Monday, June 30, 2008

The Sun Sets in the East, and Rises in the West

Last weekend ended with the beginning of the next phase of my life. I hit the road Saturday morning left my life on the east coast headed towards my new adventures in the west. I arrived to my parents house in the northern suburbs of Chicago later Saturday night. The culmination of a busy week.

After I'd dropped Kari at the airport on Monday, I headed to New Town Bistro, an establishment in Winston-Salem where I'd imbibed more than my share of frosty beverages over the past five years. Dana, our Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday bartender forced me down the bar to talk to a couple of people my second or third time in there about five years ago which was the start of my introduction of the Monday Night Liar's Poker Club, and in turn many wonderful friendships.

We played a few hands of Liars Poker that evening, after which I was presented the official Liar's Club plaque to take with me, as well as a great picture of Kari and I from my friend Ann's going away party a few weeks earlier that everyone signed.

My friend Joe also gave me a 4 wt. Sage rod that had been given to him by a good friend of his, Gerald, who he often fished with in New York but has since passed away. It was truly an honor that Joe thought so highly of me to pass along a rod that had such great sentimental value to him. I certainly plan to put it to good use.

Tuesday I packed. Wednesday, my realtor Betsy and her husband, Don (a Liar's Club member as well), took me out to dinner. Thursday I went to dinner with Captain W.G. "Wild Bill" Walton and our friend Bob, formerly of QST fame. Bob helped me out a lot during my time at QST, and I only hope he's as happy as he seems at his new job building Cobra's and GTs.

Mr. Walton, if you don't know, is great, and has often been called the greatest. If you don't believe me, ask him, and he'll happily tell you. All kidding aside, Bill is a true gentleman and one of the nicest characters you'll ever meet. I'm going to miss our bi-monthly lunches. Hopefully he'll find a way to get his old butt down to Jacksonville a bit more often once I get down there.

Friday, I was surprised at work with a luncheon that was set up by the employees in my building. There was all kinds of wonderful homemade food and desserts, and I was really touched. The women in my office also gave me a beautiful knife with a Tarpon engraved on the side, which I will always cherish and think of them fondly.

There's been a lot of mixed emotions for me in that building over the years as the textile industry hasn't been hitting on all cylinders lately, especially in the US. Walking out Friday, I was sad to leave so many people behind who have truly become friends to continue the struggle. However, after all we've been through, after the lunch and after I'd said all my "so longs," I walked out of that building feeling like I had earned the respect of the bulk of the people working there over the last fiver years. That's what I leave most proud of.

Friday evening, my friends Brad and Robert helped me move out of my house. They were lifesavers, as they did a bulk of the heavy lifting while I finished packing, and without them, I'd ever have gotten out Saturday morning as I'd hoped. There are a few odds and ends I'll need to take care of in NC from the road, but in essence, I'm pretty well done.

I'd love to say that Saturday was a magical day, with magical road trip stories and wonderful pictures, but it was really all I could do to even keep my eyes open for the drive. I probably pulled over at least once an hour to make sure I was awake.

Spent time with family yesterday, and will get back on the road again today. I think when I leave Chicago, which is still home for me, I'll really get the rush of being on my new adventure. I plan to hit Madison, WI tonight to see my best bud Ryan, and then I'll head west on Tuesday, likely through Minnesota and into South Dakota. I plan to meander through the Bad Lands and Black Hills on Wednesday, and then head down and spend Wednesday night with my friend Brent in Laramie.

Thursday, I'll take the short two hour drive down to Denver to spend a night with my sister, Janis, and Friday I'll head up to Idaho. Should be a lot of fun, and hopefully, you'll all enjoy the journey right along with me in this blog.

Be well.

Happy Trails!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Photo Trip Report...Part I

Driving to the Blue Ridge Mountains for our Sunday Canoe Trip, Kari and I encountered a strong thunder storm and hail:

Our adventure somewhat derailed, Kari was sad:

But we trucked on, and as the skies began to clear, we took in some beautiful views along the Blue Ridge Parkway:

And arrived at our accommodations for the evening, Bluff's Lodge, which keeps with its roots as a historic park site, so no phones or TV:

So we checked in, found our way to a nice little Tapas restaurant in the town of Sparta, and then decided we'd bowl one game at the local Sparta Bowl. Kari's feisty, so I bowled left handed so we could hopefully have a competitive game.


To Be Continued...

Photo Trip Report...Part II

We woke up the next morning to bright clear skies and very pleasant temperatures. We enjoyed breakfast at the Bluff's Restaurant across the Parkway from the lodge, and then headed back to take a second shot at our canoe trip.

Fortunately, we got right in and got our gear to head out:

Avoided whacking each other with the paddles as we navigated the river, and came to a smooth patch to enjoy the view:

Made it down river safely and happy:

And I was gifted with a beautiful parting smile at the end of a nice weekend.

The End

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

"Jeffrey, don't torment the cows....."

...was the response I was greeted with as Kari and I turned the bend on a section of the New River in our canoe. We spent some time in the Blue Ridge Mountains this weekend, and got in our canoe trip with Zaloo's Canoes on Monday morning before Kari had to head home.

The cows were standing in a pasture on the side of the river, and clearly, well, at least to me, the only polite thing was to say hello......"Mmmmmmmoooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!"

Apparently, Kari didn't see my method of communication as appropriate. Ten seconds later, Kari decided it was her turn to pay her respects.

"Hello Mr. Cow. This time next year I'll probably be eating you."

I of course bust out laughing since I'm the impolite one. When Kari realized what she'd said, she immediately said she was becoming a Vegan in hopes of not going straight to hell.

Busy packing, but hopefully I'll get some pictures and more notes up soon about our trip.

Almost time to hit the road......

Saturday, June 21, 2008

A Few Sutures and She'll Be as Good as New....

My realtor just heard from her counterpart that the inspection went well.  Only a few minor ticky tack items on the repair list that I'll get on Monday, so that's a relief.

Outside of that, just trying to pack and get organized.

Three piles......Give Away, Store, and Idaho.  

OK, those who know me know there's a pile of trash, too, but I'm picking it up, I promise.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Moving Along...

Had my oil checked this morning.  Was given a clean bill pending the blood work up, which I'm actually hoping will look better than my last physical a couple of years ago with the weight loss since then.

Car's all greased up, topped off and aligned for the winding road ahead.

Picked up a small First Aid Kit and a few other odds and ends today.  Hopefully I can stop shopping soon.  It's fun, but it hasn't been cheap.

Still waiting on the inspection report, but hopefully the fact that I haven't heard a peep thus far means nothing major, so another hurdle crossed.

My very cool birthday present from Kari arrived yesterday, and I just got it set up today.  It's a "SPOT" Satellite Personal Tracker.  (Apparently she doesn't want me to get lost)  With the touch of a button I can send out an Emergency 911 signal from anywhere, or I can just hit a button to say "Hi" so family and friends know where I am.  Just got the service set up and I'm gonna go give it a test run now.  (If you want to see more about it, Survivorman will give you a tour here:

Brad, D, Happy Anniversary.  Hope you and all the rest of my degenerate buddies in Vegas this weekend are winning big and having fun.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

One Last "Good Luck House"

Inspection day today. Hopefully we'll pull through with a clean bill of health.

Outside of that, mostly spending my time packing and doing errands. I'm certainly feeling the old adage "You never really know how much stuff you have until it's time to move."

I think I'm getting it pretty well organized, though, and I've got some friends who are going to help me store some things, so hopefully I'll be able to keep on going at a steady clip and have everything all done for an 8AM departure on June 28.

I've got my laundry list of odds and ends to take care of as well, so I'm taking tomorrow off work to try and cross off a bunch of those, and then Kari's in Saturday evening to Monday evening. I'm hoping that I'll be in pretty good shape by then so that I don't have to worry about any chores while she's here.

Sounds like I'll play a little poker tomorrow night at the bar game I play in about once a month. They wanted to get a game in before I left, and then a small farewell gathering on Monday night at the local bar where I've spent a bit of time. It was the first place I really went regularly when I moved down here 5-1/2 years ago, and I've made met some great people there, so it'll be nice to get together with them all before I go.

Monday, June 16, 2008

And a Few More Forgotten Tidbits?

My sister Laura is riding the MS Bike Ride again this year in support of Multiple Sclerosis, the condition that afflicts our mom Claudia. If you're inclined and able, any donation would be greatly appreciate. You can visit Laura's page to donate at:

If I didn't say it in the last blog, Tiger Woods is frankly remarkable. Granted, he's physically gifted, but even when he's not at his best, he's so mentally strong that he can hang and hang and hang and just wear his opponents down until they finally make a mistake. Truly amazing.

On the other side of the US Open coin, Rocco Mediate really was a class act, and someone genuinely easy to root for. He's never had much of the spotlight, so from the TV I've never really had a chance to see much of him before, or know his personality. But after watching the last few days, it's clear that he's a true gentleman, and his positive and joyful attitude throughout the Open and even in his ultimate defeat in likely the biggest moment in his career is something we could all be proud to model ourselves after.

More Tidbits....

Happy belated Father's Day to all the Dad's. I'm sorry that I wasn't home to share father's day with my dad, but I certainly hope he knows that I wish I were, and that I love him very much.

My work computer just advised me that my password will expire in 13 days. Would I like to change it now? I said no thank you.

Since I prefer to travel comfortably and had no business obligations when I got to Cincinnati on Monday night, I wore flip-flops, fishing shorts, and a T-shirt. The T-shirt was was solid black, and 100% Rayon, so I guess it looked pretty sharp. We could even call this "Islamorada Business Formal." Nonetheless, when my boss and I met the salesperson from our Chicago office in the lobby to head out to dinner, I was given the option of Cincinnati Bar B Q ribs, or a more upscale "fancy white-table cloth" type restaurant. I looked down at my attire and then back up at our salesperson....."Maybe the ribs might be more appropriate."

Pretty laid back weekend in general. Signed my contract for the house on Friday evening. Celebrated with a few beers. Proceeded to break my Crackberry on Friday night, so no phone much of Saturday. Golfed which was fine. Got a message for a showing on my house when I was done. Communication at it's finest. Headed to watch the US Open with Brad, Mike and Bobby...My three constant friends for the 5 years I've been down in NC...our last time all in the same place, for now. Pretty low key, just some beers and Golden Tee after the US Open, but fun as always.

Sunday just did some work around the house. Went and watched the open again.

That was basically the weekend. If I said anything else, I'd be in trouble. If I don't say anything, it'll mean I don't care. Can't win for losing.

Been feeling a bit awkward at work these days. Uncomfortable to really tell people they're doing something wrong, of fight for something that I believe to be correct when the opinions are against me, and I feel like everyone's just looking at me saying, "you're leaving anyway." So, I'm trying to get some stuff done while staying out of the way a bit, but disconcerting all the same.

But, it'll all work out the the way it should. It will. All of it. I'm convinced of that.

Be well.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Life Lessons and Tidbits Learned From Selling a House

It's much easier to maintain a yard, and even rewarding to see it prosper, when you put in a couple of hours a week, or even 15 minutes a day watering and weeding, compared to having to deal with it when you've let it go overgrown for 4 years.

It's surprisingly easy to keep bathrooms and kitches clean and your clothes off the floor with a few rinses and trips to the laundry room or hamper a day, rather than trying to pick up after yourself three weeks at a time.

If you feel incapable of doing any of the above, spending a reasonale amount each month for a cleaning and/or lawn service will be worth its weight in gold.

A 20-30 minute walk with the dogs in the morning and evening will leave them much less likely to tear up the house, and leaves one feeling much healthier and more productive throughout the day.

In a normal market, a properly maintained abode that's fairly priced will sell itself.... assuming the right buyer comes along.

Markets and customs are different all around the country.  Never be afraid to ask any questions to make sure you're comfortable with such an important transaction.

Most importantly, have faith and confidence that though you'll have your ups and downs, if you do the right thing, more often than not, things will work out as they should.

Be well, friends.  

Thursday, June 12, 2008

SHIP IT!!!!!

Ship it!... the slang poker phrase many started throwing around when you win a big pot.  You wait patiently for the right hand to come along... the nervousness, anxiety and tension of having all your chips in the middle, and then the simulatneous adulation and relief of winning the big pot.

It's exactly how I felt, and exactly what I wanted to jump up and shout when I came to a verbal agreement with the buyer on my house today.  

Of course, unlike poker, I don't feel like there was a loser in this hand.  I really believe it was a very fair deal on the house, but I'm tremendously relieved with the outcome after the work that was put in and how I expect to come out knowing the current condition of the housing market.

I'm really pleased on so many levels.  Obviously, I'm totally jacked and relieved for myself, as this is a huge burden off my shoulders as I leave on my endeavor to Idaho, and then on to Florida thereafter.

I'm very grateful to my buddy  at work who I hired to help with a lot of the work that needed to be done that I wasn't capable of tackling on my own.  He did a great job at a fair price, and I think he appreciated the work.  For anyone reading this in the NC area that is in need of some handywork, don't hesitate to contact me if you'd like to get in touch with him.

I'm happy that a friend of mine was also the realtor.  Betsy did a very nice job.  Obviously a win/win for both of us.

I'm happy that I'll also hopefully be able to help some friends with furniture and the like that I'm looking to probably sell before I go.  Obviously it'll be nice to get some decent money out of it, but I think there's a lot of people interested in a bunch of my belongings, and hopefully it will go to people that I consider friends, and if it means some payment plans to make it work for them, I'd rather do that, since I know it'll help them out and be more appreciated.

I'm especially excited that I'll be able to get my spare bed to a fellow at work tomorrow who has unfortunately been down on his personal luck a bit and alternating sleeping between his couch and floor.  He's a great kid and a hard worker.  I really wanted to give it to him when I knew he needed it a couple of weeks ago, but I felt torn that I needed it to have the second bedroom staged.  I'd been struggling with internally since I felt a bit cold and selfish that I wouldn't just take it out and give it to him, but I know that houses sell better staged, and I didn't want to hurt myself knowing that I needed to get this place sold.  I'm very relieved and pumped that I can help him out now.

The run of emotions is just crazy, but I should have the contract signed and in hand tomorrow.  The buyer is from out of state, and had already started heading home before we'd even reached an agreement, so I don't expect there to be any "to do" tomorrow.  Based on the offer, I think she really liked the house and was a motivated buyer, the negotiation was minimal, and we came to an agreement rather quickly.

In any event, thanks to everyone that's been wishing me well.  I'm sure there'll be the few typical anxiety filled moments with the inspection, closing, and last minute i's to cross and t's to dot, but a day.

Be well, all.

PS, I've got a few other random fun stories from my trip to Cincy, but this took precedence.  I won't forget those in the next few days, though.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

An Hour for Every Four Minutes....

....was our driving time per minute we actually spent in our meeting.

Driving actually turned out fine, since we arrived back to the plant around 5 pm yesterday, and had we flown, we probably wouldn't have landed into Raleigh or Charlotte until after 9pm and still been an hour from home....assuming both legs of connecting flights would have been on time.

The drive was pleasant. Quiet for the most part. I ended up driving the bulk of the ride up on Friday, and slept the first half home yesterday before taking over the afternoon half. It was actually a very scenic ride. The mountains in western Virginia and West Virginia were very pretty, as was rolling farmland in southern Ohio.

Our ride took us parallel to the Ohio River for a good stretch. It was relatively clear in West Virginia, but as we got further north, the river got darker and darker until it finally looked like chocolate milk. We were a bit perplexed by this, until we got to an area where you could see giant fields that had obviously been flooded the week prior. Most of the water was down, but there were still puddles in the fields, trash lines where the water had risen to, and the fields were barren.

The meeting was fine. The customer continually mocked the salesperson, basically saying, "I'm the smartest person in the room, and you continue to talk to me like I'm not." He was right. It was a meeting that needed to happen, but overall didn't accomplish a whole lot.

As I was leaving, though, I did a sign for a company picnic, where it invited everyone to "Feed Their Competitive Side" with "Frisbee Golf, Volley Ball, Horseshoes, Corn Hole, and Bingo." Corn Holing? Family Picnic? Scary. Probably will turn out to be some innocent child's game with an unfortunate name.

Anyhow, got word that an agent "thinks" her buyers will put in an offer on my house towards the end of the week or over the weekend. Talk about an evil, torturous e-mail. There's also a showing today at noon....and I can't remember where I left my dirty towel this morning. I put it in front of the dresser to take to the washer, but I can't decide if it actually made it to the washer or not. I'm going to run home and check.

Good luck house.

Be well.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Big Trip Update....

....tomorrow.  I'm tired.  The crab legs when I got home just plum tuckered me out.

Be well.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Odds and Ends

I ordered a package on Friday.  The shipping information went to UPS today.  Undoubtedly it'll get picked up tomorrow and I can track away.  I hope the recipient will get as much joy out of it as I will tracking it.

I'm heading to Cincinnati tomorrow.  I'm not terribly excited about it.  We have a meeting with a customer Tuesday morning, but didn't get sufficient notice to make flight reservations.  So instead of $700+ airfares, it's 7 hours each way.  Mind you, I'm not afraid of driving.  I'll have plenty of it coming up.  Just don't necessarily like being at the mercy of someone else's driving and company for 7 hours a day for two days straight.  I prefer to pick my own companions.  That said, Computer, Head Phones, and DVD will be mandatory.

I watched Charlie Wilson's War today.  I actually saw it with Kari when it came out, but I was interested in seeing it again.  I really enjoy Aaron Sorkin's writing.

I like Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream.

Driving Myself Nuts

I don't think I ever want to sell a house again.  This sucks.  I spent 3/4 of my round of golf staring at the phone begging it to ring with an offer.  I think I'll feel a wonderful sense of relief when this process is over.  No, I guarantee it.  

The people back for a second look yesterday still have it among their top picks, and now want to get a feel for the neighborhood at different times of day.  Clearly, they're not the impulse shoppers that I was.  

Anyhow, the golf yesterday was almost comical.  5 over after 5 holes with 4 three putts.  Then played the next four holes even, including a two putt birdie on a par 5 for 41.  Then, a small wait and a lot of staring at the phone as the tenth tee was jammed up.  

I proceed to double 10, triple 11, double 12, and then maybe double 13 and bogey 14, I think.  Either way, something like 10 over after 14.  Hit the par 5 15th in two and make eagle.  Bogey 16, Par 17 and 18 for 45.  Smooth 86.

I was playing with my buddy Robert in a twosome, and there were two ahead of us, including one gentleman he knew, so at 7 when it got really slow we joined up with them, the other being a first time golfer.

Now, I don't mind at all playing with people of any skill level, but watching a shitty golfer try to teach a total beginner how to play....the unintentional comedy scale heads through the roof.  For starters, the four minute lesson on the flop shot (giving a 4-yr-old a ten speed instead of a tricycle) was great, considering the beginner was at the front of the green, and had 3/4 of the green back to the pin that he could use to roll the ball up.  Or the pitch shot that he kept preaching how hard you have to swing through the rough to be able to hit the ball.  

I also liked the tee ball where he corrected the stance on his buddy's driver, and squared his buddy up (even though he aims 40 yd right of his target himslef and comes way over the ball to bring it back left), but leaves the ball sitting 3/4 of the way back in his buddy's stance, even though you typically set up with the driver just inside your front foot.

Anyway, I just kept telling myself to try not to be infected by anything he was saying.  When we hit the 11th hole, and it was still slow, they backed off and went back to play 10 again and decided to hang back since the first timer was supposed to be getting a lesson.  

Bobby turns to me and says, "Don't say anything."  So I paused, tried not to for a minute, but I just can't let it go....."Lesson one, get a new instructor." 

Pretty lazy night after that.  Ate some crab legs and watch the Belmont at Full Moon Oyster Bar after that.  Kind of a disappointing and boring race after all the hype.

Then just picked up a movie and fell asleep pretty early.

Probably just hanging around the house today.  I probably need to think about starting to pack up the stuff that I don't really use daily.

Be well.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Nice Little Saturday....

Nope, haven't made it to Home Depot yet, but, for 10 am on a Saturday it's already been a productive morning for me.   Woke up, weeded and watered the front plant bed, trimmed the hedges, and then mowed the yard, front and back. Fortunately, I did get this done, as 1/2 way through I received a call for a noon showing.  I think the house is looking pretty good. 

 Hoping to get my realtor to swap this photo...

...for the one currently on my listing.  The hedges have grown in more, and it's a bright blue sky.  Just seems more appealing to me.

Anyhow, just a few last minute tidies, a shower, and then I'm going to hit the links.  Playing the Reynolds Course at Tanglewood Park.  It's a decent track.

Good luck House.

Be well, all.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Sparring With a VP

So I had some fun today with one of my favorite VPs, who's also a corporate board member as he likes to remind people.

Especially amusing to me since I've personally let about 125 employees go as we transition our production from North Carolina to the Dominican Republic.  Yes, my personal belief is that we're at best basically trading dollars, labor for freight.  But ultimately the overhead cut in the US is what's deemed to be the long term benefit.

Round 1:

E-mail asking the question......

VP:  The costs to make in the Dominican has to be less than Mocksville so price should not be an issue is that correct? (no, I didn't edit for punctuation, though a comma or period thrown every now and again might have been nice)

Me:  I don't see us shutting down the DR in favor of Mocksville.

Eh.  I was kind of hoping he'd understand the motive behind the corporate decision to move, but I guess that's asking a lot, you know, for a board member and all.

Round 2:

Same VP via e-mail, addressed to a VP in Chicago, copied to me and two of my customer service staff in Mocksville:

Bill (another VP from Chicago): 

Please give instructions to Mocksville to move [such and such] inventory to Mexico, as it does us no good to hold it in Mocksville.

At this point, it appears to me he's either calling out the VP in front of us if he feels like the VP's not keeping up with his inventory, or he's calling us out in front of the VP insinuating that we don't know what we're doing.  Either way, I don't appreciate his method of communicating the message.

Me:  We received instructions last week.  We just received the goods.  When the next truck leaves, they leave.  Likely Monday or Tuesday.

In the future, if you want someone to instruct us to do something, don't copy us.

Talking around someone is what a fifth grader does.

VP:  Jeffrey, I don't have the foiest idea what you're talking about. 

I'm assuming the "gg" is missing there.  Slippery key, obviously.

Me:  I'm not surprised in the least.

VP:  I am as dumb as your personality sucks.

Me:  As smart as you tell us you are, that must be a high compliment.

I relayed this story to a Exec VP over a beer later in the evening.  He had a hard time not laughing at the whole exchange.  So I remarked, "Well, clearly, I was never cut out to be a VP or a board member."

In case you're wondering, T-minus 15 working days until I head west.....

Be well, all.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Difficulty in What to Say

The internet, and blogs and message boards more specifically, have always come under a lot of scrutiny for people's ability to post anonymously, or even if their identity isn't hidden, they're still more apt to say things behind the safety of their computer than they would face to face.

This phenomenon has somewhat been plaguing me lately, as I think I'm pretty straight forward as it is in person, and don't think I'd say much differently online than I would "live" so to speak.  At the same token, though open to the public to read, this is still a journal of my personal thoughts, and often I just want to vent them.

All of this boils down to.....I spend over 1/2 my waking day to/from and at work.  It has often consumed many more hours of my waking thought.  I have so many things I want to say, even though I've said most of them already and I'm not shy about it, but I also don't know if it's the right thing to do on this blog.

I don't need to call out anyone by name.  I just want to vent some things that bother me.  If I haven't already said them, I probably plan to over the next few weeks.  I'm certainly not looking to burn any bridges, but it's out of genuine concern for direction and the people that I've worked so closely with for the past 10 years, and the last five especially.

Anyway.  I'm conflicted.  Just thought I'd at least share that.

Oh, and I've seen a bunch of really cool fishing photos and video trailers online in the past few days.  I'm getting pretty pumped.  I'd almost be giddy if someone would just put an offer in on my house.

I mean, the open house got excellent traffic, and I know there was an appointment today, and I know they showed since I left they lights on and they put them all out (I must have paid the electric bill since the modem is working).....but they didn't take a flyer....and didn't leave a does that mean they just totally weren't interested.....or did they already have the flyer because they were here for the Open House and this was their second time through? (deep breath pause from the run-on sentence)

But I'm not worried.  The right buyer will be here soon.  And I'm excited for what the summer will hold.  And I'm excited to move closer to Kari after that.

I'm still conflicted, though.  The work thoughts always come back.  Maybe soon.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Silver Strike Queen...

...shall be Kari's new nickname. She's improved immensely in the last few times we've play at the local "Redneck Bar" pool hall, and she whooped me pretty good (yes, I suck) three straight games last night. I rallied in the fourth, but I think she just tired out. (Silver Strike is video bowling similar to Golden Tee machines, for those that don't know)

And thus ended a fun night out for what I believe to be the final of Ann's handful of going away parties. (Ann, Steve and Jaime head out next Sunday and close their new house on Monday. Good luck!) Last night was most of the New Town Bistro regulars, along with a number of Ann's coworkers from New Town and Big Shotz Tavern.

Back to work for me this morning. Investigating whether or not I'll be travelling to Cincinnati next week for a meeting. Kari's having lunch with Jaime and Ann at Jamie's school today, and then I'll take Kari to the airport tonight to head back to Jacksonville.

Was a nice extended weekend.

Be well all.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Golf and Lake House

Played a little golf on Saturday.  Struck the ball fairly decently, but the lack of practice and play is more than evident in my short game.  Shot 85 at Silo Run Golf Course, in Boonville, NC.  A few goofy holes, but for the most part, a very pretty and nicely maintained course.

The course was about 45 minutes from my house, and it was a very pleasant drive out.  It's a bit out in the "country", with some really beautiful corn and tobacco fields along the way.  Even passed a winery or two.

I stopped home to grab some clothes and tidy up a bit before my Sunday Open House, and then headed to Raleigh to pick up Kari.  From there, we headed back past my house to some friends Lake House where we spent the night with some cocktails around the bonfire, and then hung around and relaxed by the lake for the day.

**side note on the drive: From the time I'd left to pick Kari up until we'd reached the lake house, I'd put 270 miles on my car.  That'd put me roughly 1/9th of the way to Idaho, even with stopping through Chicago.  It's getting closer and closer.

The Open House sounded like it garnered a nice turnout.  Roughly 30 people in the two hours it was open.  I guess the true success will be if any prospective buyers decide to come back for a second trip.

I took today off today to hang out with Kari.  We're going to another Bon Voyage party for our friend Ann tonight.