"Should've Been A Cowboy"

Monday, October 31, 2005

Bitter Sweet Weekend

most of my weekend was great. i had loads of fun with my rvp and other associates from work. friday night after our meeting we had some tex-mex at papasitos. i think those were the best nachos i have ever had! saturday morning before day two of our conference we got to make texas shaped belgium waffles compliments of the laquinta inn. the speakers at the conference were awesome. i left there so motivated. it's always nice to get a recharge now and again. on the way home from houston everyone in the car i was in tried to tell jokes to each other. since none of us could seem to remember very many i looked up some on the net via my cell phone. i told a few redneck jokes and found the chili contest joke. if you have never read the chili contest joke you are missing out, i can't read it without my eyes watering from laughing so hard.

sunday i went on another 20 mile bike ride. this time i mapped out my route ahead of time. so this time i didn't loose my sense of direction. i must say that i'm really enjoying riding my bike, and i hope our nice weather last a while longer so that i can go on a few more rides before the end of the year. also at church on sunday night i saw an old friend who use to go to my church. karl kuester. it was so great to see him again. karl moved away from dallas almost five years ago to take a promotion in north carolina. after that he took another position in richmond, va. the reason karl was in town was for some training related to his job. it was wonderful to go out and catch up on each other's lives over coffee after church.

the bitter part of my weekend caught me by surprise. before our church service i saw four couples that i hadn't seen in a while, and was quite excited to see them. then at the beginning of our service i found out why they were there. a good friend of many at our church, kyle lake, died sunday morning while performing a baptism and they were there to mourn. it was tragic news. though i had only met him a few times i knew he had a wife and three kids that i knew were devastated by the turn of events. kyle was a great friend, husband, leader, and role model who will be missed by hundreds of people. especially those who loved him and knew him well.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Salvaged For A Good Cause

normally when someone sits something out by the dumpster as opposed to inside of it means they probably just didn't need it anymore and didn't have time to sell it. or, if the item is broken it is still easily repairable. the person who placed it by the dumpster just didn't have the time or knowledge to fix it, or maybe they just wanted a reason to get the latest greatest thing on the market. on tuesday i noticed a vacuum cleaner sitting out by the dumpster nearest to my apartment. now i don't need a vacuum cleaner because i got a new one using some reward points from a program at work earlier this year. but, my church is having a garage sale in just over a week. so i decided i would take it home and check to see if it would work or to find out what was wrong with it. i did some research on the bagless upright and found that it retails for about $160 new. leading me to the conclusion that it was worth saving for the big sale. after a thorough inspection i diagnosed it with a broken agitator brush.

my first action was to attempt to repair the agitator brush the least expensive way possible, super glue. after applying the super glue i used a large rubber band to hold the two pieces together while the adhesive was dried. from there i proceeded to clean the bagless vacuum cleaner since it will more than likely bring in more money clean than dirty.

i knew it would be best if i let the glue dry over a 24hr period so i didn't attach the brush to the vacuum until yesterday evening. after putting the brush back on. i proceed to turn on the vacuum. i'm sad to report that the glue didn't do the trick. i would have to buy a new brush for the vacuum to get the best price at the big sale. i went online, did some research, found out that the name of the part was agitator brush, and proceeded to shop for the cheapest brush i could find using various bargain sites that i know of. the best deal was a generic brush for $12.95. after adding shipping cost of $5.95 my total was $18.90. this total price was good compared to the name brand brushes from other sites that totaled over $22.

all in all i hope that the $18.90 investment will bring a larger return on the bagless upright. i feel that in it's broken state it would have only brought in $10. now that it will be fully functional i think that it will have a much better chance of being sold. on top of that i feel it would be reasonable to think that it now might sell for $40 to $50. doubling my original estimation of a profit of $10.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Fear Of What?

this is no lie folks. if you have a fear of long words your fear is called....


Tuesday, October 25, 2005

I Think I'm A Good Listener?

this morning while on msn's home page i saw an ad for a quiz about how good of a listener i am. so out of curiosity i took it. after i finished i clicked submit, and here is what it said....

You're a Lousy Listener. You're so pleased with your own opinions and ideas that it's hard for anyone else to get through to you! Rather than listening, you offer up unsolicited advice or turn the conversation toward yourself. If you want to deepen your connections with others, you'll need to drastically change the way you interact. One good way to start: The next time you go to a party, focus on other people. You don't have to refuse to give up any information about yourself; just try to steer the conversation toward others. You may wind up meeting someone who's fascinating, plus you're guaranteed to improve your existing relationships. Read on for more listening tips.

personally i've thought for a long time that i was a good listener. why else would people call me frequently to vent or ask for advice? so i'm not to sure i agree with the answer i've been given. quite frankly i'm dumbfounded, and i can't help but step back to take a look at myself. so i want to ask you, my friend, am i a bad listener? your honesty is appreciated.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Bike Ride

saturday was a beautiful day. so for the first time in a few months i dusted off my bicycle and decided to go for a ride. i must say that it was wonderful. i went riding through the streets and parks of lewisville. much of which i had never seen before. i hadn't realized that lewisville was a large as it is. after a while i started to become aware of the fact that i had been in the sun for a long time and didn't think to put on sun block before starting my ride. thus, i decided to head home.

in my ambition of exploring the unknown i must admit i lost track of which way was north. even though it was a sunny day the sun, directly above, wasn't much help in telling me which direction i was facing because i started my ride around 11:15. eventually i found an intersection that i recognized and started to make my way home. instead of the two hour ride i had planned on, i ended up riding for three hours for a total of 20-25 miles. though i rode farther than planned and was exposed to more sun than anticipated i must say that it was greatness, and i can't wait to do it again. maybe next time i can plan ahead and find someone to keep me company.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

My New Way To Travel

yesterday on my way home from work the traffic wasn't flowing smoothly at all. i'm sure it was frustrating to most of the people that surrounded me in their cars, but it didn't bother me at all. why you might ask? it's because i was busy reading a book. no i wasn't reading a book and driving. yesterday was my first day to ride the bus to work. those of you who have been reading my blog for a while know that i like numbers and love to crunch them. so i did some math and figured out that i can save quite a lot of money by riding the bus to work and i loose very little time doing so. this alone was enough to make me want to ride the bus to work.

back at the first of september i started working in downtown dallas. 25 miles from my home in lewisville. i was all for using public transportation to get there, but the DART train doesn't exist out my way. at least not until a projected 2012. recently i notice that a bus was running out of carrollton, just a few miles south of me, to downtown dallas. so i hopped online, went to DART's website, and did some research. i found that a bus route started just off of hwy 35 and the george bush turnpike. so i decided to try it out yesterday.

beyond the savings of gasoline, money, and the wear and tear on my car. i don't have to suffer any stress from driving in congested traffic. instead i can listen to music, read, play video games, chat with people, or take a nap. all of which are better than stress. the only thing i must give up in return for all of my benefits is i must leave for work 10 mins earlier and i will get home 20 mins later than i normally would. even with this 30 minutes of extra time on the road i consider it a gain because i get to do activities that i would not be able to do while driving my car. it is genius and i love it!

i bet ya’ll thought this was going to be another number crunching post huh? well, it was going to be one, but i decided to take out all of the number crunching after reading comments from previous post of those who phase out after seeing a couple of numbers.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Two Types of Freedom

there are two types of freedom. "freedom from" and "freedom to". in north america we have freedom from oppressive dictatorial political systems that would deny us our basic human freedoms. this "freedom from" came at a great cost over the past 200 plus years. as brave men and women have put their lives on the line. many paying the ultimate price and countless others baring physical and emotional scars to buy our "freedom from".

i believe you and i have a responsibility to the legacy of those who have given us our "freedom from". i believe we have a responsibility to fight for our "freedom to". because we have "freedom from" we also have "freedom to". freedom to pursue our dreams, freedom to become more than we are, freedom to reach higher than we do now, freedom to achieve more, freedom to pursue our purpose, freedom to leave a legacy for our families. "freedom to" is costly. not in the same way as "freedom from". "freedom to" will cost you who you are as you become a different person. who you are got you where you are, but who you are will not get you where you want to go. "freedom to" will often cost you what you're doing. what you're doing got you where you are, but probably won't get you where you want to go. what are you doing to fight for your "freedom to".

-mike tuttle

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Perfect Solution

okay people. i'm back to my out of control ways. at least that is my opinion. back on august 8th i posted a comment to this blog. this was my out of control comment....

i totally agree with you. i would feel weird having to wear a top to cover my chest, and i don't know why we are so conservative in america about some things, but totally liberal about others. you shouldn't have to where a bra. the whole purpose for the bra is to support your breast, and based upon your age and description of your own breast, do you need the support of a bra. probably not. now i'm sure with some garments a bra would come in handy because some material, when rubbed on your nipple long enough, will irritate it. i would know because i have worn some basketball jerseys that did just that.

this was jill's response...

thanks jlay for the comment, rather than thinking you are anything out of control i think you might be a bit switched on, i read the comments as well to my folks and brother as well from my last blog, after which my eldest brother erik says 'i had a nipple explode once' and tells his story of a marathon he ran in which the jersey fabric was in fact a bit abrasive and truly exploded his nipple, and then his shoes were a bit small as well and all his toe nails fell off as well, conjures up beautiful images huh?

thanks to my friend shannon, we now have a solution to said nipple problem. it is genius. now those women who don't won't to wear a bra do not have to worry about the garment causing any irritation.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Logging In

today while logging into the different mainframes and applications i use to do my job i realized that i have to type my user name and password way too many times. first i have to log into the computer itself. next i log into a chat software that we use to communicate to other associates within the company. after that i log into two different document research applications. following that i log into three more applications on three different mainframes. if i add in internet access, my two email accounts, and my blog. that is a total of 13 times that i have to type my user name and password to begin work each day. on top of that, if i don't use an application for an extended period of time i have to login again. that usually happens several times a day with one of my document research applications and once with two other applications while i'm at lunch. needless to say i'm feeling a bit over logged.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Finally Moved In

midway through this past june i moved from one apartment in my complex to another. i've never enjoyed unpacking my stuff and putting it all in order. this time was no different. for starters i really didn't like the layout of my new apartment and it doesn't have enough room for all of my stuff. on top of that i knew i wouldn't be staying in my new apartment after my lease was up in june of 2006 and people rarely drive the 25 mile trek from dallas to visit or the 130 mile trek from burkburnett to visit me.

but, after giving a lot of my stuff to my
church, a couple of months ago, for our annual garage sale. i finally had a manageable amount of belongings for my small space. over the last couple of weekends i have spent a lot of time unpacking and organizing the rest of my belongings, and can say that i am much happier with my small "home". so after living in my apartment for four months. i'm finally completely unpacked and only slightly bothered by the fact that it would benefit me to move in 7 1/2 months. thus requiring me to pack it, unpack it, and organize it all over again. i can't wait to find a place to truly call home.

btw, if anyone in dallas would be interested in being my roommate starting this next june. let me know. i'm all for saving money, and if it is any incentive i keep my living quarters rather clean and in order.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Close Call With The Law

i have a confession to make. after two months of driving just a couple mph over the speed limit i noticed that my fuel economy wasn't consistently 4-5 mpg better. due to the flow of dallas traffic it was more like 1 mpg better. so the past week or so i have been driving 10 mph over the posted speed limit on the highway. historically this has been acceptable by the police in the area. i past a dallas police officer just yesterday morning on my way to work while driving 70 mph in a 60 mph zone. did he care? obviously not.

as you drive outside of dallas into smaller suburbs the locals of cities such as richardson, plano, carrollton, farmers branch, and lewisville the police start to pay more attention to the speed at which you drive. over the past six year i've found that they are normally okay with the whole 70 in a 60 concept. last night i thought this was going to change. as i was driving north of 35E i passed a carrollton police car sitting in the median just as i changed from the left center lane to the far left lane. it was at this point that i saw his head lights come on. followed by the pretty red and blue ones.

so i'm thinking, crap! i wonder if i can get away with just a warning. i proceed to put on my blinker and move from the far left lane across to median on the right hand side of the highway. after coming to a complete stop. i look in my rearview to see if the police car is coming up behind me, but i didn't see anything. so i continue to check all three of my mirrors for signs of the police car. after several checks i finally noticed a faint flash of red and blue lights, but i also noticed that they were not coming closer to me. i started to wonder if he was being blocked by some traffic or something. finally after taking a longer look in my side mirror i noticed that he had pulled someone else over.

this was followed by a feeling of relief. i couldn't help but wonder if he got the wrong guy or if he had picked that car out ahead of time and i just happened to have past him just as he was turning on his lights. it took me less than a 1/2 mile to pull over so i doubt he pulled over the wrong car. since he obviously didn't care that i was driving 70 in a 60 i will continue to do so until i'm told otherwise. maybe i'm crazy? maybe this was my final break? if it was i'm sure i'll find out soon.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

The Rolling Road Block

a rolling road block is when multiple police cars drive side by side blocking all lanes of traffic. they do this for various reason. most often i hear about it being used to stop a suspect in i high speed pursuit, but i have also heard about it being used by construction crews during various maintenance operations on a highway.

yesterday morning while driving southbound on 35E on my way to work i came upon a rolling road block created by two tractor trailers and one box truck. this is an event that i run across more often then i would like to. i can't help but wonder if they are aware of the fact that they are hindering the flow of traffic. yesterday while the pile of cars behind the rolling road block grew i started to wonder if maybe they do this for fun sometimes. i think they all get on the cb radio and plan it. i don't believe this was the case yesterday since it was caused by two tractor trailers and a delivery truck, but i can't help but wonder about other times. basically this unnecessary road block bothers me. am i the only one to notice this out there?

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

What Happened To Common Courtesy?

have you ever called someone, left a message on their voicemail, and they didn’t call you back? have you ever called someone and they told you that they were busy at the moment and would call you back later, but they don't? have you ever emailed someone a question and they never responded? more than likely the answer is yes. why don't people return calls or emails? there are lots of reasons out there. maybe they forgot that you called them. maybe they accidentally deleted your email. maybe they get so much email that yours was forgotten about. though these are great possibilities i don't think this happens as often as people think.

i feel that people avoid or ignore others quite often. possibly because they are not interested or they are scared of confrontation, and think that if they ignore your message that you will leave them alone. well, quite frankly i think that this is rude. i think common courtesy is dropping in our society, and not just in this area. i don't care if someone is asking you on a date, asking you for help, or asking you if you want to go somewhere with them. i feel it is wrong to ignore them. maybe people are afraid of hurting the requestors feelings? the truth is you hurt them more by ignoring them. anyone would rather have someone call them, text message them, or email them a big fat no thanks, than be ignored. right or wrong?

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Yankees Get An Extended Vacation

last night the angels gave the new york yankees an extended vacation, and today there will be mourning of millions of fans across the nation. a few of which i know. i'm not a yankee hater. they have a great team. who wouldn't with a $200 million dollar payroll. i even have a yankee hat that i play sports in so i don't get my rangers cap dirty. but, i don't feel bad for them or their fans. not even a little bit. it is hard to feel bad for a team that has won 27 world series when the team i'm a fan of, the texas rangers, hasn't ever won a world series in their 34 year history. at least not as the texas rangers. the texas rangers were at one point know as the washington senators, and as the senators won the 1924 world series. even if i count that it doesn't hold up to the yankees record. if i'm to feel bad for anyone it would be the rangers. so to all the yankee fans out there. better luck next year.

Monday, October 10, 2005

The Truth About Antibacterial Soap

for the past few years the soap industry has been scaring consumers into buying antibacterial soaps. like a lot of advertisements they weren't telling the whole truth. they were just trying to make the sale. do antibacterial soaps work? of course they do. do they work better than non-antibacterial soaps? the answer is no. doctors are now saying that exposing germs to antibacterial soap so frequently can cause them to build an immunity and grow stronger. on top of that many medical groups support the idea that children who are not exposed to some bacteria in early childhood will not build up their immune system to the level it should be at and may be more prone to allergies and asthma. even the american medical association (ama) doesn't support the use of these products.

so why do we continue to use these products? because we the consumer are very impressionable, and we assume that people don't lie. we think that if they can say it on tv it must be true. in reality that way of thinking is so wrong. it's good to be skeptical about a tv ad. they are not showing us the ad because they feel they will help us and change our lives for the better. they show us the ad so that they can make money. the product may very well be the wave of the future and the saver of lives. but, we the people must decide what is good or bad and not rely on the company selling the product to tell us all of the good and non of the bad about a product.

my source was an
article written by Dr. Joseph Mercola

Friday, October 07, 2005

Pre-Marital Sex

yesterday, on my walk from the parking lot to the building i work in, i found some marketing material for monster energy drink. it was the first time i had ever seen a company slap their name on a package of condoms. i noticed that there are four different slogans randomly printed on the back of the condoms. surprisingly the slogans have nothing to do with energy.

#1 live large
#2 unleash the beast
#3 size does matter
#4 big where it counts

at one time this find might have been a welcomed find. saving me $8 to $12 dollars. now it is just something else to blog about. not because i don't believe in contraceptives, but because i don't have pre-marital sex anymore. i don't have pre-marital sex because i believe that God doesn't want me to, and i believe there are reasons behind this. i can speak from experience when i say that sex produces a very intimate bond between people. a bond that effects your mind, body, and soul. which is a wonderful experience, but the emotional high that it causes effects your already clouded judgment towards your boyfriend/girlfriend. this can cause you to take much longer to figure out that person isn't the one for you. in turn causing you more emotional pain at the time of break-up/divorce.

on the flip side, i believe that two people that hardly know each other can have casual sex without the intense emotional bond. at the same time this doesn't remove risk from the situation. there are two primary risk when having sex that can effect you for the rest of your life. the first is having a child. a child is quite an endeavor to embark on whether you plan to have them or not. some people that make the mistake of having a child when they are not ready or didn't plan on it. i know what some of you might be thinking. just because i get someone pregnant doesn't mean that i have to raise the kid. i can just leave and that baby will never effect my life. right, but what about the child’s life? isn't that just a selfish way to think? don't we have enough children being raised without a full "cast" in there show of life. or, one might think they can get an abortion and their problems are solved. i don't have any experience with abortion, but i'm told that it has quite an emotional impact on a woman when she aborts her pregnancy. not to mention it cost money.

also most people have multiple sexual partners throughout there life. when you mix this with stds you have the perfect conditions for trouble. stds can and will haunt you for the rest of your life. even though science has made a lot of progress towards the treatment of many stds. there are several that to this date are not curable and require medicine to help control the bodily effects of them. by the way, these medications cost money.

so lets recap. sex is wonderful. can i get an amen? anyone? still i feel that God tells us it is best to wait until marriage because it helps us make a more sound decision when it comes to choosing our life partner. for those of you who think you should test drive the car before you buy it. i agree, but people aren't cars. unlike cars, people can learn. so if you're worried about having a bad sexual partner as a spouse, don't. there are lots and lots of materials out there that can teach you the ins and outs of sex. also abstaining from sex keeps us from bringing children into the world that might live a neglected life. on top of that it protects us from unwanted diseases. so if you choose to take part in pre-marital sex. please, please be careful. the risk might be more than you think.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Rumble In The Everglades

every morning i wake up to 99.5 FM, the wolf, a country music station. i tend to set my alarm to go off at the hour or half hour. i do this so i can catch the weather, traffic, and and a tid bit of news. this morning the tidbit of news was about a 13 feet long burmese python that attempted to eat a 6 feet long alligator in the florida everglades. i've read a couple of different articles on the subject. one article says that the python ate more than it's body could stand and it just ripped apart. another article suggest that the gator put up such a struggle that it ripped out of the python. my money is on the alligator ripping out since it's tail isn't stuck in the front end of the snake. never-the-less, both were a casualty of this battle.

the burmese python is a nonnative species to the florida everglades. this non poisonous snake was introduced to the everglades by snake owners who didn't want their once cute pet anymore. over the years as more and more pythons have been discarded and have successfully reproduced. park rangers have captured 150 pythons over the last two years. between this and the four alligator/python conflicts that have been documented. biologist are starting to wonder how negatively this will effect the everglade ecological system. biologist had hoped that the alligators would be able to control the python population, but they have found that the documented struggles between the two have gone both ways. sometimes the alligator wins and sometimes the python wins.

with this new predator in the everglades it is hard to predict what will happen if we do not help regulate or destroy the python population in the everglades. there is a possibility that with this added predator, which is growing in population, will thin out the food source of the native alligator as well as it's self. if this were to happen they might start migrating into more populated areas in search of food, and an adult python is a threat to to humans. especially children.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


in 2005 vw débuted their new jetta. the first time i saw one i was quite surprised at how much it resembled my 2004 corolla. the new body style of corolla started in 2003. so it surprises me how much it looks like the corolla. is this just a coincidence? i'm not so sure. even though the jetta is aimed at a completely different market, given it cost 5k to 8k more than the corolla, i'm not sure how this makes toyota feel. still, i would think it might look a little more original.

front of new jetta

front of new corolla

rear of new jetta

rear of new corolla

interior of new jetta

interior of new corolla

Monday, October 03, 2005

How Much Do You Need?

to date only 33% of american adults have tried to figure out how much money they will need to retire. in 2001 they projected that in 2005 only 5% of those who turned 65 will have enough money to last them throughout retirement. of the remaining 95%, 54% will have to continue to work and the other 41% will be broke and living off of what little social security the receive. it is my company's crusade to combat these statistics and help families achieve financial independence. to figure out how much money you need to retire go to the website below.


there are five fields to input information into. here is a brief description of what to put in each field.

Annual income required (today's dollars) - this is what you think you could live off of if you were to retire today with minimal debt.

Number of years until retirement - subtract your current age from the age you want to retire.

Number of years required after retirement - assume you will live to age 87, better to be safe than sorry.

Annual inflation - 4 is a good number to put here.

Annual yield on balance (%) (fixed rate) - 10 is a good conservative number.

after you click calculate you will be taken to a page with a rather large number, but don't fear the number. this is your financial independence number (FIN). if you want to learn how to reach your FIN you know where to find me. on a scale from 1 to 10 how would you rate your desire to be financially independent?

Sunday, October 02, 2005

What's Your Focus?

everday when i sign into my yahoo mail i can't help but notice the picture on the left side of the page. yahoo presents many interesting and tasteful photos on the revamped sign-in page. here are a few examples.

there is one picture that is still very interesting, but i don't think it is very tasteful. does anyone else see something wrong with this photo?

Saturday, October 01, 2005

White & Clear Ice

are you like me? have you ever wondered why ice in a restuarant is clear and ice from your home freezer is white? i have wondered this for quite a while now. so i decided to do some research. here is a clip from an article on howstuffworks.com about the making of clear ice.

The best way to answer the clear ice question is to think about icicles. If you live in an area where icicles form in the winter, you know that icicles are normally clear and beautiful.

There are two things that make icicles so perfect:
One, icicles are made from pure water in the form of melted snow.
Two, icicles are created in layers. Water drips down the icicle and freezes in progressive layers rather than freezing all at once. This approach avoids entrapped bubbles.

If you ever look inside a restaurant ice maker, you will find that it makes ice in layers. Cold water runs continuously over a plate or a grid where the ice is forming, and the ice cubes (or ice disks in some machines) grow in layers.

If you would like to try creating clear ice at home, start with distilled water (to eliminate the minerals) and boil it (to eliminate air dissolved in the water). Make the cubes small or thin to get closer to the way that icicles are formed.