Days 5 and 6 – 30 Days of Recognition

Day 5 of 30 Days of Recognition – Watch Phone
First off, I must tell you that I am exhausted.  I took a 7AM flight this morning which means I wake up a little after 4AM.  Throw in a middle of the night visitor (Dalia) and I am whooped.  On the plane, we got delayed on the runway (good thing I woke up so early!).  Since you cannot have electronic devices on during your taxi out to takeoff, I picked up the Sky Mall magazine.  I am going to write about a specific product that I found in this catalog, but you could fill a book on the stupid stuff they sell.  The watch phone caught my eye because 50 years ago, a watch that worked as a phone seemed like a really cool idea, in fact, my first reaction to the product was that it still might be kind of cool to have a watch phone, but then I realized that my cell phone already has a clock built into it, plus a calculator, it can browse the internet, and take pictures, if I bought a watch with a phone in it, I might as well buy a typewriter that has Microsoft Word or an abacus with a built in calculator.  Plus, just imagine how crazy it would be to pull up to someone who was stopped at a traffic light yelling into his watch, it makes the Bluetooth people almost look normal in comparison.  How many times have you seen a person talking to themselves and you literally think they are insane until you see that little device in their ear.  Rule number 1, don’t buy stuff that makes you look crazy.

Day 6 of 30 Days of Recognition – Marriott Marquis in Atlanta
This hotel is absolutely stunning.  I tried to take pictures with my cell phone since I forgot my camera, but realized my cell phone camera lens gets filled with lint from my pockets.  I have attached my cell phone pictures and a picture by someone with more photo talent and a better camera (probably a toaster equipped with a camera bought in the Sky Mall magazine), try to figure out the professional picture.  When I checked into my room, these were the magazines on the end table.  I immediately thought one was porn, but realized it was titled, “Where” (see pic of mags below).

All the pictures are of the inside of the hotel (some looking up and one looking down).

Days 4 and 5 of 30 Days of Recognition

Quick update on bugs:
The momentum has turned in the Great Bug War of 2010.  We still find a couple dazed bugs clinging to life, but in general, I think we’ve dealt an impressive blow to their population. 

Day 4 Recognition – Party People
As we unleashed our prolific Bugashima attack, we needed to evacuate the house as the chemicals could be harmful to humans.  We stayed at a nearby Hampton Suites off route 611, behind the Houlihans.  It looked like a wedding was happening, in fact, Saturday night was completely booked and we secured the last available room on Friday, it is definitely a hotspot for local weddings.  At the risk of sounding like a complete old curmudgeon, hotels filled with wedding guests are an impossible place to get a good night’s rest.  Here’s what I think happens: people go the wedding, wedding wraps up around 11PM, shuttle takes them back to hotel, party must go on, people head to Houlihans, Houlihans shuts down at 2AM, people come back to the hotel to party more, people start filing back to their rooms between 3AM and 4AM.  I love a good party, but I also love my sleep.  Jac and I did not call security, we took one for the party team, but with every sleep deprived day that I endure, I get one step closer to being the curmudgeon that calls the front desk to complain.  I woke up around 6:30AM to head to the house and open the window and turn on the air, as I walked out the hotel, I passed a guy coming in, he was in a suit that had no button buttoned, his belt was unbuckled, his whole stance was crooked, he looked like he had partied until empty, he was returning to the nest, and I smiled knowing my kids were about to wake up and ruin his morning of sleep!

Day 5 Recognition – Wallpaper
I have never had the pleasure of removing wallpaper.  I was completely naive to the process.  We stopped at Lowe’s to get some supplies to remove wallpaper from the kitchen (the only room in the house with wallpaper).  We got the little round thing that punches thousands of tiny holes into the wallpaper and this liquid that you mix with warm water that penetrates those holes to loosen up the grip of the wallpaper.  We also picked up a specially designed wallpaper scraper that would make this whole process a breeze.  I spent a good hour running this little hole punching device all over the wallpaper, it has millions of holes in it.  I soak the walls in the super wallpaper dissolving liquid.  I initiate scraping, wallpaper does not budge.  What?  Are you kidding me?  The wallpaper is not coming off easy, why in the world did I do all of this work?  This wallpaper is stubborn, I feel like it would be easier to get a live lion into my refrigerator than to get the wallpaper off the wall.  After several hours of scraping, we are about a 1/4 of the way done.  Wallpaper sucks, if anyone knows a way to get it off easier, let me know!

Day 3 of 30 – Days of Recognition

Bugs That Live In Our House
For a variety of reasons, we have several bugs living in our home.  We have huge spiders, little fleas, ants, and roaches.  While I do not mind the occasional bug, we seem to be slightly outnumbered and the Mighty Deem is ready to take war to the bugs.  This morning I went to Home Depot before going to work and purchased enough chemicals to take down every bug in Manhattan.  

My mass bugacide begins tomorrow night.  We have to cover floors, remove food, remove plates, close windows, and get the hell out of the house so we aren’t among the casualties.  I plan on beginning Saturday afternoon after my brother’s daughter’s birthday party.  Once the fumigation initiates, we plan on heading to a hotel (via Hilton Honors points) and letting things play out.  

The furniture we ordered awhile back are finally getting delivered next week so we want to make sure the bugs are dealt with before they can take up residence in our new couches.  

I don’t want anyone to get grossed out, in fact, Jac has said that I’m overreacting.  I just want to shut things down on these bugs before they get too comfy. 

Day 2 of 30 – Days of Recognition

Matt W. For Drinking Lots of Pepsi
I want to recognize my friend, Matt W. for his addiction to Pepsi.  This resulted in him obtaining numerous soda bottle caps which could be redeemed for baseball hats.  Matt had accumulated enough hats for himself so he offered me the free hat of my choice.  I now have about 10 Phillies hats, so I decided to pick up a Chicago Cubs hat.  Matt placed the order and it arrived earlier this week.  Thank you Matt for drinking lots of Pepsi and for thinking of me! 

I love loyalty programs, I think the most effective loyalty programs were the ones geared towards smokers.  I remember people accruing Marlboro Miles so they could pick up Marlboro Umbrellas, Marlboro Grill Kits, Marlboro Jackets, Marlboro Poker Sets.  I think the government may have such that down.  If a beer company had a loyalty offering, I’d probably turn into an alcholic to get a free cooler.

4 Year Anniversary & 30 Days of Recognition

Holy cow!  Jaclyn and I have added another exciting year to our marriage.  My favorite holiday is New Years Eve because it is a milestone to reflect on what I’ve done, where I’ve been, who’s still alive, who’s no longer with us, and to celebrate it all right now, because you never know what will happen the next year, right after the clock ticks past midnight.  I just love an excuse to take inventory of how great life is and celebrate it.   

4 years ago.  Ceremony at Neshaminy Warwick Church, reception at Font Hill, my friends, my family.  4 and a half years ago from today, I remember telling Jaclyn that we should get married, we’ll have children, we’ll have a house, we’ll be happy, the order of these events will ultimately be non-traditional, but the end product will be incredible.  Looking back, I understand that some things have changed, but I am most fond of the things that have stayed the same.  I see the people who were at Font Hill celebrating our marriage being the same who surround us now. 

I cannot believe how much has happened due to a chance encounter with her at Heller’s Seafood.

Another topic that I wanted to cover is my new goal to post 30 consecutive days of recognition.  I have a busy month ahead and I’m going to try to post quick blogs recognizing useful/annoying characters along the way. 

Day 1 of Recognition – Previous Electrician Of Our New House House
Jac asked that I take down the hood over our oven last night because she was hoping to have a microwave and new hood installed today.  I started unscrewing the hood and realized there were several wires going into the hood that needed to be disconnected.  I am not a handyman, but knew to go to the circuit breaker and turn off the electricity running into the hood before I touched the wires.  None of the circuits are labeled, so I flipped on the light switch in the kitchen and then tried flipping several circuit breakers until the light went out.  Now that I found what I thought to be the circuit breaker that turned off electricity to the hood, I began yanking out wires, one wire touched something and a spark came off, so I realized additional circuit breakers need to be turned off.  Now I turned on the stove under the hood and flipped circuit breakers until that turned off.  With 2 circuit breakers dedicated to the kitchen turned off, I figured I was home free.  I started fiddling with the wires again and got quite a shock!  I was real annoyed now.  I found that one circuit breaker that turned off the electricity in the downstairs bathroom also ran into the oven hood, so I flipped that circuit breaker and finalized the removal of the hood.   

On My Mind

1.  I have entered a world without cable at the new house.  Amazing how fewer channels equals greater ambition.
2.  The new house needs a nickname.  My favorite house nickname is “Big Pink” which was a home near Woodstock, NY.  This home housed Bob Dylan and members of The Band where they recorded some unbelievable music.  The house looks pretty basic, but but became a legend.
My car’s nickname is Black Betty, because it is black, a female, and I like the Ram Jam song by that name.  By the way, Ram Jam is a funny name for a band.  Okay, let’s get back to the task, any good nicknames for our new home? 
3.  Winston found out about the laundry shoot in the new house, he played with that for a solid 2 hours the other day.  Nothing like seeing Thomas the train home flying through the air and landing gently in a pile of laundry.
4.  We designated an area in the closet to measure our kid’s height.  Winston’s a towering 39.5 inches and Dalia is catching up at 34.5 inches.  I wonder if they’ll continue to grow?
5.  Going to a Temple Football game this Saturday with the family.  We got free tickets and a free parking pass from work.  Can’t wait to enjoy the beautiful beginning of Fall weather at a college football game.
6.  Jaclyn and I are working really hard, every night we knock off a couple projects and the weekends are filling up with major projects.  Never felt this way about projects before though, they aren’t so bad when it is for the home you own.
7.  Had 3 Bud Light Lime beers last night as I prepared wall paper for removal.  I do not recommend.
8.  Very thankful to my friends and family for their help moving us in.  Can never say it enough, truly blessed to have you all in my life.
9.  Little sister Kate is now a homeowner too!  Congrats to her, she’s all moved in at her place in Gilbertsville, PA.  We are very excited to check out their new pad.  I enjoyed listening to Mark talk about his efforts to make grass grow, some things just take time.
10.  My 4 year anniversary with Jaclyn is one week from today. 
11.  Winston’s preschool started this week.  I asked Jaclyn if she was a casual observer of the class, not a parent, would you say that Winston is the most distracted/distracting kid in the class?  She said, “Oh yeah, wouldn’t be close!”  We have our work cut out with that guy!  Dalia will be a good student, she’s easier to engage in games and she loves to learn and mimic.  Winston is in his own world, his motor is always at full throttle even if he’s in neutral. 
12.  Ordered some couches.
13.  Can’t wait to have you all over, maybe for an Eagles game in late October. 

Home Ownership

We purchased our home from my wife’s grandmother and on Saturday, we helped move Grandmom to her new home.  I think I moved 5 dressers, 2 desks, 2 TVs, 2 coffee tables, 2 night stands, and many other misc. items.  Ultimately, between loading and unloading, I think I probably lifted around 10,000 lbs on Saturday.   Saturday night, we started tearing up carpets and cleaning up a little bit.  Sunday involved more cleaning and we initiated our painting efforts. Winston’s bedroom is now blue like Thomas the Train.  Sunday’s productivity hit a sharp decline as I headed to my fantasy football draft with the gang.  I hope my team is good, but there’s a lot of unproven talent on the roster.  We got back to work on Monday and finished cleaning out the house, tearing out the last remnants of carpet, and painting Dalia’s room a pink color that’s slightly lighter than the bubble gum I’m chewing now. 

I think Jaclyn and I have a really clear vision for what this home will look like when it is finished.  Unfortunately, this project will require about 30 more years to complete.  I feel very fortunate to be in this home, I think it has a lot of charm and the neighborhood is blissfully quiet.  Our neighbors introduced themselves and we were elated to hear we live next to a certified babysitter!  Jacalope has been running a tight ship, we’re tackling the big projects and preparing to move in on Sunday.  For the first year, I figure we’ll be tackling two big projects each week, but it will calm down to 1 big project a month after that.  We’ll see, economics may foster less productivity.  

My hands are sore, couple blisters, and a litte paint around the nails.  I’m amazed my back doesn’t hurt, I did something stupid last night.  Jac and I were moving a big couch out of the house to put by the curb.  We got it outside and I said that I could lift it up all by myself.  She said, “Don’t do it, you’re going to hurt yourself.”  I wrestled with it for a bit, then got it off the ground and carried it about 20 yards to the curb.  It was a very heavy object, something should have happened as a result, but I’m fine.  I’ll probably sneeze later today and pull a muscle in my back.  It won’t be long before my body is not so forgiving, but I will keep being an idiot until it fails me.