Thursday, March 31, 2005

Blind Date

I was always against being "fixed up", mostly because I would be embarrassed when I don't like the person my friends would consider a good match for me.

My friend Evans and his wife Linda wanted me to meet their friend Chantel for a very long time. I think the first time Linda suggested it was a year ago. Well, I finally caved a week or so ago. I agreed to meet her.

We made it a double date. We all met at the Rock Bottom Brewery on the south side of Denver for dinner. Linda is pregnant so she couldn't drink.

As always I was early. I don't like making people wait, and this place was a 1 hour drive for me. I waited in the car playing my always loud music. I was nervous, but I figured we would spend a couple hours together and it would be over. Not really the right attitude, but I couldn't help it.

Evans told me Chantel was very cute. He was very right. She has these gorgeous blue eyes, light red hair, very pretty face. I was thankful. We sat across from each other as you should when needing to have a good conversation. The food was good, not great, we shared a carrot cake for dessert.

Linda being pregnant and not getting a nap that day after taking their son to a birthday party she needed to get home. We all headed out to the parking lot. I asked for Chantel's number, she was very willing to give it to me. Evans and Linda left, but Chantel and I talked by her car. She asked me if I wanted to go back in and talk some more. I was more than happy to.

We talked about anything and everything: Her kids, my kids, likes, dislikes, movies, music. She made me laugh a lot. I like a woman that can intensionally do that. I tend to laugh a lot anyway, but most times what was said isn't supposed to be that funny. She was so easy to talk to. We even broached the forbidden subject of our exes. I loved her honesty.

My good friend Sherri sent me a text asking me how it went. It was 10:30 and we were still at Rock Bottom. I replied saying that it is still going, and it was great. We continued talking and laughing, enjoying each others company.

All of a sudden the bartender turned up the lights. I checked the time. It was midnight. They were closing. We went out to her car and talk a few more minutes. I didn't want the night to end, but I knew it needed to. I gave her a kiss and we went our separate ways. A very good night. I had a lot on my mind to keep me company on the long drive home.

Monday, March 21, 2005


I went on an interview today for the jobs I talked about earlier. The one that only needed me for 2 weeks wants to see me tomorrow. It would be nice to get back to work soon even if it is for just 2 weeks.

The longer term job needs to look at their budget since they are a non-profit, and I am kind of expensive. I am such a whore.

I worked on my friends Dennis and Faith's computer today when I returned. I had to reload all the software from scratch (including the OS). It amazes me how my closest friends can screw up a computer so bad.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Kevin Made AAA

That's right, Kevin was moved up to AAA Majors in Little League. He is on the Red Sox. My Aunt Pat will be thrilled (lives near Boston so obviously a Red Sox fan). His coach seems really good. Already has a couple assistant coaches. I am going to volunteer to help with both of my kids teams, to what capacity I don't know. If I get a job then that will effect how much I can do.


Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Slowing down

The boys are officially on Spring Break. I am planning on having Erik in the daycare for a few days next week because I have a couple interviews lined up. Both jobs are short term, but I would rather have a short term job than have to go into my savings. The longer of the 2 jobs is here in Colorado Springs. That would be nice. The problem is that is it working at a local Christian-based non-profit company. This means I will have to watch my filthy fucking mouth ;)

We find out tonight if Kevin made it onto a AAA baseball team or is still in AA. We'll also find out what team he's on. If he is still AA I kind of hope he is back on the A's. Dave's first year of coaching the boys was kind of rough, but last year he did a good job. We had a great record and the kids learned a lot from him and the other assistant coaches.

Looking for work is such a pain in the ass... I am thinking of investing in realestate, first to suppliment, then eventually to replace needing this career. I love what I do, but I think I need something else too. Other than that it's been a slow week other than talking to my friends on the internet.

My friend Mike called me yesterday and told me his friend (who has his same exact first and last name...wierd huh?) had killed himself. Mike is understandibly upset. Said he was going to get drunk. I wish he wouldn't turn to alcohol every time something happens (good or bad). I am worried about him.

Monday, March 14, 2005

A Proud Weekend - Part 2: Sunday

I woke up early Sunday morning to the sight of 2-3 inches of snow on the ground. I had to pick up Kevin from his friend's house early in the morning to get to his Little League tryouts. They were having tryouts at an indoor batting cage and practice field, so the weather was not a factor. We've been practicing for weeks, getting his baseball muscles into shape. Actually they were already in shape. He's been doing a weight training program after school 3 days a week for a number of weeks now. He has packed on a lot of muscle yet he has also lost a good amount of bad weight. He is looking really good.

We had to do some running around to get things that he forgot at my ex's house. We drove across town to the indoor field. Kevin warmed up by playing catch with a boy his age that also needed to warm up. This boy was just starting to play baseball this year. Kevin was taking it easy on him . The other boy missed catching one ball and got clocked on top of his head. He shook it off and kept playing catch. A few minutes later he took one on the cheek. He was done. He sat down with his parents and I went in with Kevin taking his place.

The Little League tryout accomplish 2 things. It allows the league to find the best kids and place them in the AAA league. There are only a limited number of slots to fill in the AAA league so they need to find the best. The other reason is to find who is good and who is in need of work and assign them to teams in the AA league in an attempt to spread out the different talent levels evenly across the AA teams. Kevin has been wanting to get into AAA for the past 3 years. Would this be his year?

A little while later the group Kevin was assigned to was told to take the field. They continued to warm up with the coaches and officials judging kids in other groups. A few judges watched the boys playing catch to see their throwing and catching form.

For fielding tryouts the they had one kid at a time take turns in the short stop position. They would hit a series of 5 balls to the kid, which then had to be thrown to a kids at first base. Many kids fumbled the balls hit to them, others could not throw accurately to the first baseman. When Kevin got up the first ball he fielded perfectly, but his throw to first went too high. The next 4 hits to him he also fielded perfectly, but also threw perfectly to the first basemen. They followed this up by timing how fast the boys could run from home plate to second base.

Batting tryouts were next. I had been watching a lot of the kids from the previous group in the batting cage. I was standing behind the coaches and officials. The pitching machine they used confused some of the kids. Each kid was instructed to bunt the first 2 balls pitched to them, then swing hard at the following 3. Most kids had trouble with the bunting. It is not something they want to practice. The 3 regular swing were not easily hit by any of the kids either. There were a lot of strike outs that morning.

Kevin was up and got into position. He missed the first to balls (bunts). The first regular swing he nailed it, the second he hit foul, and the third he hit solid again. I knew he did very well from what I saw of almost all the other kids. A couple of the coaches were asking what his number was so they could note his performance in their books. I thought his chances were getting pretty good for AAA.

Then the kids were to go over to the pitching area. Not all kids tried out for pitching. I am not sure why that was. I told Kevin he should go over there. He wants to be a catcher again, but of the games he did pitch he did extremely well. He is a hell of a relief pitcher (maybe I am a little bias). Kevin asked one of the coaches at the batting cages where they were doing the catcher tryouts. He said he thought they were doing that over in the pitching area. We headed there.

We found out that this year they were not doing catcher tryouts.

For the pitching tryout you threw 5 balls to a boy that was decked out in catchers gear. I watched a number of kids pitch while Kevin was out warming up for the fielding tryouts. I dont know what they were looking for more, speed or accuracy (I would hope accuracy from the pitches I was seeing). Kevin is a very accurate thrower.

There was one boy in front of Kevin. He threw well, I think he had 3 balls and 2 strikes. I could not see what the radar was reading for his pitches. Kevin stepped up, had good form and threw 5 perfect strikes I saw the radar on one of the pitches. He was throwing around 33 MPH. Not fast, but accurate. Again the coaches were asking what his number was. We watched the next kid throw. He was throwing much faster than Kevin, around 41 MPH, but his throws were all over the place.

We won't know the results of the tryout for a few weeks. Keep your fingers crossed.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

A Proud Weekend - Part 1: Saturday

It was not supposed to be my weekend with the kids, but there was just too much I did not want to miss.

Kevin is playing trumpet in the 6th grade. He decided to compete in the local Solo and Ensemble contests. This is a city wide competition where kids volutarily choose to do a solo or duet, trio, etc and be judged by teachers and music program administrators from all over. It was being held at my old middle school (it was called Jr. High when I was there). It brought back some great memories.

Saturday morning was the competition. Based on there performance they are given a rating of 1 (highest) to 5 (lowest). They had been preparing for a month or 2. Kevin is in a trumpet trio with 2 other boys from his middle school. They were the 3rd group on the list of brass ensembles. We all gathered outside the door of one of the class rooms they delegated for brass and percussion. The kids were excited. One of the kids grandfather was telling them to cough up some money so he could bribe the judge.

It was finally their turn. We all filed in. The boys set up while their teacher talked to the judge. They were ready to go. The teacher checked their tuning. The kids could not have any help once the teacher had them set. I can't rememeber his name, but one of the boys announced the school they were from and they each said their names. The boys had to start themselves off without the teacher counting off for them. They started perfectly. They had great harmonies. A couple missed notes, but nothing too bad. At this level it isn't about playing each note perfectly. There piece is fairly short. They also ended right together. All three boys did a great job. The judge had some comments about them holding notes at certain spots a little longer. He had them play it again. They did as well the second time except they got a little out of sync at the end. The judge thanked them and we cleared the room. I was not expecting them to get higher than a 2 on their performance, but then again I am not a judge.

We would have about a 15 minute wait for their final rating to get posted. I found where theywoud be posting the scores. No scores were reported yet. We sat nearby in the cafeteria for a bit, then I took the kids down to the band room that I knew so well. It seemed smaller than I remembered it. The big letters on the south wall read Irving Bands are #1. This was painted up there the summer after I left for high school. I came by the school when they were painting it and help (very little). Amy, Karen, Todd, and Michelle's names were all still there signifying that they painted the sign in 1980. It's amazing that 25 years later it would not have been covered up. That really made me feel good.

We made our way back to the cafeteria. Kevin went to check on the score. Only the first brass ensemble score was posted. Kevin was nervous. I remember how that feels. The butterflies were definitely getting to him. He went outside complaining that it was hot in there. I took Erik to the restroom which happened to be right by the board where they were posting the scores. On our way back I took a quick look. Smiled and kept walking. I made it down to the cafeteria where Irene (my ex) was still waiting. I gave her a nod and asked where Kevin was now. She pointed me to him. I waved him over and told him I saw them putting up some new scores up. He ran up there squeezing his way through the bigger kids and parents. He came out with a smile from ear to ear. The other boys were near by. Kevin called out, "We got a 1". All 3 of them were hig 5-ing each other. I went over and congratulated all of them and talked to their families for a few seconds.

The detailed critique of their performance would be written up and sent to the school. We were all done and got ready to leave. I looked around again at the school a little bit before heading to the door. I gave the kids hugs as my car was parked a different direction than their mom's. I told Kevin I would see him first thing in the morning.

The weekend wasn't over...

Friday, March 11, 2005

Lack of sleep

It's been a rough few days.

My kids wer both sick during the week. I hate it when my kids are sick.

Last weekend I took the kids to the park. I wasn't paying attantion and was hit in the face with a throw from Kevin. I've got a nice bruise on my chin. It's kind of embarrassing to be seen with this nasty purple spot on my face. It's starting to fade, but it will be a while before it is completely gone.

I haven't found a new job yet. I have had solid calls on 3 different jobs. One in Colorado Springs, the other 2 in Denver. It would be nice to land a job in Colorado Springs so I wouldn't have to make that long drive everyday. I was called about the job in the Springs. They offered the job to the first person they interviewed. I was told if the guy doesn't accept the offer they want to interview me right away. I'm not holding my breath. I am hoping for the Raytheon job in Denver.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

New friends...

I met a new friend on-line the other night. She has a blog on here as well that I ran across. The subject matter was very intense. I had to comment on it. She has an amazing way of wording her "stories" that kept me completely captivated. I started by reading her latest entry, then ended up going back and reading every single entry and all the comments on them. She sent me a thank you e-mail and we haven't been able to stop chatting ever since.

Although she completely blows me away every time we talk (about absolutely everything), and she is absolutely gorgeous, alas she is married.

She has inspired me to write about various parts of my life. Some of this being very personal.

Thanks again T. You are wonderful

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Latest Movies

I think I have seen more Academy Award nominated movies this year than any other year before. I think there is only one that I have missed (and I can't remember which one it is, and frankly I don't care).

I went to see Million Dollar Baby on Thursday. Excellent movie, but by the end I was just plain depressed. Hilary Swank was excelent, Clint and Morgan were great... as usual.

On a sad note I took the kids to The Pacifier yesterday. What a half assed piece of crap. Other than Lauren Graham, who I think is gorgeous, I could have passed on the whole thing. Do the people doing non-animated movies at Disney have any imagination, or the ability to pay attention to detail?

I am looking forward to both Robots and Hostage. I hope Bruce doesn't let us down.

More On Baseball... or should that be Moron Baseball?

I took the kids to the park today to get them warmed up for baseball season. Kevin's friend Colton came along.

We started off just throwing baseballs around. Erik decided he wanted to go play on the swings and such. Well the wind picked up a bit and I saw some trash blowing, coming near us. I started to call to Kevin to pick up help me catch the trash, and I hadn't realized he had thrown the ball at me. I turned to look at him just in time to take the perfectly thrown ball in the chin. I'm sure it'll look impressive tomorrow. It hurt like a Mother F....., but I'll survive.

I worked Kevin and Colton pretty hard playing catch, pitching, fielding, getting good throws. I positioned them in the backstop and threw balls at each of them that were not on target to get them used to reaching for the balls and then throwing it back to me accurately. They both did excellent. Colton is a year behind Kevin, and he doesn't seem to get to practice too much with his step dad (no comment from me there). Kevin is getting stronger with his throwing. He has always had a great glove. I always have a hard time getting the ball past him. That's what makes him a great catcher in my opinion. He's been working out at school in a weight training program. I can tell it is doing wonders for his strength and stamina. He has lost some weight and is looking really good.

Little League try outs are next Sunday morning. I am hoping Kevin will make it on a AAA team, but there are only so many spots available. Regardless of whether he gets that or not, he will do well. Both Kevin and Erik are really excited for baseball to start. Hell, so am I.

Too Bored To Think

I am out of work right now AND I AM BORED. It's only been a week. I've wanted to go on a trip, just to unwind. I don't think of myself as a work-a-holic, but I feel strange taking time off, even when I am sick. Having an entire week off (so far) is driving me a bit crazy. I may need to take a trip to see some friends, just to break up the monotinay.

On a good note I am getting lots of contacts for new work. I am guessing it will be in Denver again, but who knows, maybe there's a company in Colorado Springs willing to pony up the dough for an SCM person that knows what they are doing.

Everywhere I go I tend to spend about 2-4 weeks cleaning up problems from previous CM personnel. I get things running smoothly, make some improvements in the tools setup, or the process they follow. Then I have to get into the detailed way in which they build and deploy their software. That's when I get frustrated. These people don't realize the problems and delays they cause themselves because of bad decisions that were made long ago. I saw some real pushes to improvements to how we build and deloy certain products at Jeppesen, but then implementation of these improvements, even though were minor as far as changes in the step, were not implemented due to fear of the unknown. People, it's time to take risks or forever be stagnant.

I made some great friends at Jeppesen. I was sad to leave and they were sad to see me go, but I am a contractor/consultant. I know that they don't necessarily want me there permanently (I know I am not cheap). It's unfortunate with the amount of positive change they have planned that I could not stick around for a few more months. It would have been good to see things put in place. If any of my Jepp friends read this, I truely hope you guys make it throughy all the changes in one piece. Change is never easy, but sometimes it is mandatory. I am here if you need any guidance or have any questions.