Sunday, August 31, 2008

Hand Out / Hand Up

Why o why are we doing this again? Is it the nation's responsibility
to rebuild New Orleans year after year? They are the ones who
(irrationally) insist on living there. Now the electoral candidates
are getting briefed on the situation there so they can avoid getting
caught with their pants down (like GWB was.) But really, why can't
one of them just come out with the recommendation that the
million-plus people who were ordered to flee yesterday just stay out?
That would be something....

Thursday, August 28, 2008

In the last month I have:

  • Flown to Chicago 6 times
  • Eaten out 38 times
  • Spent 18? nights in a hotel room
  • Taken a taxi 7 times and a train twice
  • Charged over $6k on the company credit card


We finally have our manager in place out there and for the first time in what seems like forever, I will NOT be flying to Chicago on Sunday night! Yippee!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Coupon Freak

Jessica has a blog called "Coupon Chic" and I just call it coupon freak. Her and her friends go out and steal from the establishment and then brag about it on their website (see it here.) ANyway, it saves us a ton of money, but two can play at that game - Exhibit A:
It normally costs me $531 to fly to Chicago from Dallas round trip. Today, I found that if I fly to Chicago, then fly home from Milwaukee (where I will be anyway on Wednesday) the price is only $379. Here's the really crazy part - to fly home from Milwaukee, you actually have to fly once from Milwaukee to Chicago and then board a separate plane in Chicago to fly to Dallas. That's right, it is cheaper to fly more. I normally have to leave early from Milwaukee to drive down to Chicago - this way, I kick back on the plane and relax and it saves me over $100. Take that, coupon freaks!

By the way, I caught a mess of fish yesterday and there happened to be bass, crappy and some sort of goldfish-like perch among them. They were all small ones though - I'm still waiting on the monster.

On a separate note, redneckedness reached a whole new level yesterday when we discovered that using a wheelbarrow and a shovel in place of a canoe and paddle is not going to work unless we rig up some kind of outrigger system. We'll keep you updated - maybe next week...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Monday morning I hired our new manager here in the cesspool that is the general CHicago area. Monday afternoon I fired our new manager here...and grew to a new level of disgust for the general area.

I always used to brush off Texan's claims that "the people in TX are just so nice," but I have to say, I guess they are. In comparison to pert near everyone I meet here in Chicago Texans are as bubbly and nice as Ross the Intern. I mean, I talked to this lady at the Chicago Tollways I-Pass thingy booth today and it was like talking to Rozz (Roselyn) from Monsters, Inc. - except this lady was about half as animated and twice as sarcastic/witchy. If only this experience was just an exception to the rule. I have just plain decided that, in general, the people here are what we Texans (did I just say that?) keister-holes. For real, how can an entire region of the country be so different that they make me dislike them as a general populace?
One disclaimer, I never figured Texans to be so great until I started really dealing with Chicagoans, so maybe it is actually more like a situation where the West has nice people and Chicago doesn't? I don't remember harboring such contempt for the folks in the areas of NH, MA & ME where I also spent a lot of time or in FL where I spent some time...what's up with CHI?

So, I'm bitter and undoubtedly coming back here next week, so you'll have to forgive me. I need to do some fishing to get back to the regular me. Gimme a couple of days. I'm going home tomorrow night (or I guess it is late enough that it is later this evening - of course with the flight record coming out of O'Hare, it may just be into the wee hours of the Thurs. morn. before I make it out of here so....

Friday, August 15, 2008


It's a rare day that I can coax a bass to hit a topwater is one of those days. I landed 2 bass and had a third one on the line when he spit the lure tonight. What a great feeling. Over the years, I have only found one other lake where I could get the bass to hit a topwater lure...

Topwater lures are different than most bass lures because kinstead of sinking down and trolling across the bottom, or being pulled under water by a special fin, they are designed to float all the way at the top. Tonight, I was using a 3" long plug with a scoop on the front that makes a "ploop" sound when you "pop" it with a quick jerk. I found that if I let it sit motionless for 20 seconds or so, then gave it the slightest tingle or two followed shortly by a solid pop, they would hit it.

Getting a bite up at the top is lots of fun and very exciting because you can actually watch when the fish hit the lure (rather than just feeling them tug on the line.) It adds a visual element to an experience that is usually far more tactile. Speaking of visual, it was a beautiful night for fishing - the water was like glass, the temperature was just right, and there was a beauty of a sunset. I hate to admit that I like Texas, but compared to what I've been getting in Chicago, this place absolutely rocks!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Farmer Joe's Plan to Solve the Nation's Problems

....and you thought we just scooped cattle dooky....

Mark your calendars folks, because you are going to want to remember the day you first heard of this plan. Here is the general idea - you take all the $$ awarded as "punitive damages" in any lawsuit and use them to balance the federal budget.

Think about this. Right now, in the media, some silly flight attendant is suing some silly preachers wife for assaulting her on a plane. She is seeking 10% of the preacher's wife's net worth (presumed to be millions.) The idea with "punitive" damages is to set the award high enough to "punish" the offender. In other words, in this particular case, they are not arguing that the assualt was worth 10% of the net worth, but that to be effective, the punishment should cost them 10% of their net worth. Punitive damages make sense, because if someone breaks the law, they need some sort of motivation to not do it again. Very high punitive damages serve that purpose. However, does it really make sense to give all of the punitive damages to the victims? Does it make sense for this silly flight attendant to receive millions of dollars just because she was assualted by someone rich when the flight attendant assaulted by the blue-collar schmuck with a net worth of minus $200 get absolutely nothing? No.

This system could easily be solved by simply awarding all punitve damages to a worthy cause....such as paying the federal government (lower taxes), buying better roads, importing adobtable children from poverty-stricken countries, paying for our awesome military, buying solar panels, researching aids or cancer, prop up social security, etc, etc, etc

What's the downside here? How do we get the politicians to see this?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


I spent most of yesterday filling in for a couple of no-shows in Chicago. What that meant was that I tackled a gigantic branch that was blown down in a storm in cousin Frank's back yard. It was bigger than a lot of trees and took me the whole day to get it chopped up and processed so that the city of Naperville would pick up all the branches. At the end of the day, we had 5 guys from our crew show up to assist in the final cleanup and one of them made the following comment (referring to Frank's house.) "Wow, these guys are rich." If only he had known that Frank actually (currently) owns two such houses (they are trying to sell their old one) he would have been blown away.
Frank's house is definitely very nice, but I never would have thought to classify him as "rich." It was a good reminder for me of the blessings we enjoy and to not to take things like that for granted.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Iwas fixin to expound on my growing disdain for the general populace
of Chicago, but to get back to a cheery tone, let me say just this; I
do wub Jessica. I'm really looking forward to seeing her tonight.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

6 of One, 1/2 Dozen of the Other

Saw this tonight at the local (Chicago) Walgreens:

It sums up my feelings tonight on many levels.

  1. An employee (in Chicago) is threatening legal action because we are low on the type of work he wants to do (even though we continue to offer him gainful employment in a practically identical capacity.)
  2. My spite for the Chicago workforce should be apparent by now, but I am (apparently) naive enough to harbor high hopes for some of the candidates I have been interviewing.
  3. And actually a few other things of a more personal nature as well that I probably shouldn't blog about (mind you keep your mind out of the gutter as curiosity eats at you on this topic over the next few's simply decisions that are more personal in nature in topics that have presented themselves in our lives over the last few days)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

One Long (short) weekend

I haven't been writing much on my blog lately. I'm not entirely sure why, but it may be a slight case of blog burn-out. Or, it could be the fact that work has me so stressed and busy lately that I try to get away from my computer as much as I can. I don't know. Since I last wrote:

  • I spent a couple days in Chicago with my crew there jsut checking in and making recomendations on things they needed to do. The day that I got back to TX, my manager there gave me one day notice that he was quitting.
  • I booked an emergency flight to Chicago and spent Mon-Thurs there picking up the pieces, managing the crew and starting to search for a new manager. Monday night I got a whopping 2 hours of sleep (another incident with an "energy drink")
  • Friday I was so wasted that I had to get some extra sleep to recuperate and still managed to put in a day of work. Mom and Levi (my sister's son) came out to have a sleep over.
  • Saturday I fixed the water line that was causing us to not have any water (out in the hot sun - it was like 105 or something) with Jessica and the kids bringing me water every 10-20 minutes to try to prevent my untimely death. By the time I finished that and installed two ceiling fans for Jessica, I was pretty much wasted.
  • Sunday I got up early for church meetings starting at 7:15am and as soon as I got home, I booked another flight to Chicago for this evening (bet you didn't know you could do that with so little notice did ya) and I am off for another fun-filled week in Chicago. Hurray! Hopefully I will be able to find "Mr Right" there this time and he will solve all of my Chicago problems and redeem all of Chicago in my mind (right now I just can't think nice thoughts about the people/place)