Saturday, February 28, 2009

Car Problems... Again

A few months ago The Mazda started to have a bad vibration and I took it in and was told that it was the tires. We replaced then and guess what, the vibration did not go away. We would have fixed it right away, but other things happened. Had to fix The Wife's car and the whole no job think kind of hurt.

I mentioned in a previous post that we got some money back and part of it went to fixing the cars. I take The Mazda in and they find out that the bar and the behring that goes from the transmission to the passenger front tire is shot. It will cost about $5oo to replace. We are fine with that and start to plan when we can get The Honda in to fix the air conditioner. Later in the day I get a call from the shop. The part is in and fixed, but... I don't like to her but on a sentence that should have a period. I'm informed that most of the vibration is gone, but the differential in the transmission is causing some of the vibration.


The place we go to is nice, but the guy who makes all these calls can't keep on track. He keeps veering off asking me if I really like this car, if we need two cars and other not fun questions. Finally it is reveled if we wish to fix this car it will cost us $2626. I guess Mazda thought it was a good idea to put the part that is broke inside the transmission. To just fix the differential will cost us as much as a replacement tranny.


We do the math and we have enough between the amount we set aside for cars, emergency fund and the money we were going to send to the state of North Carolina. I've had some people say that we should just go out and buy a used car and be done with it. The only problem is, the car we buy for three grand is going to be pretty bad and I like my car. I might as well just fix it and keep a car I like.


The big issue I have with all this is five months ago when I brought the car in, did these guys actually look at the problem or did they just look at the tires. I keep wondering how much damage was caused by the bad diagnoses. I'm debating about bringing this up. I don't want to get a discount out of it, I just want to know. If they tell me they can't be for sure or give me a bad answer, I'll be looking for a new mechanic... again. Seriously, why do my cars hate North Carolina so much.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Polish Delight

I am not Polish nor catholic, but every Fat Tuesday I get all excited. You might be wondering why I would get excited for Fat Tuesday, not I am not going to Mardi Gras, but I do crave a Paczki.

That strange word at the end of the paragraph above is pronounced poon-shkey and it is freaking AWESOME! Yet it is evil, let me explain. even though Polish people hate it when I say this, but it's a giant donut of death.It's double the sugar, double the lard, double everything. The story I pieced together over the years is that in the old country the ladies needed to get rid of everything bad for Lent and one day someone thought of putting everything in a donut that you eat on Fat Tuesday. I think the Catholic church needs to find out who created this god sent and make them a saint.

Even though they can have as many calories as one and a half Big Macs and 29% of your daily fat I had to have one. Luckily Lowe's Food carries them, why I have no idea, but I raced out and bought a pack. Personally I love the lemon ones, I should get the prune filled to flush it out, but I hate prunes. It was an OK paczki, nothing as good as the Ohio Theater in Toledo, but what is. Those paczki are like mana filled awesomeness.

I'm half tempted to eat a second one, but as I wrote two years ago that might be a bad idea.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Crafty

When we bought our house one of the things The Wife liked was the previous owners had a old window hanging on the kitchen wall. I also thought it was kind of cool and we have been looking for a similar window at a price we could afford.

While at a strange antique store we find a window frame for five dollars. Oddly enough that is in our price range and we took it home. With the money from the government we bought some paint and sanding paper. Now for my non married readers, you will not understand this, I am not the most crafty of people, I am creative, but I am not good with wood or paint. So of course guess who is doing this project... I am of course. It's one of those things that happens. I am doing the work and The Wife is supervising.


So far the project is going pretty well, I have sanded and removed most of the old white paint and put one coat of paint on the exterior side. While working I do get little "pointers" to make on how to paint or sand better. Will this window frame ever win an award for awesomeness... probably not, but my goal is to make it look good on my wall.

C is for Constant Bombardment

With our tax check in our bank account we thought we would use part of the home improvement budget and go to Lowe's for needed supplies. While we were leaving we saw a few Girl Scouts selling cookies. I don't know if you have ever seen a pregnant woman after she sees those cookies. It was a strange mix of a demonic possession with shear joy. I thought she was going to take the brownie hostage until her little friends gave us all the boxes.

Reason and a priest over came her and we bought two boxes (Thin Mints for her and Tagalongs for her and me). As we were driving I realized, that they were in front of a home improvement store. Then we saw them in front of a pizza place, a grocery store, side of the street and inside my house! OK maybe not in my house but it felt like a bad zombie movie. Instead of trying to eat my brain the girl scout zombies were trying to eat what little bit was in my wallet. This is getting out of had, I'm yearning for the days when the only time you saw Girl Scouts was either a co worker pimping out the boxes or a random kid coming to my door.

I think we need to change the old adage about a nuclear blast, no longer are cockroaches are the only things to survive, I believe the girl scouts will sell their cookies to the zombies not killed... or maybe the cockroaches.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Angel Food

A few years ago while we were living in Columbus someone mentioned a Christian organization that gave food to people at a really cheap price. We looked at it but felt guilty about trying it, we were struggling, but not that bad to be getting food for real cheap.

Jump to the present and we are now needing help and someone mentioned the same group, Angel Food Ministries. We remembered the conversations we had and decided that now would be a good time to try it. The whole purpose of this group is to give people who need food a cheap place to find it, yet if you do not need help, you can still buy food, they just want you to take the money you save and give it to a charity.

The food above is what we got for $52, no I did not type that wrong, let me spell it out fifty-two dollars and zero cents. I'll give you a quick run through of the food; 2 steaks, 4 pork chops, 4 chicken breast, 7 breaded chicken breasts, 6 Salisbury steaks, pound of potatoes, eggs, a pound of sweet potatoes, a pineapple and much more. Look they even gave us a sweet potato pie (it is North Carolina after all)!

Now contrast this cornucopia to what The Wife picked up at Target (Sorry Target, we are not slandering you... you just happened to be the store she drove by.) Milk, cereal, fiber bars, tea mix, two chips and fig cookies. Guess the total... $25. Holy crap, we can't live off of that and it cost us almost half as much as Angel Food.

The only draw back for me was when you went and picked it up you had to go through a line and the volunteers placed the food in what ever box (laundry basket) you brought. I felt like I shouldn't be there, but I saw people who appeared better off than I. So that made me feel a little better. I just have to get rid of that stupid pride and except this gift. I seriously would advice anyone to use Angel Food, it's not just a Carolina thing, it's all over the southeast and some of the midwest (I'm looking at you Ohio). They even have a steak package you and order, I'm trying to convince The Wife that the baby is craving steak. I know I always am.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Backyardagins


For next few days The Wife and I are watching Titus for Shawn and Melissa, we enjoy watching him because it gives Lucy a playmate when we are away (Titus is also very low maintenance). When I get home from some video work at the church I find two dogs in the back yard and I have no idea what was going on.


Where what I figured out what was going on. Titus just HAD to greet me at the fence as I came in. Lucy wanted her usual welcome back scratch and Titus wasn't having it. He growled at Lucy and the pup took it as play time. The above video is just a small part of what seemed to last for a good 20 minutes.

My favorite part is when Lucy "boxes" Titus. She gets the giant eyes, jump while landing a one two combo. Titus usually wins by rolling Lucy and she will stay down for a little bit. Then run away and the whole thing starts over.


Then you have the neighbor's dog Copper, she sees the craziness inside our yard and has to come as close as her electronic fence allows to see the commotion. I keep wondering if she is wanting to join in or just is enjoying the show.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Photoshop Called, You Need to Read the Manual Again


If you are not on Facebook then you man not know what I am talking about. Lately on the right of Facebook they have these annoying ads that usually have a line about "I'm rich find out how," or "The government is giving money away." You know it's like those spam emails, but this time they don't go directly into a folder you never have to open. Most of the time I glance at them and just go back to posting pictures and finding out what people are doing. Last week I noticed the above picture, I see Katie Couric and a check. Then I actually look at it and I notice the hands don't match her skin tone and to be honest the size of the hands and check are off. They have five or six of these ads and all of them are this bad. One even has a French anchor with the same hands. The big problem is there is a graphic over her shoulder of a burning building. Wow ad guys, you couldn't change the graphic? I want to know who falls for these ads. I will admit I did click on one just to see what they were trying to scam me with and all it sent you too was a fake blog telling you you need to buy some crappy thing or something. If you are spending money on something like this at least make the picture different.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Strange Side of Craigslist


With me being out of work and looking for jobs and equipment, I use craigslist a lot. I've applied to 8 job so far and have found some possible equipment purchases. Yet, there are a lot of strange post that even baffles me. I'm not talking adult content work I mean just plain weird. This is the strangest one yet. For the first few lines it's normal, just a post asking for women to play football with out shoes. OK the no shoes thing is a little strange. Then it goes to the crazy boat.


Hey Girls Here is the info on the Powderpuff Games. Unique fun at its finest.
$200 an hour Females for Barefoot/ Powderpuff football game.A male foot group is
funding a Barefoot Powderpuff football games this Spring with the next one in
February. We may move indoors on a soccer type cushy turf for the bad weather
days .Those of you who did last months games are welcome back plus we will be
adding a few more. The males participants are either from a rugby group or
firefighters. They are almost all in twenties. The females for hire will wear
football jerseys , and shorts. The male foot group members simply like to watch
female barefeet in action with scantly clad men. The male players will be
wearing mesh thongs.This will be at a semi public field and The male foot group
members may ONLY watch from the sidelines and will not be permitted to talk to
the participants. You do not have to be athletic but at least look good
trying.Pay is $200 an hour for a four hour game/event. plus tips.If selected you
have the option to work a partial game. We will be adding a few more players and
a couple cheerleaders for the Fall roster. The barefoot cheerleaders get $75 an
hour plus tips.The event will NOT be filmed or videod .This should be another
fun event and surely profitable. Bring attitude and barefeet.


Wow so many questions so many times I have thrown up in my mouth a little. So this group is definitely in it for a foot fetish but the thong wearing guys just... I don't know. It's interesting that they had to put in this post that no members will be allowed to talk to the participants. Yet the cheerleaders get tips. This is just strange, I can't imagine a bunch of guys oogling over girls playing football in bare feet. Yeah I know there are all kind of people out there, but this is just over the top for me.

Friday, February 13, 2009

One of the Signs I Have Too Much Time

video
This week has picked up a little; the church had a few projects, I helped a couple of teachers make a video for the amazing race, posting new videos to Pond 5 for sale and I'm doing a video for a family that has a gymnist. Yet today I started a new experiment with Lucy.

For Christmas The Wife got one of those "easy buttons," but instead of saying that was easy we hear Whoomp there it is. I looked at the button, looked at Lucy, back at the button and I am now trying Pavlov's theory. I hit the button and give Lucy a treat. The above video is my fourth test of the day. She's not getting it yet, but it's day one and she was at the park earlier and is tired.

I so need more work outside of the house.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Show Me My Money!

Most years at this time I am dreading my taxes and this year was looking to be pretty bad. Then it got worse as we went started.

Little did we know that a large tax preparation software that in no way sounds like ZerboZax had a glitch. In the beginning you are asked to input how much you received from the economic stimulus earlier in the year. The program reassured me that it would not effect our taxes. I do as HAL2000 says and after I enter all of out w-2s and 1099s I'm in the hole for over a grand. that has never happened before! By the time we finished we were owing well over $3000. Luckily I call my parents to ask a few tax questions and come to find out The eldest of the kids had a similar problem. We talk and come to find out that glitch was that when you enter your stimulus info it taxed it. The end around this little problem is to leave it blank. Once you go through your errors, put it then.

Since we bought a house we knew something was wrong and yet we were having problems with the deduction section. Finally I noticed a little check box in very small font "If you want to do it manually click the box." That wasn't exactly what it said, but close enough. All of the sudden we start seeing the large negative number drop and then we get the greatest section ever... First time home owners. Holy Crap did that give us some happy happy joy joy feelings. We are now getting money back. It's not tens of thousands, but enough to help us out and keep us a float for a few months longer.

We still owe the state, but I don't mind that as much right now. I feel like I should be wearing a top hat and monocle.

Monday, February 09, 2009

I Guess I'm Not the Next Wink Martindale

Monday night was suppose to be the night that I was going to host a trivia night. That never happened, I gave them my number and I never received a call back. I'm a little up set over this one. I had people that wanted to show up and give support and that makes it even harder. Most of the rejections the only people that know are The Wife and myself. Now it's about 20 people are involved asking about me when they can come out. I'm almost wanting to give people this guys email and tell him that they want to see me do trivia night. I don't think it would work, but hey if there is a ground swell I just might. Till them I will practice my entrance and cheesy game show host smile.

Friday, February 06, 2009

What's In A Name

As The Wife and I are now in the second trimester we have been thinking names. As I have mentioned in an earlier post we came up with a girls name, drum roll please, Isabella. That was the easy part, the hard part has been boy names. We have gone over this many times and we have a list;

  • Logan
  • Dylan
  • Brylan
  • Satchel

Of course you know what that means... BABY NAME POLL! The last one was a pretty big hit and you know what lets try it again and this is how we came up with each name.

Logan- The Wife mentioned it first and I liked it for completely different reason than hers. WOLVERINE! Now if I can convince the doctor to add adamantium claws we would be set.

Dylan- This was from The Wife, I'm OK with this one, not my fave, but it would be OK.

Brylan- All I know is The Wife came home and was all giddy over the name. I am not a fan, but that's why we are doing this post.

Satchel- This is after the baseball player Satchel Paige. I like baseball and I think it would be a great name.

We have the middle name all picked out... Ash

Ash- I am shocked that The Wife has allowed this one to fly. Let me remind you of the two reasons for this name. First is an homage to the greatest B level actor of all times Bruce Campbell. One of my favorite movies starring Ole Brucey was Army of Darkness and his character name was Ash. Then second is my favorite band happens to be named Ash. It's a powerful name and it is awesome!

That's the list, then of course you have the joke name Englebert. Vote and vote often people.... ROCK THE VOTE!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

What Do I Have To Do?

It's been two months and I have applied for 12 video/editor positions and 15 other no TV related jobs and nothing. I know my last post talked about being a trivia night host, but the guys in charge have yet to call or email me back. I'm still holding out hope, but I see the writing on the wall.

With one position I've been persistent. With the first email I sent my resume, reference and a few links to my work... nothing. The job gets re posted, I ask if there is anything I can do. I even mentioned (again) that I just bought the editing software they are using. He finally sends me an email back asking to see some of my work from my new Sony Vegas Pro 8. Well, do to the fact I have not had any work yet, I've only tinkered with it. I put on youtube two videos. One is a touch up job of an old video. I added some new clips and used a couple of effects. The second was a video I did for the church, I happen to have the raw at the house so I recut it. I sent an email with the link. The job was re posted.


Then there was the big freelance job that I signed a contract with. I have not heard anything since in a month. I know the weather has been jack up... I mean we got snow two days after he told me about the outdoor gig. I know this is the thing with freelance, you never know when something is going to happen, but I don't know how much longer I can wait.

While talking to a friend, I was told that I might not be getting considered because I am over qualified and people are thinking I want an arm and a leg. "Forget this guy, he's going to want six figures. Lets go with the recent college grad." I just want to work, I'm not going to ask for six figures. I just want an income that will allow me to keep my house and pay the bills, that's all.

On Sunday Kohl's is having an open job fair for their new location in Wake Forest and I'm going to be there. Maybe I can get a little money there plus I was asked to do a video for a gymnast, if they like it they will show it to their friends and that could lead to a bunch of videos like that. At fifty bucks a pop, maybe I can make a living there.