About ME

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Mansfield, Texas, United States
Mr. E is a Christian, Husband, Father of 2, former Army Officer and Texas Rangers Baseball fan.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Jimmy Buffett - Live in Concert!

Last night my beautiful, Jamie, and I went to see Jimmy Buffett live in concert!

I became a "Parrothead" in 1985 when I met my friend Curtis Campbell while attending Tyler Jr. College. I had heard of Jimmy Buffett before then, but never really listened to his music much. Now I own several of his albums and I have a "Jimmy Buffett" station on Pandora radio.

Since becoming a fan in college, I have always wanted to see Jimmy Buffett in concert. Now, almost 30 years later, I got my chance. Woooo!

When we arrived at the Gexa Energy Pavilion, located at the Texas State Fair Grounds, we found that the hard-core Parrotheads had already been camping (campers/tailgaters) in the parking lot waiting for the show. They had sand spread on the ground, their own blenders and bars set up to make margaritas, and many of them were already wasted before the show even started. Some were dressed as pirates. Some wore grass hula skirts. Many of them had "shark fin" hats on. I also saw a full body parrot suit and one guy dressed as a mermaid (or is it merman?)

While waiting for the concert to start, beach balls were flying through the air, and the margaritas and beer was a flowin'.

Of course Jimmy put on a great show! It was worth the price. Those true hard-core Parrotheads are something to watch!

What made the night even better was a text from my friend, Brent, who told me the Texas Rangers beat the Tigers 11-3! Go Rangers.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Texas Rangers Opening Day 2012

It's Baseball Time! The Texas Rangers opened their 40th Season in Texas today, verses the Chicago White Sox. The Rangers defeated the Sox 3-2.

Starter Colby Lewis struck out 9 in 6 innings. Alexi Orgando struck out the side in the 7th. Mike Adams pitched a scoreless 8th and Joe Nathan struck out the last batter to close out the 9th and earn his first save of the year!

Josh Hamilton drove in the first RBI of the season scoring Ian Kinsler (pictured), who got the first Ranger hit (a double), in the first inning. Ian Kinsler hit the Rangers first HR of the season in the 3rd and then Michael Young scored the game winning RBI by singling in Josh Hamilton in the 7th.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tornadoes Are Scary Things

Today several large tornadoes past through our part of Texas. Watching the video in the link, reminded me of how dangerous these storms can really be. We were safely south of this particular tornado. (The photo above shows a truck's trailer flying through the air. Click on link and watch video to see the entire clip.)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Movies 15, 16, and 17

Update on the new movies I have seen this year!

Movie 15 was The Lincoln Lawyer. An average lawyer movie, that was good, but didn't really impress me that much.

Movie 16 was Dr. Suess' the Lorax. I thought it was a good movie. Of course there were differences from the book, (A lot actually), but the  movie was still good.

Movie 17 was Black Swan -- A very bizarre, gross, sexual, dark, weird movie that I'm glad I watched but then again not so glad.
I may have some nightmares.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Hunger Games & Happy 17th Birthday to Caleb

Today my family and I went to see The Hunger Games. It was my 14th "new" movie of the year. I had never been more excited to watch a movie since I was 10 years old and wanted to watch Star Wars. We even bought advance tickets to watch the movie.

Before I continue...I want to wish Caleb, my son, a Happy 17th Birthday! I remember the day he was born. He had a very fuzzy head and the most beautiful eyes I had ever seen on a baby. I had a baby boy. Even though he is all grown up, I still love that kid! I know he is smarter than me and can't wait to see what he can do for the world. I am very proud to call him my son! Happy Birthday Caleb. I love you.

Now, back to the Hunger games review. The movie was worth the wait. It was fantastic. I'm trying to figure out just where to rank it in my top 100 movies of all-time. The movie was very moving and I either cried or came close to crying several times. My heart broke when Katniss volunteered to take her sister's place at the Reaping (seen in the trailers, so no spoiler here) and my heart pounded as the Hunger Games started. I was on the edge of my seat almost the entire movie. The acting was great. Jennifer Lawrence should get another Academy Award nomination for best Actress. Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson and Stanley Tucci should all get Supporting Actor nominations as well. The musical score was great. The cinematography was great. The costumes and art designs were great. All of which means the directing was also great. This movie better at least have several Academy Award nominations coming to it.

If you have read the books, you will notice several differences; however, I think the director and screenwriters stayed very true to the books; much like in the Harry Potter series and unlike the movies Eragon and the Percy Jackson movie. I can't wait for the other two books to be turned into movies as well.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Spending Some Time With My Bride: First Bed and Breakfast of 2012

Jamie and I finally worked in some time alone this year, thanks to Groupon. We stayed a night at the Hattie Mae Inn in Ft. Worth. As part of the deal from Groupon, we got the Romance Package (which included a bottle of wine and some chocolate covered strawberries) and one night in the Oriental Oasis Room, all for a very reasonable price. (It would have been cool if it was snowing as it is in the picture.)

When we arrived at our B&B we were greeted by the owner's cat, Fred, who walked us to the front door.  After checking in and getting a brief tour, we left the Inn to purchase advance tickets to watch The Hunger Games, which we plan on watching as a family on Caleb;s birthday (the 24th). We used two free tickets from Rave Cinemas, that I won by entering a contest sponsored by the Coffee News.

After that we tried to find an On the Border restaurant to eat at, but road construction in the area made it difficult to find. We ended up eating a place called Buttons. It was a little pricey; however, the food was very delicious. After Buttons, we went back to the Inn and enjoyed our chocolate covered strawberries and a glass of the wine.

Our delicious breakfast was scrambled eggs, bacon and some little fried pancakes. Juice and coffee of course came with the meal. While eating our breakfast we talked to Trish, the lady who made breakfast and cleans the Inn, who told us about the "ghost" stories the Inn has and showed us the bullet hole in the side of the house, where the original owner of the home was shot and killed during a robbery. We did not experience any ghostly activities during our stay.

We had a great time!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

New Movies of 2012

As I have mentioned in earlier blogs, Jamie (my beautiful bride) and I are trying to keep up the number of movies we have seen for the first time ever, during 2012. It can be on DVD, TV or at the Theaters. So far I have seen 13 new movies this year. They are:

1. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows -- Which I blogged about here.
2. A Hard Days Night 
3. Help! -- Both Beatles movies I blogged about here
4. Super 8 -- Which I blogged about here.
5. The Smurfs -- Which I blogged about here. (One of the dumbest movies I have ever seen.)
6. Red Riding Hood -- a very interesting take on the fairy tale. I enjoyed it.
7. The Help -- One of the best movies I have ever seen. Currently #23 of my Favorite 100 movies ever.
8. Cowboys and Aliens -- Good but not great! I did like the way the intertwined the classic Western with Science Fiction. Still could have been better.
9. Superman/Batman: Apocalypse -- good movie
10. Rise of the Planet of the Apes -- good movie; I like how it set up the "original" Planet of the Apes movie.
11. Batman: Year One -- very dark reboot of the Batman animated series. Detective Gordon is a real bad-ass in the movie. Loved it. Not for younger kids though.
12. Get Low -- really good movie, just didn't make my top 100.
13. Source Code -- Very interesting movie. One of those "makes you wonder" movies.

Upcoming movies I plan to see soon: The Lincoln Lawyer, and (Steven Speilberg's first movie) Duel are both on their way from Netflix. We are going to buy advance tickets to see The Hunger Games tomorrow. My family also really wants to watch Dr. Suess's The Lorax, so I have a feeling we might try to work that into the budget very soon as well.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Happy 4th Birthday Girl Kitty

Happy 4th Birthday to our "Girl Kitty!" Ramey-Jem is her official name (at least on her tags). She was originally called Ramey by her previous owner, who had to give her up because she was moving. We (mainly me) added the Jem to her name after Jem Finch from To Kill A Mockingbird. We already had a cat named Scout, (also from to Kill a Mockingbird), so we just completed the set.

As we all know however, we hardly ever call cats by their real names and shortly after we got Ramey-Jem we started to call her "Boo-Boo Kitty" which eventually led to just calling her "Girl Kitty."

While trying to figure out how old our new kitty was, we knew the previous owner told us that Ramey's shots were due in September, which was two months before Scout's shots were due. So we figured Ramey-Jem was born sometime in March. So we (my daughter Rachel) got 31 little pieces of paper numbered 1-31 and set them out in front of the cat "to let girl kitty tell us when her birthday is." After sniffing around on the pieces of paper, Ramey-Jem picked the 7th, by biting it and carrying it off; so March 7th became "Girl Kitty's" birthday.

She is queen of the house. One meow, lets us know she needs something and if we don't respond right away, we get a loud chorus of meow's that lets us know she wants something "NOW." She's a diva I tell ya! She does reward us with a very loud purr, that melts your heart, when we do something she likes. We love her!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Who Would Jesus Vote For?

Who Would Jesus Vote For? This is a very well written article by Larry Alex Taunton published by in the Faith/Religion Section of CNN's webpage. Just thought I would share it with you, (if you click the link to read it). 

By the way, the image used, "How Would Jesus Vote", is an image used by the Church of God, who in no way sponsored, or are affiliated with, the article written above. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Mouse in the House

We have a mouse in the house! If there is one, then there are others!

Shortly after I left for work this morning, I got a phone call from my wife, Jamie. She had seen a mouse in the kitchen. Our two watchful kitties saw it as well. While the cats kept an eye on the mouse, who was hiding under the dishwasher, my wife woke up our kids to give them a heads up about the mouse in the house. My daughter Rachel, who is also scared of mice, decided she was going to stay in her room all day and asked Jamie if she could make her a lunch so she wouldn't have to get out of her bedroom until I got home. My son Caleb was worried at all; he was just annoyed Jamie woke him up early. As my wife was about to make my daughter as sandwich, the mouse decided to make a mad dash from under our dishwasher towards the stove. Scout, our boy kitty, caught the mouse and proudly brought it to my wife, who screamed, startling the cat, who promptly dropped the mouse. The mouse then ran under our couch.

Needless to say the screaming got the kids up in a hurry. Caleb trying to help the kitties got a bucket to try and trap the mouse. At that point Rachel came up with the idea to spend the day doing their homeschooling from a local Starbucks and I could pick them up after my sub assignment was over. Caleb would have preferred to stay home, but he didn't want Rachel to be at Starbucks by herself. As they started to get ready, the mouse decided to make a run from the couch back into the kitchen. Our vigilant cats chased it down and Scout once again caught the mouse and started bringing it to Jamie. Of course she screamed again and the cat dropped the mouse and the mouse got away again. The kids quickly got dressed, packed up their laptops to do schoolwork and brought some books to take with them to Starbucks where they planned to spend the day. Jamie even gave them some money to eat the the Panda Express next door to Starbucks.

How do I know this story? While sitting at school I started getting text messages telling me what was going on. I called during a passing period between classes and got filled in on the rest of the story. (I hope I'm telling it correctly.) I called the kids at Starbucks during a break and told them I can come visit them during the conference/lunch period I had between 10:00 and 1:30. We decided that the kids would come back home to do their school work if; 1) I set some traps to catch the mice and 2) they could still eat at Panda Express for lunch. I agreed. So at 10:00 I left school to get the kids. I got them some lunch at Panda Express and took them home. We had 4 mouse traps at the house already; so I set the traps and went back to school.

Shortly after getting back to school I ate my lunch and got ready for the next class. As the next class started, the students were called to a special assembly over scheduling for next year and I was told I could go home if I wanted to. Since my daughter Rachel was already nervous about being in the house with the mouse, I decided I would go on home to help her feel better about the situation.

So traps are set, cats are on the prowl and hopefully we can eliminate our mouse problem very soon!

Monday, February 27, 2012

My Top 100 Favorite Movies of All Time (updated Feb. 26, 2012)

# 1. To Kill A Mockingbird
# 2. The Passion of the Christ
# 3. End of the Spear
# 4. Raiders of the Lost Ark
# 5. It’s a Wonderful Life
# 6. Star Wars (All Star Wars Movies)
# 7. Saving Private Ryan
# 8. Fireproof
# 9. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Trilogy)
# 10. Regarding Henry
# 11. When a Man Loves a Woman
# 12. Les Miserables
# 13. The Story of Us
# 14. Mr. Holland’s Opus
# 15. The Shawshank Redemption
# 16. The Godfather (Trilogy)
# 17. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe
# 18. Arsenic and Old Lace
# 19. 12 Angry Men
# 20. The Princess Bride
# 21. The Dark Knight
# 22. Up (animated)
# 23. The Help
# 24. I Robot
# 25. Secondhand Lions
# 26. Amistad
# 27. Primal Fear
# 28. A Few Good Men
# 29. The Hunt for Red October
# 30. Toy Story (Trilogy) (animated)
# 31. The Man From Snowy River
# 32. Amazing Grace
# 33. Steel Magnolias
# 34. Facing the Giants
# 35. How to Train Your Dragon (animated)
# 36. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (All Harry Potter Movies)
# 37. Jaws
# 38. Dances With Wolves
# 39. Mississippi Burning
# 40. The Silence of the Lambs
# 41. The Incredibles (animated)
# 42. Dave
# 43. Time Changer
# 44. Remember the Titans
# 45. Schindler’s List
# 46. Ghost Busters
# 47. Despicable Me (animated)
# 48. Apollo 13
# 49. A League of Their Own
# 50. Star Trek (2009)
# 51. Jurassic Park
# 52. Doc Hollywood
# 53. October Sky
# 54. Chicago
# 55. Rudy
# 56. Finding Nemo (animated)
# 57. Hotel Rwanda
# 58. My Cousin, Vinny
# 59. Close Encounters of the Third Kind
# 60. Glory
# 61. The Right Stuff
# 62. L.A. Confidential
# 63. Casino Royal (All James Bond Films)
# 64. The Prince of Egypt (animated)
# 65. Field of Dreams
# 66. Inception
# 67. Avatar
# 68. Monsters, Inc. (animated)
# 69. Gone With the Wind
# 70. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
# 71. Big Fish
# 72. Charade (1963)
# 73. Shall We Dance?
# 74. The Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
# 75. The Alamo (2004)
# 76. A Walk to Remember
# 77. The Last Emperor
# 78. Parenthood
# 79. Chicken Little (animated)
# 80. Harvey
# 81. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
# 82. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
# 83. The Matrix
# 84. Sherlock Holmes
# 85. Dead Poets Society
# 86. The Rookie
# 87. Courageous
# 88. Eight Men Out
# 89. Life is Beautiful (La Vita e bella)
# 90. Fantasia
# 91. Easy A
# 92. The Last of the Mohicans
# 93. A Beautiful Mind
# 94. Halloween
# 95. March of the Penguins
# 96. The Nativity Story
# 97. Captain America: The First Avenger
# 98. Rain Man
# 99. Napoleon Dynamite
#100. Cars (animated)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Happy 45th Birthday To Me!

Today I celebrated my 45th Birthday! I didn't do anything terribly exciting; however, thanks to a special that Totino's Pizza is currently featuring, I got a free movie rental from redbox. Even though it is not considered a "manly" movie, I decided to rent the movie The Help. Turns out this is one of the best movies I have seen in a while. In fact I added it to my list of my favorite 100 movies of all time. It is getting harder to make that top 100 movie list. Only three movies I saw last year made the list. (I will post my updated list again tomorrow. My top 20 appear at the bottom of my blog.)

I have a few goals going into my 46th year of life; Getting out of debt is the number one goal. Another goal is to work full-time again, which will help with the debt goal. My son Caleb is going to be a Senior in High School next year, so helping him, and Rachel, who will be a Sophomore, prepare more for college will be high on my list. Getting him a decent used car for Caleb to drive is also on my list of things to do. As always, keeping in touch with Jamie and working on our marriage is very high on my list of priorities.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

I Am Such a Geography Nerd

I have already indicated I am a political nerd, by posting about presidential candidates, in the past. Now I admit to being a geography nerd as well. I recently found a web-site that allows you to test your knowledge by naming all 195 independent countries of the world (196 if you count Taiwan, which is technically part of China). Can you Name the Countries of the World?

I recently tried my luck and I could name 179 countries without any assistance; although, it did not count several of my answers because I could not spell the name of the country correctly. Some of them are hard to spell. I didn't know I knew that many. The two newest recognized country on the planet are Kosovo and South Sudan, by the way.

There is also a link to name the 50 United States if you wish.

Monday, February 20, 2012

President's Day at the Dallas Zoo

Today my family and I spent mos of our President's Day at the Dallas Zoo. They were having a special "Penguin Days" promotion going on (due to the colder weather), where admission was only $5.00 per person.

We saw plenty of snakes, lizards, alligators and frogs in the Reptile House, including one big albino gator. We also saw plenty of birds in the aviary exhibits; however, most of the other animals were being a little elusive. Although the weather was over 60 degrees, some of the animals were inside the closed off sections of their enclosures or were grouped together in the farthest corners of their enclosures. I am assuming this was their, or the zoo's, effort to keep the animals warm. We did get to see some elephants and plenty of giraffes, which are always cool to see, and we saw some very smelly warthogs. The big cats were hiding out or sitting in places that made them hard to see. We really wanted to see the cheetahs, lions and tigers, but all we got were glimpses of them. The gorillas (photo above) were mostly indoors; although we did see one gorilla sitting forlornly by himself on a stump. The chimps were the same way. The lemurs were hiding out, but the flamingos were out in their full pink glory. We did see two very curious meerkats who came very close to the edge of their exhibit. Somehow we missed the kangaroo area. The new Koala exhibit opens in the spring.

Today was still a fun day with the family and we hope to return in the summer, when maybe the animals will be more active.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Woo-Hoo! I'm Going to See Jimmy Buffett in Concert

I am so excited; I just purchased two tickets to go see Jimmy Buffett in concert. He will be in Dallas on April 19th.

I used to listen to Jimmy Buffett as a kid, but I really became a fan when I was attending Tyler Jr. College. A friend of mine was a real "Parrothead" (fans of Jimmy Buffett are called Parrotheads) and he listened to Jimmy Buffett all the time. Now, after all these years I finally get to go see him in concert. I will blog more about later, as the concert day approaches. Yea!!!!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Words With Friends and Other Stuff

Recently I finally decided to get in on the latest internet/online game app around; Words With Friends. Darn it, now I have 6 games going among family and friends. It is an online version of Scrabble and it is very fun and addictive. Since I do not have an I-Phone or an I-Pad, I have to play through my Facebook Account.

Other stuff: My wife and I do not like the new Starbucks Blonde Roast Coffee. We tried the Willow Blend and found it to be very weak and it just does not taste right. Sorry, Starbucks, nice try but as far as your coffees go; Blonde is not better.

Jamie and my, Mystery Dinner Date was fun. We hope to do this again sometimes, maybe with the entire family.

I also substituted to the first time with Mansfield ISD today. It was only a half-day assignment; however, it is work and hopefully it will lead to a full time job with the district soon.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Death at the Doo-Wop

Tonight my beautiful bride, Jamie, and I are going to a Murder Mystery Dinner. It's theme is "Death at the Doo-Wop"! It is being performed by The Murder Mystery Company in Dallas who will customize a Mystery Dinner for audiences across the United States. Here is there description of our dinner tonight: "Grab your Poodle Skirts and Horn Rimmed Glasses; the class of 1957 is having one killer Prom! Before the King and Queen can have their first dance, tragedy strikes! You'll play detective in this 'swell' interactive murder mystery dinner. Can you bring the true killer to justice before this Sock Hop Prom is ruined? Golly Gosh!"

All guest are encouraged to dress in 50's attire to promote the theme. Jamie and I went to a local Goodwill and a Salvation Army Store to look for anything that remotely looks like 50's clothing. What we found may not be exactly 50's; but it is close enough for us anyway.

Click here for the menu...MENU. I have a feeling we are going to really enjoy ourselves!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Why I think they are bad movies!

The movies I am about to blog about are on my list of my 20 Least Favorite Movies Ever (See bottom of Blog). Some of them I saw believing that they would be good movies; either based on recommendations of friends, or based on the trailers I saw on TV or as previews shown at the start of other movies I went to see; however, all of them turned out to be bad or at least inappropriate to watch. At least one of these movies I was "forced" to watch by my kids, who, when they were younger loved to watch movies like that. What is sad about me watching these movies, is that even though I realized these movies were bad or that I shouldn't be watching this kind of movie; I sat through the entire movie from start to finish. So here is my list of my 10 least favorite movies and why.

My #1 Least favorite movie is Me, Myself and Irene. It stars two of my favorite actors in what I think is their worst roles ever. The movie was full of very crude sexual humor, which I can't stand, vulgar sexual scenes (especially one with a dildo), and vulgar language. I was sick to my stomach over some of the scenes and I was hoping no one would see me watching a movie like this. The story line didn't even keep my interest. Sadly I kept thinking it's got to get better (after all it had Jim Carey and Rene Zellweger ) and I stayed until the bitter end. It did not get better it just got worse and worse and worse.

#2. Jaws: The Revenge (Jaws 4) -- Jaws 3-D was bad enough, I am not sure why I even wanted to watch a 4th Jaws movie. Maybe because they were back in the ocean, not an aquarium, or maybe I was just hoping it had to be better than Jaws 3-D. The main reason why I hate this movie is: SHARKS DON'T GROWL/ROAR or whatever that shark did in the movie. Bad story line, plus a gargling shark put a bad taste in my mouth for any future shark movies. Nothing can beat the original Jaws.

#3. The Late Great Planet Earth -- When I was barely a teenager, a friend of mine and I went to go see some movie one weekend. After we got there we decided to watch this movie instead. Big mistake. (not sure what the other movie was now). BIG mistake. This documentary movie is based upon some guys interpretation of various prophecies about the end of the world. All I remember was that I had trouble staying awake, it was boring and the narrator's voice was driving me crazy. It talked about how the Iranian Revolution was the spark that was going to end the world in a nuclear holocaust. Needless to say, we are all still here, although I barely made it out of the movie alive. If we were not relying on someone else for transportation, both me and my friend would have walked out, instead we sat through the entire 91 minutes, which seemed like 91 hours.

#4. Bolero -- Not sure where I watched this movie, but I am ashamed to have watched this movie. It is basically a porn movie. The story about how a girl wants to and finally looses her virginity was a snooze fest . I think the only reason I watched it was that I was just out of High School and wanted to see Bo Derek naked. Sadly I sat through a boringly long film waiting for what few nude scenes it did show and then I felt bad inside for watching it. I do not support Porn movies at all! They are degrading to women especially and it warps God's gift of sex between a husband and wife. What makes this movie even worse in my mind, was that it was directed by Bo Derek's husband. How can a husband let his wife be in a movie like this, much less direct it.

#5. Dragon Hunters -- My least favorite animated film of all time. Not only did my wife and I not like this movie, my kids hated it. They were the reason we watched it. The type of animation used was not my favorite kind of animation. That big dude with the little bitty legs gave me the creeps and I just couldn't watch the film. The story was boring and I was glad the movie was only 80 minutes long. Weird film, made in France! That's what was wrong with it! Ha!

#6. Halloween III: Season of the Witch -- Three words, No Michael Myers. I thought for sure they would work in Michael Myers somewhere. Nope! Just a conspiracy about some cursed/haunted/something Halloween masks designed to kill children. It was not even that suspenseful. Stupid plot + bad acting = bad movie. Nothing to do with the original Halloween movies (or those that came after) at all. Just a waste of money and a waste of time.

#7. Airplane II: The Sequel -- Sorry folks, but I am just not a fan of movies with lots of cliche, often sexual, puns with goofy story lines. The first Airplane was ok; but it was not that funny to me. When asked to watch the sequel, I reluctantly went. I am sorry I did. I laughed a couple of times; however, overall it just not my kind of movie and I wished I had stayed home to watched something on TV.

#8. Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams -- Another movie I watched because my kids wanted to watch it. I didn't like the first Spy Kids and I did't want to watch this one. It may be an great movie for kids, but the movie was just to unrealistic for my taste and just plain silly to me. At least I got to spend time with my kids, but I feel like I "Lost" money more than I gained any entertainment.

#9. Popeye -- It's a wonder I became a Robin Williams fan. This musical adaptation of the comic strip Popeye makes me sad I ever wasted money to watch it. It was bad, bad, bad. I like musicals, but I didn't think this movie was going to be a musical. Maybe I didn't watch the trailers close enough; but I thought it would be better than it was. Instead I got bad singing, bad acting, bad everything. Popeye will never be the same. What makes it worse was that Popeye was not one of my favorite cartoon characters anyway. I think I got out voted by my sister and my mother and was forced to watch it with them or stay home. Wrong choice on my part.

#10. Batman Forever -- The silliness of Batman's villains and his love interest in this movie, is what makes this movie so awful. I love Tommy Lee Jones as an actor; however, his portrayal of Two-Face in this movie is probably his worst performance as an actor. The silly laughing and the overly bright costumes made Two-Face more of clown than a super-villain. Once again, I like Jim Carey as an actor, but his portrayal of the Joker could have been so much more. I don't know if the director wanted to make a comedy or not, but that is how the movie looked to me. It was a bad comedy rather than a super hero movie. Nicole Kidman's performance in the movie was also one of her worst performances.

So there you have it!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Robins Have Returned, Spring is a Comin'!

Several weeks ago my family and I set out a bird feeder in our backyard. We have seen several types of birds including sparrows, turtle doves, cardinals, finches and some cool looking black birds with orange marks on their wings. (I really need a bird watching guide). Today I saw the first robins of the year; which normally means spring is not to far behind. (Not that Texas has had much of a winter.) My wife, the cats and I enjoy watching the birds in the morning as we drink our coffee. We may have to buy another feeder to put out because we like watching them so much. We also may try to get a hummingbird feeder as well. It's amazing to see just how many types of birds we have around our home.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Josh Hamilton Shouldn't Have to Apologize to Anyone!

   Yesterday, Texas Rangers outfielder, Josh Hamilton addressed the media about his recent struggle with alcohol. I don't know why Josh has to apologize to anyone. He admits he has a problem and this is just part of dealing with it. Many other athletes have done the same thing or far worse and never answer to anyone. The only reason Josh feels he needs to apologize is that he is at least trying to put forth a good image towards others and honor his God in doing so. He is just being honest about his struggles. I admire that, but why do others make such a big deal about it. He has never admitted to being perfect. 

To find out more about Josh's story, go to iamsecond to listen. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

My Favorite Movie of All Time, Turns 50!

My favorite movie of all time turns 50 years old this year. Obviously I was not around when it first debuted in theaters, but this movie has impacted me in so many different ways. It taught me that a true "Hero" does not have to have super powers or a lot of money. A Hero just has to have a good moral character and the determination to do what is right, necessary and just when it needs to be done. The book upon which this movie was based, just also happens to be my favorite book.

This book/movie confronts man's faulty view of others due to race, poverty, single parenthood and mental disability and teaches us that just because your skin color is different, you have no money, you have a weirdness about you, or you happen to be a single parent, you still have the right to be treated with dignity, respect, justice and compassion. The names Atticus, Jem and Jean Louise "Scout" Finch, Tom Robinson, Arthur "Boo" Radley and Bob and Mayella Ewell will forever be etched into my memory.

"Miss Jean Louise, stand up. Your Father's passin'."

Happy 50th Anniversary to To Kill A Mockingbird!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

I'm Ready for some Baseball, Ranger Style!

With just a few more days until the start of Spring Training: I am ready for some baseball. I don't watch football much any more, and I am not a big fan of basketball at all. Hockey doesn't interest me, neither does NASCAR, so I'm ready for some Texas Rangers baseball.

I am excited about the new season. It will be interesting to see how Neftali Feliz and Yu Darvish will fit into the rotation. Can Colby Lewis keep the ball in the park and can Matt Harrison and Derek Holland improve on their best seasons yet?

I am hoping Joe Nathan returns to form in the bullpen and that Scott Feldman, Alexi Orgando, Mark LoweMike Adams and the others have great seasons as well.

Can Mitch Moreland recover from injury enough to help us forget we even thought about signing Prince Fielder? To help with that question we still need team leader, Michael Young to play like the true Hall of Famer I believe him to be. If Mike Napoli and Adrian Beltre play like they did last year then I will be very happy. Now that Ian Kinsler is 100% healthy he should be an even better lead off hitter. Elvis Andrus need to improve on his defense to make me feel better about him.

If we can keep Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz healthy the entire season, we will have an outfield to be reckoned with. I love David Murphy as our "super outfielder" and Craig Gentry should mature into a more complete center fielder this year.

Under the capable leadership of Manager: Ron Washington, Pitching Coach: Mike Maddux, and the rest of the coaching staff, the Rangers should beat out division rivals the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, again at least this year, to win the division again and hopefully make another trip to the World Series. Win it this time!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Former Student the next American Idol?

A former student of mine, Laura Lee Bishop, is going to Hollywood as one of the new contestants on American Idol. This clip shows her talking about her inspirations and hopes as a singer. I wish her well and be watching her take the title of 2012 American Idol. (In case you read this Laura; I hope using your picture was ok!)

She is not the only former student to be somewhat successful; Three years ago another former Manuel Johnson was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys and played in a couple of games for them before being cut at the end of the 2010 season. I am no longer a fan of the Cowboys. Manuel was one my best students and I am sure he will be more than successful even if he never plays another professional game.

I have several former students who have followed in my footsteps and are now Teachers and others who are Youth Ministers, Lawyers, and other professionals. I am proud of almost all my former students, even if I did not mention you by name.

(Update: Feb. 18, 2012 -- Just found out, officially, that Laura did not advance to Las Vegas from "Hollywood Week." I still think she is better than some of those that did advance!)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Things are a Little Bit Fuzzy Right Now!

Friday afternoon I was out and about with my beautiful bride, Jamie, when we decided to eat some lunch at Schlotzsky's. After spending some quality time with Jamie, I went to clean my glasses and "snap" I broke them in half, very much like the picture shown. This was my only pair that I had. My prescription was old, and I could not find a place that had any frames they could put my lenses into. So we had to get my a quick eye appointment and order a new pair of glasses, that should be in later this week.

In the meantime; things  are a little fuzzy. I can see well enough to function, but I cannot read anything and watching TV gives me a headache after a little while. I have taped my old paid together, but wearing them for any length of time, also gives me a headache. They are so loosely tapped together that they don't fit my face well, which makes things "wonky!"  So I am at the mercy of my son driving me around and my family reading for me until my new glasses come in. It's gonna be a blurry week.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Just as Smurfy (Annoying) as They Used to Be

Yesterday I watched the movie, The Smurfs! Why? Why? Why? I never liked the Smurfs, when they were a television show. I can't believe I sat through the entire movie. The story had it's moments, but overall it was just as Smurfy (annoying) as the original television cartoon. I can't believe they are going to make a Smurfs 2 movie!

I really need to be exercising more, rather than waste my time watching television or movies so much. I can't wait to start substituting again or start a full-time job.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Failing to live by my own Mission Statement

Shortly after posting my first blog! I came up with a Mission Statement to let people know what I stand for and to serve as a guide for my personal life. In the past year, I have been failing in several areas of my "mission" and I can see the results. Today I renew that same mission statement...Once again here it is (it is also listed underneath my photo at the top left of my blog)....

1. I will seek to continuously become a man after the heart of God.
2. I will serve my God and honor Him in all that I do; in failure as well as success.
3. I will continuously strive to grow as a husband and a father, so I can serve my family in the service of my God.
4. I will endeavor to serve others in love, using my Savior, Jesus, as an example.
5. I will listen to the words of truth as written in the Bible and to the Holy Spirit of God living in me, rather than the lies of Satan and the world. I will do this by spending intentional time in prayer, devotion, and memorization of scripture.
6. Realizing that I AM NOT IN CONTROL of the majority of circumstances that affect my life, I will look to God to learn from every situation, so that I may grow stronger in faith, and better serve God, my family and others.

Father God; Give me the strength of will, to fulfill the promises made above. Give me guidance to do what it right and just. Thank you for what blessings you have given me and help me not to forgot them. All that I have and ever will have is a gift from you! Bless my family and my future job! Your son, Mark

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Super 8 was not so Super! Neither has my Job Search.

Just finished watching the movie Super 8 today with the kids. The movie had great special effects; however, the best acting of the movie did not come from the adults, it came from the kids. The kids did an outstanding job, outshining their adult counterparts. The story about the ***** (don't want to spoil the movie), was a little disappointing; but the story surrounding the kids and their families was much better. I thought the movie would be better than what I expected it to be; still I give it a thumbs up, just not a "Super" thumbs up.

On a totally separate note: I have been busy looking for full/part-time work since mid December. I am on a list of people to call to fill in shifts at Starbucks, until a position opens up for me to work regular scheduled shifts again. I finished an in-service to become a sub for Mansfield ISD yesterday and should start substituting for them next week. There is a full-time Composite Social Studies teacher position open at one of their High Schools and I am on a list of teachers to be interviewed for that job. That particular school also is getting a new principal so the interviews will not start until the after the first of February. In the meantime I also interviewed for an Assistant Manager job at the local CineMark Theater. Will hear back from them later this week. So, my job searching hasn't been real "Super" either; however, it is looking up and maybe I will be busy working again soon.

Monday, January 23, 2012

An Updated Version of a Classic Disney Film

Yesterday, my family and I went to see Disney's Beauty and the Beast at the theater. This time the movie was in 3D. I could tell little difference between the original format and the new format; still this movie is a classic movie that deserved it's nomination for Best Motion Picture when it first debuted.

Is it just me, or does the prince look better as a best than he does as a human?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Another Addicting Television Show

A few months back, before we moved to Mansfield, my wife, Jamie, had to drive back and forth to Waxahachie to work at her new job. To help with the driving, she stayed with her aunt in Lewisville during the week. While there, Jamie started to watch a television series called The Closer. She thought it was so good, she suggested we start watching the entire series on Netflix.

Now I have another addicting television show to watch. It's a great show, despite it is another crime show.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Beatles Movies

As I mentioned in an earlier post, my daughter, Rachel, loves the Beatles. I also mentioned in another post, I am trying to keep track of all the movies I have watched for the first time. These two things combined over the last couple of days. My daughter practically insisted I watch two of the movies the Beatles starred in.

First I watched A Hard Day's Night, (which was not to bad) and then I watched HELP! (a silly movie, but not so dumb it made my worst movies ever). That makes three new movies this year. I can't count Due Date because I never made it to the end of the movie before I stopped watching it.

I find it interesting that the Beatles can still captivate fans even after 50+ years since they debuted in America.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

At Last, a Candidate I Can Vote For!

The 2012 Presidential Election is fully underway and I'm already sick of it. The Republican hopefuls have already whittled down to five candidates.

Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum.

Oops, just read that Rick Perry is dropping out! That leaves 4 candidates left.

All I can tell you is...Unless they agree to work within a budget and at least start paying off debt, I don't like 'em.

Wake me up when it's over. Until then, vote for the cat!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Day 16 -- Happy 15th Birthday, Rachel

15 years ago today, my wife, Jamie, gave birth to one of the greatest blessings God has given to me; my daughter Rachel. This little pink newborn, has grown into a wonderful young woman in which I am very proud. She is strongly rooted in her belief in God and has grown confident enough to stand up to me and correct me when I am treating her unfairly. She loves her family, especially the kitties, and her love of the Beatles and the Backstreet Boys fill our house with music. Although she shares many great character traits with her mother, she finds it annoying she shares some OCD character traits with me as well. I love my daughter and I can't wait to see what the next 15 years brings into her life and mine.

Happy Birthday Rachel! I love you!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Day 13 - Friday the 13th Brings Bad Movie

Not much went on with me today. I did spend some time with the family and my wife and I did put a bird feeder in the back yard. (This way the cats can bird watch while sitting in the windows). Sadly, my day had to endure about 25 minutes of the movie Due Date. It was going to my second newly watched movie of the new year; however, the movie was so horrible, my family turned it off before we even finished the movie. It was bad.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Day 12 -- Time to Do The Work

In an effort to make some changes in my life; I am about to start a program that should help me change my way of thinking about some things. Although undiagnosed, I probably suffer from OCD and other social anxiety disorders. This tends to play havoc with my personal and professional life. This program should help with both of those issues.

The program is called The Work of Byron Katie. According to her site this work is "a way to identify and question the thoughts that cause all the fear, violence, depression, frustration and suffering in the world. Experience the happiness of undoing those thoughts through The Work, and allow your mind to return to its true awakened, peaceful, creative nature."

I am going to get me good notepad and take some good notes and try to apply the lessons taught in the Work and hopefully I will be a better person for it. I have listened to a couple of her sessions before, but I was not really listening, so I'm trying again, with a new focus. Wish me the best.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Day 11 -- Opinion about Baseball Hall of Fame and Steroid Users

With the results of the most recent voting on the baseball Hall of Fame, there has been a lot of discussion about what to do with next year's ballot. What do you do with suspected steroid users? Here is a short opinion on what I would do, IF I could vote for the players on the 2013 ballot.

If we voted on Hall of Fame players based on character alone, then Ty Cobb and many others would have never been elected to the Hall of Fame. Cobb, among others, was a racist and a bigot. Other current members of the Hall of Fame also have other "off field issues" that would make conservative Christians blush; yet, they are in the Hall of Fame. So election to the Hall of Fame should not be based on character or integrity alone. Besides, Cobb has already been excluded from playing on the Field of Dreams because, "Ty Cobb wanted to play, but none of us could stand the son-of-a-bitch when we were alive, so we told him to stick it!" At least according to "Shoeless" Joe Jackson.

If allowed to vote for 10 players next year...here is who I would vote for: Jack Morris, Tim Raines, Jeff Bagwell, Alan Trammell, Dale Murphy, Lee Smith and Fred McGriff would get my votes for those held over from the 2012 ballot. That leaves 3 votes left for the newcomers on the 2013 ballot. These votes would go to Craig Biggio, Mike Piazza and possibly Curt Shilling. Bagwell, Biggio and Piazza have never tested positive or have admitted to using steroids. They have outstanding credibility from former teammates and other players who will testify that these players never used steroids; at least according to their knowledge of these players.

As for Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGuire, Roger Clemens and Rafael Palmeiro; they have all tested positive for, admitted to, or appeared on either the BALCO list of those who purchased steroids or the Mitchell Report from Congress that, list players who have used steroids. In my opinion, if you used steroids to enhance your performance then you cheated; and if you cheated, then you will fail to get my vote as a Hall of Fame player. Plain and Simple!

 I realize that Bonds and Clemens had Hall of Fame numbers before they started using steroids; however that argument doesn't hold water for me. "Shoeless" Joe Jackson had Hall of Fame numbers, before he and seven other teammates of his accepted money to throw the World Series. It didn't matter that Pete Rose had Hall of Fame numbers before he started betting on baseball. Both Jackson and Rose are banned from election to the Hall of Fame. They broke the rules and they are out.

Do the writers who vote for Hall of Famers have the right to pass judgment on players? Yes they do! It may not always be a fair judgment; however, it is within their rights to do so. In my opinion, if the writers fail to elect steroid users to the Hall of Fame, then, let the Hall of Fame’s, Expansion Era Committee decided their fate. This committee is made up of veteran players who are already members of the Hall of Fame, baseball executives and selected veteran media members. It is there job to decide if players (managers, umpires and executives), who played from 1973 to the present, who are no longer eligible to be on the BBWAA ballot, deserve enshrinement into the Hall. If the writers refuse to elect players who used steroids into the Hall of Fame then, let those who are already in the Hall of Fame decide if they want to share membership in the Hall of Fame with steroid users. It's only fair.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Day 10 - Need a Clue? We Got One, Two...Eight!

One of the favorite board games for my family is the classic game of Clue. The thrill of trying to figure out if Col Mustard, committed murder with the revolver in the study, makes this game of strategy one of my favorite games ever. I myself like to collect the different editions of the game. As a result; we have several versions to choose from when ever we feel the need to play detective.

Of course we have the classic edition (pictured first); with the original characters of Miss Scarlet, Mrs. Peacock, Mrs. White, Col. Mustard, Prof. Plum and Mr. Green. For some reason I like to write the first solution to each edition inside the lid of the game box. For this version, it was Prof. Plum, Lead Pipe and Library. Other editions of the game we own are:

Clue: Master Detective - Which introduces new rooms, new weapons and four new suspects (Sgt. Gray, Miss Peach, MME. Rose and M. Brunette., Clue: the Great Museum Caper -- In this version the main characters attempt to apprehend an art thief., Clue: Secrets and Spies -- In this version the characters attempt to discover the identity of a mysterious Agent Black., Electronic Clue Talking FX -- This version is just an electronic version of the original clue, with new rooms, weapons and several new characters (Mrs. Meadow-Brook, Prince Azure, Rusty Naylor, Lady Lavender and Lord Gray), Clue Suspect -- A card game version, fit for travel or play without the board., Clue: Discover the Secrets; Chocolate Edition -- A delicious chocolate version of the game where the "cards" are wrapped pieces of chocolate. Sadly, the board is not chocolate. After playing this game and eating the chocolate, my daughter, Rachel, took the wrappers and taped them into usable pieces and turned them into a neat little travel edition of the game. Most recently we added Clue: The Office edition -- In this version, characters, locations and objects from the television show "The Office" are used as suspects, rooms and weapons, as they attempt to solve the "murder" of Toby Flanderson in order to win a vacation promised by Michael Scott. We played it for the first time last Sunday. (Toby was "killed" by Stanley Hudson with a rabid bat in the annex.)

At one time or another we have also owned and played; Clue: Murder at Boddy Mansion (PC Game), Clue: VCR Mystery Game and Clue DVD Game -- A DVD version of the game that has several "interactive games" to play. Once you solve the several "games", this version becomes obsolete.

We have even watched the movie version of Clue and some episodes of the kids television series Clue on the HUB television network. My daughter also told me she has a version of Clue she plays on her I-Pod.

I would love to add Clue: World of Harry Potter Edition, Scooby Doo Where Are You? Clue (apparently no longer sold, which explains the high price tag), and Clue: Discover the Secrets -- an updated version of the classic game with new rooms and weapons, to our collection. (Shortly after posting this, my daughter informed me we already have Clue: Discover the Secrets; so, I guess the title of this post should end in Nine.)

Needless to say Clue has become a large part of our family game nights and I hope I get to play Clue with my grand kids as well.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Day 9 - Baseball Hall of Fame 2012

Today Major League Baseball announced that former Cincinnati Reds shortstop, Barry Larkin was elected to National Baseball Hall of Fame. Congratulations to a deserving player. I was sort of hoping that Jack Morris would make it this year. Jack Morris signed my baseball glove in between double-header games between the Detroit Tigers and the Texas Rangers. It would be cool to have a Hall of Famer's autograph on my glove.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Day 8 - The Barista is Back

Today I am covering a shift for a fellow barista, at the Starbucks in Midlothian, TX. It has been about 6 months since I last worked at a Starbucks; however, I am excited to be a barista again. I worked as a barista for the Starbucks in Longview, TX for over a year and it was my favorite "part-time" job I have ever had. I hope I still have my skills.

Separate and apart from working at Starbucks; I have survived one week without any soft drinks, such as Dr. Pepper, Coca-Cola, IBC Cream Soda, etc... I was told by a doctor to avoid caffeinated drinks to try and help some acid re-flux problems I have been having. I can't give up my morning cup of coffee, but I can cut out the over sweetened colas and I don't have to drink a free cup of coffee every time I work a shift at Starbucks. I may even loose some weight doing this; if I can also control my eating. The longest I have ever gone without a soft drink was back in 2008, when I went from January 1 - February 26. I went out to eat on my birthday and I drank a Dr. Pepper. I think I can go longer this time!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Day 7 - HELP! There are BEATLES in my house!

The Beatles are considered one the greatest rock bands ever; and I think I may have to agree. Not only were the Beatles one my parents' favorite bands in the 60's, I listened to a lot of their music during the 80's, and now my kids (especially Rachel) love listening to the Beatles as well. In fact my daughter loves them so much, she has them on her I-Pod and she looked up their movies to watch on Netflix and on YouTube. We have the Beatles album, ONE, in my car and I am forced to listen to it over and over again with my kids. I didn't realize how many of the Beatles songs I actually could sing by memory. (If I couldn't before I can now!) I also didn't realize that just under half the #1 songs on the album debuted after I was born. I was born in the middle of Beatlemania; Dang, I'm old. On a closing note, I think John Lennon sounds a little like Wakko Warner from the Animaniacs!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Day 6 - First Movie of the Year, It was an "elementary" choice.

I have decided to keep up with all the movies I have seen for the first time (either on DVD/Blue-Ray, Television or at the Theaters) this year. Recently, my wife asked me, "What was your favorite movie you've seen all of last year? I started thinking, does this include movies at the theater only? If so then the answer would be a three way tie between Courageous, Captain America: The First Avenger, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II. Of all the movies I saw for the first time through Netflix or DVD/Blue-Ray purchase none compared to the three above; neither did any movie I saw for the first time on television. The question did get me to thinking; how many movies did I watch, for the first time, last year? I keep up with the books I read, but how many hours do I sit watching movies? So, I'm keeping track.

This afternoon I watched my first "new" movie of the year. It was Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Although a very good movie; it was not quite as good as the first Sherlock Holmes move. Still I enjoyed the show, as well as my two children. Some how I don't think this the end of the Sherlock Holmes movies.

Just to let you know I will probably not post every new movie I see this year!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Day 5 - Eating Frogs & Journal Writing

This morning my wife told me about a way to help your day go a bit smoother. She told me to "eat my frog first, then the rest of the day will move along smoother." Eat a frog? Turns out that your "frog" is the one thing that you need to do that day that you really don't want to do. If you do that one horrible, hard, time consuming thing first, then your day should be easier to deal with because the hard part it already done. So "Eat your Frog" first!

In the spirit of "frog eating", I started to put together a set of chest of drawers for my son. I have had them in the garage since late September. I figured it was about time to get that out of the way. Shortly after getting started, I realized that an important piece was missing from the materials in the box. I called the company and they are shipping me a new part, which should arrive in a few days. So, I guess I will eat this frog in pieces.

I also decided today that I will resume my journal writing. Not only will it help me write down my goals and steps to meet them; but it will also help me evaluate certain feelings and actions that I have been struggling with recently. I also plan to resume my Bible reading/studies. I also need to re-connect with my Creator. Pray for me!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Day 4 - It's Officially Presidential Election Time (Dang it!)

It's that time again where every 4th year we endure month after month of annoying advertisements from politicians with aspirations of becoming the next President of the United States. As an American I love the fact that we can freely choose who the next leaders of our nation will be, I just hate the "politics" we have to endure to do it. I also wish we had at least one more, or two less, political parties to choose from. Until then I will try to stay informed as possible about the current candidates who are running.
1st the Democratic Party -- Since the current President of the United States is a Democrat, there are no other Democrats challenging his re-election. In case you live in a hole in the ground, our current President, Barack Obama is seeking reelection.

Now, the Republican Party -- At first candidates were joining the race as fast as flies find road kill, (sorry for the sappy choice of words) now they are dropping one by one, until only one remains to challenge the President. With Rep. Michele Bachmann ending her candidacy today, there are currently there are seven well known candidates to choose from (although at least two of them really have no chance at all). In alphabetical order here they are:

1. Former Speaker of the House and U.S. Representative from Georgia -- Newt Gingrich.
2. Former U.S. Ambassador to China and Former Governor of Utah -- John Huntsman, Jr.
3. Current U.S. Representative from Texas - Ron Paul.
4. Current Governor of Texas -- Rick Perry.
5. Former Governor of Louisiana -- Buddy Roemer.
6. Former Governor of Massachusetts -- Mitt Romney.
7. Former U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania -- Rick Santorum.

Stay informed and choose wisely!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2012 - Day 3 - It's a Smallville After All

Day 3 of 2012 begins with me filling out a job application to become a sub and a Math tutor for Mansfield ISD. Once again, I am looking for a new job. Don't really wish to discuss how/why I need to do this, just back job hunting mode again. I am also going to be working at Starbucks again, hopefully for at least 20 + hours a week, so I can get insurance for me and the kids.

I have also started watching Smallville on DVD. My kids started watching it with their cousins over the holidays and now they want to get it through Netflix. So I borrow Season 1 from my sister-in-law and I am trying to catch up to the kids, so we can watch the rest of it together.

I am also trying to help my kiddos do a little catch up work with their home-schooling so they will be ready to re-enter public schools next year.

Sorry about the corny pun in the title! :)

Monday, January 2, 2012

2012 - Day 2 -- Please Approach the Elephant, Your Adventure is About to Begin

Today my family and I took a trip to visit Jamie's aunt in Lewisville. (We actually went to seen her new cats). After a short visit, we went to the Grapevine Mills Mall, where Rachel used her Books-A-Million gift card and we ate lunch at The Rainforest Cafe. While waiting almost 40 minutes to be seated, I purchased a stuffed King Penguin at their Build-a-Bear Workshop. I named the penguin "Nero" mistakenly thinking I got an "emperor" penguin. The guacamole hamburger I got was so big I couldn't open my mouth wide enough to bite it. As a result, a lot of the fixins fell out of the back onto my plate; it was sort of like eating a burger and a salad.

Despite the delicious food, the cost of the experience was a little pricey, which is probably why we don't visit there very often. It was fun though. I think I want to spend the rest of the afternoon, just sleeping off the burger, before heading out to do a little grocery shopping for the rest of the week.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012 - Day 1

Happy New Year 2012!

It's another year and it's time to...time to...well...let's see...eat more healthy, try to exercise more, read more, and try to spend more quality time with the family. Seem's like I've heard or resolved all of this before. So, I try again!

Today, I started reading my first new book of the year. I am reading Inheritance by Christopher Paolini. I am also reading Bloom County Babylon: Five Years of Basic Naughtiness by Berke Breathed. I know Bloom County may not be considered literature by some people; however, it is classic reading.

My family and I tried a new place to eat today as well. We tried Babe's Chicken. We have been hearing for a while how great this place is; so, today we tried it. The food was good (I got Catfish, Jamie got Hickory Smoked Chicken, Caleb got a huge Chicken Fried Steak and Rachel got some Pork Ribs) and our waitress was fantastic. Overall the taste of the food couldn't outweigh the price of the food. Considering the price we paid, we would have expected our meal to be some of the best food we have ever eaten. Like I said, the food was good, but it was not great! It was a little disappointing.

So 2012 starts. I hope this year fairs better than 2011.