Monday, July 31, 2006

Gas temperature map has this new gas temperature map visually depicting how high gas prices are across the country. Not that anything on it will shock you. Yet another way we save money by not being in California.

Brain Builder

Out: Sudoku
In: WEBoggle

Friday, July 28, 2006

How do you want to be remembered when you die?

An unsolved, brutal, multiple-stabbing murder of a real estate agent recently took place in Mckinney, a few miles from our house. When I saw an article on the deceased in Sunday's paper, I thus read it with some interest.

Sarah used to tell her friends that life was worth enjoying. She never needed to be reminded in return.

An expensive Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz sat in her driveway. Fancy clothes came from Saks and Neiman Marcus. Friends joined her on luxurious vacations to California, Colorado and Hawaii.

"Everything she did was to the extreme," said longtime friend Holly. "Everything she did was above and beyond."

After reading that, I started to feel even sadder for the lady. This is how people remember her? For what she had? I joked to my wife that if something happened to me, I didn't want her to list off all my material achievements in the paper. "A Toyota Camry sat in his driveway. Affordable clothes came from Nordstrom Rack and Banana Republic, on clearance. His wife joined him on exotic vacations to Ohio, California and Arkansas. They enjoyed an occasional fancy meal at the Olive Garden." Anyway, I pondered on this some more, as I read the whole article and thought, perhaps if those were the things you spent your life pursuing, that's exactly how you would want to be remembered? I'm hoping I'm wrong on that, because that would be even more tragic.

After Sarah graduated from Berkner High School in Richardson in 1983, she landed a job leasing apartments in North Dallas. Apartments quickly turned into houses as Sarah realized that real estate was a good way to make money.

At 23, Sarah married her first husband, Mort, a longtime love interest. They had a son named Alex. But the marriage broke up after five years. Young Alex and his father, who could not be reached for comment, moved out of state. Sarah would rarely see her son.

"I think there was a lot of pain there," Holly said. "It wasn't a subject that came up often."

Alex, now 15, did not attend his mother's funeral on Thursday, said Sarah's brother, Joe.

I think this part may make this the saddest article ever.

Executive Home

What exactly constitutes an "executive home"? This seems to be the real-estate buzzword du jour here in Dallas, but no one is really sure exactly what it means. I think general agreement is that "over-priced" is at least part of the definition. I'm pretty sure there aren't enough executives here to buy the 50,000 executive homes being advertised.

Monday, July 24, 2006

NOT a Unicorn

I have been informed by some of my ever so sensitive co-workers in Roseville that our most recent ultrasound pic looks like it might be of a unicorn. Let me disabuse any of my readers of that notion, and point out that that is merely its hand up by its face. You can actually make out the individual bones if you click on the picture to see the larger image. Now I wonder if my child will ever eventually read this blog and be curious about who said they looked like a unicorn. Someone might need to get ready for an awkward conversation in five or ten years.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Baby Pic

My wife went into the doctor shortly before our trip to Ohio, and ended up having an ultrasound. Which was a surprise to me, because somehow I had thought she was only having a blood test. I had kind of wanted to be there for the ultrasounds, and indeed my wife informed that she was the only one at the place there without a husband. The doctor viewing the ultrasound proceeded to inform her that he knew the baby's gender and asked if she wanted to know as well. Definitely the kind of thing that I wanted to be there for! Anyway, he proceeded to claim that we are having a girl. However, we were only 13 weeks along at that point, so I was kind of suspicious of the accuracy. Is he the sort of guy who just likes to predict things? Especially when the odds of being randomly correct are 50/50? My wife bumped into her regular doctor while working last week (one of the advantages of being a post-partum nurse is getting to see your doctor a lot), and her doctor confirmed that 13 weeks is awfully early to be trying to ascertain the gender. She told us to definitely not buy anything for the baby based on that. I guess we'll know more at the next ultrasound in a few weeks. We may be setting a new record for most ultrasounds. I joked on the phone the other day that I was going to buy TomKat's ultrasound machine, now that they are done with it, so we can just have a daily record of progress. Anyway, we'll be happy with either gender.

Saturday, July 15, 2006


On the way back from our trip to Ohio, we visited Graceland. This is never a place I had a big desire to visit, but it actually was fairly interesting. First, we had to get over the price, because $22 seemed pretty steep to me, to see the house of someone I'm not all that into. Fortunately, we got 10% off as AAA members, giving us a whopping total of $4.40 saved! Anyway, the house was delightfully ugly and tacky, which is what made the trip enjoyable. I offer you a few pictures from the vast selection available in our snapfish album. E-mail me if you're dying to see more.

I laugh every time I look at this picture. It just can't get any more redneck thank having a silver punchbowl set on top of a TV in your fancy dining room.

I cry every time I see this one. The interior decorator involved in this should have been charged with a crime.

These last two are from the same room. Note how the hideous green shag carpeting is the same. Unfortunately, in the second one, the carpet is actually on the ceiling.

Regardless, I definitely learned a lot more about Elvis. I was quite surprised to find out that he had his own racquetball court built on the premises. And he had a shooting range there as well. Who knew we had those interests in common? Anyway, to sum up, Graceland is kind of a fun trip back to kitschy 1970's America, and would be a must see if you are an Elvis aficionado.