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Preview: My Random Thoughts

My Random Thoughts

My random thoughts when the spirit moves me... nothing sooner, nothing later.

Last Build Date: Tue, 23 Jun 2009 18:51:10 +0000



Sat, 24 Jan 2009 15:11:00 +0000

(image) Well all good things must come to an end. I just wish this didn't come to an end after only 15 months.

What a mess. The car is totally totaled.

Jim's transmission has been slipping a little lately. We went to the Ford Dealer last week and were told $2500. We went to Ken's Transmissions over the weekend and were told $1600. We were going to go to Pat's Transmissions this weekend to get a 3rd estimate.

Anyway, on the way home from school yesterday, the transmission started slipping. Jim gave the car a little gas to get it to catch. When it did, the car took off catching him off guard. Jim hit a curb, ran up on the grass about a foot or so and then came back into the street.

The force of hitting the curb destroyed the front passenger rim, snapped the wheel off the axle, and deployed both airbags. When the plastic cover of the passenger airbag got blown off, it hit the windshield and shattered it.

Other than being really shaken up, Jim and his 3 passengers are fine. The cops came and wanted to write him up for careless driving because of what the accident scene looked like. I spent 20 minutes convincing the cop that it was a mechanical failure and not careless driving. If anything, it was damn good driving!

We had the car towed back to our house ($75 for 2 blocks). I spent the afternoon on the phone with the insurance company and junk yard guys. Hopefully Jim can get a couple of hundred bucks for scrap.

It's a bummer, the curbs around the corner are unusually high. On our street, they're unusually low. Had this happened on our street, the car would be fine (except for the transmission).

Thank god it didn't happen on a main road.

Ushering in the Next Generation

Wed, 05 Nov 2008 20:59:00 +0000

Well Jim turned 18 this past August so that means he got to vote yesterday for the 44th President of the United States.

Michele took him to the polls where he was given a quick lesson in how to use the voting machines.

How'd he do? His voice (and that of 63,000,000+ others including Michele and I) was heard loud and clear. We're tired of the status quo... we want change!

Hopefully the Democrats can snag the remaining 4 un-claimed Senate seats. Then this new administration can put together a new "New Deal".

Obama/Biden - Change we can believe in!

Jr. Prom - 2008

Fri, 18 Apr 2008 22:22:00 +0000

(image) Wow, who would have thought? I've got a kid going to a Prom already.

Next year he's a Senior and the following year I have to kick his ass out the door. (image)

They say a picture is worth 1000 words... well I'm going to save you from reading 12,000 of them. Click the link below!

A Cool New Toy & A Useful Tool

Mon, 14 Apr 2008 03:01:00 +0000

(image) To the left is a picture of our new toy... a Briggs & Stratton 2050 PSI pressure washer. I almost feel like Tim the Tool Man Taylor from Home Improvement... "More Power!"

Anyway, we have a deck. It turned black & green from dirt and mold. Soapy water and a brush wasn't going to cut it so we splurged and bought a pressure washer from (yes that is a real web site).

Awesome tool! Our deck is rather large so we did half on Saturday and the other half on Sunday. After spraying some soap on the deck and letting is sink in for 10 minutes, we went to work. Let me tell you, the crap that came off the deck was gross. The look of the wood after it was cleaned was jaw dropping. And it was so easy!

After I finished the deck today, the wife pointed out that one corner of the house was a little green. A quick shot with the pressure washer and the brick looks as good as new.
I've already got a call from my mother-in-law to do her deck.

(image) Here's a shot of our deck late Saturday afternoon. The left side was pressure washed and is almost dry. The right side is black and green.

Next week we apply a nice water-proofing stain and voila, a nice looking deck.

A New Car !!!

Wed, 24 Oct 2007 00:35:00 +0000

(image) Well, not a new car, a first car!

This is Jim with his very first set of wheels. You're looking at a 2000 Ford Focus ZTS.

He's been saving forever and he pretty much paid for the whole thing himself. Mom & Dad had to help with the tax, tags, & title and some minor repairs. But, that's what folks are for. God knows my folks helped me out, thanks Mom & Dad!

Now the reality sets in. As Jim talks about a new stereo, speakers, window tinting, body kits, etc.; we remind him of things like insurance, gas, oil changes, inspections, etc.

Life's not all fun and games kiddo... work hard, play easy, and you'll do OK.

Eeewww... Yuck!

Wed, 29 Aug 2007 00:24:00 +0000

Well it's been quite a while since I posted to my blog according to two of my friends. Doug & Bill, here goes...

Yes, I'm having a birthday tomorrow; I'll be 44 (shit, that sounds so old). Add to that Jimmy just turned 17 on Sunday and I feel really old. Still, never too old to scope out the MILFs on the beach. Any I might miss, my loving wife points them out to me (that's real love).

Speaking of Michele...

OK, so we're at the beach (OCNJ) yesterday with my folks. Mom & Michele are sitting in the sun catching some rays. About 100 feet away some kids (not ours) just got done feeding the seagulls. Next thing I hear is Michele saying, "Eeewww... Yuck!" A seagull decided to relieve itself right on Michele's right one, dive bomb style.

Normally I'd jump at the opportunity to cop a feel. Not this time! Man, that was some nasty shit, literally. Anyway, a quick wipe with some napkins and a dip in the ocean, Michele was as good as new.

After Labor Day it's back to work. We launch two new sites soon so that should be keeping me really busy. The kids head back to school, Jimmy to 11th and Nicholas to 9th. Damn, both my kids are now in High School. I'm getting old! Lunch Lady Michele also heads back to school to serve up more of that delicious school cafeteria food.

That pretty much brings things up to date. Plus, no shameless plugs this time around.

Until next time...

We Can See

Fri, 20 Apr 2007 01:29:00 +0000

As you have already read in previous blogs, our house was built back in the early 50's. As time goes on, we do upgrades as we can afford them. This time around it was windows. We replaced all the windows on the second floor with brand new vinyl replacement windows this week.

We again selected a local guy (begin plug)
(end plug)
to come in and replace 9 windows upstairs and cap both the upstairs and downstairs windows. Again, what a difference.

Not only do the windows look sharp both inside and out, we can actually see out of them when we wake up on those cold mornings. The original windows were old-style wood windows with storm sashes. They were in bad need of painting and some of them were starting to rot. On cold mornings we couldn't see out of them because they were always fogged up because they sucked at keeping out the cold. Guess what, GOOD RIDDANCE! These new windows have all the latest bells & whistles and their website ( looks really cool.

The installers were machines. Three guys showed up around 8:20 on Tuesday morning and they were done everything by 2:40 in the afternoon. The job went fast because these guys knew what they were doing. When they were finished, you couldn't even tell they were there... everything was spotless. The only thing I had to do was touch up the paint around the bathroom window. That one was a tough install and some of the paint on the molding chipped off. The rest of the windows however don't need to be touched.

At $3400 for 9 windows and 14 cappings, this was another damn good home improvement investment!

I also want to mention our new garage door. The old one was rotted out to the point I could push my finger through it.

We picked a local guy from the old neighborhood (begin plug)
(end plug)
and are very happy.

An insulated raised panel steel door with capping and a reasonable price of $850. Not something I was planning to do but it needed to be done. Ironically, the garage door took about the same time to install as the windows. However there was only one guy doing the install. That said, he did a hell-of-a good job and we're pleased with the product and the workmanship.

Dave's home improvement tip... select local contractors that specialize in the job you need done and ask for references. You'll be happy that you did.

Seriously, Get Off The Road

Fri, 06 Apr 2007 13:35:00 +0000

Back in September I warned everyone to Clear the Road and Pray. Well now it's official; Jimmy passed his driver's test and has been issued a Jr. license by the PA DMV.

He can now drive by himself with no adults in the car with him. While he has all the knowledge needed to drive and killer reflexes from playing video games 6 hours a day, he lacks the fine motor skills and the experience that comes with years of driving.

Now I get to wonder where he's taking the car when he's out with friends and what he's doing in it. I get to inspect the car every time he comes home looking for dents and/or scratches. As if my hair isn't gray enough!

Hey, what does my head and Antarctica have in common? The bare spot on my head and the ozone hole are getting bigger every year and at a faster rate!!!

Anyway, that's the latest update. Now I'm going to shoot over to and check out GPS devices. (image)

Gallup Against Bush

Wed, 04 Apr 2007 00:53:00 +0000

Tonight the phone rang and I debated about answering it. The call was from the 402 area code and I didn't recognize the number. I answered it anyway and I'm kinda glad I did.

The call was from a gentleman from the Gallup Organization and I had the opportunity to participate in a Gallup Poll. Wow, I finally get a chance to let my voice be heard and influence politicians. Yes, voting does that too and I do vote. But the Gallup Poll is yet another way for Americans' voices to be heard.

The poll took ~20 minutes and covered everything from politicians & politics to global warming & the economy. I'm proud to say that I've contributed to Bush's sinking approval rating! The adjectives I selected to describe him were "worthless" and "failure".

I may have also influenced Fred Thompson's decision to run for president. When asked if I support him, I asked, "Who's Fred Thompson?" Later Michele told me he was the head DA on Law and Order. After I Googled his image, I said, "Oh, I know him... he's thinking about running for President?"

At first I thought I wasn't keeping up on current events but then I said to myself, "Hey, I know the main 8 for '08... I can't keep track of every Tom, Dick, & Harry."

So that was the highlight of the evening. Now it's time to watch American Idol. God I have a boring life. Anyway, let's see what Haley Scarnato is wearing tonight. (image)

A Happy (warm) Camper

Tue, 23 Jan 2007 00:24:00 +0000

When Michele and I bought this house last year the home inspector suggested we put more insulation in the attic. After all, the house only had the original insulation from when it was built back in the early 50's. Back then, fuel oil was cheaper than insulation!

Anyway we had a local guy (begin plug)
(end plug)
come in last week and blow 10" of cellulose insulation into our attic on top of what was already there. Believe it or not, I already feel a difference.

I no longer get an Arctic blast in the morning when I open my closet door. Jimmy's closet ceiling doesn't sweat anymore. And today... I noticed we still had snow on our roof! Last year, our roof was the first to thaw.

At $700 for 750 square feet of attic space, this was a damn good home improvement investment!

Christmas Partys Can Hurt

Sun, 24 Dec 2006 20:17:00 +0000


Yesterday we went to Jimmy's company Christmas party and now I'm paying for it in pain. "How?", you ask.

Well Jimmy works at Sproul Lanes, the bowling alley right around the corner. They closed their doors to the public from 12 - 4 and employees were treated to food, drink, and free bowling. At first Jimmy didn't want to go because, "it was going to suck." We finally convinced him to go, so the 4 of us plus his girlfriend walked over.

After chowing down on some hot sandwiches, Otis Spunkmeyer cookies, and other goodies, we bowled a couple of games. Not only do I suck at bowling (92 & 105), I am so out of shape.

My arm feels like it's going to fall off (16lb ball @ ~50 rolls). My legs are throbbing probably because I stretched some muscles that haven't been stretched in awhile. Damn, I'm getting old!

Anyway, we all had a great time and Jimmy realized that the party didn't suck so bad after all.

OK, All Ready

Fri, 22 Dec 2006 13:37:00 +0000

OK, OK, it's been over a month since I posted and people are starting to ask, "Dave, what's going in your life?"

So here goes...
  • We had a new roof installed on our new house (home inspectors are good but not perfect)
  • Way too much money was spent on Christmas decorations (but the house rocks!)
  • We refinanced our new house in less than a year (stay away from interest-only ARMs)
  • Jimmy has missed most of December in school due to Whooping Cough
  • Nicholas is Nicholas... laid back and smooth sailing
  • Michele hates the bullshit of her job (GSI is still hiring Mic)
  • I tackle each day as it comes doing whatever is necessary to get through it
  • The annual family Christmas Eve party is still one
That's all for now. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

(I'm Christian dammit, "Happy Holidays" just doesn't cut it!)

Typical Catholic BS

Fri, 17 Nov 2006 17:15:00 +0000

There was an article in USA Today that says the Vatican won't change their celibacy rules. This happened in a summit led by Pope Benedict XVI that was spurred by a married African archbishop. This archbishop was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church for banging his wife.

However, if a priest starts banging an alter boy, that's OK. If word leaks out, move the priest to another parish and forget about it.

Hello? How hypocritical can you get? You're gone if you bang your wife but go ahead, plow right into that little kid's butt.

Adopted from Catholic Social Services and raised in the Catholic church, I should have more respect for the church, right? WRONG!!! I'm through with the church as is the rest of my family. We didn't even register with our new parish when we moved. We don't want a single cent of our money going to the church to pay for defense in law suits... screw 'em!

Except for weddings and possibly funerals, don't look for me in any churches... you won't find me there.

Election's Over

Tue, 14 Nov 2006 03:48:00 +0000

I can tell the election is finally over... overnight, the endless political ads just stopped (thank god).

However, the true telltale sign is gas prices! In just one week since the election, I've seen the price for a gallon of gas go from $2.06 to $2.09 to $2.11 to $2.13 to $2.16. Five increases totaling $.10 in just 7 days!!!

Now I know some of you out there are saying, "Dave, that's just a coincidence. The president can't manipulate gas prices." To you folks I say, "You're probably right, the president can't manipulate gas prices."

However, the oil companies can manipulate gas prices. You see, it's in the best interest of the oil companies to have the GOP a majority in Congress. That said, they can easily back off on their $36 billion profit to lower gas prices. Consumers get happy, and they forget about record gas prices along with record oil company profits.

Guess what guys... AMERICA HAS SPOKEN! Changes are a coming!


Fall Sucks

Sun, 12 Nov 2006 23:36:00 +0000

This is our first fall in the new house and I now realize that I took something for granted at the old house... TREES! Or the lack there of.

At the old house, we had a tiny, little Japanese Maple out front and two small Crab Apple trees out back. Raking the leaves involved 2 days worth of work every year and less than a dozen trash bags.

Here at our new house I've got this monster Oak tree out front and a huge Maple tree out back. We've been raking the past 4 weekends using between 8-10 bags each weekend. Add to that a shit-load of acorns and you've got some serious work.

What a pain in the ass!

I need to find something other than rakes for this job going forward. A lawn vacuum cleaner for the acorns would be nice too.

Ah, the joys of home ownership.

America Has Spoken!!!

Thu, 09 Nov 2006 20:20:00 +0000

It's about time too. The DEMS now control both the House of Representatives and the Senate. America has finally taken off their rose-colored glasses, look around, and said, "Holy, shit! What did we do back in 2004?"

Me, I did the right thing in 2004. But for all you others out there (and you know who you are) welcome back to reality.

It's amazing, Mr. "Stay the Course" now thinks maybe he was wrong and should change directions. Mr. "Rumsfield Stays" said goodbye to Donald Rumsfield yesterday. Mr. "My Way or the Highway" now wants partisanship. And have you noticed, gas prices are on the rise again!

The DEMS have their work cut out for them. First they need to fix all the mistakes made during the past 6 years. Then they need to investigate and reprimand the people that blatantly stepped over the line. You know, the people that fabricated intelligence about Weapons of Mass Destruction to justify an IRAQ invasion. The people that saw to it that Halliburton got an exclusive, no bid contract to provide services in IRAQ. The people who ignored constitutional law and authorized illegal wiretaps on US citizens. Wow, I could go on and on.

Anyway, 2 more years and we can fix the mistake in the Oval Office. I can't wait!

A New, New Job

Sun, 15 Oct 2006 15:31:00 +0000

Jimmy has a new, new job...

The hours at the Dollar Tree were brutal and his grades started to slip. He quit there and now works at the local bowling alley as a party host. 4 hours on Saturday / 7 hours on Sunday every week. This keeps his weeks free for homework and he still has Friday & Saturday nights free to hang with friends.

All in all, not a bad deal. But a party host, please... he's a well paid baby sitter! Parents drop the kids off, disappear for a couple of hours, and then come back and get their kids.

Hmmm... maybe Michele and I should drop Nicholas off at the bowling alley on the weekends and get some "us" time. (image)

Spoiled Dog

Sun, 08 Oct 2006 02:30:00 +0000

Tonight we walked up to the Dairy Queen for a quick treat. Naturally anytime we go for a walk anywhere, we need to bring our 4 legged friend Max along with us. While at DQ, I was told to get an extra "soft vanilla" cone. Why, I wondered...


A New Job

Fri, 29 Sep 2006 15:44:00 +0000

Jimmy starts his new job tomorrow. He took his experience as a cashier at the swiming pool and used it to land a position at Dollar Tree Stores, Inc. What is absolutely amazing is that dollar stores aren't always Mom-n-Pop shops like I though. There are actually corporations that make this their business.

Dollar Tree actually has this in their mission statement... Dollar Tree Stores, Inc. is a customer-oriented, value-driven variety store, operating at a one-dollar price point. A mission statement for a dollar store... who would have thought.

Anyway, I'm reading through Jimmy's employee hand book (hey CTM, even the dollar stores have hand books, why can't you) and I'm learning this place is a real company. Benefits, paid days off, sexual harassment policies, the whole ball of wax.

All in all, I think this is a good deal for him. I hope he likes the job, only time will tell.

Clear the Road Everyone and Pray

Sun, 10 Sep 2006 02:27:00 +0000

Today I took Jimmy to the DMV to get his learner's permit. I was quite surprised; not because Jimmy passed and walked out of there with an actual permit, but because we were in and out of the DMV on a Saturday in less than an hour!

Anyway, Jimmy now has a minimum of 50 hours of training ahead of him and the DMV doesn't even want to see him back there for at least 6 months. This will be real interesting.

So on the way home, I pull into the big parking lot behind Moe's (yes, it's Moe's of Springfield). I put the car in park, turn it off, take the keys, and tell Jimmy to get out of the car. I then walk around the car, hand him the keys and say, "Drive!"

Remember how your stomach was in knots the first time you turned the key in a car ignition and put the sucker into drive. Jimmy felt the same way. "It's a little different than Playstation, right Jimbo?" He agreed. He said he could feel the weight of the car and the power of the engine... it was scary.

Now for the first time out, I kept it really simple. Basically we drove around the perimeter of the parking lot (note to self, take Dramamine before next lesson). He actually did pretty good. I had to laugh when he stopped with the concern that he couldn't make it between a parked car and a concrete lamp post. I said, "Dude, you're driving a Ford Focus and you can fit 3 Mack trucks between those two objects, go for it!"

All in all, he did well for his first time out. I also had him park the car in a parking spot (the lot was empty) and he nailed it. We traded places, went home, and he told Michele the news.

Good job kiddo, we're both very proud of you!

Off to a Good Start

Fri, 08 Sep 2006 18:21:00 +0000

My son Nicholas is on the Dick's Sporting Goods brag board with his catch. Click on this link ( and select "Saltwater" from the Sort by Game box on the right hand side of the page.

As of this posting, Nick is the first one listed. You may have to scroll down or select another page if you visit the site later.

A proud fisherman with his first catch of the day photographed by a proud dad (using his Palm Treo 700p).

It was a miserable, rainy day. But like they say, "A bad day of fishing is always better than a good day at the office."

Soft Vanilla

Mon, 04 Sep 2006 01:57:00 +0000

This one's for you cuz!

The Dairy Queen up the street from us closed in the early spring for major renovations. It was supposed to re-open in June, then it was July, then it was early August. If finally opened last week so I took the family for a walk and some DQ.

Michele & I are boring... we both got a traditional hot fudge sundae. Nicholas got a triple chocolate utopia and Jimmy got a chocolate shake.

And Mark, they were all made with soft vanilla! (image)

Falling Gas Prices

Sat, 02 Sep 2006 15:25:00 +0000

AAA Mid-Atlantic says gas prices in the Philadelphia region dropped 27 cents a gallon in the month of August and are expected to keep dropping.

Isn't it amazing? Gas prices under the current Republican controlled government (led by an oil man) have been the highest this nation has ever seen even when factoring in inflation. Now the price of gas is dropping at an unbelievable rate and will continue.

Can anyone guess why? THERE'S AN ELECTION IN TWO MONTHS !!!

I guess high gas prices will remind the voters how bad the Republicans have been bending them over and plowing them up the ass.

On a separate note...

This past Tuesday (8/29) was my birthday. It was also the 1 year anniversary of hurricane Katrina destroying New Orleans. Not only did our current administration do nothing to prepare for that disaster (with plenty of advanced warning no less), a year later New Orleans is still in shambles. To top things off, "W" has the nerve to go down there and on national TV, tell the American people that things are proceeding.

Can anyone guess why? THERE'S AN ELECTION IN TWO MONTHS !!!

I don't know about anyone else, but I don't feel a warm and fuzzy that this administration is prepared for anything. I sure don't get a warm and fuzzy that this administration will do everything in it's power to take care of it's citizens after a disaster.

If any of you haven't figured it out yet, this November I going into that voting booth and pulling the big Democrat lever. The current administration, and the Republican led Congress & Senate all suck. We need change and I'm going to do my part to usher in change.

On a final note...

Make sure you click this link: Failure

It will help keep our favorite president at the top of Google's search results when you Google the word "Failure".

I Got a New Toy

Thu, 17 Aug 2006 01:06:00 +0000

I got a new toy yesterday. It's a Palm Treo 700p Smart Phone! Here's a picture...

First, I did NOT buy this for myself, it was issued to me by my employer. Apparently, it's standard issue for all the people in my group.

This is the coolest thing. I can surf the web, read my work email, read my home email, create documents, play games, take pictures, film movies, and believe it or not, I can make and receive phone calls with it.

Naturally the kids want one too but that's not going to happen. These things are like $400 and god only knows what Sprint charges in monthly fees.

This company is sweet!

No Sox

Fri, 11 Aug 2006 19:24:00 +0000

My buddy Bill would be so proud of me and our former boss would be furious with me...