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Reflections on 2012

Saturday, February 23rd, 2013

2012 was a whirlwind year.  The theme was travel. We spent a lot of nights in hotels.  To the point that I’m a Hilton HHonors gold member now.  We’ll see if I get enough nights or stays this year to keep it (I doubt it).  In 2012 we went to:

  • Cape Girardeau, MO
  • Chandler, OK
  • Chattanooga, TN
  • Destin, FL
  • Fort Smith, AR
  • Gallatin, TN
  • Galveston, TX
  • Halls, TN
  • Hot Springs, AR
  • Houston, TX
  • Key West, FL
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Little Rock, AR
  • Mountain Home, AR
  • Murfreesboro, TN
  • Nashville, TN
  • New Orleans, LA
  • Oklahoma City, OK
  • Orange Beach, AL
  • Pensacola, FL
  • Savannah, TN
  • Seattle, WA
  • Shawnee, OK
  • Sikeston, MO
  • St. Louis, MO
  • Stewart, TN
  • Stillwater, OK
  • Tahlequah, OK
  • Tampa, FL
  • Walnut Ridge, AR
  • Washington, DC

In addition, I think I added another 80 or so hours of PIC time.  Most of that was cross-country time and included my longest cross-country yet in a trip back to Oklahoma.  I learned a lot on that trip.  I also got a little more progress in my goal to fly in old aircraft.  In Hot Springs I got a ride in the Missouri CAF Wing’s B-25 “Show Me”.  In Little Rock, I got a ride in the CAF’s C-45 “Bucket of Bolts”.  And from a winning raffle ticket I got to log some time with Dr. Ray in his SNJ.  That was a an exciting flight.  Hopefully 2013 is just as exciting.

 

Surprise at the pump

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

As prices at the pump was going up, I’ve kept a mental tally as to the most expensive gallon of gas I’ve bought and the most expensive tank.  Well, today I filled up and for the first time in a LONG time, it cost me less than $20, and I was near the red line.  Awesome.  I just hope it keeps falling.

Sick Holidays

Monday, January 1st, 2007

Wow, what a set of holidays.  We’ve been sick.  Collectively, sick for nearly 2 weeks.  I had my ups and downs with the various bugs, but I think tomorrow may be my first mostly normal day.  We’ll see how it goes, it just sucks that it’ll be immediately back to work.

Black Friday fun

Friday, November 24th, 2006

We got up in the weeee hours to head out to Best Buy this morning.  We got there about 3am thinking that’d be early enough to pick up a couple of deals (or at least one of them).  Best Buy had advertised a $249 laptop that wasn’t too bad and a nice 32″ Westinghouse LCD HDTV for $479.  Well, we didn’t get either.  I was surprised at just how long the line was at 3am.  We could have picked up the 42″ Westinghouse LCD HDTV, but at $1000, it’s just a bit more than we could spend.  Oh well, maybe next year.

Close, but no cigar

Friday, October 6th, 2006

I headed out to work this morning and discovered my normal route blocked.  Police cars had the entire intersection blocked just outside my apartment complex.  It’s a pretty major intersection, so I assumed there must have been a big accident.  I also noticed a couple of firefighters in full gear walking along the side of the road (but no trucks).  Took it as odd, but not way out of place.  We’ve seen some pretty bad intersections down Poplar.  Anyway, turns out that there was a huge pair of fires here last night.  When I say huge, I mean huge.  Check out the links below.  It was close — way too close.  The first big fire was less than half a mile down the street.  We pass that church all the time.  It’s too bad that church was destroyed.  It’s an amazing piece of history we’ve lost (it was built in 1893).  I hope this doesn’t completely stop the redevelopment of the downtown area.

http://www.wmctv.com/Global/story.asp?S=5505235

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,218201,00.html

http://www.foxnews.com/wires/2006Oct06/0,4670,MemphisFire,00.html

http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/10/06/memphis.fire.ap/index.html 

Catch-up

Saturday, July 29th, 2006

I haven’t posted in quite a while and a lot has happened. I don’t know where to start and I’m sure I’ll forget something, so here goes:

We’ve continued our restaurant tasting. Since the last update we’ve been to Erling Jensen’s, Ruby Tuesday’s, Lulu Grille, and Bhan Thai (twice). We went to Eriling Jensen’s in celebration of my birthday and getting a job. The full-fledged review is where to find the detail (not written yet), but it’s quite probably one of the best restaurants in Memphis. Bhan Thai has the best Thai food we’ve had in Memphis (Chao Praya being a close second). Ruby Tuesday’s has buffalo burgers. I’ve been missing my buffalo fix and I’m finally finding some here. Incidentally, I found out about Erling Jensen’s while looking for buffalo meat here. We went to Lulu Grille today for lunch (more buffalo burgers). And since we’re on the topic of food, I should mention that the little cafeteria at work has an excellent tasting Italian sub sandwich for CHEAP.

Speaking of work, I’ve completed my first three weeks. My luck seems to be holding up not only in finding a job so quickly, but also finding a good one. I really enjoy it there. The people are friendly, and there doesn’t seem to be the pervasive flow of people jumping ship you find in some companies. To me, that’s a good sign, and I’m excited to see how this goes. That reminds me to complain about taxes. My god I hate taxes. I was looking at my paystub and realizing that I’ve now paid more in taxes from this new job than I use to even get paid over the same period of time. And we don’t have state income taxes, that’s all federal.
Also, I don’t think this has happened since my last post, but I seem to have neglected it. I finally got to go shooting again. We went to RangeUSA for their Carbine night with the Krinkov. Those frangible rounds they require weren’t 100% in feeding, but they were also so light that accuracy is probably pretty bad out my 1/7″ barrel. At the cost ($0.35/rd) I’m sure I’ll probably go again out of necessity, but it won’t be too often. I’ve got some more Makarov ammo coming in, though. The drought on 9x18mm seems to have been helped a bit. I’m gonna need it for the HCP (aka CCW in most places) class coming up.

No new movies yet. Kind of surprising, considering how many I usually see. I rented Clerks and Pirates of the Carribean so that we’ll see them before their sequels. Miami Vice is out this weekend, so maybe that one. Stargate SG-1 and Atlantis have started up again (and I completely forgot). We spent last night catching up. Gonna be good new seasons.

Memphis has had it’s 100th murder of the year. Actually, by now it’s probably beyond that, but last week I saw it on the news. Washington DC is complaining about their 18 or so murders, but they don’t have a clue. Did I mention the HCP class? Also, pretty freaky, some dude went on a stabbing spree at a grocery store. He was stopped by a dude with a pistol (not a shot fired). The news mostly skipped that little fact. That HCP is sounding even better. Also, in unrelated news, Todd Bailey (Special Weapons) posted pics of his upcoming MWS that he’s been working on for a couple years. I like it. I want it. We’ll see how long it takes for it to really be available. The SP-10 .40 caliber he said would be ready “in two weeks” (4 months ago) aren’t ready yet. Maybe I’ll be able to afford them when they come around, I just need to find an FFL I like.

Urinary Tracts

Thursday, June 8th, 2006

Urinary tract infections are a bad deal.  Both Grandma and Daisy got them.  As of yesterday, the doc said Daisy is clean.  We got her stitches out and they did a urine and blood test.  Grandma, on the other hand, is in pretty bad shape.  I got the call on Friday that Grandma was in the hospital.  Everyone seemed to think it was just a bad stomach bug and everything was okay.  I was concerned, but figured when I called the next day things would be sort of worked out.  I called back Saturday and found out she’d been moved to the ICU and that things were really bad.  On the phone they tried to keep us from worrying, but talking to Grandpa he made it sound like the end of the world is here and that Grandma was going to die.  So, we gave the pets everything we could and took off for OKC.  Turned out Grandma was in pretty bad shape, but not quite to the verge of death.  The hospital had/has a handle on things.  After a few days there we had to come back to take care of things here.  Things were looking up and Grandpa was much more upbeat, but when I called yesterday he was worried once again.  I really ought to be there (especially without a job yet), but it’s hard to take care of the pets here (and I can’t bring them along) and be there.  Not to mention it’s not cheap to do that drive.  We’ll see what I wind up doing.

Pei Wei Asian Diner

Thursday, June 8th, 2006

We tried the new Pei Wei Asian Diner on June 2, 2006.  I had the Pad Thai and Shinta had the Dan-Dan noodles.  It was aweful.  I don’t think I’ve ever had such bad Asian food.  It’s like they were given a list of ingredients for the dishes and then attempted to make them.  I only finished mine because it was so darned expensive.  Also, it was really oily.  I highly recommend staying away from that place.

Aside from the quality of the food, the concept of the restaurant is interesting.  They had a rather small place decorated in a modern fashion with a good layout and nice design.  It is like someone that knew the restaurant business got involved to setup a shop and forgot about the cooking.

catch-up

Monday, May 29th, 2006

Okay, it’s been a while since my last post. A lot has happened, but my web presence has been pretty limited. Two words: Moving sucks.

Let’s see what all has happened…

Well, I graduated. I really wondered about my grade in my Theoretical Foundations of Computing class, but I did manage to pull it off. It was a little stressful waiting for the grades to get posted, but all was well.

Graduation Day was interesting. We got lucky in that the weather was cloudy and cool. I’ve been to plenty of graduations out in the sun and that sucks. Heck, it even rained on us, but they gave us rain ponchos as we walked out onto the field. President Bush made quite an entrance with the helicopters flying over the stadium. They (“they” being the President and his entourage, filling 4 or 5 helicopters) landed on the practice football field just east of Gallagher-Iba. President Bush’s speech was a good one. It was short at about 20 minutes, but that’s not such a bad thing. Many keynote speakers drone on forever. It was pretty much non-partisan and very much a graduation speech; not a political speech. It really made those protesters seem stupid. In effect, despite what many of them claimed, they were protesting our graduation and not the government’s policies. I didn’t walk down to the protesting area, but from the signs I read, and the stuff I heard from their PA system, they were pretty pathetic. They assumed the speech would be political and wound up making fools of themselves. The media gave them a heck of a lot of coverage, though.

After the preliminary speeches were done, everyone left for lunch and got ready for the 2 graduation walk ceremonies in the afternoon. We went to Pat’s apartment for a little gathering Pat and Mom put together. They did a real good job. Pat’s apartment is pretty small, but we managed to just fit.

For the walk part, we were inside Gallagher-Iba. I was far from the last person to line up for the procession from the A&S gathering site to the arena, but lots of people pushed forward so as not to look like they were late and I wound up at basically the end of the entire walking process. It took so long I think I might have fallen asleep waiting for my name. I’m sure glad that is over.

The next day was a moving day for me. I intended to move out before noon, but it wound up taking until nearly 21:00 for me to get done. That was a long day. I then spent the week with Pat.

The next weekend was for moving my stuff out to Memphis. That was one heck of a drive. I hate driving. Have I mentioned that? I hate driving.

My next week consisted of me catching up on a season worth of TV shows. Except for Survivor and Grey’s Anatomy, I had Beyond TV recording everything I wanted to watch for the semester. Wow was that a lot of shows, but I did get caught up.

When Shinta got back to Memphis, we went to see Mission: Impossible III. It’s a fun action film. I don’t get all the negative press over it. I thought it was about as good as the second film. I particularly enjoyed the action. It was constantly moving forward. They had it cram packed with HK weapons too. I also noted that some of the mercs in the bridge scene were carrying Krinkovs. Gotta give props to the great AKS-74U.

The next day (Saturday) we caught Over the Hedge. It’s a really funny film. I enjoyed it. I didn’t exactly enjoy the little kids and the huge mess they made in the theater, but it was a good film. I recommend it. As intended, it’s good for all ages.
Then, Sunday, was Marrina’s graduation. So, I made the long drive back to OKC for that. While there I picked up the grandparents so that they could spend the week with us in Memphis. It was a wonderful week. It has been a long time since I’ve been around them for such a period of time and it was great. We took them to the Wat Buddhasamakeedham for the yearly memorial of my dad’s death and Uncle O took them back to OKC with him. I hope it wasn’t the last time they stay with us.

When we got back to Memphis, we went to see The Da Vinci Code. It’s a good thriller. I never read the book, but the story was really good. Most of the twists I didn’t expect and they were interesting. I don’t understand why the critics didn’t like this one either, but I did. Maybe it’s because I didn’t read the book, but it was good.
Last night we went to see X-Men: The Last Stand. That was a good film too. At least in the summer blockbuster sense. It thought it was about as good as the first film (the second was the best of the three). It was well done and I think well written. The special effects were mostly good. There were a few things that the special effects could have improved on, but for the most part it was fairly seemless. No spoilers here, but there were a couple of interesting twists I didn’t expect.

I think that catches things back up.

OHP doing good

Monday, April 10th, 2006

I saw an aweful lot of OHP on the highway today.  The interesting thing is that I saw 2 separate incidents (about 20 miles apart) of troopers changing tires for people on the side of the road.  Pretty cool.  I hadn’t seen it before and really didn’t expect them to do it.  Way to go OHP.