her.  Our supervisor will miss her.



10-6-12 Saturday (Somewhere Over The Rainbow, Through The Fog)

We got an early start for a Saturday.  A 2 hour drive to Little Switzerland for lunch.  The restaurant was putting on a wedding so we couldn’t sit in our usual spot.  We went to the outdoor dining area and the only table available was on the lawn.  Despite a little wind and an all too frequent visit from some bees, it turned out to be a great lunch spot.  Look at the view.

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During lunch some dark clouds started to roll in:

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Look at that tree in the above photo.  The leaf color got better and better as we went higher and higher into the mountains.

After lunch we drove another hour up to Beech Mountain.  Jim bought tickets to a once a year event known as “Autumn at Oz” in the Land of Oz theme park.  If nothing else, click on that link to “Land of Oz” which will open another page and explain about this old theme park that opened in the 1970 and closed in 1980.  What a cool place.  Does anyone remember this place?  Jim stumbled on Autumn at Oz info while researching the Heritage USA site we accidently found in May

As we got higher in elevation the weather became rainy, sometimes misty and overly foggy.  It was chilly but OK.

2012-10-06 010Above: There were several people dressed in costumes.  Some were part of the entire experience while others did it for fun.

2012-10-06 011Above: Just some gorgeous trees in the parking lot.

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Above/Below: A ski lift up to Land of Oz or a really long wait for the shuttle bus.  Up into the fog/clouds we go.

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2012-10-06 015Above: Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

2012-10-06 016Above: The first exhibit in the Land of Oz.

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2012-10-06 021Above: In the museum, an old map of the theme park.

2012-10-06 022Above: Dorothy?  Is that you?  How long have you been up here?

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Above/Below: Inside Dorothy’s house.

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2012-10-06 027Above: Into the cellar to experience the transition to “after” the tornado.

2012-10-06 028Above: The kitchen after the twister.

The funny thing about the rooms in the before and after “sets” was that they didn’t match.  I’m sure the original house did and perhaps after vandalism and neglect it doesn’t.  So the living room furniture in the before was very different from the after, for instance.  Another thing that probably plays a part in all of the differences is that you can rent Dorothy’s house.  The bathroom and kitchen was retrofitted to actually work for guests.  The “before” living room had a TV covered with a sheet.

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On to Munchkin Land…

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It was a fun time.  I can’t say that we’ll go back year after year though.  I think it’s a once is enough or maybe every 2-3 years at least.  I wished that they had the music playing in different parts it related to.

On the way home it was raining and foggy and getting dark.  You’ll have to take my word for it that the leaf colors were stunning.  So gorgeous.

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Tomorrow (Sunday) it’s up early to take Mom to the airport.