Friday, November 17, 2006

The holiday season

It just seems like last week it was 100º and we were bitching about mowing grass and sunburns. Now, we're bitching about raking leaves and cold rain! Don't get me wrong--you'll NEVER hear me bitching about cold weather EVER. I live for this season, and I get wound up around 30º or so. I hate raking leaves, but it's not a repetitious task like mowing the grass. You do it a couple of times and you're done! Bring on the snow!

The Razorbacks are doing well this year, and I'll tell you why I make note of this fact. Anyone that has known me for any length of time knows that I've not been a Hog fan for many years--not because they won, or lost, or anything. It's simply because there are other teams in this God-forsaken state that get nearly no recognition for their national championships, and it pisses me off. As a UCA alumnus, I remember numerous NAIA championships that were never even acknowledged on some TV stations. This year, UCA is a contender in NCAA Division I, and although I don't know the school, UAPB is the SWAC champion. Yet, the HOGS steal the spotlight because they're having their first good year in 10 years. Fair? Not really. However, I make mention of this for one primary reason. When the Razorbacks are doing well, I can sell parking spaces in my yard (3 blocks from War Memorial Stadium) for 2-3 times what I am accustomed to getting. Last year, parking was $10 per spot. This year, spots go for as much as $30! How much difference does that make? Last year, I would make $200 for a game day. Last month for the ULM blowout in Little Rock, I made nearly twice that! I have 17 spaces in my yard, and I hawk them like they're the only parking in town. Parking for the LSU game will start at $20 and go up to $30 within an hour of the game. I love the Razorbacks!

Work is going well. My new job is settling in nicely. I ordered my new car this week, and it should be here sometime in January or early February. I actually had to order two different models because they weren't sure which fleet we would be using. I will be getting either a Chevrolet Equinox or an HHR. Either one is nice, but since I am not an advocate for the SUV, I would prefer the HHR; however, since I don't pay for it, I guess I won't bitch either way! I got my new laptop and Blackberry this week, so I'm all wired up and ready for action. My 'official' title is Computer Support Specialist, Midwest region. In layman's terms, that simply means I cover Arkansas, western Tennessee, northwest Mississippi, northern Louisiana and a bite of Texas and Oklahoma. It's a nice pay raise (read: significant), and I get to do many of the things I do well--driving, computers, teaching, and laboratories. I hope this job stays with me longer than my previous attempts, as it's time for some stability! My family deserves it, and I deserve it! I will be spending the entire week after Thanksgiving in Kansas City training. I then will be visiting the clinics in my area to see what their needs are and shake a few hands--you know, the fun stuff!

I've heard it too many times here lately, but apparently it's true--"Everything happens for a reason." I didn't get to keep the last job or two because this job was coming open for me. This job fits me very well, and I like the direction it is going. The pay is excellent, and the benefits are even better. My wife and my daughter and I will benefit greatly from this position, and when the time comes for me to move, I may even get the opportunity to transfer to my locale of choice (Indiana?) and not lose any service time. Sweet deal!

That's all for now. If I don't post before then, have a great Thanksgiving. I have more to be thankful this year than many, many years past. My wife--bless her heart--has made it through nearly three years with me, and she certainly deserves to be acknowledged for her effort. My hat is off to her for overcoming the drama and the hard times. She has taken my daughter in as her own, even with all of the "white trash-isms" we have to work out of her. She was around her mom long enough to really learn some bad habits, and they don't break easily! But I am truly blessed, and this year, I intend to let that fact be known. Never forget your foundation--ignoring the smallest cracks can lead to a major failure.

Until next time...