Wild Life Of A Little Monster

Others are scared of me because of all the fun I have. Considered a vigilante by my Eponine.

Now To Important Matters

Tuesday's American Idol episode was from Omaha. A dude named David Cook, a bartender from Tulsa, Oklahoma, made it through to the Hollywood round. The local news tonight showed that he grew up in Blue Springs, Missouri (a Kansas City suburb). To be honest, I work with his mom.

Through the grapevine, I've heard that Paula, Simon and Randy have selected him to advance to the top 24 contestants. That means in a few weeks we'll have an opportunity to call in to vote for him. Hope he does well.

And, as is usually the case, I always think of something else to add when I'm talking about something else........Zach, from Kychn Synk stumbled upon "Wild Life" and took a moment to comment. You might recall that this singing group was a finalist in the Oreo jingle contest. They seem like a great group of guys. I feel confident they'll do well. He indicates in his comment that the group is available for bookings.

Political Picks

The race is heating up in Missouri! It really is exciting. Part of what I think makes it engaging is that not only is the race historical, but there are several good, strong and capable candidates. Barack Obama was in Kansas City, Missouri on Tuesday evening. Nightline was live from Kansas City that night. Earlier in the day Mr. Obama was in Kansas, near Wichita.

The Kansas governor, Katheleen Sebelius, provided the Democratic response to the President's State of the Union speech Monday night. On Tuesday she endorsed Mr. Obama. Missouri's U.S. senator, Claire McCaskill, endorsed him too. I think tonight I saw at least five TV ads on his behalf. Two for Ms. Clinton.

Tuesday it was announced that some citizens are starting a recall petition against Kansas City's mayor. He was just elected, by barely 1,000 votes, just a few months ago. It seemed like he could accomplish much. I haven't given up on him, but the sea he is on sure is rocky!

Sarah Steelman announced her intent to run for Missouri governor. Her decision came after the sitting governor said he wouldn't run again. My impression is that she's sharp.

So often political races come down to folks saying "I don't like either of them, so I voted for so-and-so as the lesser of two evils." Having qualified to somewhat-qualified, compassionate and passionate, eloquent, intelligent, driven, plan-oriented, and interesting candidates sure does make the whole process exciting!

Speaking Of Picks

I'll go out on a limb right now, right here and give my picks for the Final Four. That's right. Easily two months before the Final Four will be staged in San Antonio, I'm giving you my predictions. There's still 10 or more games left in conference races, then conference tournaments, then first and second-round games, regional semis and finals, then the Final Four will be set. We're talking easily still about 14 or so games to go and here I am telling you who I think will be there.

Georgetown, Michigan State, Kansas and Wisconsin.

Don't have anyone from the ACC, SEC, Pac-10, Conference USA and others, but there's only four slots. Not being a Big 10 fan, I hope I'm wrong. I'm not a KU fan either. I like for them to win for my friends, but I don't "root" for them. UW is my gamble. Actually MSU is too. But I'd almost bet the farm on GU and KU.

I know, I know. I should have picked Pitt. In late March, I'll be sure to let you know how close if even I am.

In Case You Didn't Know

Miss Michigan won Miss America. Kirsten Haglund. She was good, but not my pick to win. I never get it right, though. My selection usually is a runner up.

Had a group of college friends that would gather for a Miss America watch party. Seriously. Partly because we always knew the Oklahoma title holder. Also because we were nerds and had nothing better to do on a Saturday night. We'd go out, but only to dance. In a college town, that meant you didn't get to the dance places until late. Not too late, though, since we had to go to church the next day. Seriously.

Anyway ... we'd gather, eat, watch the talent, enjoy the show. We each kept our own ballots to pick the winner. I never got it right.

Watched this year's show at Sexy Lady and Army Boy's home. They were gone, but they knew I was coming over. I bagged up and took my trash with me so that they would have no idea that I watched the contest with Daphne.

After swimsuit and evening gown, I picked my top six. They all made it to the top ten. After talent I selected my top three -- Indiana, Washington and California. I half thought Indiana would win, but felt more comfortable with California. She wasn't even a runner up. Ooops.

It's important to note that it was the first time in five years that Miss Oklahoma did not make top ten.

Through Charlie's Eyes

Charlie is the star again. MMcB recently discovered that Hallmark is using the Charster's image on a Valentine's Day card. It's actually the same image and concept from the Father's Day greeting last year that featured him. He is still confessing how he's seen you naked ... more than once.

Be sure to rush out to purchase this card. That is, if MMcB hasn't already bought them all!

The Political Game

With "Super-Duper Tuesday" around the corner, television advertisements for the various presidential contenders are now airing in Kansas City. It's exciting to see their ads and what's the focus. But, I'm sure I'll tire of them over the next 10 days or so.

Visited today with a potential new work group. The opportunities and challenges sound great. Somehow, though, I feel slightly overlooked. OK. Part of it is probably my own fault. I've never been very good at "tooting my own horn" so that others fully recognize what is being accomplished because of me. I make it appear easy or even invisible. It's my way of being focused and just taking care of business. It may just be an initial perception. It likely will pass.

When the invitation came from GA and Bridge to join them for Bones at Jerry's Bait Shop, I didn't hesitate too long at the office to dash out the door. It was about 5 when I arrived. Since their first e-mail showed in the inbox about 11:45 a.m., I wondered how long they had been there. They said I should focus on the future and not worry about the past.

I left about 8 p.m. But only after devouring about a gazillion Bones.

Was in D.C. earlier this week. Attended very good meetings on Tuesday. Informative and helpful. It was super cold, but always great to visit D.C.

Missouri Governor Matt Blunt announced Wednesday morning he would not seek a second term. It was somewhat unexpected. Especially since he's been raising big bucks for his campaign. He says "he's accomplished everything he intended to accomplish." OK. Whatever. Maybe now Missourians might be able to start recovering from this blunt trauma.

Eatin' With Santa

Speaking of Christmas Eve ...... Here's a pic of Gabby enjoying her Christmas Eve meal with Santa. She had a wonderful holiday and received lots of toys and other items. Santa was very good to her.

She loves toys. My Eppy was not a big toy freak. Rarely did I catch her playing with them, but I would come home from work and discover that toys had moved about the home. I doubt they were moving on their own.

Gab has a great time with toys. She tosses the items up and down the hallway, into rooms, under cabinets. Even the toys hanging from door knobs. She is entertained by them all.

She's doing fantastic. Looks full and healthy. Still talks nonstop. Follows me all over the house. Essentially snuggles when in bed. A great friend.

The other day I was in bed and stuck my hand out from under the blanket to pet her. She rested on her side as I still was massaging her. As I stopped but kept my hand next to her, she reached out and kept curling her paw inside my hand. I think she acknowledges that the good Lord has blessed her. I know I sure do!

Cold And Snow Covered

It is CHILLEEEE in Kansas City. Sunday it is supposed to get up into the 20s. And that is warmer than Saturday. More snow predicted for Monday.

Not complaining. I enjoy everything each season dishes to us. However, it's always nice when whatever the current pattern is (relentlessly hot, horribly cold, days of gray and gloom, etc ...) moves on and an awesome-weather day occurs.

This pic is from Christmas Eve day of the snow family that was in my front yard.

December Birthdays

Saw this in my picture folder and decided to post it just for grins. A couple hosted a Christmas gathering in their home in December and decided to also make it a birthday celebration for several.

The party's cake was personalized for the birthday folks. Someone actually asked "Who is Jesus?" As in Hay-sus. We had to point out that it was for "Jesus." The hosts said their five-year-old son was all fascinated about Christmas being the birthday celebration of Jesus. That's why they decided to include it.

Many of these same folks are meeting Wednesday for a happy hour. We call ourselves "The Untieds." It's a long story. Fun folks, though. I'm looking forward to Wednesday!

Shake Your Groove Thing

Received a random voice mail the other night from O and Mad. They were all crazy acting and looney. It was a pretty funny message. They said they were making garlic bread and were using "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" spray butter. Since that's the butter I always use, they said it made them think of me.

They were unsupervised during their garlic bread adventure. Their mom at a meeting and their dad (The Artist) was in the bathroom. No telling the amount of garlic or spray butter was on the bread.

The message they left was a riot. Disguised voices. Cryptic statements. Unusual sounds. It cracked me up.

That reminded me that I still had the video below in my draft posts. It is from Thanksgiving weekend. We were hanging out at all the fun holiday stuff at Crown Center. Being the crazy girls that they are, they were acting very silly. Here, they shake what their momma gave them.

Really Agitated

Mentioned in a previous post that the Kenmore was ailing. I'm pleased to report all is OK and it is still running like new. However, I've learned I could have fixed it all myself. Potentially (that's the disclaimer).

Was talking to a co-worker about the situation. He tends to be a regular DYI-er. He told me I should have done it myself. Sternly, I said "How would I have ever known what to do?" He said, "It's called the World Wide Web, Cowboy."

Just googling "Kenmore won't agitate" results in a full list of possible items to click on. Even found one from Dave the Repair guy that provides a step-by-step detail on how to change the part. Dave ends his helpful, handy advice by noting "You just saved at least $75!"

Try more like $155.03. And my co-worker told me he would have fixed it for me for a six pack. And people wonder why my co-workers work my nerves.

Tasty Eats In Morrison

Soft tacos, why pick? One chicken and one beef!A yummy platter
Here's the last set of photos from the October 2006 trip to Denver. Hope you've enjoyed.

As we left the Red Rocks area, we took a route that took us through Morrison, Colorado. It wasn't an accidental route. The Wild Wife had decided we would stop at a Mexican place for dinner.

An extra pitcher of margaritas almost was warranted!By golly, folks, it was mighty-fine tasty. Everything about this dinner was tremendous. I'm salivating thinking about it. If you ever find yourself in the Denver area, rent a car, pay a taxi, do whatever it takes to get to this place. I don't even know the name of it. But it is the only awesome Mexican place in Morrison!

The Wild Wife has known me longer than any of my friends. Seriously, we trace our roots to first grade in Collinsville, Oklahoma. Since then, there have been many little monsters (dogs and cats), car crashes, typing tests, loves and loves lost, celebrations and victories, losses and sadness, and smiles knowing we have each other as friends.

Wild Wife and a Wild Son make a new friend.Considering it had been 11 years since I last saw the Wild Wife and Wild Husband (and had never met the Wild Boys until now), they likely deserve all this attention from me. I very much regret I hadn't been there before now. The 36-hour visit I spent with them truly was one of the highlights of my 2007.

I'm Too ...

Check out this article. You'll know why I found it important enough to link to it. I agree with the inclusion. It probably applies more to someone who has that as a "job" as opposed to someone who has it as a "persona." If it applied to the latter, there's no doubt the ranking would be higher. Don'tcha think?

You Don't Say, My Dear

As we left Red Rocks we noticed a few deer wandering the parking lot. At first, I wasn't certain they were even deer. Evidently, in Kansas City (specifically my backyard) we have white-tailed deer. These are mule deer.

By the time we got to the main road, the Wild Boys counted close to 30 of these mule deer. They were everywhere. They stood perfectly still. Likely thinking we couldn't see them. It felt like they were standing along the road to wish us godspeed as we went along our way.

Where The Rocks Are Red

Rock formations at Red Rocks AmphitheaterRock formations at Red Rocks AmphitheaterThese pics are from the visit to the Red Rocks Amphitheater just outside of Denver. It is a phenomenal place. Tucked into some rock formations, the scenery is awesome and the views are magnificent. In the distance, a tiny downtown Denver can be seen. I could just imagine the place rockin' during a concert or some other super performance.

The Wild Boys ran down to the first row of seats and then all the way up to the top row. I thought I might pass out just walking up the path to the place. I blamed my total loss of breath on the altitude.

When I purchased the Red Rocks guitar pin at Hard Rock (see prior post), I had no idea the Wild Crew would be taking me there. It was such a treat!
Rock formations at Red RocksThe Wild Boys run the Red Rocks stairs
The Wild Crew at Red RocksDowntown Denver in the distance

A Few More

Don't always watch the Golden Globes. At least not the entire show. It's not a bad show, but it's hard for me to sit still for a three-plus hour show without accomplishing other tasks at the same time. Thank goodness for long commercials and boring acceptance speeches.

I did tune in to NBC's show Sunday night. It was kind of cool. The movies were detailed, the nominees were noted and the winners were announced. It was like checking for sports scores. Just tell me the winners. Got the business taken care of quickly. I'd watch it again.

There were tons of cops on the commute Tuesday morning. Two on 210, two (including a motorcycle cop) on 435, and two on 350. What's up with that? Usually I don't see a single one. I was legal each time, meaning, I wasn't speeding.

At work I like to promote compliance. A question I often ask, "Is it really speeding if there's not a cop around?" It's funny that even if a driver is, let's say, 10 miles under the speed limit, they will still let off the gas when a patrol car is spotted.

Even without a cop, it's still speeding. At work, I preach that it should not take a "cop" to become compliant. But when they do show, you better hope you're not speeding. And by golly, that cop better arrive within seconds if someone is breaking into my home or threatening me.

Random Thoughts On Jan. 15, 2008

Did I mention that the new driver's license expires in 2014. Doesn't that sound all Star Trek like? I wonder what I'll be driving.

Gas here is about $2.86 on the Missouri side. Always more on the Kansas side. I heard a news report that a year ago at this time in KC it was about $1.60. It has to hurt. And somewhere something likely is giving. I'm hoping our economy issures are a "correction" that passes and not a long-running recession.

Heard Monday night on the news that Sprint and Cerner are planning layoffs. Not at all good news for Kansas City. NovaStar already or is in the process of pink slipping most of their people. I read they are keeping 30. I think they once had over 2,000 nationwide. Somehow, Hallmark is the only local company that does layoffs quietly. It never makes news there. But I hope they are having none.

It was Jan. 15, 1994 that I started a serious weight-loss, workout program. I ended up losing almost 30 pounds by April 1 of that year and treated myself with a week of sunning on Miami's South Beach. Much like Gabby, I'm all about the treats and rewards. What happens this year is a mystery.

Still no Oklahoma quarter sighted.

Walls Of Balls

These walls are as you walk along a restaurant row area toward Coors Field, the home of the Rockies. I thought they were pretty cool. Just a wall of various balls.

The typewriter element was one of my faves. The Wild Wife and I had the same typing class in high school. I remember having to switch out those typewriter elements. I'm sure not a soul under 30, maybe 35, has any idea what a typewriter element even is.

Both sides of the pillars are covered with various balls. Disco ball, roller ball, soccer ball, baseball, Matzo ball, bowling ball, and on and on. The Wild Boys "strike a pose" in one pic.

Living The Wild Life

DIADowntown Denver Going to post a pics from the Denver trip. Was there in late October 2007, but just now getting pics published. I have more than one post of Denver pics. All have been diligently sitting as drafts. The goal is to make one live every other day or so.

The first is of the Denver airport. An interesting place. It's designed to look like mountain peaks. The other is of downtown Denver. A really great city. I enjoyed. The Rockies, the pro baseball team, were World Series bound while I was there. That fact generated much excitement in the city as folks prepared for the series. You might remember that the Rockies sadly lost in four games.

The Wild Crew at Denver HRCIn addition to walking around the stadium as press and fans gathered waiting for tickets to go on sale or for an announcement regarding tickets (the team's server failed with initial sales as there were millions of hits within seconds), we also made the important trip to the Hard Rock Cafe. (That was a monster of a sentence.) The Denver location is cool. It also was full. We had a wait for a table. Reminded me of old days of HRCs. The Wild Crew and I enjoyed the outing.

After lunch we walked to the Denver Mint. Actually, we had to walk back to the car first to leave our belongings. The Mint does not allow folks to carry in anything. No cell phones, cameras, purses, underwear. Just kidding on the last one.

The tour through the place was fascinating. We saw live production of pennies and quarters. In the gift shop, I picked up the newest state quarter at the time and the current presidential dollar coin. The Wild Crew surprised me with a super-nice set of uncirculated presidential coins. They don't know yet but I may make it an annual trip to Denver to visit them and to get the newest set.

A walk through the Brown Palace Hotel and a Starbucks stop made the trek back to the car very nice. It really was a great time hopping around downtown Denver. By the way, it was my first-ever trip to this city.

The Wild Wife with one of the Wild SonsPicked up two guitar pins at the Hard Rock. One is a traditional guitar while the second is designed to resemble Red Rocks, a Denver amphitheater. Organizing the guitar pin collection is a goal for 2008. The collection very well likely tops 100. Once it is all organized, I promise to post a pic of it.

Things Tackled

Crawled out of bed Saturday morning fully focused on getting things done. Although I was groggy and really preferred to lounge around and watch television, I showered and got the engine started in order to get out and tackle.

First stop, Petco. Why? It houses a DMV in it. Seriously. Got my new driver's license. Incidentally, it expired on the day in December that I celebrated. However, it never once crossed my mind until I went to the bank to complete a transaction and the teller mentioned it to me.

I agreed to allowing them to put a new weight on the DL. Although still not truthful, it is 15 pounds higher than the old one. I remember a measley 13 years ago when the DL weight was 30 pounds more than reality. Seriously. The roller coaster my waist size has been on is an amazing one! Now hoping it's on the steep downhill part.

Grabbed some of those 9 Lives and Friskies dinners that are gluten free while there. Also got a Hunakkah dog toy for MMcB's Boyz. It was 75 percent off. I couldn't resist. Hadn't ever seen a HunakKah dog toy before. I'm sure The Boyz will destroy it the same as any other toy.

Next traveled to the bank in Mission, Kansas. I don't bank there, but the KC Cowboys alumni chapter does. The goal was to get others on the account as I work to transition out of any duties. It was a clerk there that noticed the expired DL. Thus, it was my second trip in as many Saturdays to the bank. It was fun showing the new DL. No one asked if the weight is a lie.

Jiffy Lube and an oil change was the next item on the list. I never quite understand why it is so hard to say no to the offer of an engine flush, transmission wash, air filter change and super-duper-awesome package that will make the car run better than anything. The guy said, "I just got this done on my wife's car and she swears by it." I appreciated the offer but said no this time.

Visited the post office in Union Station next. In addition to mailing a few items, purchased some awesome Super Heroes stamps and some Disney Magic stamps. Even took a few minutes to walk around the place and check out the sites and the people.

Got home just in time to watch my Cowboys open the conference schedule with a home win over Texas Tech. That was nice. And it's alway fun to see the home court and OSU's campus. The team is not that good this year. We even lost to Pitt. :) That's really just a shout out to some cool cats.

Getting much tackled at home Saturday evening. It's great seeing all the check marks on the to-do list.

Believe This One

We all receive those e-mails that have been forwarded and forwarded and forwarded and forwarded .... Many I delete based on the subject line. Some I open and delete after reading the first line or two. A few I read almost all the way through. One or two I read, think about, ponder and maybe forward to someone else.

My main issue with the majority is that they're lies. Just paranoid pieces of garbage that encourage hysteria. For instance -- I am very confident that a Glade Plug-In is NOT going to burn your house down. Barack is not anti-American. He sometimes puts his hand over his heart during the playing of the U.S. National Anthem and sometimes doesn't. There's nothing else to it. You will not receive any money by forwarding that Microsoft/Bill Gates/AOL e-mail.

Received a message earlier this week from a co-worker. Evidently the e-mail has been floating around since 2006, but it just landed in this Cowboy's in box. This one is true! Of course the message I received is not a 100 percent accurate account. The overall gist of the story was there, though.

It is about a young girl who's dog, Abbey, died. She missed her dog and, with her mom's help, sent a letter to God telling him to look out for Abbey and to play with her. What is most fascintating is that the little girl received a response from God!

It's a good read. Above is a link to the story on the "Urban Legends" site.

Traveling Life's Road

On Sunday a friend told me she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her revelation brought tears to her eyes. It was an emotional moment. I can't even imagine first noticing a lump, feeling that panic and anxiety, calling for an appointment, going to the doctor, having a biopsy, and finally learning the diagnosis. She received the news Jan. 3.

Good news is that all is good as far as breast cancer goes. Small lump, stage 1, caught early and all else. She and I didn't get a chance to visit further as we were interrupted. I didn't have a chance to ask her if it was OK to share her situation, so I'm not going to provide a name.

I remember as a high schooler or while in college hearing of parents of my friends learning about a cancer diagnosis or some other disease. It is strange now being the age of those parents and its now us dealing and going through this stuff. Life's highways sure are full of bumps, curves, pot holes and other challenges. We can't ever forget that the overall ride must be a fun one!

Although I am 100 percent certain everything will be fine, my heart is sad. Your thoughts and prayers for my friend are appreciated.

Great Nieces

Felt like throwing up a pic of my great nieces. De, Mel and Miq. This pic was taken summer 2007 while I was visiting them in Santa Fe.

The great niece pictured in the middle has been sending me e-mails lately. She seems really excited that I am replying and making an effort to keep in touch. In her last e-mail she mentioned that her family was thinking about coming to visit me over their Sring Break. That will be cool if they can make it happen.

Making Good Television v. A Good Winner

Back in August 2007, Jennifer Weiner had a story on NPR regarding Miss America now being aired on a cable channel. This year's contest actually is the third to air on cable. The last two were on CMT. This year it is on TLC. Ms. Weiner is the author of In Her Shoes, a best-selling book that was made into a movie starring Cameron Diaz. It's a fun story on NPR.

The action starts Friday night! The dude that plays Vanessa Williams' assistant, Michael Urie, on the TV show "Ugly Betty" is the host of the new TLC series called "MISS AMERICA: REALITY CHECK." In the teaser ad he says, "It's time to kick Miss America on its sash."

According to TLC's website, "the four-part series is designed to get these 52 state winners to forget everything they've learned in "pageant schools" over the years ... the walk ... the talk ... the hairspray" .... The shows air the next four Fridays. The Miss America finals are Jan. 26. Don't forget, the last two Miss Oklahomas won the crown.

The top 15 will be announced Jan. 26 during the finals. A 16th finalist will be announced during the live finale as the result of online voting by you and me. Go to http://www.tlc.com/missamerica to vote. The contestant with the most votes and not already in the top 15 will be added to those competing Jan. 26 for the whole pot. And the sash.

Agitating Again

Much like many of my co-workers, the Kenmore is back to agitating and doing its thing. It was a pretty simple issue. The Sears service tech stopped by this afternoon and diagnosed the ailment quickly. He even showed me the broken part. It only took him about 15 minutes to change it. I bet, if I had some sort of knowledge, I could have done it on my own. Oh well. There goes another $150.

Happy Birthday Alaska!

On Jan. 3, 1959, President Eisenhower signed a proclamation admitting Alaska to the Union as the 49th state.

Have I mentioned how excited I am about the Oklahoma quarter? It should be hitting cash registers any day now. Back in 1999 when I first started my quarter collecting, my thought was that I'd be sitting in a nursing home when the Oklahoma quarter would be issued. Funny how 2008 seemed so far away.

It doesn't have the state's shape. That's disappointing. It instead has the state bird, the scissortail flycatcher, in the center of the coin flying above a field of Indian blanket wildflowers. Regardless, I'm sure it will be fine!

I like the quarters with a state's shape. But even without the shape, Wyoming's quarter is my favorite.

Not Being Like Cowboy

It is bitter cold. Like single-digit cold. I took Wednesday off, but never ventured out because of the weather. Not even to the mail box. The goal was to finish storing Christmas stuff. Things staked in the ground outside are all frozen, though. It'll be a weekend task.

Purchased a nine-foot, narrow, white-lights Christmas tree the other day. Westlake Hardware had items discounted 75 percent. Also got some tree storage bags. Very nice. Just put the tree in there and zip it closed.

I am not an OU fan at all, but I never revel in watching that team lose. I like a good, hard-fought game. That's not happening. West Virginia is beating up OU. The fourth quarter is about to start. Hope the Sooners can get something going.

By the way, I haven't showered since New Year's Eve. Now Daphne and I are both smelly. We did treat ourselves to Wendy's tonight. A cup of chili for me. A plain hamburger patty for her, although I'm certain she'd eat the pickles.

The Kenmore washer is failing me. It's worked perfectly for more than five years, but is ailing now. It fills and drains water fine. Just not agitating. The 800-number has been called and the service tech is expected on Friday.

January 1, 2008

Just watched the University of Missouri Tigers beat Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl. Although I don't enjoy watching blowouts, it was fun to catch some of the action while dismantling Christmas decorations.

I am proud of MU. One, I have a bunch of friends (including MMcB) that are MU grads or fans. Two, it is the only Division 1 football program in the state I live. I also like their coach and their star running back played high school ball here. Seeing MU do well also gives me hope that it can happen to anyone. Maybe even Oklahoma State.

Just a few years ago I attended our Cotton Bowl game. It was a fantastic time and is a great memory. If only we had beat the Eli Manning-led Ole Miss team.

Switching to the present ... in a New Year's Eve contest, my Cowboys beat Indiana 49-33 in the Insight Bowl. The game was in Tempe. The team finished with 7 wins, 6 losses, the same record as last year. Somehow last year there was some momentum with our bowl win. This win, to me, feels like we were trying to salvage the season. There's always next season and MU just proved you never know how far it might go!

And, there's always a new year. I can't believe that it's already been a week since I was traveling across Oklahoma celebrating Christmas. Then just like that it is 2008.

I end the year learning that in my company's evolution, there's a spot still for me. That was reason to celebrate. I also picked out some new specs at Optical Innovations in Westport. Successfully consuming flex spending money (without buying boxes of items that would go unused) is always a reason to smile. On Dec. 31 I had a great dinner at Margarita's and rang in the celebration with Daphne and Gabby. Very nice.

I am excited about 2008 and all that might be around the corner. Challenges and successes. I just hope the latter far outnumbers the former. Here's to wishing for the same for you!

Happy Campers

Ry turns on the waterworksJake makes it clear that he's not happy

When kids are sad, unhappy or just don't get their way, they usually don't waste one second to share their plight. It's all about the drama. Hmmmm ... that actually sounds like some adults with whom I've worked. Mostly the Blind Ladies (that's a code name, not actual blind ladies) and a few legal secretaries.

Tasty orangesThe night out with the Schrammmies detailed in a prior post was not drama free at all. There certainly were moments of unhappiness and one timeout. Mostly serious matters like settling on water instead of Sprite, thinking the soup was icky, playing too crazy with chopsticks (it's all fun until someone gets poked in the eye) or not getting to sit by me. :) J's evening was ruined because he felt he wasn't in the prime seat location for shrimp catching. We eventually solved it with some seat shuffling.

Despite the tumultous times, the evening was splendid. Being the Cowboy that I am, ending the meal was some tasty oranges made it even more perfect. My theory is that any event that ends with something orange is perfect!

What else can make everything better? For El, it's the shiny rocks in her rock collection. She was so proud to show it to me. She announced a goal to name each of her rocks. I suggested she start with A and go through the alphabet. For many adults, a martini has a unique way of doing the trick.

El's rock collectionA Sake martini