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Floating an air biscuit – Paid in full… October 31, 2006

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Some of you may recall me making statements in the past about the humor in the occasional thunder flutter while running on the treadmill. How I would giggle to myself while sharing my chemical warfare with others at the gym. Well, I received some serious payback during my run last night. I was running five miles (about an hour run) and a nice young lady starts her walk on the treadmill next to me. She yapps with her friend a while and as she nears her workout she blows the Sphincter Whistle like it’s never been blown before. This lady sent a message from the interior minister that was loud and clear. It was a room clearer that any man would be proud to have claimed as his own. North Korea would raise a white flag and destroyed its weapons of mass destruction to avoid being hit again.

I was speechless, only cause I had to cover my face with my shirt as to not vomit!

I wanted to further paint this picture for you by sharing what I believe is her personal ad below:

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I will be sure to avoid running next to Ms. Flaming Cornhole in future runs at the gym.

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Outsourcing Taxes – A Rant about Intuit October 30, 2006

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Now you have got to be kidding me!

Today my wife discovers an unauthorized charge on our bank account. It is Intuit. Apparently insisting we purchase the next version of Turbo Tax. I login to Intuit’s Turbo Tax site and wow look here something I never signed up for. “Automatic Renewal”. Ok so for anyone who may be questioning it. NO I AM NOT STUPID. I did not signup for something I was “unaware of”. This is some BS that intuit apparently put in place between last tax season and now and hooked me up with an unauthorized charge.

So there I was completely irritated about this charge. No notice, no email, no phone call just a charge for 80 bones.

The phone call – I give intuit a call to get them to own up to their bs. Hmmmm.. .imaging that the automated system tells me to expect an hour wait due to “high call volume”. Apparently they are swamped with people calling in to discuss the unauthorized charges on their account. 45 mins later the hold music stops and all I have is dead air. Oh no you don’t! I am not falling for that trick! I am staying on the phone till you either hang up on me or talk. Five minutes later I begin to hear the occasional typing and background noise. Now she’s taken me off mute. “Hello, Hello, I can hear you so I know your there!”. “Hel-o, I’d like to be thanking you for calling in-to-it, my name is Sarah”. UNBELIEVABLE! I am calling a TAX SOFTWARE COMPANY and being routed to INDIA!!!
This is getting out of hand. I’ve got my mortgage companies, internet providers, my American made Computer, and now my U.S Tax software being outsourced to India. What is next the IRS outsourcing to India? I got it lets take voting to the web. Then we can outsource the web services to an Indian datacenter. If we can trust to send out our mortgages, support and tax information outside the country then why not put the presidental, congressional and senate voting processes in their hands as well.

Back to “Sarah”. I called her out on the whole “dead air” she finally decided to speak, I tell her the situation how I recieved no notification of a charge, pending charge or made any order to purchase software from intuit. I went to Intuit’s support site durning my wait and there discover this “automatic renew” that your automatically a part of regardless of your desire to be or not. I cancel the auto renewal online and note that Intuit clearly states on their site. “You’ll always receive notification before your order is processed, and you can modify your order or cancel your automatic renewal at any time. In addition, the TurboTax Automatic Renewal Plan ensures you’ll receive the extra rewards reserved for valued direct customers.

“Sarah” cancels the pending order, tells me that the charge will fall off in twenty four hours, although my bank holds it for 3 days. (At least when I called the bank I wasn’t routed to India) “Sarah” then tells me that I will receive a survey in email that she would like me to take in regard to the service I received today. LOL You bet “Sarah” I would love to take that survey!

To clarify my position, I do not wish to come off as some arrogant racist. I am not racist. I understand the corporate world and that outsourcing is cost effective. However, corporations are sacrificing customer service in lieu of lower expense. They are trusting third world nations with our private information. We can have employees in these countries sign disclosure agreements in order to attempt to keep our private data private. However, is the judicial system in these countries going to keep these people honest? I am sure we have the occasional U.S employee that steals customer data, however when it occurs the companies prosecute the employee. Again I don’t want to say that U.S employees are going to have more integrity then those in other countries. I guess I just feel a little more comfortable with my personal data going to a U.S based criminal then I do one based in another country.

Maybe “Sarah” is my reader from India….

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The Survey – So I received the ‘important email’ from intuit in regard to taking the survey! Oh I am soooooooooo there!
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I think the last screen shot says it all! They have already received enough complaints about the way intuit is doing business this year and therefor we will cut your survey short! LMAO

Silent Running October 28, 2006

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When I left the house this morning it was 32 degrees (26 in the windchill), I thought to myself how this was going to be the coldest day I have ever ran in, and it was. Today, however, was the best run I think I have ever experienced. The accomplishment pieces; completing 250 cumulative miles since my training began, exceeding 35 miles this week, 16 miles, and not that I am counting but 116 days smoke free.
The pieces of today’s experience is not what made it the best run I have experienced. What set today apart from the rest was my setting aside self for today. Most of my running thus far has included concentration on breathing, concern for what’s going on around me (a busy path), what my heart rate is at, what my time is looking like. Try as I may I never really let these things go during the run before today. Today, I just ran. Ran for the pleasure of enjoying this beautiful city we live in. I really didn’t realize how beautiful this place is. Not until I opened my eyes, ears and closed my mind to the thoughts that plague us all, distractions of our “to do” list, work left unfinished at work, bills we have to pay, just to name a few. I am not sure why today is different, but, finally, I was able to let everything else go and just run, run and enjoy this beautiful place God created. Maybe it was because I took a slightly different path. This one not full of traffic, this path, quiet. I ran for enjoyment, I ran silent.

Fog rising from the river
Smoke flowing from a chimney
The sun breaking the crest of the sandia mountains
Balloons gathered together, the volcanos in the backdrop
Ducks in a perfect V flying south

To name just a few of the things I would have missed had I not listened. I hope that on my next long run I can let go and listen again.

Silent Running…

Governor Bill Richardson Running for President? October 27, 2006

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Yep! I’m doing it! I am writing a political post. What prompted me to write this morning was hearing about Governor Bill Richardson’s latest idea. That he’d go on a diet. Don’t get me wrong, he needs it! Just take a look at him when he filmed his “western”, what I like to call the “really I am doing a good job” commercial. I particularly like this commercial due to the simple fact that someone let him go on camera with a cowboy hat that was entirely too small for that big ass head of his! LOL I mean they shouldda just stuck a piece of shit on his forehead and called it a day!

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What drives me nuts about this guy is that he throws out ad’s like this. Like he is some hotshot “lawman” meanwhile he’s out getting speeding tickets in his Lincoln Navigator. Reports have it that Richardson was clocked more then once at a hundred plus! Well, while your at it Bill why don’t you spend $5.5 million on a private jet with leather seats and a wet bar. Oh, that’s right you already did. I don’t want to give the impression that I am some self righteous person who doesn’t speed. I’ve been known to get the occasional speeding ticket and the Mayor’s redlight cam got me in a hurry to work. BTW thanks Marty! You can stuff that hundy where the sun doesn’t shine. I hope that guy gets caught by his own damn cameras.

Now I don’t want to completely bash the guy, that’s what I’ve been doing so far. But dude stop lying! It’s driving us up a damn wall. Billy you’ve said publicly several times that you won’t be running for president. Yet your spending quite a bit of time on the east coast lately. Now, talks of dieting, why? don’t want to lose votes due to that big ass gut you got hangin over that belt? Or concern for the unwritten policies regarding the health of the president? Politics are politics and for some reason people in these positions always feed us shit. Although we will kick and scream about it they will continue to stroke the public for pennies and votes. Richardson has done some good for New Mexico. But not without wasting funds. He’s not the best guy around but surely not the worst. It feels like in the past few elections regarding local politics it has come down to the lessor of two evils gets the vote.

So, bottom line Billy boy, if you wanna run for president go for it. Just tell the people of your state that it is your intention to do so. I agree you do need a diet, come workout with me we’ll get that fat ass in shape. Fire that guy who told you your cowboy hat fit. He made you look like a fool.

And the final note. If I wanted to waste my presidential vote on someone who’s track record was about lying about whether or not he was actually going to run for the presidency, I might as well vote for Hugo Chávez or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Knock Knock, who dere, peas October 26, 2006

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ROFLMAO this is classic!

Perfect Date Dating Service – Bobby Butronics

An Ode to Pals October 26, 2006

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Inspirational October 24, 2006

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in‧spire[in-spahyuhr] verb, -spired, -spir‧ing.
–verb (used with object)

1. to produce or arouse (a feeling, thought, etc.): to inspire confidence in others.
2. to fill or affect with a specified feeling, thought, etc.: to inspire a person with distrust.
3. to influence or impel: Competition inspired her to greater efforts.

So you may be wondering why I pasted the dictionary entry for inspire in this blog. Inspirational, twice today I have had someone tell me that I was inspirational. Most of the day I have been unable to remove from my mind Greg’s words. “I read how your training for the marathon and you are my inspiration, you have and do inspire me to continue my training, to achieve my goal.” And this evening while running at the gym, I kissed a frog, so to speak. A nice lady, late 50’s to early 60’s on the treadmill next to me. She was unrelenting in her walk. I simply gave a few encouraging words (kissed the frog). I believe it inspired her continue to work hard and remove the negative thoughts in her head that were clearly affecting her stride. It got us to talking and I shared my story. Her words “Your an inspiration to us all”. WOW! Powerful are those words when they are spoken in reference to you. In all this training, self-talk, motivation, dedication, internal locus of control, relaxation techniques, concentration and constant prayer, I never once thought that I could possibly be an inspiration to others. To instigate thoughts and or feelings of such a positive nature is in itself an awesome experience. let’s face it, when your an over wieght smoker who doesn’t get any exercise you are not inspiring to anyone or anything.

So to you Greg and to you well aged lady with the heart of a lion, Thank you, Thank you for allowing me to be your inspiration. Today’s experience has given me further motivation, to continue to see this trainging through to fruition. To do what it takes to make sure that jersey is on my back when I run that marathon.

The elucubrations of life October 23, 2006

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I’ve been meaning to get to this post all weekend. It is the elucubrations of life that keeps us going and drags us down all at the same time. I asked myself a few times this week if I have bitten off more then I can chew.

The “to do” list is long. In the past four months I have quit smoking, accepted a position with a new company (after 11 years), ongoing preparation for the arrival of our baby girl (to be named Payton) in January, dealing with pregnancy difficulties (although not to the extent that my wife is dealing with them, she feels the pains etc, I worry and watch), set myself up with the challenge to train for and complete a marathon, to include side projects, decoration of a couple bedrooms and bath rooms to get the girls switched around a bit for the baby’s arrival, building a shed (as soon as I get around to getting the permit, again something I have to squeeze in the time for), and of course work, small group at church, and trying to find time for the most important pieces, being a daddy and husband. Ya might think damn why don’t you throw something more on there. Sure, the holidays and unforeseen expenses. BTW I commute 2.5 hours a day. DUDE! What am I doing!

Good news is, one bedroom is complete, and the oldest has moved into it. Now I can start on the baby’s room. Which is projected to be completed this week. If that occurs I can then start bathroom 1 the following week.

Not getting off subject, but to discuss the elucubrations of others, I have ache in my heart for some dear friends and old co-workers at my prior company who are facing layoff. We all saw the writing on the walls, I acted upon it and took the leap to keep my career moving in a forward direction. Now some people close to me are facing the guillotine. Most of these people I have had more then a working relationship with but a solid friendship for several years. I wish I was in a position to hire them all. So many names that I come to mind as dedicated, motivated people who want more out of their career then a paycheck. To you folks facing layoff, part of me wants to slap you for looking for employment during the holiday season, however, my heart goes out to you and the stresses you and your family feel in this hard time. I will pray for you all.

Painfully breaking 200 cumulative miles October 19, 2006

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Tonight’s run was quite painful. I’ve pushed a little harder the first two training days this week and had some pains in my left knee after Tuesday’s run. The discomfort continued Wednesday and today.  I took my time on tonights run to try to take it easier on it only running an 11 min per mile pace. 

The good news… is that tonight I broke the 200 cumulative mile mark. WOW! 200 miles in 14 weeks. I know that I should be totally excited about achieving this milestone. However, in all honesty I am in enough pain right now that it kills some of the excitement.  

So right now I am practicing RICE.   RICE is the acronym used for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.  Now if I can get this thing undercontrol before Saturday’s 16 mile run I’ll be happy…

This is the most disturbing video I think I have ever seen! October 19, 2006

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LMAO! Unbelievable!