John Butler Trio


Water Heater Installed

I worked from home so I could be here when the plumber installed my new water heater. Now, moments after he shut off the water, he asked to use my bathroom. Of course I said yes, thinking if ya got to go...

I was busy doing work. But I did notice that he was in there for a few moments. And he shut the door when he departed.

When he had finished installing the water heater, he did not return to the bathroom to finish the other job. Nasty!

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Have you ever thought...about whatever man builds, that all of man's industrial efforts, all his computations and calculations, all the nights spent over working draughts and blueprints, invariably culminate in the production of a thing whose sole and guiding principle is the ultimate principle of simplicity?
It is as if there were a natural law which ordained that to achieve this end, to refine the curve of a piece of furniture, or a ship's keel, or the fuselage of an airplane, until gradually it partakes of the elementary purity of the curve of 'a human breast or shoulder, there must be the experimentation of several generations of craftsmen. In anything at all, perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away, when a body has been stripped down to its nakedness.

Degree Program Approved!

I received approval from my work to start my Software Engineering degree program!


I'm going back to Illinois in a month. It'll be good to see family, friends, and coworkers.

More Studying...

And more studying... And more studying...

Tempe Festival of the Arts

Today we spent a few hours at the Tempe Festival of the Arts. It's a larger street fair with a lot of artists represented. We added to our collection of mismatched pottery by buying a few bowls. Next, we'll be working on plates.

Lock, Stock, & Two Smoking Barrels

Great flick! Watched it last night. I didn't find the accents too hard to understand, as I had heard they might be.

Missed Yoga!

We came home famished! (Still getting used to the new schedule.) And we had little time to eat, change, and get to (extreme) yoga class @ITBMesaAZ. A large tuna salad sandwich later, and a late exit from the house, and we had to cancel class.

We were both disappointed. More preparation and more moderation next week...

Another Classic Checked Off the List!

It's not so much the story (which was good) that makes the movie. I really think it is Scorses's style and De Niro's acting that make this movie one of the top 5 ever made. Glad I finally saw it.

Classic Clint...

Watching The Good, the Bad and the Ugly for the first time. Clint Eastwood is awesome in almost everything he's been in. This flick is no different.

"Life is like riding a bicycle...


Old Water Heater

After my wife and I both noticed our water turning less than clear, I called the plumber. Over the phone diagnosis: need a new water heater. With my truck breaking down last week, and now this, my wife's first paycheck is gone :-(

Java, Java, and more Java

Too much studying today. A little over a month until the exam.

Gone With the Wind

Having been listed, always, on the American Film Institute's list of top ten movies of all time -- I had not seen it until this weekend. I can see why it's been on the list, probably since there's been a list. Great epic.

The Blind Side

Finally went to see the movie tonight. It was surprisingly good. Sandra, you have redeemed yourself.

Beer and Fire

Tonight, after a very long week, I bought a six pack of Guinness and started a fire in the backyard. Ahhhhhh....

The truck had to be towed.

Literally the moment my wife walked out of her work where I was waiting to pick her up, my truck started sputtering and died. Then started. Then died. And repeat.

AAA was called and it was towed (of course to a shop that was closed). And a friend came and delivered us to the East Valley where we call home. Immediately we had to pick the pup up from daycare. Which, luckily, is 24x7.

A very long day.

Happiness depends upon ourselves


Strange work hours...

...because the wife started work this week and we are carpooling. The traffic is much heavier coming home. And neither of us are used to eating so late.

I wanted sushi. After a double dose of spicy tuna rolls and a Sapporo - I was good. 


Started a new blog for a business "experiment" today. This time I'm using Wordpress. Blogger was easier to set up, but this will reportedly have more functionality. We'll see.

Change Something


Wife's New Job!

She started today. And I'm going back to school.

Do nothing day...

Well, I guess I did some things: I cooked a turkey so we could have leftovers all week. I made a chili-mayonnaise which goes well on the sandwiches. Went for a 3 1/2 mile walk around the riparian preserve. Transferred files over to my new 2TB external HD. And watched 'Army of Darkness.'

"First you wanna kill me, now you wanna kiss me. Blow"

Renaissance Festival

We spent a good part of the day at the Renaissance Festival. It was fun to people watch, and we saw a couple good shows. 

I got too much sun and am pink and dehydrated at the moment. Drinking a glass of wine right now is probably not helping.

We saw this pup on the way out. Pretty darned cute!

Happy Hour

Happy hour at Macayo's. As always, the margaritas were a little too good. It was nice to hang out with friends/coworkers after work. 

Vinyasa Yoga


Tonight we tried Vinyasa yoga, or flow yoga, at Inside the Bungalow. It is sort of the movement of one pose into another, at a faster pace.

It was tough, but very good. My muscles will feel it tomorrow.

I have not sweat that much in years!

Roth IRA

Switching from MS Money to Quicken, and starting from scratch, has helped to light a fire under me to perform a total review of our finances. That, and the fact that the wife has a new job.

So I have spent the past few weeks closing accounts, consolidating accounts, getting new credit cards with lower rates...and now opening an IRA.

I really do want to retire some day. And the sooner the better.

Maya Angelou


Back to study mode...

I rescheduled my certification exam. I have a goal, and it is not far away. 

Sick Day

Not feeling the best. At home taking it easy.

Rainy Sunday

A rainy Sunday, here in AZ. I slept in a bit, watched a few movies, and got caught up (mostly) on various tasks and errands.

Lost Dutchman State Park


We hiked Lost Dutchman State Park today. It's scheduled to close early June due to budget woes. Really sad. It's beautiful, as you can see.

Debt Snowball Effect

I downloaded this spreadsheet. Then double-checked the numbers in a different program. For anyone who wants to reduce debt, this is really simple but effective.

Performance Review Day

OK. It wasn't THAT bad. Regardless, I always feel like having a beer after these things. 

Let me clarify. MULTIPLE beers.

The case of the mysterious fruit...

(Really ripe limes?)

(Un-ripe Lemons?)

Now, one would think that telling the difference between a lemon and lime would be easy, right? Not so, it would seem.

I have a tree in my yard. In October, when I moved in, it had limes on it. I picked most of them and made margaritas and cooked with them and just generally enjoyed my bounty. Then my mother-in-law came and confused everything.

It was February/March, and there was yellow fruit on the tree. She picked them, and they looked like lemons and tasted like lemons. We enjoyed delicious lemonaide.

So, what is this mysterious fruit? Were they unripe lemons that I was eating in Oct. Do I have a 'cocktail tree' that produces both because of a graft?

I finally took a piece of fruit, along with a leaf, into a citrus nursery the other day. I figured they could definitively diagnose my issue.

Apparently, limes become yellow when they are really ripe. And, they become less acidic and change flavor. You never see them sold that way because, guess what? That would confuse people. So, they said I had really ripe yellow limes.

Huh? Wierd.

I wasn't quite satified and knew that my family, who had so enjoyed their lemonaid, would be skeptical. Then I broke open the lime/lemon, and I saw hesitation on their face. They smelled it, looked at it (yellow flesh), and kinda shrugged. I went home.

So, the conclusion?

Whatever they are, they are delicious!

Tao Te Ching


10 Pounds!

Finally, the belly is shrinking. 10 lbs lost and still going.

I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike...


I almost forgot how much I like riding. It's been a while. But when the crazy sister-in-law was here, we went for a short (but enjoyable) ride. 

I got on again last night for another short ride. It was a perfect day for it -- 72 and sunny. Yeah, I'm going to have to do that more often...

Life is a roller coaster.



I'm liking Yelp ( the more I use it. It has been invaluable since I moved here, providing awesome user reviews of businesses and listings of local events. 

Recently, I finally started writing my own reviews of places I've frequented. Two of the business owners sent me notes today, and one thanked me in person last Saturday.

Great site!

...this is my symphony


Flagstaff Yoga Festival


We are now officially signed up for the Flagstaff Yoga Festival in July. We are only attending one day of yoga sessions. The rest of the time we will be hiking or just enjoying the beautiful resort.


I have tracked almost 10 years worth of financial information in MS Money. Now Microsoft is discontinuing the product. As I rely on this for ALL my bills and bank balances, this is no small matter.

I finally followed my friend Ed's moved to Quicken this evening. Instead of importing all the data, I decided to start fresh. The setup is not complete, but close. We'll see how this goes...

I just happen to own an Xterra AND do yoga...

This is actually an ad from craigslist:

NINJA HAULER: 2005 Nissan Xterra - $12900 (Ronan / Lake County )
OK, let me start off by saying this Xterra is only available for purchase by the manliest of men (or women). My friend, if it was possible for a vehicle to sprout chest hair and a five o'clock shadow, this Nissan would look like Tom Selleck. It is just that manly.

It was never intended to drive to the mall so you can pick up that adorable shirt at Abercrombie & Fitch that you had your eye on. It wasn't meant to transport you to yoga class or Linens & Things. No, that's what your Prius is for. If that's the kind of car you're looking for, then just do us all a favor and stop reading right now. I mean it. Just stop.

This car was engineered by 3rd degree ninja super-warriors in the highest mountains of Japan to serve the needs of the man that cheats death on a daily basis. They didn't even consider superfluous nancy boy amenities like navigation systems (real men don't get lost), heated leather seats (a real man doesn't let anything warm his butt), or On Star (real men don't even know what the hell On Star is).

No, this brute comes with the things us testosterone-fueled super action junkies need. It has a 265 HP engine to outrun the cops. It's got special blood/gore resistant upholstery. It even has a first-aid kit in the back. You know what the first aid kit has in it? A pint of whiskey, a stitch-your-own-wound kit and a hunk of leather to bite down on when you're operating on yourself. The Xterra also has an automatic transmission so if you're being chased by Libyan terrorists, you'll still be able to shoot your machine gun out the window and drive at the same time. It's saved my bacon more than once.

It has room for you and the four hotties you picked up on the way to the gym to blast your pecs and hammer your glutes. There's a tow hitch to pull your 50 caliber anti-Taliban, self cooling machine gun. I also just put in a new windshield to replace the one that got shot out by The Man.

My price on this bad boy is an incredibly low $12,900, but I'll entertain reasonable offers. And by reasonable, I mean don't walk up and tell me you'll give me $5,000 for it. That's liable to earn you a Burmese-roundhouse-sphincter-kick with a follow up three fingered eye-jab. Would it hurt? Hell yeah. Let's just say you won't be the prettiest guy at the Coldplay concert anymore.

There's only 69,000 miles on this four-wheeled hellcat from Planet Kickass. Trust me, it will outlive you and the offspring that will carry your name. It will live on as a monument to your machismo.

Now, go look in the mirror and tell me what you see. If it's a rugged, no holds barred, super brute he-man macho Chuck Norris stunt double, then contact me. I might be out hang-gliding or BASE jumping or just chilling with my ladies, but I'll get back to you. And when I do, we'll talk about a price over a nice glass of Schmidt while we listen to Johnny Cash.

To sweeten the deal a little, I'm throwing in this pair of MC Hammer pants for the man with rippling quads that can't fit into regular pants. Yeah, you heard me. FREE MC Hammer pants.

Rock on.

Henry Rollins

"Don't do anything by half. If you love someone, love them with all your soul. When you go to work, work your ass off. When you hate someone, hate them until it hurts."

We're 'talking' about adopting another.