Tuesday, January 20, 2009

january 20, 2009 - obama day

regardless of where you were today when obama took the oath of office as president of the united states, you must have felt the positive energy that surrounded this occasion. as i sat with kristin by my side in a hotel room in hawaii this is the most historic event in american history that i have had the pleasure to witness & i will never forget this moment.

god bless america!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

a true bears fan

this year's football season is rolling to an end. unfortunately the season for the bears has already come to an early close. like a true bears fan i must keep my spirits high & hope that next year will be different. one fan, my boy payton, is showing his true colors & keeping all of us bear fans excited for what the future may hold.

you should have seen him tear up that green bay packers koozie!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

"catching up"

tomorrow a number of employees will return to their office after holiday vacations. i suspect that a high percentage of these people will answer to their bosses, colleagues, etc. with updates something to the effect of, “i’ll be catching up on things since i’ve been out.”

i hate hearing things like that. when i hear people gives those types of updates all i hear them saying is:

- i didn’t plan very well before leaving for vacation.
- i haven’t spent any time staying in touch with what’s been going on while out.
- i don’t have a clue what going on so i’ll just make it sound like i have a lot of work to do.
- i’m not sure what i’m supposed to be doing now that i'm back.

when returning from vacation i expect people to have a clear list of action items to deal with. vacation time is one’s opportunity to get away from it all so when they return they can hit the ground running with a plan. the vacation breaks up the monotony of everyday work & allows one to come back with some focus & purpose.

as i participate on my morning call with our CEO i hope & expect to hear clear-cut action items from my colleagues & no “catching up” type of statements.

a new fan of used

until last year i didn’t realize how much more sense it made to buy used versus new. it was the ’99 4runner that i purchased that opened my eyes to this revelation.

last christmas i sold my a4 almost as soon as the warranty ran out. i loved the a4, but the idea of driving a german car w/out a full warranty is just a bad idea in my opinion. not to mention i was riding a lot back then, we had just gotten payton & a 4runner just seemed to make more sense. i decided to go after a used 4runner because i trusted toyotas, i liked the 4runner, & i wanted something that i could pay cash for.

after selling the a4 i was able to pay for the 4runner with cash & even stick a few bucks in the bank. after buying the 4runner i took it to toyota & gave them a blank check to fix anything & everything that was wrong or could go wrong with it. they suggested i get an oil change, rotate the tires, & change the transmission fluid & in the next 10K miles they said i should get the front brakes replaced. that was it; all that it needed!. that first visit to toyota cost under $200 bucks & it wasn’t until 9 months later that i had the front breaks changed along w/ another oil change (had one other oil change before then) all for less than $300 bucks. in the year i’ve driven the 4runner i have put over 12K miles on it & spent less than $600 in maintenance costs (included 3 oil changes & 1 air filter change). that $600 bucks was only a $100 more than i was paying each month for the a4. used wins!

just this last week kristin & bought a house. it was built in 2006 & the previous owner took excellent care of this home & upgraded it from floor to ceiling. wood floors, new tile, travertine tile & granite counter tops in the bathrooms, recessed lighting w/ dimmers throughout, converted the patio to an office, stained the garage floor & finished the walls, garage door opener, fans throughout, stone built flowerbeds, stained fence, upgraded hardware on all doors & in the bathrooms, replaced carpet in bedrooms with upgraded berber, painted walls to include accent walls, sprinkler, gutters, security system, blinds, curtains, & the list goes on & on. after moving in last friday, kristin & i have only had to make one run to home depot & that was for new bed slats & a new battery for one of the garage remotes. when we moved into our first house, which was brand new, we spent the first year at home depot almost every weekend. we had to install, paint, configure, & setup everything. it made home owning a disease & it consumed much of our free time.

not anymore. this place is like a dream. nothing to do except move in & enjoy. that’s what we plan to do & not to mention we saved thousands of dollars by taking the used versus new approach.