Men Are Pigs

At least that is the message I've been getting lately. I turn on the TV, I listen to the radio, I browse the web, I listen to my friends and neighbors. What do I hear? Lots of male bashing. It's kind of frustrating. If I were to believe all of the messages that I receive, I'd believe that all white men are racist, sexist assholes that lie, cheat, steal, and conspire to keep themselves in a position of power while preventing the rest of the world from doing any good. I'm not saying that some of these things aren't true about some men, but to make such an enormouse over-generalization is a little unfair. The next thing I'm going to hear is that I have no room to complain because, being a white man, I've never been prejudiced against. That's a bunch of B.S. I don't care who you are, what color you skin is, what religion you do or don't practice, how much money you have, or where you grew up. All people can, will, and have been prejudiced against for one reason or another. Certainly some groups have been more than others. But to say that the observance of the issue is invalid due to the relatively low number of occurences is absurd.
So what in the world brought all of this up? I've been feeling a little picked on lately. I don't know why. Sometimes I'm just ultra-sensitive, and it could be that. But I feel like people have just been automatically assuming a lot of things because I'm a man. A lot of this has sprung up since telling people that Jenn is pregnant. I feel like I've been convicted of a crime and sentenced to punishment for not doing enough for our baby, and it's not even born yet! People tell me, "Oh, you better change some diapers!" Or, "You're gonna have to help you know!" It's hurtful that people just assume that I wouldn't want to help raise our child. I love our neighbors. They are awesome people, and we have a lot of fun hanging out with them. But the woman makes it very clear that she feels that I am totally incapable as a parent. Jenn she doesn't worry about, but I've obviously got a problem that she has to straighten out. It really pisses me off sometimes. As a for instance, they left for a week long trip last month. As they were leaving, I offered to take care of their cats. The woman said, "Oh, I wouldn't make Jenn do that, she can't handle it since she's pregnant!" Now, I was the one offering to handle the cats, but she just assumed that I was going to pawn off the responsibility on Jenn. It kind of upset me. Then this week, she was talking about how her husband had caught a cold and stayed home from work to rest in bed. She mocked him for having the audacity to rest in bed! I couldn't believe it! For some reason, in her mind, sick men aren't allowed to lie in bed to get better.
I'm just using her for an example though. I get the same type of opinion from lots of people. "Oh, she's pregnant eh? Time to put down the beer and get serious" <wink wink, nudge nudge> People who say these things don't know me, and it irritates me that they would just assume such a poor opinion of me. I work hard. This past month has been especially stressful as we are starting up three major projects and they all have the same due date. I've been traveling all over the state, and working lots of (unpaid) overtime. As soon as I get me head above water on one project, I find out I'm drowning on another one. On the weekends I have to concentrate to get my homework done. I feel like I'm really busting my ass, and then when people treat me like a lazy SOB, I get pissed.
So some of this is just a reaction to stress. Some of it is feeling genuinely offended. And some of it is just me overreacting. That is something that I've been praying about quite a bit lately. I feel like sometimes I get angry too easily, or get hurt feelings to easily. I'm praying that God will help me to find some serenity, and be less quick to anger. I don't get violent or anything. I just get upset and I can be a real sour puss. I'm working on it though.
Wow, this has been a really long rant, and I've vented a lot of inner thoughts and feelings. Oh well, I guess I just felt the need to unload. ;-)

Diet Vanilla Coke

I am totally addicted to Diet Vanilla Coke. I couldn't stand the regular stuff, but the Diet really hits the spot. Earlier this year, I stopped drinking pop for a while. I used to have a Mountain Dew every day for lunch. After over a month of going cold turkey, the stuff tasted way too sweet. All of the pop that I tried tasted obnoxiously sweet, and was really filling. Most of the time I would stick with having water with my lunch, or iced tea if we were going out. So one lunch I tried one of the DVCs in the fridge... Mmmmm... good stuff. I had tried the regular vanilla coke before, and not only was it too sweet, but it tasted nasty. It didn't taste like a vanilla coke from Denny's which is the holy graile of vanilla coke. It tasted more like someone had just sprayed a bottle of Vanilla Fields perfume in your face. Nasty stuff. I don't know why I decided to give the diet a try, but it was a totally different ordeal altogether. I still don't care for diet coke, or any other diet for that matter. But the DVC is okay stuff. It got me to thinking about all of the different "extension" drinks that are out there right now. Mountain Dew Code Red, Mountain Dew Live Wire, Pepsi Blue, Pepsi Twist, Diet Coke with Lemon, etc., etc. Didn't the soda companies learn their lessons from new coke and crystal pepsi? Stick with what you know. And don't try to trick people into buying a new drink by slapping a recognized brand name on it. You end up with names too long to remember, and you can't figure out what the heck it is you are really drinking. I'm waiting for Mountain Dew Totally Extremem Illimination Challenge BMXXX to come out. Tastes just like the rock you bit on that wicked fall you took while mountain biking. Sheesh.

Insight Cable

The folks at Insight Cable have pissed me off. A couple of weeks ago, we received an offer in the mail to get two On-Demand movies for free. So we looked through the list of available movies and decided to order "Stealing Harvard". About one minute after we ordered the movie, a storm that was rolling through knocked out our power. When the power came back on, the On-Demand service said that it was unavailable. We watched tv for another hour and checked back. The service was back up, so we started playing the movie again. Then things went bad. The movie wouldn't play. We switched back to another station, then back to On-Demand. Now the On-Demand menu won't even come up. We thought it might have been a problem with the storm, so we decided we would wait until the next day.
So on Sunday, we turn to On-Demand (channel 99) and it still won't tune in. I called the cable company to let them know what the problem was. They said that my account wasn't configured properly. The operator on the line tried a few things, but it still wouldn't tune in. I suggested that I could try unplugging the unit to see if that would work (hard reboot). She said that it might, but if it did, it wouldn't be a permanent fix. She said that she would remove the movie from our account and send someone out to look at the unit. When I was off the phone, I tried unplugging, and wouldn't you know it all worked again. We re-ordered the movie and watched it without any problem.
We completely forgot about the day that the service person was supposed to come. We found a note on our door indicating that he had been there. Later that same day, the analog set in our bedroom stopped tuning. It would only go to TV Guide. We have three set top boxes in our house, the digital, the HDTV, and the analog in the bedroom. The other two were working fine. I stopped in the local cable office to see if they could give me another unit.
I have never felt like such a criminal than what the customer service rep made me feel like at Insight's local office. First, she accused me of not paying my bill. Next, she accused me of using an illegal cable box. I assured her that I had had the box for three years, Insight gave it to me, and it appeared on my bill every month. When she decided to actually look at my account, she found that someone had removed the box from our account on the same day that the service rep came to pay a visit. She added the unit back to the account, and let me know that it would work.
When I got home, I found our Insight bill. Sure enough, we were charged twice for Stealing Harvard. I called the service line. This time I got someone that sounded like they had just taken a long toke off a phat one. He took one of the charges off of our account (I assume, we'll see when we get the next bill). All of this has convinced me that Insight Cable has the worst customer service on the planet. If I could switch to Comcast or Time Warner right now, I'd do it, just to prove a point. We spend over $100 a month on our cable bill. I certainly deserve better service than this. I don't want to use a dish, as they are apt to lose signal in a storm. So my only recourse was to send a strongly worded letter to the Insight. Hopefully they take it to heart, although I'm fully expecting my equipment to start malfunctioning at any time.

Breakfast: Cinnamon Swirls
Dinner: Hamburger
Current Weight: 220

Tire Fiasco

Getting a new set of tires on my car has become somewhat of a fiasco. On June 2nd I ordered the new set from TireRack. They are still on back order, and they don't expect to hear from Continental until at least the first week of August. My tires are down to the tread bars, which are the little lines of rubber down in your tread. When the tread bar is at the same level as the rest of the tread, it is time for new tires. Mine are there. I had ordered a set of ContiExtremeContact tires. They were priced at $83 per tire, and were rated very well. I had called a couple of shops in the area to get a price on the tires, and I heard everything from $100 to $200 per tire. I also got some estimates on the cost to mount, balance, and put in new air stems. That ran from $40-$60 depending on who you talked to. I thought I was getting a good deal.
I finally decided that I had had enough. Jenn is worried that my tires are going to cause some type of problem on a trip and leave me stranded or hurt. Yesterday I talked to the rep at TireBarnTireBarn. He was extremely helpful, and suggested that I take a look at the BF Goodrich G-Force T/A KDWS tire. He said that they could give me the tires, mount, balance, new stems, and a 50,000 mile warranty for $578. He said that he could have the tires by next Tuesday, and that they would provide lifetime maintenance on the tires, including rotating, patching holes, and any other service they may require. It was a little bit more money than at TireRack, but I think in the end I'm still getting a good deal. I also took a look on eBay and found a rim for my car that was going for a mere $50. I think I'll go ahead and buy it, just in case I manage to ding my rim again. I'll just be glad when this entire (no pun intended) mess is behind me.

Breakfast: Slim Fast
Lunch: Uncle Ben's Pasta Bowl - Ravioli

Current Weight: 222


I've had a wrestling match of sorts going on with my car for the past couple of years. One of the tires has a very, very slow leak. When it started, it would leak about a pound of pressure a week. About once a month I would stop at a gas station and fill it up. Now it is leaking about a pound a day. Back in June I ordered some tires from I ordered the Continental ContiExtremeContact tires. They were a great deal. It was $83 per tire, and they were rated very highly. Some other tires with the same ratings were going for well over $100 and sometimes close to $200 each. When I went to my local Oldsmobile dealer to see what kind of a deal they would give me on the same tires, they said $260 each! What a ripoff! The tires were on backorder at TireRack, but I figured that I had dealt with the leaky tire a long time, another couple of weeks wouldn't hurt.
So I still don't have the tires. The rep from the store notified me that Continental had still not supplied them with the tire size I had requested, and that they didn't expect to hear anything until the first week of August. In the meantime, I dinged the car. I was on my way to Kokomo to play golf with my dad and brother over the 4th of July weekend. As I was on my way out of Noblesville, my right front tire slipped off the right side of the road onto the shoulder. The road was in pretty bad shape, and the shoulder was a good six inches lower than the road. When I corrected to get back on the road, I heard a great big BANG! I was sure that I had dented the rim on that right front wheel. I stopped at the next parking lot to get out and look. To my amazement, I couldn't see anything wrong. So I went to my parents and played golf. When we were leaving that night, it was apparent that I had damaged the tire somehow. It was very low on air, about 12 pounds of pressure. I took it to the nearest gas station and filled up the newly leaking tire, as well as the stubborn slow leaker on the back left tire.
That Monday I brought the car into the dealer for service. I had just reached 60,000 miles on the car, so I decided to have them do the regular maintenance as well. The mechanic verified that the rim was definitely dented, and that I probably shouldn't drive on it. He said that it would take a day to get that rim in, but he would provide a rental car for me in the meantime. The rental was a giant GM truck. It was actually pretty nice, a lot like Jenn's Bravada. Anyway, the mechanic took me through everything on the bill that they were preparing to do. It was going to be nearly $2000!!! I wasn't really ready for that. I was thinking more like $1000 worth of repairs and service. So we talked a bit. I guess the rim was the big hitter. That along was worth $600 of the bill without even service. I gave the mechanic a real sob story, and he said that he knew of a place that refurbished rims. He managed to get me one at less than half of the quoted price. My final bill was still over $1500, but I was feeling less violated.
The mechanic did mention, though, that the rim on the stubborn leaky tire was also a bit bent. He didn't think it was enough to cause the leak, but that it was a little bent. Great. So now I have these tires on order that may not even fix the leaky tire situation that I was worried about in the first place. True enough, I need new tires. My current ones are worn down to the tread bars. But I really want to get all of this maintenance done and just be able to drive without worrying about a flat. I went to the local shops to see if I could get tires somewhere local and immediately. TireRack still hasn't produced my tires, and I'm worried that this may be a bait and switch type scam. A couple of my coworkers have had good luck with ordering tires from them, but I'm beginning to get skeptical. Unfortunately, PepBoys only sells off-brand tires, and WalMart doesn't carry the tire size that I need. I may go to TireBarn or some other tire dealer just to get this wrapped up. I would really like to have a set of Michelin Pilot tires, but they are excessively expensive. I might settle for some Michelin Symmetry tires. I think I might find that in the right size at TireBarn, or maybe some other local shop I haven't been to yet.
The worst thing that could happen now would be to replace the tires and still have a leak. That would mean that the rim with a minor dent in it is dented enough to cause the leak. I can't afford to by another rim at close to $600. Even at $250, it would be a pricy rim. I've looked at several rim retailers, and it looks like I could get four new rims for about $600. And if I did, it would only cost $150 to replace one if I bang it up again.
Anyway, enough ranting from me on tires. This all sort of falls in line with my curse with automobiles anyway. Maybe I'll share that with you sometime as well. ;-)

Current Weight: 224

Project Group

I'm taking classes at Indiana Wesleyan towards earning my MBA. As part of our courses, we are required to form project groups for doing presentations, papers, and other class work. Over the first three weeks of class, we had a chance to meet everyone and get an idea of who we would want in our group. On the third week, we formed groups. I was in a group of 5 people that I got along with pretty well. I thought we were going to have a good thing going. That night, we learned that the course in Kokomo had been cancelled, and that one of the students that was enrolled in K-town was going to join our class. She needed to join a group, so she was placed in our group. We were one of only two groups with only five people, so we got a sixth. We all thought it was a little strange, not meeting this person, but we set our hopes high.

Our hopes were crushed. The new person in our group is not a people person. During her first night of class with us, she made it clear that she believes that all people are evil. There was no chance that we misunderstood either. During our class discussion, she volunteered that she felt that all people were evil, and that she simply expected people to be bad. That was more than a little offensive, and not a good sign for her ability to deal with a group of people. Later during class, the instructor let us know that we had a choice of doing our final paper as a group or as individuals. All of the class responded with a resounding GROUP! All, that is, except for our new group member. She doesn't like dealing with groups. She sees group discussion as a waste of time, and feels that there is no value in it. Strike two.

So last night I was checking my e-mail and I see one from one of the original group members. Evidently he had taken the initiative and made an effort to try to get to know the new person better. Wow, did he get hit over the head. First, she says in a reply that she doesn't have time to make two trips to Indianapolis during the week. She only has time for the one trip to attend class. She is requiring that we all adjust our schedules to fit her needs. Secondly, she thinks (hopes?) that she has offended the group, and would understand if we asked the instructor to ban her. What a jerk!

So last night I wrestled with what I should do in response to this situation. Almost everything that came to mind would only server to antagonize the situation. I spoke with one of my coworkers on the ride to our site this morning, and he suggested that we ask her if she just would prefer to not to work in the group. If so, we can all approach the instructor together and let him know our wishes. Our project groups are supposed to work together for the entire two years of the courses. I don't know if I could deal with such a negative attitude for that long. All I have heard from her to this point is whining and complaining. I can't take that for two years. Hopefully things will get straightened out. I'm praying that she is just having a bad couple of weeks, and that her personality is not as totally wrecked as what she seems.

Breakfast: Toast with Peanut Butter
Lunch: Chicken Whopper and Fries
Dinner: Totino's Pizza
Current Weight: 226

(I haven't been doing any exercising over the last two weeks. I've been traveling nearly every day for either school or work. I only get to spend an hour or two with Jenn. Yesterday, the scale said that my weight was 222. Today it's 226. I'm sure that by not exercising, my weight is going to fluctuate a lot more than when I was on a more regular schedule with exercise. Hopefully I can get back on that schedule soon.)


Wireless technology is cool. I just received my wireless access point and card for my notebook. I'm sitting in the living room with my wife, tapping away on a live, 54MB network connection. I'm VERY happy. I was afraid that the signal would not reach from the basement to the living room on the first floor, but I'm receiving excellent signal strength from here. I might even be able to take the laptop to the bedroom on the second floor and still get signal. That would be great! Jenn actually prompted me to get this stuff. I wanted to get wireless equipment anyway. I am a computer hobbyist, and wireless equipment has sort of geek chic. Jenn wanted me to get it so that I wouldn't spend all of my time down in the dungeon. This is really nice. Jenn and Koby are both lying on the couch beside me. I can watch the tv enough to have a comment if Jenn wants to talk about it. And at the same time, I'm not bored out of my mind watching something I'm totally not interested in. When we have our baby, I'll be able to sit in the nursery and tend to the baby, and still have internet connection available. Yeah, I've got a slight internet addiction. I've gotta get my fix.

Breakfast: Cookie
Lunch: Lemon Pepper Chicken on Fettucini
Dinner: Quesadillas
Current Weight: 225


I ordered some wireless equipment for my laptop last week. Dell was running a special that included the 802.11g wireless access point and PC Card for a laptop for $146. It was a pretty good deal. I'm hoping that I can connect to the cable modem from anywhere in the house once I get the AP. I received the PC card last week, and I should receive the AP on Monday or Tuesday. I had a lot of fun with the PC card at work on Friday. I was picking up not only on our work AP, but on several APs in the area that other companies are using. A buddy at work has an AP at home, and he mentioned that several other people in our neighborhood do as well. I'll have to take a slow cruise around the neighborhood with the laptop in the car running net stumbler. Indiana Wesleyan has the second floor of the Indianapolis building setup with wireless connectivity. I'll be able to test it for the first time in class on Monday.

Breakfast: Cookie
Lunch: Tuna Noodle Casserole
Dinner: Chicken, Potato, and green beans
Current Weight: 228


This week has been a flood. The week started off with torrential rains. My parents basement had a foot of standing water in it at one point. There is something wrong with the drainage around the house. When you look in the sump well, it looks like two bath faucets are turned on full blast. Water is pouring in. Our basement only trickles, and over the weekend it ran pretty steadily for a while. It was never anywhere near as bad as what my parents experienced though. The rain just kept coming into the week too.
In addition to that, my life was flooded with things to do. Monday, after work, I was at class for four hours. It was our last class for the course, and our objective was to talk with everyone in the class so that we could determine who would be in our project groups. I had already gotten together with a group prior to the class, so I knew who was going to be in my group. It was sort of a waste of breath. And talking to 30 people individually for between two and five minutes and can be exhausting. I was repeating myself over and over, trying to make it sound interesting every time. And trying to sound interested in the other people. I just wanted to go home. So I finally get home, where I go to bed. I've been having a lot of trouble sleeping lately. I tossed and turned, getting about four hours of sleep. At six in the morning I spilled out of bed to get ready to travel to Warsaw. I spent all day Tuesday in Warsaw working on my project tasks. I stopped by my parents' place on the way back for dinner, and got home a little after 9pm. Wednesday I was back in Warsaw, which is a little over 2 hour drive away. Four hours of driving in a day is no fun. It's hard to keep yourself alert. When I got home, I started working on my homework that would be due Monday.
Today is my first opportunity to breathe. I had just left for Warsaw again when my voice-mail chimed up. My contact there was not going to be in, and he told me to stay put for today. What a relief. I turned the car around and went to work. I didn't even mind that I was putting in an extra hour today. I have three major projects that are all due at the end of July. Getting a day from from the Warsaw project gave me a chance to catch up on the other ones. We had a "Lunch and Learn" session. Free pizza. I don't really recall what the marketing guys were talking about. Just ate the pizza and left.
I feel bad for Jenn. She is at one of her Kid Koncerts right now. I feel bad because when I get home at night, I've still had more to do. I've had homework, or voice-mail, or something else that keeps me from spending time with her. She usually goes to bed around 10pm, and with me just getting home at 9, it doesn't leave much time for TLC. I've been really exhausted too, and haven't been as fun to be around as I'd like to be. So our one hour together each night is not spent very well. Hopefully tonight we can get together, eat some pizza, chill out on the couch, and watch some "Amazing Race".

Current Weight: 224

Independence Day

Today was yet another LONG day. I was awake at 6am to prepare for golf with my dad, brother, and my brother's father-in-law: Bill. I arrived at Wild Cat Creek Golf Course around 8am. I got a new golf glove because the two that I had were destroyed from overuse. I hit half a bucket of balls to warm up, and then we started the round around 8:30. It was hot. Very, very hot! After the front 9, I didn't have anything left to sweat. Unfortunately, we had the bright idea of downing a beer at this point. Any moisture that was left in my body was gone after that. Fortunately, not long after we started the back 9 a concession cart came by with some Powerade. I finished the round with a 109. That's not a bad score for me. Wildcat is a fairly tough course, and I usually score somewhere between 100 and 115 on any given day. We went back to my folks place and had some light lunch. I got a chance to visit with my niece, Nadia. It is amazing how much bigger she is after just a month out in the real world. She doesn't do much, mainly sleeping, pooping, and crying. Not necessarily in that order. We left there around 5.
On my way to the course that morning I had run slightly off the road onto the shoulder. When I came back onto the road, there was a really big craggy edge to the road. I heard the right front tire hit really hard. I pulled over, but there didn't seem to be anything wrong. When I was heading out to the car to leave, I noticed the tire looked really low. I've had trouble with my left rear tire for quite some time. It has a really slow leak that takes a couple of weeks to deplete the pressure. The right front tire was looking about as bad as that back tire. I took it to a gas station and checked the tires. The right front had 15 psi, and the left rear had 5psi left. They are supposed to have 30. So I filled them back up. When we got home, Jenn wanted Taco Bell for dinner so I ran to the bank to cash a check and get some taco bell. I checked the right front again at the bank. 25 psi. Dang. Looks like I dented the rim. This really sucks because I already ordered new tires to take care of the leak in the left rear. Now it looks like I'll be on the market for a new rim too. The car is at just over 60,000 miles, so it is time to change the oil and get the regular maintenance done on the car. Probably needs new filters, new plugs, new fluids, etc., etc. Hopefully I can get all of this taken care of and get another 5 years of life out of the car. It's been pretty good up til now, but after driving around in Jenn's nice new luxury SUV, it is definitely showing it's age. The fan for the HVAC doesn't work on the first two settings. The leather is pealing up near the passenger window. It needs washed inside and out. I'll take care of the tire this weekend, but probably put off the rest for next weekend. Or whenever my tires arrive.
Anyway, after getting back from Taco Bell, Jenn let me know that our friends were coming to pick us up to see the Noblesville Fireworks. It was a pretty good show this year. When we got back we saw that our neighbors were firing some fireworks in the court. We also saw that our neighbors behind the house were lighting off fireworks in our backyard!! I wouldn't have minded so much if they had asked, but there were 20 drunk adults playing with explosives on our property. That's a recipe for litigious disaster. I went outside in the hopes of talking to someone, but they were just finishing up. It saved me a confrontation that I didn't want. I came back inside and started taping up the Boilercade for the first coat of black paint. That seemed to take a long time to get done, in comparison to the gold sides. I'll need to go back and do touch up work with the smaller roller, and also do a second coat.
So here I sit, seventeen and a half hours after the day started. I'm tired. I'm sore. My contacts are fogging up. I smell bad. I'm spattered in black paint. It's been a very good day. :-)
First Coat of Black on the Boilercade

Breakfast: Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Croissanwhich
Lunch: Cheese cubes, Beef BBQ sandwich, brownies
Dinner: 3 Beef Baja Chalupas
Current Weight: 225
[Listening to: Fatboy Slim - You've Come a Long Way, Baby - Gangster Tripping]


I took some time today to resume painting the Boilercade. I broke out the gold paint that is going on the sides. I got everything laid out and put on the first coat. Then I read the side of the paint can. "Wait two hours before applying second coat." Suck! I was really hoping to get a lot more done on this today. Unfortunately, I was only able to put a single coat of gold on each side. Tomorrow I'm golfing really early in the morning with my dad and brother, and my brother's father-in-law. I should probably be hitting the sack now, but I'm just not feeling sleepy yet. Oh well, guess I'll play more euchre.

Breakfast: --
Lunch: Two Beef and Rid Burritos
Dinner: Totino's Pizza
Current Weight: 225
[Listening to: Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works - Vol. 2 (Disc 2) - Spots]


I love playing Euchre! Every day at lunch we try to play two or three games of euchre. I play online on Yahoo! games all the time as well. At work, we've worked out how each other person plays, and by the third or fourth trick we can usually throw in the rest of the cards. Playing online is kind of frustrating though. I usually play in the intermediate lounge on yahoo. I'd rather play in the Advanced Lounge, but the players their are very judicious about protecting their ranking. Your ranking is based on the number of games you have played, your win loss record, and the ratings of the players you have played with and against. On a given night, my ranking will waver between 1550 to 1700. So if my rating is 1550, and my partner's rating is 1550, and we play against players who both have a ranking of 1700, and we win, our rankings will go way up and their rankings will go way down. However, if the team with the 1700 rankings win, our rankings will only go down a little, and theirs will only go up a little. This ranking system keeps very good players from getting higher rankings by playing very poor players. However, it also means that very good players will not play against someone whose ranking is not within 100 points of their own. If they do, they run the risk of taking a big hit in their ranking points. So many times when I join the Advanced Lounge, I get booted from tables for having a ranking that is too low. It is sort of insulting. And it has created a situation where, unless you already have a high ranking, it is very difficult to get a higher one. Players in the Advanced Lounge usually won't play with someone with a ranking of less than 1700. In the Intermediate Lounge, it is difficult to find players with a ranking over 1600. This makes it difficult to find opponents that, if you win, offer a good chance of improving your ranking. Instead, you have a better chance of lowering your ranking by losing to a very low ranked opponent. All I want to do is play euchre with people who are skilled at playing, and have a good understanding of the strategy to the game. Maybe Yahoo will change the ranking system at some point. Or maybe I just need to write my own online euchre game. Well, that sounds like a lot of work, so I'll keep using the Yahoo one.

Breakfast: SlimFast
Lunch: QDoba Chicken Burrito and a Diet Vanilla Coke
Dinner: Two Fosters, Alice Springs Chicken, and Cheese Fries from Outback
Current Weight: 225

Pregnancy Details

We've known that Jenn was pregnant for about two weeks now. We were so excited! We knew that we shouldn't tell anyone, because you never know what can happen in the first trimester of a pregnancy, so we kept our little secret to ourselves. It was kind of fun, but it was so frustrating to have such an exciting secret that we couldn't tell anyone. Jenn's dad was at his annual training, and we decided that when he got back we would tell our parents. We set it up as a golf outing, sort of a belated father's day present. They were totally shocked!
Jenn has been experiencing some lower abdominal pain for the past couple of weeks, so we went to the doctor to check it out. It turned out to be nothing serious, which was a huge relief. We also got to see the first pictures of our baby!! How exciting! We saw the heart beating away and the little body that was forming. It was amazing. It was a huge relief to know that everything was going to be ok. Jenn had been very rigorous about taking her temperature while we were trying to have a baby to know when she ovulated. By her chart, she figured she was probably six weeks, six days pregnant. The nurse estimated from the size that she was seven weeks, two days. Jenn was right on! So our due date is currently set at February 15th, 2004. The baby is 12 millimeters long, or barely half an inch!

Breakfast: SlimFast
Lunch: Tuna on crackers with Mayo. Nutrigrain bar. Peanuts
Dinner: Beef and Rice burritos
Current Weight:225
[Listening to: Balanescu Quartet - Luminitza - Democracy]

Jade Mason