Friday, July 28, 2006


Today I have successfully installed, configured and reloaded a new hard drive in my laptop. I am so glad to have it working again and to be typing this message on it.

There was a day not so long ago that I would not have considered turning a computer on but today I pretty much rebuilt my laptop and set it up from scratch. While it is not really that hard it is an intimidating process.

These are the challenges that I like to take on. I have been waiting, like a child waits for christmas, to get to work on this. It was the first thing I started doing when I got home and have pretty much been working on it since.

Now the only thing I have left to do is see if I can save files off my bad hard drive. I was able to finally get most everything off of it but there are still a few things I would like to have. Once I get them it will just be a matter of restoring all of that on the laptop.

So what next? I guess I will have to blog more. And perhaps now I can really fulfill that goal of someday building my own computer from scratch.

Thursday Thirteen Answers...

Here are the answers to my Thursday Thirteen.

1. Nathan Birnbaum = George Burns
2. Jacob Cohen = Rodney Dangerfield
3. Leslie Lynch King, Jr. = Gerald R. Ford
4. Caryn Johnson = Whoopie Goldberg
5. Norma Jean Baker = Marilyn Monroe
6. Marion Morrison = John Wayne
7. Harold Lloyd Jenkins = Conway Twitty
8. Richard Starkey = Ringo Starr
9. Demetria Guynes = Demi Moore
10. Frances Gumm = Judy Garland
11. Reginald Dwight = Elton John
12. Thomas Mapother IV = Tom Cruise
13. Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr. = John Denver

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Thursday Thirteen for July 26th

Thirteen Real Names of Celebrities, Can you Name Them? This list includes actors, singers and politicians. I may post hints later today depending on how it is going.
(See Answers Tomorrow)

Example: Leslie Townes Hope = Bob Hope

1. Nathan Birnbaum
2. Jacob Cohen
3. Leslie Lynch King, Jr.
4. Caryn Johnson
5. Norma Jean Baker
6. Marion Morrison
7. Harold Lloyd Jenkins
8. Richard Starkey
9. Demetria Guynes
10. Frances Gumm
11. Reginald Dwight
12. Thomas Mapother IV
13. Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Part 2 of Previous Post...

It is finished....

My laptop has officially died. Now all I get when rebooting is that lovely screen we affectionately call the "Blue Screen of Death".

I have lost it all and not sure I will be able to recover anything else off of it. I do have one last ditch effort on trying to recover stuff but that will take me a little time.

In the meantime, I am going to be tied to a desktop computer in my home office. Now that is not going to go over well. Funny how we get spoiled by these little conveniences we have.

Oh yeah one other thing, if you remember my post a few weeks ago about Dell and Microsoft. I ordered a new hard drive from Dell and they sent me an order confirmation. I requested overnight delivery and the current ship date on that order now stands at DECEMBER 5, 2006. YES!!!! You read that right. DECEMBER. Now go figure. They do have another one available and I could have it tomorrow but the cost on it is 3 times the amount for the same thing.

Boy do they have you!

I have not decided but I would say knowing me, odds are good I will end up cancelling and purchasing the more expensive so I can have it. Do they really think someone wants to wait until December to get these parts?

Practice what I preach....

So last night I was talking with my sister on the phone about losing her laptop. She blogged about this later. But as I was talking to her, I guess my systems mind came out a little although I am not sure I said anything. My thoughts were, it is not too smart to not be backing up the important things on your computer. It makes so much sense to me that everyone should be doing this, there are countless tools available that help us to do this in a nice easy way.

Well about 5 hours later, I am working on my laptop and all the sudden the entire thing freezes. At this point I cannot get it to do anything. Then after a few minutes of trying to get it to unlock, quite honestly just trying to avoid hitting the power button, I get what we at work refer to as "The Blue Screen of Death". This is not a good sign. Not only did I get that screen but it is making an odd noise. The only thing left to do is power it off which I did.

With a sigh of relief I see it start to boot back up and it all seems to be working. Well it only looks that way, it will not let me do anything at this point.

So now I start getting frantic and scrambling because this is when I stop and realize I have not practiced exactly what I thought there was no excuse not to do. I did not have backups of most everything on there. Frantically I am working and giving this darn computer CPR just hoping that I can get through and save as much as possible. Needless to say it kept crashing and I finally got frustrated working with it so I left it alone until today. We will see what happens tonight. Fortunate for me, I happened to have backed up my money program to my other computer about two weeks ago, so that is a big relief. Much easier to recreate a week and a half of that rather than several years.

Well I am sure there will be more to this. Tonight I am going to try again to get as much as I can off of it. One of my coworkers gave me a tool that he thought might help me get everything pretty easily. We will see what happens. Keep your fingers crossed.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

My Uneventful Weekend...

Friday I took the afternoon off so that I could go play golf. Now if you know Texas in July you will know that it is a crazy thing to do. But, this is when the person I was playing with wanted to go. So we met over there and started playing around noon. Let me just say it was HOT!!!!!!!!! And to make it worse there was no breeze of any sort.

Now for the upside, my game was pretty hot too. I have not played since before christmas and I went out hitting the ball better than I have in a long time. It was a great way to make me forget about the heat.

When we finished I got in the car and the outside temperature was 108 degrees. That was insane. Fortunate for me my golf score beat the temperature for that day. The way I have played the last few times I played this was a big accomplishiment. When done we both agreed that next time it will be in the morning that we play.

After golf I got to pick up my repaired car. Looks all new again. They really did a great job fixing it. Even better yet is the girl that hit me was fantastic about taking care of everything. I was able to go in there Friday at 5pm and it was paid for and ready to go. Not that being in a wreck is a good experience but she certainly was accomodating and took care of my car.

Saturday I really did not do too much. I was actually a little sore from golf. I guess when you do not play for 7 months and then you go out in 108 degree weather and play you feel it. LOL I have decided to get myself out playing more, it was a lot of fun and even better when you are playing pretty darn good.

Today was a busy day. I was up early mowing the yard. Had that all done by 9:15am, I am sure my neighbors loved that.

After that, grocery shopping time and then home to watch the rest of the British Open. Great Job Tiger!

Tonight I grilled out ribs, had corn on the cob and biscuits. Once in a while I can fix myself a decent meal. Then just watched tv while doing the laundry.

Not really anything exciting from Texas. Looking forward to another fantastic week. Hope everyone has one as well. I am off to bed. :-)

Friday, July 21, 2006

Thursday's Answers

Here are the answers to my Thursday Thirteen.

1. USA Dessert (American Pie)
2. ExtraordinaryMale (Superman)
3. Reverse to Tomorrow (Back to the Future)
4. Unwholesome Metropolis (Sin City)
5. A Lovely Psyche (A Beautiful Mind)
6. Self-Reliance 24-hours (Independence Day)
7. Battles of Space (Star Wars)
8. BelowEarth (Underworld)
9. Educational Facility of Rubble (School of Rock)
10. The Entire 27 Feet (The Whole Nine Yards)
11. Arctic, Atlantic, Indian, Pacific just shy of a dozen (Ocean's Eleven)
12. Twelve Costs Less (Cheaper by the Dozen)
13. Commemorate the Behemoths (Remember the Titans)

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Thursday Thirteen for July 20th

Thirteen Alternate Movie Titles, can you name the real titles?
(See Answers Tomorrow)

Example: Handful of American Currency = “Fist Full of Dollars”

1. USA Dessert
2. ExtraordinaryMale
3. Reverse to Tomorrow
4. Unwholesome Metropolis
5. A Lovely Psyche
6. Self-Reliance 24-hours
7. Battles of Space
8. BelowEarth
9. Educational Facility of Rubble
10. The Entire 27 Feet
11. Arctic, Atlantic, Indian, Pacific just shy of a dozen
12. Twelve Costs Less
13. Commemorate the Behemoths

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

How Do You Measure....

In the past I have mentioned that I have a passion for theater. Several years ago I purchased a copy of the CD for the musical Rent. The music and songs grew on me very fast, I really had a desire to see the show. I was unable to see it on so many occasions but I was always getting mixed feedback by friends that had seen it. What I found was they either loved it or they hated it.

I knew that Rent deals with many controversial issues and you have to be open to these issues or to at least accept the musical as just a fictional story.

Finally, in June of 2003 I had the opportunity to see Rent on Broadway. It was fantastic! The music was great and all the performers were outstanding. Since then they have made Rent into a movie and it has been released on DVD. Being a fan I did not hesitate to purchase it. Much of the original broadway cast also appeared in the movie, it was exciting for me to now see these performers in the roles they created on Broadway.

Recently a friend of mine saw a stage production of Rent and she was one of those that hated it. I just did not understand how anyone could hate it. Then I remembered the controversial issues that it deals with, that is the only conclusion that I can come to. But I felt that there was more that people were just not seeing. They had to be getting hung up on the characters, their lifestyles, bad habits and the face that it was a story of them trying to make it in New York City.

So I watched the movie again trying to pay closer attention to the words in the songs, the story lines and the way they all wove themselves together. I was still struggling to find what I felt was there but could not find what I believed was the meaning of Rent.

Then today as I read the blogs of my sister and brother, I was moved by their stories. Both of them have opportunities to influence kids and their lives on a regular basis. But something told me to watch Rent again. So tonight I came home and got right to it. The following is what I found...

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes...How do you measure a year? by daylights, by sunsets, by midnights or cups of coffee? This is one theme that keeps recurring through the entire show. There are only 525,600 minutes in a year.

To me that never meant much more than a nice way to make a song sound good. I mean did you ever really wonder how many minutes were in a year. We all know there are 365 days, 12 months, etc... But today I heard more than that. There are many other songs that all tie to this but none that pushes it quite like this new one I found...

There's only us
There's only this
Forget Regret
Or life is yours to miss.

No Other Road
No Other Way
No Day But Today...

I had heard this a thousand times and probably sang it in the car that many times again. Never really struck me as anything more than a catchy little tune that sounded nice.

Then it came to me. This reminded me of the Latin phrase Carpe Diem which means seize the day. Make the most of every opportunity.

I continued watching at how the characters interacted and the dialogue they had. I quickly learned that this was the message that I had been searching for.

I then thought back to my sister and brother's blogs and realized that when we have the opportunities to make a positive impact on someone's life we should take them. We have to make the most of each and every minute afterall there are only Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand Six Hundred of them in a year. You cannot dwell on the past and what you have or have not done but you can make the most of today and work to be a role model to make a difference.

Greg keep working to be that role model for "Joe". You will make a difference whether you see it or not. Someday "Joe" will remember the example you set. Just do not miss the opportunity to make a difference in his life.

To everyone if you have the chance to watch Rent or even just listen to the music I highly recommend it. It grows on you fast. But I do caution you of the controversial issues and language that is in it. A lot of people struggle with these and are unable to see the meaning of what is being said. We have to look beyond those things and find the message that is truly hiding in there.

It is easy to have regrets. We have to realize that the decisions and choices we made were the best at that time. We need to forget our regret or we will miss our lives. Let's live for today and make the most of each minute of every hour, of every day, of every month, of every year. Or however you choose to measure.

Monday, July 17, 2006


Tonight as I was reading my sister's blog it made me reflect on myself and how I sometimes tend to pass judgement.

Those of you that read my blog regularly know that I was in a wreck two weeks ago today. The person that hit me asked me if I would not call her insurance and give her the chance to pay it herself so her rates would not go up. While hesitating with this request I decided to do this and give her the shot. My gut feeling was that I would never hear from her again. Everyone I spoke to afterwards told me that I just let her get away with hitting me and not having to pay a dime. I could not help but wonder in my head if they were right.

I called this person after getting the estimate for repairs and she returned my call within an hour. Everytime I called her she never hesitated to call me back. She would ask me to do things that I felt were somewhat unreasonable because I felt that if I were dealing with her insurance company I would not have to be jumping through these hoops and would not have to take all my time to get estimates all over the place. I would question her and she would tell me it was no problem, she understood where I was coming from.

Finally we agreed that today we would meet at the body shop and arrange to have the repairs completed. Again, I had my doubts as to whether she would show or not. But there she was right on time at 8am. She also made it very easy to work with her and she has been completely up front about taking responsibility. When they told me how I had to handle getting the rental car she quickly stepped in and said she would go with me and be certain that she was covering the costs of the rental car. I did offer to cover it and have her pay me back since I really do believe it cost her more money to do it the way she did. But again she insisted she was covering these expenses.

I felt guilty for having questioned her intentions in the first place. But it is definitely nice to know that honest people do still exist in this world. I am glad that she has been cooperative in covering the repairs for my car.

In this case I was very quick to pass judgement, I never gave this person a chance. I have always tried to believe that as a whole people are honest and trustworthy but there were a few bad ones that make it difficult. I have also always tried to trust people until they gave me a reason to not trust them. For some reason I just had a difficult time doing that.

I would not consider myself a skeptical person but I do try to ask questions and establish some kind of connection with people in order to establish a common trust. That means I do ask a lot of questions but I always try to listen to the answers I am given. I hope that this experience will help me to trust more in the future and to not be so quick to pass judgement.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Toys I Liked Playing With While Growing Up

1. Mattel Football

2. Barrel of Monkeys (This was one we played with at Grandma's)

3. Lincoln Logs

4. Slinky

5. VertiBird

6. Lite Brite

7. Carom Board

8. Operation

9. Red Ryder BB Gun

10. Big Wheel

11. Gnip Gnop

12. Toss Across

13. Rubik's Cube

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Simpler Times? Then or Now?

I sit here tonight and think about the times were are living in. Think about where we have been and where we are today.

When I was growing up, we had ONE tv that was as big as a small dresser that we could watch 5-6 channels on. If we wanted to turn the channel or adjust the volume I had to get off the chair/couch and walk to the tv to make the changes.

Phone call? How many phones did we have/need back then. I remember we had three phones in our house. Kitchen, family room and parent's room. If it rang we had to get up or move to where it was to answer it. If a call came in while I was talking on it, that person received an annoying busy signal. Do busy signals even exist anymore? Ok, I do know that busy signals still exist. If someone were not home, the phone would ring until you got tired of hearing it ring and hung up.

Computers? I did not know what a computer was.

Today? I live in a house by myself and have 3 TV's. All of which receive 100's of channels. I own 3 VCR's, does anyone even use these anymore? I have two DVD players. I have 3 desktop computers connected to the internet that all work with one monitor, keyboard and mouse. I also have a laptop computer that is connected to the internet with a wireless connection. I am also able to print from the laptop on a printer that is connected to my main desktop pc. All of this is done wireless. I can network to anyone of my computers from anyone of them and access whatever information I might need at anytime.

I often think about a conversation with friends in college. On of their parents had just purchased a new computer and a had a hard drive of 105 megabytes. I remember as if it were today one of them saying "Why in the world would anyone EVER need that much space on a hard drive?". Today, we are buying hard drives 800 times bigger than this. It boggles the mind.

It is also worth mentioning here that in 1989 when I went away to college I had no clue how to turn on a computer and would never have considered trying it.

Phones Today? Boy do I have them. I have a phone by my bed, one on my fax machine, two cordless phones so if one goes dead I have the backup. I have a work cellular phone as well as my personal cellular phone. I have a wireless headset that pretty much stays connected to my ear so that if a call comes in I can answer it, even if I am in another room away from my phone.

The reason I mention all these things is sometimes I sit and think how much time has changed the world we live in. How we have become dependent on these new conveniences but sometimes it feels that we cannot even escape them. If we go on vacation our cell phones go with us. Anymore I take my laptop computer which can easily connect to the internet and most hotels. We are always accessible to everyone.

Where do we go to get away from it all? I suppose we have to learn to use the off button.

Lastly I think about the changes not just in my lifetime but those seen by my parents and grandparents and boy what changes they have seen. My grandmother is a regular user of the internet and sometimes I think she might read our blogs. She emails me frequently and I have even connected to her computer in Ohio to help her with an issue she was having. I was able to control her computer as if it were my own. She was able to see what I was doing and it was just as if I were sitting in her living room working her mouse for her. Boy how that must have blown her mind if she had really thought about it.

Times really have changed. Where do we go from here? Can you even imagine what is next? I often ask myself can we really get better than we have? We probably all have opinions as to if now is a simpler time or if those days gone by were. I guess I could make an argument for either one. There are plenty of times I press all the off buttons but then when I turn them back on I am ready to reconnect myself.

These are only a few of the things that blow my mind. I am sure that everyone reading this can think of different examples. This is an exciting world we live in.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Strange Cravings???

Do you ever get one of those strange cravings just out of nowhere? Tonight I was watching "Everybody Loves Raymond" and he was eating jello. Well that made me have the strongest urge to have red jello. So I jump in the car and head to Wal-Mart.

I find the jello and pick out the flavor I want (strawberry). That is not so bad except the next thing I see are marshmallows. Now not only do I want jello, I also want marshmallows. I know you can add the small marshmallows to the jello but I really do not care for that and I really wanted the big puffy ones.

So I come home and make the jello, thank god for the quick set directions. However, quickset still is not really that quick. I guess tomorrow will be a better taste of the jello.

I have yet to eat a marshmallow but am sure that I will soon. It is funny how we get these urges and cravings just by small triggers on tv.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Lessons from my nephew

Those of you that know me, know that I have been active in music and theater for most of my life. It is always something that I have enjoyed and had a passion for. Being on stage is a comfortable place for me. If you read my Thursday Thirteen a few weeks ago you saw that one of my dreams was to perform on Broadway.

I have always dreamed of being discovered, moving to New York and starring in my own show, but I do not do anything to try and make that happen. I often wonder why it is I let those dreams merely exist in my head.

Tonight it hit me...

I was reading my sister's blog and I realized that I am not ready to face my fears. It is not a fear of being on stage or performing in front of people, it is the fear of not succeeding.

There are so many people that want to make it in show business and very few of them are successful. They work and struggle to make ends meet while chasing their dreams. I realize that the reality is only a small percentage of people make it in show business.

I have hit my comfort zone. Moving outside of that zone is a scary idea in my head. I have thought in the past that it would be awesome to leave my job and the life I have created to chase that dream. I have never been able to push myself to take a risk like that.

I have decided that I am going to work to overcome my fears with small steps. Maybe in a year I will be ready to jump into the water just as my nephew was this year. There are definitely things I can do without leaving this comfort zone. I can begin auditioning for shows here in the area and even find a local agent, have headshots made and create an entertainment resume that I can have sent around to see what happens.

It is time for me to face my fears by taking small steps and take that shot so I do not regret never trying. I know my nephew will keep overcoming his fears and someday he will achieve all he has dreamed of. Keep reading, I will blog more about this as I audition for shows and try to get involved in theater here in the Dallas area.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Rolling on Auto Pilot???

Yesterday I went and saw the movie "Click" with Adam Sandler. It was a good movie with funny scenes which is what I expected. I did not expect and still doubt that there will be any academy award winners or even nominations. But what I did not expect to find was a pretty decent message.

The premise of the movie is that he is purchasing a universal remote control so that he can figure out how to work all the electronic items in his house. The remote control that he gets is not only a universal remote control but it was able to control his universe. I know a little off the wall but still made for some funny scenes. Working with this remote he found that he could fast forward his life through fights, hard times and anything he chose.

First he opted to fast forward to the point where he was made a partner of the architectural firm he worked for. Thinking it would only be a few weeks it turned out that it moved his life more than a year forward. After skipping through that part of his life it became convenient to skip more and more the longer his life went on.

Later in the movie he found that he had fast forwarded through the end of his marriage, illnesses that he fought, his children growing up, the death of his father and finally he ended up at his son's wedding.

At this point he sought out the salesman that gave him this remote and questioned it. As he looked back through his life using the rewind feature of the remote he found where he had basically strolled through life on "Auto Pilot". What this meant was that he was working and going through the motions of life but never paid attention to the ones that he loved and often times he merely appeased them with an answer rather than giving him his full attention.

In the end he realized the importance of telling his wife, children, parents and anyone else in his life that he loved them and that it was important for him to spend as much quality time as possible with all of them. He realized that he had missed many opportunities and regretted the life he had chosen for himself. He missed important milestones in his children's life, the special moments with his wife as well as those memories you have by spending time with your parents.

In the movie he was given a second chance to go back and do it right. He was even tempted one last time and he chose to do the right thing based on the lessons he had learned. What I realize is that we do not have a second chance. Our chances disappear quickly. I am certain I have missed opportunities and hope that my family and friends realize it is not intentional. I am going to try and remember the lessons that Adam Sandler learned in this movie and always remember to let those close to me know that I care and that they are important to me.

That having been said: Mom, Dad, Grandma, Carolyn, Susan and family, Greg and family, all my aunts, uncles, cousins, friends...I love each of you. All of you mean a lot to me and it is great that we are all able to be so close. Thank you for always being there for me. I hope you will always feel that I am there for you.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Never believe this...

Today I was sitting in the drive-thru of my favorite fast food chicken restaurant. As I was talking to the guy taking my order all the sudden was a loud bang and my car jumping towards the building. I look in my rear view mirror and do not see anything so I turn and look to my right rear blind spot where I see another car has slammed into my right rear quarter panel.

Now how does this happen? I am stopped in a drive thru. I got out, walked behind the car and asked the girl if she was ok. I then had her back her car away so I could see the damage and make sure we were not stuck together. I realize that my car has received the least of the damage. The left front of her car is definitely in need of being replaced.

She told me quickly that she would give me all her information and insurance info so I could get my car fixed. I quickly called my agent as I was moving the car just to confirm what info I should get and if it was necessary to call the police. He said as long as there was no dispute and no question as to fault then he would not worry about it.

The girl did not try to deny any responsibility and voluntarily gave me all her information and she was satisfied just getting my name, address and phone number. Then she asked me if I would mind getting an estimate before I called her insurance company. I did agree to do this but wanted her to know that I would be using the Ford dealership for the repair. She was disappointed in this but I feel pretty strong that I want it repaired the right way by the dealership.

I had time so I went by the Ford garage and had them give me an estimate. Now really I need to have the bumper, the wheel molding and part of the rear quarter panel just straightened out. And of course these will all need repainted. The estimate for all of this was $1700. Now I have no clue if that is high or not. My thought is that anymore the pricing for these things is pretty much the same no matter where you have it done. The insurance company can give you pricing just by looking at what needs repaired and replaced. So how can it be any different anywhere else?

I guess that turns out to be a pretty expensive lunch for someone. Fortunately not me.