Friday, June 30, 2006

It's Official...

... I am unemployed

We had a great day today. I picked up pastries at an awesome (and expensive) bakery for everyone on the project. I did very little work. Just resetting automated message scripts to go to someone that is taking over some of my work. Signing a statement that will get me 2 months extra severance if I don't sue the company. Then we ordered pizza and watched Office Space in one of the conference rooms. We had a couple Office Space virgins in the croud that we've been buggin about not getting the memo. All the managers were there as well. What a perfect movie for this day.

I left work a little early and went on a interview with a recruiter that is submitting me for 2 different jobs in town. I am thinking that they are going to low ball me. I will probably end up commuting to Denver.

My brother is going to work at his old bar tonight to cover someone while they're on vacation. He invited me to come down for our traditional "Get Jon drunk after he leaves a job" night. I invited some of my buddies from work. I kind of doubt they'll show, although Dan is really wanting to see what I am like when drunk.

You'll probably be hearing from me a lot these next few weeks.

Have a great weekend my friends!!!!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

A great meme

1. How tall are you barefoot? 5'10"

2. Favorite movies? The 40 Year Old Virgin, American Pie, 12 Monkeys, Office Space, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, L.A. Confidential

3. Do you own a gun? I own a few that I always keep locked up in a safe. Now where did I put that key?

4. Who is your biggest enemy? The IRS

5. Favorite Scent? Steak on the barbeque, a particular perfume that I smell on women from time to time that has an incredible effect on me.

6. Do you like hot dogs? Yes, especially at the ball park

7. What's your favorite Christmas song? The Chistmas Song

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Diet Dr. Pepper

9. Do you do push-ups? Do I have to?

10. Brothers or sisters? 2 Brothers, 2 Sisters, 2 half sisters

11. What's your most liked piece of jewelry? I have no bling

12. What do you take for pain relief? Ibuprofen unless I have friends with something better.

13. What is your secret weapon to lure in the opposite sex? Honesty... no wonder I have such a hard time

14. Do you own a knife? I have a few, including a small set of Cutco knives for cooking

15. Do you have A.D.D.? These are definitely not my underwear

16. Middle name? Allen

17. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment.
Get that mail order prescription filled
Buy some socks tomorrow
Wishing I had invested more

18. Name the last 3 things you have bought. Accesories for the Xbox 360, Movie tickets, Beer for my going away party

19. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink. Diet Dr. Pepper, water, beer

20. What time did you wake up today? 9:45am

21. Current worry? Job

22. Current hate? How I procrastinate

23. Your favorite place to be? Riding my quad in the mountains.

24. Least favorite place to be? Pulled over getting a ticket.

25. Where would you like to go? Vegas, California, Michigan, NYC, Mexico, Australia, Bahamas, Alaska

26. Do you own slippers? Yes, but I never wear them. My youngest gave them to me for Valentines Day. They say Dad on them, but they don't fit at all.

27. What shirt are you wearing? Denver Broncos T

28. Do you burn or tan? yes.

29. Least favorite color? Chartruese (sp?)

30. Would you be a pirate? I already am

31. Last time you had an alcoholic drink? Yesterday at my going away party (one week early)

32. What songs do you sing in the shower? Everything that is on my MP3 disk that I play in my bathroom

33. What did you fear was going to get you at night as a child? The monster in the closet

34. What's in your pockets right now? Wallet, cell phone

35. Last thing that made you laugh? This picture. Thanks Emma for making me laugh histerically.

36. Best bed sheets you had as a child? Speed Racer.

37. Worst injury you've ever had? broke the tip of my finger when a Coke syrup tank I was to catch bounced and landed on my hand as I tried to duck.

38. What is your favorite pet? Dogs, but since I am allergic... other people's dogs that I don't pet.

39. How many TVs do you have in your house? 5 if you count the 35" Trinitron that doesn't work. Only 2 are regularly used.

40. Who is your loudest friend? Mike D. When he lived across the street he could be talking in his back yard and it would sound like he was in my front yard

41. Who is your most silent friend? Stupid question... next

42. Does someone have a crush on you? I hope so

43. Do you wish on stars? No, but some times I watch them

44. What is your favorite book? Ferdinand the Bull

45. What is your favorite candy? Licorice or Heath bar

46. What song do/did you want played at your wedding? Tonic "Count On Me"

47. What song do you want played at your funeral? Elton John "Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding"

48. What were you doing at 12 a.m. last night? Watching TV in bed

49. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up? Why don't I hear the kids? (always makes me nervous when I can't hear them... it usually means trouble)

50. Do you have a favorite charity? Alzheimer's Association, American Lung Association

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

More baseball and Father's Day, and maybe time to rest

Erik's team had one last game to play... THE CHAMPIONSHIP!

I think it's a bit odd to have a championship game when this level of Little League is not supposed to be competitive, but they have it anyway.

First off I was late leaving work and my ex was not going to be able to make the game due to work. I had to rush out of the office and drive 25-30 minutes to pick him up at day camp, pick up Kevin at my house, and head for the game. Suddenly I get a call. MS is checking to see what is going on that evening. I told her about the big game. She asked if she could come with her son. Why did this cause any kind of freaking out? On top of this I already had plans for after the game. My kids had just met her a couple of weeks prior, but Kevin had not met her son. A small amount of panic set in. She said she wanted to come anyway.

I was nervous about it, but decided it wasn't a bad thing. She asked where it was at. I gave her some rough instructions, but told her I was running late and probably wouldn't be there on time. Then the idea hit me. If she could pick Kevin up that would save me enough time that Erik probably wouldn't be late. Plus, Kevin knows exactly where the game would be. I relayed a few phone calls between her and Kevin and it was done. She was going to take Kevin to the game. Then that panic feeling set in again. I told myself I am over reacting.

I got Erik and headed to the game. Luckily I had put his uniform and all of his equipment in the car that morning. He changed while I drove. When we arrived it was right when the game was to start. One of the assistant couches was breathing a sigh of relief. He told me he was afraid their best first baseman was a no show.

I was now worried that the coach was going to ask me to ump again. He was walking over to me with a smile on his face. Not good! Then suddenly a guy dressed in official ump gear walked up to the field. He said he was hired to umpire a game, but when he got to the field he was supposed to be at they were just having a scrimmage game. He asked if we needed an umpire. A HUGE sigh of relief from me was heard over the entire city.

The game was VERY tense. Not tense like that last game, but everyone was trying so hard to do well. There were a few hits, but we were scoreless through 3 innings. In the 4th inning the bats got heated up. We got one run hit in by one of the boys. When the other team got up they too scored, but they scored 2. I was starting to get really nervous.

Our 5th inning turned into a big rally. We had bases loaded and no outs when one boys smacked a big hit scoring 2. They got one kid out at second. More hits put one more score into the record before we got out.

We were up by 2 going into the 6th inning. If we can keep them from scoring more than 1 point we have the game. The first kid popped one up to our 3rd baseman. The next kid got a big hit... double. Our pitcher then put the heat on and struck out the next boy. The next batter hit a short blooper right over to Erik at 1st base. He didn't get to it in time to catch, but he got it with one bounce. You could see the concentration in his face. He raced the kid to the base to force him out.

A couple of the parents commented how I was not my usual composed self throughout the game. I am normally quite vocal cheering on the boys, but I guess my pacing and cursing the bad calls was noticed. Oh and then there was the time I was hanging on the fence shaking it in frustration.
I am very proud of this entire team. They started out the season looking pretty weak. For them to turn that all around and take the championship was quite remarkable.

MS did not come back to the house with us


The boys decided to take me to Six Flags for Father's Day. My ex bought them season passes, and they got a coupon for me to get in free on Father's Day. I asked them if they minded if MS went with us. They thought it was a great idea. They had another coupon to get her in for like $15. Gotta love going to an amusement park and not have to pay $100 to get 4 people in.

The weather was perfect. Hot enough to have all the girls wearing as little as possible. But what I thought was odd was that the lines were short. We got right on some of the best rides in the park. I must be into some really good Karma lately.

My kids were behaving great. No fighting over what ride to do or food to eat (lunch cost me just over $40 for nasty cold hamburgers... yikes!). There were a couple of times where they were saying they wanted to do something, but I wasn't really up for it. When this happened MS said to the kids in kind of a negative tone, "What day is it guys?". She meant well trying to keep them from stressing me out on Father's Day, but they were no where near causing any trouble. I see this as stepping over the line. I know I'm going to need to address this. Trying not to over react.

The rest of this week I am going to try to relax and get a few things done around the house that are on my to do list. I'd rather get this stuff out of the way before I am unemployed.


Part of me wants to take a trip somewhere once my job is over. I just need a change of scenery. Vegas always comes to mind. I have been there in June/July before. The heat is not pleasant, but bearable with all the casinos and swimming pools. MS doesn't gamble. Something to do with her father or uncle, I'm not sure. Plus she is going to Europe in mid-July on vacation.

What to do?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

You're Outta There!

Erik's last regular baseball game was last night. The couch asked me to be the umpire again. I've done it for about a third of the games. On the games that I came late to (when I didn't have the kids) he would always comment on how he was looking for me to ump. I think he likes the way I call 'em. I don't particularly like doing it because it stresses me out, but if I don't do it then I can't groan at the other parents that are asked to ump.

The stress was abnormally high for me last night because my ex-father-in-law who I respect and admire was there to watch Erik. He's done the umpire job as something fun to do after he retired from the Army. He got paid to ump games at a much more competitive upper teens and competative adult levels. Also in attendance was my ex-sister-in-law, and nephew.

The game started out as most games went, but the the opposing 3rd base coach decided to take advantage of an error our team made and sent the kid on third home for their first score. These are 7 and 8 year old kids and they make a lot of mistakes, and we are trying very hard to teach them good sportsmanship. All of the parents on our side were pissed off. I wasn't sure if I should have a word with their coaches or not.

After we ended that half of the inning I talked to our coach. He told me not to worry about it. He said they pulled the same crap in a earlier game and that we'll just have to do the same kind of things. He said that we need to just keep it away from the kids. I just knew this was going to escalate into an ugly game.

We were up and a similar circumstance allowed us to advance our runners. They started to get aggravated when we scored a couple runs. It was only going to get worse from here.

After a wild throw to home to get one of our kids out was not caught our coach advanced the remaining runners on base. One of their coaches came to tell me that the play should have been dead after a throw to home. I have had kids in Little League for the past 8 years, and plays were never called dead unless the ball is in control and time is called, or the ball is thrown to the pitcher. I explained this to the guy and he acted as if I was speaking a foreign language. I again consulted our coach on my call. He agreed with me and told me to not let them upset me. I started feeling like if they are going to get this way then we should be hiring umpires that know the official rules.

Later in the game our coach was talking to the batter. I was paying attention to him as well. He finished what he was trying to say. The batter, the catcher and myself were all caught a little off guard when getting ready to play again, the pitcher throws a pitch before everyone is set. It happened to be a strike, but I called it a no-pitch. After we finshed with this batter one of the coaches comes out to talk to me about the no-pitch call. He started in with his "I've been a coach in this league at the Junior and Major levels" crap. With a little patronizing he did the "I know you're a volunteer parent...". He stated that the rules are clear that if the umpire doesn't hold out his hand to the pitcher to hold him off he is allowed to throw. We got into it a little, but I told him I would try to be better about using the hand signals, like there isn't enough going on to add to my stress.

I took a deep breath and we continued through the game. The intensity was still high, but no more incidents occured. We had a big rally in the final inning the secured the game for us. The kids were quite happy for the win. I felt bad for the kids on the other team because of how this escalated. Only one of the coaches came out to shake hands. Great example!

Since this was the last regular season game the coach planned on taking all the kids out to pizza after the game. The ex was supposed to take the boys out to dinner tonight, so she was going to take them. I decided to bow out of Chucky Cheese.

I had a shitty dream about this that woke me up in the middle of the night. I couldn't get back to sleep for more than an hour.

Why won't blogger let me post pictures from work? Dammit!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Kids and their toys

This summer could possibly be the best summer yet, but in my funk I can't seem to see it. I am not looking forward to losing my job. Everyone at work is feeling pretty down about the 5 or 6 of us that are leaving this month. The rest have until the end of September before they are gone.

My plans for my time off are varied. I know that part of the time I'll be building computers. My brother and I are getting more work for our company, but until I know I'm going to be working locally (not commuting) I won't push for more computer work. I think my brother wants more and more, so until I find some focus it's hard to say where the company will go.

I have signed Erik up for summer daycamp (who am I kidding, it's just more expensive daycare). He is going to be taking swimming lessons a couple days a week and going on a lot of field trips. I needed to do this so that he stays active. He would sit around all day and play video games and watch movies if I let him.

Kevin won't be in any camp. So on the weeks I have the boys when I am not busy looking for work he may just get on my last nerve.

The funny thing is I bitch and bitch about them not getting out and doing things on their own, but then I go out and spend part of my bonus (yes I just got a bonus right before getting laid off)
on an XBox 360. I am a contradiction in terms.

I mentioned a while back about how my ex bought Kevin a motorcycle last year (or was it 2 years). Well she laid down the law a few months ago. She said if Kevin comes home with any Cs then he cannot ride his motorcycle all summer (what is she thinking?). Well his grades were up and down this year. They started out good, but then they got really bad. He had a potencial of 4 Cs or one of those being a D around the mid point of the term, but he pulled his head out of his ass and really got to work. He managed to get them all up to Bs, and even got one to an A, except for one. He got a 79.3% in one of his classes. I am very proud of him for all of his hard work to fix his grades.

Although I understand that my ex can't just give in and let him ride his bike, I also think there should be some wiggle room due to his tremendous effort. She pulled me aside the other day at Erik's baseball game to tell me she wasn't backing down. Since I don't own any part of that bike I don't feel I have a say in how she is holding it against him. I will be talking to her about it some more, but not n front of Kevin. I don't want to undermine her authority. It requires some subtle and up-front tactics.

My boys are constantly after me to do things with them. Am I that cool of a dad? Sometimes it feels like they think my only purpose is to entertain them. They make me feel guilty when I haven't made any fun plans for the weekend (other than cleaning and yard work... fun fun fun). I was talking to MS (the lady I am seeing) about it. She says that I do tend to have something fun planned with them every time I talk to her. But then again these "plans" are not always for the kids. I take them to movies that I want to see, we go to ball games (major an minor league) because I want to go to them. Am I just a kid with a bigger allowance?

I've been playing Battlefield 2 with a number of people on Thursday nights for the past 7 or 8 months. Some I work with, and some I know just through the game community. My ex also asked on Thursday night "What happened to game night?". She did this because I took MS with me to the game. This was her first time meeting the ex. I know the ex had asked me this to emphasize my geek side to MS. But I love it when this shit backfires. You see MS plays console games. She owns a PS2 (lost the XBox to her ex in her divorce). MS got all excited when I told her I bought a 360. I think the ex's eyes may never come out from the back of her head.

Hmmm, I wonder if MS likes me just for my toys?

On a final note. I took the boys to a Rockies vs Dodgers game yesterday. Fifth row, just past 3rd base. A perfect day for a game. It was quite hot out, but the clouds rolled in toward the 7th inning to cool us down. We take our gloves to all games, just in case. They make me take mine, but it's all fun. I have been to a number of major league and minor league games in my life. Once when I was about 8 or 9 my dad almost caught a foul ball. That was as close as I have ever come, until yesterday. I was a couple feet from a foul in an early inning, then around the 7th I was inches out of reach of another. The asswipe in front of me tried to catch it in his plastic cup. That thing shattered and the ball bounced away. At least he ended up wearing his $5 Coke. Muahahahaha :D

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Dating Purity Test

Your Dating Purity Score: 54%

You are an average dater.
You're experienced enough to be a great girlfriend or boyfriend...
Though you still may be figuring out exactly what you want in love!

I can't seem to get inspired to write about anything. One of you should ask me something that maybe would inspire me.

Saturday, June 03, 2006