12-24-15 (First Class Citizen)

It’s Christmas Eve and I’m starting this blog entry from the Charlotte airport.  We booked an 8:20pm flight to New York.  Being with both started new jobs, we didn’t ask for any time off work today figuring we’re low on the totem pole so we’d not likely get it.  The plan was to have the car packed and ready to go right after work.  This morning, we decided to pay extra for a First Class upgrade.  We’ve never done it before so looking forward to the upgrade.

Jim’s job closed up shop at 3pm with advanced notice a week ahead.  My job, however, didn’t appear to have the same intentions.  It wasn’t until 3:45 that they decided to let everyone go.

We got to the airport about 5ish, parked, took the shuttle, and checked in.  We hoped to maybe get an earlier flight but our ticket wouldn’t transfer.  Oh well, we have a lot of time to kill.  Dinner and then surf the net. 

OMG, First Class was amazing!  We joked about watching the commoners board the plane as we sipped our beverages.  It was fun.  It was $90 each, yes each, for this upgrade for just little over an hour flight.  Also, that was for 1 way.  So, what I’m saying is, First Class will not likely be a part of our regular travel plans.

We checked into the Hilton Garden Inn Times Square and settled into our room.  We went to a 7-11 a few blocks away for some in room beverage supplies. 

The view from the room is nice.  It was dark when we arrived.  Here’s a couple of photos during the day:

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That’s all for today.

12-20-15 (Miss Me, You Do)

Yes, a have a new blog layout.  This one is more modern and I really like the rounded tabs atop.  Just nod your head in agreement.

Now for some updates.

In October, I mentioned the living room TV was failing.  It got worse, but yet still intermittent.  We decided to take advantage of the Black Friday ads and buy a new, larger one.  Our existing Insignia, a Best Buy house brand, was a 40something”.  Jim researched reviews and Consumer Reports to find the best TV for us.  We settled on an LG 65”.  Jim ordered it from Best Buy online and the before Thanksgiving, we went to pick it up.  We got a decent deal on it but definitely not one of those super low Black Friday in-store deals.  You know, the ones that have a $1000 TV for half the price but only from 5am till 10am while supplies last.  We simply don’t shop like that.  My time is more valuable than camping out at Best Buy to grab a doorbuster.  Nope, not gonna happen.  Speaking of, here’s people in tents.  The first tent had a family with a propane heater sitting outside of it having dinner picnic style. 


I received a floating holiday that I had to use before the end of the year.  Thanksgiving week made training kind of come to a stop. Since I’m not yet a productive employee, I am using that extra day off on Black Friday.  I had no plans to shop, nor did I shop.  Jim was in a similar situation in regards to being non-productive since he too is in training.  He took the day off as well.

boredom_thumb4I’m done with training at work.  Finally.  2 months and I’m finally at my desk.  Unfortunately, they haven’t had anything for us to do just yet.  I think with the holidays (a slow time for business), perhaps there’s not enough work?  Maybe they’re trying to get us into the system?  I’m not sure.  As of late, I’ve been reviewing notes and helping the team with tedious functions where I can to keep busy.  Update (since I’ve taken so long to post this).  They’ve taken 6 of us to help our loan Closers.  It’s a lot of key entry and such.  Initially I was very mad about this since that’s not what I was hired to do but now I’m realizing I get a high salary to do easy stuff and so I’m content.  I am, however, very concerned about so much time elapsing between my training and actually doing my job.  It’s already been 4 weeks since I trained and they say we’ll be helping the remainder of this month and possibly next.  I hope we’ll get a day or 2 in class with some refresher info.

In the meantime, they’ve been sweating me out.  It’s been so hot in here.  They crank up the heat and are relentless.  I brought a thermometer and a fan in.  78 degrees.  What in the world?  Luckily my manager shares in my over-heated-ness.  After day 3 of me whining, the temperature has dropped to about 73.  Much better.   

In preparation for Star Wars, Jim went crazy on thinkgeek.com and bought a ton of stuff.  Here’s just a few things:

YodaAbove:  My Favorite.  A backpack.

R2D2Above: Carry-on luggage!  Good for NYC this month and for the cruise next month!

He also got a tie-fighter watch, droid pillows, etc, etc.  Meanwhile, from Hallmark, I got this Wonder Woman Ornament.  It’s Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman and plays part of the theme from the TV show.

Wonder Woman

That’s really all I have until after our NY trip. Merry Christmas.

11-08-15 (Sold!)

Hi!  Yep, another post.  I can hardly believe it too.  I’ve been somewhat inspired lately.  Jim has been real slow at work because he’s still in training.  To pass the time he’s been surfing the internet and had decided to read our blog from way back when.  As a matter of fact, he’s emailed me a few funny quotes or great memories.  At some point, he mentioned that I don’t seem to blog much anymore.  Reasoning? Lack of material, lack of time, lack of interest, etc.  Mostly lack of material.  I mean what can I write about unless we take a trip or something?


Speaking of trips…  We booked a trip to NYC for Christmas.  We fly out Thursday, Christmas Eve night after work, check in at the Hilton Garden Inn, Times Square and depart Sunday.  We have Christmas Day reservations for Radio City Music Hall.  We have brunch and dinner reservations as well.  We’ll also visit Rockefeller Center (+Top of the Rock Observation Deck), 911 Memorial, Statue of Liberty, etc.  We’re going to have a great time.

I lived in NY, Bayside, Queens for the first 18 years of my life.  I never went to the Statue of Liberty or Empire State Building.  Jim and I have been to the Empire State Building on a prior visit in October 2001, just after 9/11.  We stayed at the Hilton (not Garden Inn) in Times Square for a ridiculously low price since tourism was very low after 9/11.  As a child, I’ve been to Radio City Music Hall for a Rockettes show and have been to Rockefeller Center, Macy’s windows and FAO Schwarz.   

SOldIn other news… we sold the RV.  We arrived in Augusta Friday night, packed a few totes and then went out for a little bit that eve.  The next day, Halloween, we had the Jeep loaded up, signed the papers and then gave the new owners a run-down on everything inside and outside of the RV.  They’ve never owned an RV prior so they’ll probably have to ask friends in the campground to help from time to time.  I’m gonna miss that RV.  I absolutely loved it.  BUT, we’ll have more time available and definitely more cash flow.

We left a lot of the housewares and such as part of the RV sale deal.  We took home clothes, toiletries and the like which created many duplicates.  Jim and I spent a day integrating things into 1 residence.  Jim still has to deal with tools.  He’ll be busy. I have to deal with laptop cords, an ionizer, etc. 

Thanks for asking about my job.  It’s going well… I think.  I started 10/1 and it was 4 weeks of regular training and then 3 weeks of Authority Level training.  With the holidays in November they’ve extended it a little so I won’t finish up until the first week of December.  It’s been a lot of training.  My brain is full and I still have more to learn.


The leaves around town have been gorgeous.  The weather has been cold, then warm, then rainy, then warm, then cold, it’s just all over the place.

I feel like I’m forgetting something but I’ll hit the publish button and post in a new entry as needed.  Thanks for reading!

10-18-15 (Getting Smashed)

Wow.  It’s been a month since I last blogged.  I started my job on Thursday, 10/1.  The first 2 days were at a Marriot Courtyard.  They served us breakfast and lunch.  It was a day and a half of learning all about the company, who we are and what we do.  Several managers, including the site leader came in and taught/spoke about different principles that define our company.  The other half day we went over to our site for badges and to get trained on our company websites and such. 

The week after we were at my worksite and in a training room.  We’ll be in training for 7 weeks.

This weekend we’re in Augusta.  Last weekend we went to SCarowinds


So about that trip to SCarowinds…  It was Friday, 10/9, and we were in a fender bender.  Any type of accident sucks but this one was a no-one-was-hurt type.  Long story short.  There was a lot of traffic on the interstate.  We were going at about 30 in a 55.  The turn lane we needed to exit the interstate appeared.  We got into it and accelerated.  The Mustang in front of us, accelerated too and changed lanes into us.  In the photo below we represent the white car.  The cop got our side of it and there’s (separately) and said he couldn’t determine who was at fault so no one was getting cited.  I don’t know how he couldn’t have sided with us.  How does the other car get damage on the right rear quarter and us on the left front fender and it’s not their fault?????

So now, the insurance company gave us a choice of paying our $500 deductible but increasing rates or paying for the $2k repair bill ourselves.  WTF.


We really haven’t decided on what to do yet.  Stay tuned. 

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Also this weekend, we went up to see the leaves.  We went to Mount Mitchell, Little Switzerland, and road along the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Break taking as usual.  Pictures don’t do it justice but here they are.

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In other news, I think I’ve figured out I have bad luck with electronics even though I love them.  Recently, we needed a new microwave at the RV, TV at the RV.  Laptops.  Router (the new one has issues and I’m awaiting a replacement from Linksys).  A cell phone battery kept shorting out my phone.  That was fun to figure out.  Not.  My digital picture frame plug was overheating and tripping off.  Another hard one to figure out.  Our 5 year old LCD big living room TV is intermittently getting lines in the picture.  Ugh. There’s more and as I remember them, I’ll insert them into the list.

9-13-15 (Incestuous Oreos)

This post is more pictures than text.  That means it will be more interesting than reading about our lives.  Fun stuff!  Go on, take a peek.

forsaleWe’ve decided to sell the RV in Augusta.  There’s several reasons.  None of which are substantial on their own.  1) It’s expensive.  We pay for gas to/from, RV insurance, site rental and an RV loan payment.  With the money we save each month, we can do some awesome vacations.  2) It’s tedious.  Almost 3 hours each way.  3) We’ve been doing this since 7/2012.  We’d like to do something different.  4) Jim and I will both have some Saturday work requirements which limit the weekend trips.

So there you have it.  I’ve set up a link at the top of the blog “2009 Gulf Stream Mako 33FSBI” with pictures of the RV.  I use it to give perspective buyers a glimpse at the RV interior.   We’re selling it with the golf cart, housewares, lawnmower, etc.  If we don’t sell it within the campground then we’ll consign it at the same place that sold our 97 Fleetwood for us. 

Now it’s time for fun photos I’ve accumulated on my phone.

2015-09-17 002Above: Meanwhile at the Walmart.  I asked this woman about the reptile on her shoulder and what made this even better is that she replied, “Yeah, he likes to get out from time to time.”  Uh huh.

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Above/below: A few weeks ago we drove the Blue Ridge Parkway and stumbled on a couple at a scenic overlook sitting at a picnic bench with their 2 pigmy goats.

2015-07-19 010Above: This one was chewing Jim’s shirt.

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Above/below: Nice going K-Mart.

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2015-08-31 015Above: Don’t you love the way the doctor’s office used the same color paper, cut out a square and covered the word “and”?  It must have been terribly difficult to print a new sign. 

2015-09-12 016Above: Look!  It’s Josie and The Pussy Cats! (Mom and daughter are wearing ears).

2015-09-15 001Above: Isn’t cookies and crème ground up Oreos?  Is this like cannibalism?  My friend Michelle said it was incest.  Amy said Cookie-ception.  Others just stated “yum” or the like.

There’s still more fun photos on the way… keep reading…

In the past couple of months we’ve replaced 2 other things in the RV.  The TV in the living room died.  I researched online and found where we could solder in new diodes onto the circuit board for really cheap.  Naturally Jim took it apart and we assessed the situation and then went and bought a new TV.  It just looked too complicated.  The new TV screen in the same size but the TV itself is a little smaller.  I guess less casing?

A week or too later, the microwave went on the fritz.  It’s been an issue for  months and months that it turns on itself so we bought a switch. 


It was a great, cheap, solution.  We’d simply reach into the cabinet next to the microwave and flip the switch on or off as appropriate.  Internet research (I love the internet for solutions) cited a common problem whereas the keypad shorts out.  In my case, it would depress the 1 key on it’s own which = quick 1 minute instant start.  The first time this happened it freaked me out.  I was watching TV and the microwave entered 1 minute and started.  Can you imagine?  So anyway, a few weeks ago we couldn’t get the keypad to work unless we “punched” it.  Oy.  So we replaced that as well.

I think I’m realizing I don’t have the best of luck with appliances and electronics.  The digital picture frame in our kitchen would power off on it’s own.  When I unplugged it, the plug itself was VERY hot.  Luckily, I found a replacement cord on Amazon.  I thought for sure I’d have to buy a new frame.

I also bought both Jim and I new laptops.  Jim’s laptop was slow so I redid it and it worked great except I couldn’t get the “tap to click” to turn off.  It was shaded out.  I researched over and over and couldn’t find a solution.  New driver.  New software.  Nothing would fix it.  My laptop was slow as crap even after I completely wiped it out.  They were both several years old so it was just time. 

OK, so I order a lot of stuff from Amazon.  Unfortunately, some are from China.  Fortunately, the packaging is always quite amusing.  Here’s 2 I scanned for your reading enjoyment of Engrish.  The first up is a backup power failure auto night light/flashlight.  Don’t worry, I’ll blow up the writing. 

Backup light

Backup light

Backup light

Next up is a rubber non-slip mat cell phone holder for the dash of the car.  I’ll break it up for you:

Phone holder

Phone holder

Phone holder

Phone holder

9-12-15 (Catching Up, Part 1 of ?)

It’s been a long time.  I have a lot to catch up on.  First off there’s been some career changes.   

8/14/15 – Jim’s last day at WF.

9/8/15 – Jim’s first day at bofa.

9/11/15 – My last day at WF.

10/1/15 – My first day at accenture.

I used logos rather than spelling it out to make it more difficult to find our names associated with the companies.  You know… privacy and all I guess.

postcardWhen Jim gave his notice, they dismissed him because he was going to work for a competitor.  They paid out his 2 weeks notice.  He took an extra week off before starting his new job.  We decided to take a trip to Florida.  I took time off for work but wasn’t able to get all the days off I requested.  I did get a half day on a Friday, the following week off as well and then would have a short week upon returning after Labor Day which was Jim’s start date.  Plans were made.  He was going to drive to Beaufort, visit his Aunt Patty and then drive to Lauderdale and spend the night to include a visit to an old friend.  Since I couldn’t get all the time off, I would fly out from Concord airport on that half day and Jim was to pick me up in Lauderdale.  Plans were set.

I was placed into a Complex Income training class at work.  Basically, my employer wouldn’t bridge the losses in my incentive compensation while I was in training.  This stirred the realization that I was already underpaid and so I was ready for a change. 

Jim asked an ex co-worker about positions for me, she gave my résumé to a recruiter and the recruiter called me quickly.  

tax-returnsAfter completing the complex income training at work, I went to an interview.  The next day I was told by the recruiter that the managers/interviewers wanted me.  She wasn’t able to extend an actual offer until the appropriate paperwork was signed. In the meantime, I passed the assessments for my current employer’s training class and awaited the official offer.

Our Florida plans were now in full swing.  I arrived in Lauderdale (9/28) and as we drove across Alligator Alley, the recruiter called and made the official offer.  I accepted.

resignationOn Monday, I gave my notice to my boss and started the 2 week countdown.  Week #1, PTO.  Week #2 back to work after Labor day for a 4 day work week.  Saaaaa-weet.  Honestly, I was hoping to be dismissed for the remainder of my notice but that didn’t happen.  I worked the remainder of the week helping my teammates with their pipelines.  It wasn’t so bad.  I had something to look forward to. 

So, here I sit blogging, it’s 9/12/15 and I don’t start my next job until 10/1/15.  Sure, I didn’t have to give my notice so soon but heck, a 2.5 week vacay (Jim will be at work) is kinda nice.

Oh so the Florida visit was very nice.  We stayed at the Homewood Suites by Hilton.  It was a large room with a living room and kitchenette.  There was a free hot breakfast each morning and even some evening dinners.  It was right outside my Mom’s development and so close to our other family.


The weather wasn’t the best.  Hurricane Erica which was later downgraded to Tropical Storm Erica plagued the skies with clouds and raininess.  Raininess isn’t a word but I’m using it anyway.  So the Land of Sunshine, wasn’t.


Honestly?  It was OK.  Jim and I don’t care for the sun or beach or heat so the weather to us was fine. 

Overall, we had a great time visiting with friends and family.  It was nice to drive around the area and see what has changed.

On the way back to Charlotte, we stopped off in Saint Augustine for the night.  We stayed at the Howard Johnson in town.  The room was $95 a night.  The carpet was so gross.  It looked so dirty that I put a wet wash cloth on it, stepped all over it and the once white wash cloth was now black.  Disgusting.  We never walked barefoot in that room.  I was going to take photos but to be honest, I wasn’t even going to mention the stay here.  Jim and I were too embarrassed with ourselves over the situation.  There were some other issues with the room, but nothing as bad as the carpet.  Jim did complain to corporate.  He was rewarded with 15% off the bill.  A manger replied:

Thank You for following up with me.  I will be shutting down that room and making sure all the needs of the room are met.  I am sorry again and I did discount your rate an additional 15% and put the refund on the card on file.  Again I am truly sorry and I would love for you to come back again and allow us to show you the service you deserve.  Thanks again!