Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Big Weekend Review

Claire's weekend got started off early with her big promotion last Friday.

She got a cool date on Friday night (she bought of course...she's my sugar momma!) including a nice boat ride and a Thai dinner.

Saturday we went to the Virginia State Fair. We ate all kinds of fried things including Fried Soda...Coke, Root Beer and Orange Crush...fresh fried pork rinds...is eating deep fried skin gross?...and a corndog.

We even saw one of the most disgustingly beautiful things ever...EVER! Pork Parfait.
We saw wonderful people and, when Claire had the camera, animals. On the way back to P-Towne we saw Burn After Reading (not a good Cohen Bro's movie. Slow moving and not really good.) and ate a little Cajun Chicken pasta at Kincaids. It was nice to have a real meal after a day of feasting on deep fried things.

Sunday = Church, 5-mile run and dinner at a friends.

Oh yea, on Saturday morning, she said yes.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Political Career...Over

I have always thought that being a congressman would be cool. Since I was a kid I have kept the idea of running for public office in the back of my mind.

I enjoy politics and spend a lot of time making sure I am educated on issues. I have well reasoned opinions and regularly take stock of where I am in life, with an eye on a potential future run.

To that end, I have always made sure that I kept no skeletons in the closet, always tried to act honorably and never do anything that would jeopardize that potential goal.

When I was younger I decided that I would never have pictures of me in ANY type of compromising position...sure, I am a goofball and there are plenty of pictures of me goofing around, but compromising? Nah...

When I made that vow to myself, I included the vow that I would never have a picture taken of me drinking alcohol. I don't know why I made that vow, but I did and I have followed it very closely.

Sure, I drink wine and scotch. I have known many a tequila and have a tough time turning down an occasional drink with an umbrella...but no pictures please.

That dream died 2 weeks ago. Dead.

It was murdered by the United Way.

Claire and I volunteered for a fundraiser that the Young Leaders Society was throwing at Virginia Beach. We were put into the beer/wine tent and told to serve patrons 1 drink in exchange for 1 ticket. For an hour I was pouring beers, passing out wine and generally making merry.

Suddenly I realized that the photographer was snapping away as I was drawing the tap...holding beers...sampling wine.

My dreams of no alcohol pictures is dead.

I just hope the American people can forgive me. *Grin*

Friday, September 26, 2008

A Great Day for Claire!

Claire started her job about a year and 1/2 ago...she was promoted in 3 months, then promoted again 6 months later.

This past March, her boss left the company and she started picking up the slack. She worked very hard and clearly produced amazingly good results.

This morning was her review. It went well. Very well.


Claire's old boss had an office in the executive suite. All the execs at her company are in a separate corner of the building, with glass offices, noise cancelling technology and a little kitchen. When he left, it was the first exec office to open up in years. There was only one available.

Claire has been mentioning that maybe it would make sense for her to move over there since her job is an executive job and she has to spend a lot of time going back and forth from her side of the building into the exec's side for approvals, discussions and getting her job done. The back and forth does take a lot of time during the day and she is not always part of the impromptu discussions that would allow her to have advantages in the marketplace. The execs were having none of it. She already had a nice office with a little view. There was no reason to move her in there. She is not senior enough. She held on to the hope that she might get moved in there sometime.

Two days ago, someone started to move some boxes into the empty exec office. Claire was not going to get it. She did not know who was moving in, but it was clear that the office had been assigned...and it was not her. She was very sad.


Her review, as I mentioned, went very well...

First, they promoted her from "AVP" to VP...that little "A" getting dropped was a HUGE jump in her company. Making her an official executive at the company.

Second, she can now be my sugar momma...in the way that I have become accustomed.

Third, she got the last office in the executive suite. Her boss moved some boxes in there this week to deek her. I love him. He cracks me up.


CONGRATULATIONS CLAIRE!!! I am so happy for you! I love you!

Wanna be my sugar momma?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Changing the World, One Idea at a Time

I really don't know what to say about this headline:

PETA Urges Ben & Jerry's To Use Human Milk
Group Says Move Would Help Humans, Cows

I really am flummoxed...especially after reading the letter (Clink on the link above to see it).

Any thoughts?

Would you buy any of the following flavors?

Colostrum Cream
Berry Boobie
Vanilla with Real Human Milk

Is there a flavor you think Ben and Jerry might consider making with Human Breast Milk?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Claire and I are running for the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge in January. It is requiring a run on Tuesday's, Wednesday's, Thursday's and Saturday's. Each week our mileage is to go up with Saturday's being the long runs. This training program worked well for Claire and me last fall so we thought we would do it again.

The problem is coming in that our time this fall is a little more "spoken for" and the running during the week is getting difficult. As the mileage grows, the commitment becomes bigger and becomes very difficult to complete before or after work.

Claire had mentioned this to a friend at work and she suggested splitting up the runs during the day. For example, if we have to run 6 miles on a Wednesday, we could do 3 during the day and 3 more in the evening, instead of all 6 at once.

I do understand that most of the training is about "getting in the mileage", but splitting up the runs like this does not seem to make much sense.

What do you think? Is it okay to split up the running during the day into smaller chunks or is it important to get the running in all at once?

Monday, September 22, 2008

A Time to Act

I consider myself good in a crisis. I buckle down, asses the problem and then act decisively. This "grace under pressure" has served me well in business and in everyday life.

While in San Diego, it caused a bit of an embarrassment.

The family was enjoying a day at the pool...mom and dad have a wonderful black bottom pool that we have enjoyed for 17 years...we have had swim parties, rung in the New Years with a "Polar Bear Swim" and even used it for raging games of 3-Flies Up, Marco Polo and Categories...this particular day found a good chunk of the family horsing around and getting some sun.

My sister Esther decided she needed to snap some pictures to document the day. She ran inside, grabbed the camera and proceeded to sit on the side of the pool snapping away.

At one point, her husband and I were swimming in the deep-end, splashing and making merry. Esther says to her husband "Hey Brock, take a picture of Claire and me." She then threw the camera in the air, towards her husband, IN THE POOL!

It was like slow-mo...I yelled "Noooooooooooooooooooo" and watched as the camera fell 2 feet short of Brock, splashing and sinking to the bottom of the pool.

I looked at her, confirmed it was the camera that just hit the water and made a Greg Louganis dive to the bottom of the pool....I grabbed the camera just as it was about to hit the bottom and raced to the top with the camera held above my head. I saw a problem, I assessed the situation and I acted. I just hoped that I acted fast enough to save the camera.

As I gently poked my sister about her terrible throw and her husband's inability to catch, they both started laughing..."Why are you laughing? I just risked my life to save your new camera."

"It is a waterproof, underwater camera."



Luckily the egg on my face was washed off by the chlorine...see:

Friday, September 19, 2008

Ransom Money

My friend Stacey was recently with her mother on a trip...while there, she encountered a homeless man with the following sign:

"My family was kidnapped by Ninjas. Spare change will go towards the ransom money."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Changing My Life

So while in San Diego, Claire and I had a really good dinner with our great friends Steve and Stacey...after we ate, we waddled over to Cost Plus and meandered around.

During our time there, we found something crazy amazing. It is revolutionary. It is life altering. It is "like butt-ah"...

Yes, you read that right. Bacon Chocolate. It is Mo's Bacon Bar.

The description says:

Breathe…engage your five senses, close your eyes and inhale deeply. Be in the present moment, notice the color of the chocolate, the glossy shine. Rub your thumb over the chocolate bar to release the aromas of smoked applewood bacon flirting with deep milk chocolate. Snap off just a tiny piece and place it in your mouth, let the lust of salt and sweet coat your tongue.

And I can't wait to eat it again!
I have written about my love of Bacon before. Please don't doubt the depth of my love.

Monday, September 15, 2008


This weekend Claire and I were discussing our "foodie" mentality...trying to decide whether or not we would really be considered "Foodies"...here are our qualifications:

1. We appreciate good food.
2. We cook with "background flavors".
3. We critique food and how it is cooked, especially at higher end restaurants.
4. We ate Fois Gras in San Diego and it was one of the most amazing things we have ever tasted. We also know that we won't order it at many places because we can't be bothered unless it is going to be amazing.
5. We look down upon cooking with an electric stove (even though that is what I have in my apt).
6. I don't like to cook for people, I like to "create meals" for them.
7. Layering texture and flavor is not a foreign concept in my kitchen.
8. I don't like to buy fruits or veggie's from the regular grocery store.

Here are the reasons we are not sure we can hold that title:

1. We are very happy eating Chick Fil-a, Burger King and Costco...
2. We eat street food every chance we can.
3. I make dinners like Ritz Crackers with Pickles.
4. I may or may not be guilty of putting mayo on french fries.
5. Claire may or may not be guilty of putting mayo on her ramen noodles.
6. We eat mamwhich sloppy joes on cheap wheat bread (dinner on Sunday).
7. We get giddy over pot lucks.
8. We don't mind hospital food.

So what do you think? Are we foodies?

Friday, September 12, 2008

SoCal Pictures

Okay Mom...Alright Janet...here are some shots. You don't need to bug me anymore.


The trip started off well, some time with my brother and his wonderful wife, having dinner and sharing a cigar...then up to spend a couple of days with the rest of the family. A few days later, I headed back to San Diego to celebrate a great birthday with this beauty...
My goddaughter Emma...or Squirt to me.

A couple of days in SD where Claire joined, then back up to the OC for some family time...
It is not often that we get all 6+spouses together, so we had to snap some Christmas shots.
And, of course, Claire and I had some camera time...cause dat's how we roll...

We got to celebrate the twins 25th birthday with all the kids/spouses, mom/dad, Gma, Uncle Mark/Armando, and Sabra's family (she is my brother's wife and comes from a great family)!

Again, Claire and I might have stolen away some shots, but as you can see, Claire does not shy away from being the center of attention...

Back to SD for some work and some fun...we got to spend the day at the Zoo with some of our best friends Derek and Katie....

We also had a fantastic evening of Mexican food, dessert and bonding with some of our other BFF's Steve and Stacey...did I really just say BFF's? Wow, I guess I am spending way too much time with my HS Volleyball team...
Anyway, that is about it for our trip...we did get an expensive meal in at my favorite restaurant, Pamplemousse Grille, and I am still salivating just thinking about it...
It is good to be back in my own bed...but I can't tell you how much I miss the fam and friends out there.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Home is so nice.

I have been gone for the last 17 days and it is good to be back in my own bed.

What have I been doing? Well, I am glad you asked!

I was in San Diego (WOOOHOOO) for the better part of 2 weeks. I saw friends, more friends and even more friends. I ate Mexican food like it was about to be banned. I visited my old haunts and spent time with a lot of people that I really love.

I got to spend a couple of different stints with my family in SoCal. Sitting by the pool, going to movies, eating way too much and just generally having fun...sorta like college.

Claire was able to join me for the 2nd week of the trip and she loved it down there and, I am happy to report, everyone who spent time with us loved her!

It was a great trip...I am glad to be home...now, I have mail and stuff to catch up on...including a few of my e-friend's blogs...

Will throw up some pics on Friday.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

USS Helena

On Sunday, Claire and I got the opportunity to tour a nuclear submarine.

Our very good friend Derek serves on the USS Helena (seen at left) and he took us aboard the boat for a tour. It was soooo very cool. I had never been on a sub before and I am so impressed.
Not only is it a very impressive piece of technology, the fact that full grown men can operate in a space like that for as long as they do...wow.
Sure, I am a bit bigger than the average bloke (no, subs were not maid to accommodate guys who are 6'5), but even for men of smaller stature...let's call them petite...it is a claustrophobic nightmare.
Climbing into and out of the bunks, that may or may not be shared with someone else when you are not in there, is a feat worthy of any gymnast or circus performer. The bathrooms are the size of a small closet and the "work-out" area is as wide as my shoulders.
These guys lay it on the line every time they go out and I would be remiss to not mention how unbelievable it is that these guys do what they do to protect everyone of us.
Thanks Derek...and thanks to the guys that serve. You rock and stuff.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Kids Say the Darndest Things

There are some things that are just too much fun not to share.

Take a moment and check out what my niece has taken to saying over at her blog...

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Checking in from San Diego

Claire's family were all evacuated late last week with the hurricane boring down on them. All were safe, but scattered...one sister ended up in Florida, one in northern LA, and the rest of the family went to Mississippi...it was a little scary there for a while, especially when they predicted it was going to be a Cat 4 or 5 and hit about 30 miles Southwest of New Orleans...right in Claire's hometown.

But thankfully, the storm broke up and did not cause much damage. So many prayers were answered.


Spent a little time with my family this past week. Suntans, eating and catching up, what more could you ask for?


My niece is at a fun stage. She is talking, is very animated and loves to tell stories.

She was playing with her Ernie doll and tossing it up in the air. At one point my sister tossed Ernie a little too high and he got stuck in the window sill. "Oh shoot" she exclaimed as she ran upstairs with the broom to knock it back down.

My niece tells the story this way...

"Oh Shoot"

Very expressive, laughing the entire time. It is hysterical.