Last/First Post of 2018/2019

Since this did not post, and I am doing it a bit late, I am altering a few. For fun lets look at these predictions I put for 2018 and see what did and did not happen.

Strike through means wrong.  Bold means nailed it. Underlined means jury is still out.

So now were are my predictions for 2018!

  1. Vanessa (the Van) dies and we are forced to replace it.
    1. Well it did have some more issues but we got it going again.
  2. The Cincinnati Reds return to greatness and are in the playoffs.
    1. Nope, although there is a new Manager in town so maybe next year?
  3. The Iowa State Cyclones finish in the top four of the big 12 (football).
    1. They placed third overall, not bad.
  4. The Iowa Hawkeyes return to the Orange Bowl and win.
    1. Well they play in the Outback bowl later today, if they win against Mississippi State, I’ll call this a partial win. Iowa tends to get embarrassed by SEC teams.
  5. The Bengals make the playoffs, but exit on first game.
    1. Could not have been more wrong. But like the Reds, the Bengals finally got rid of Marvin Lewis, so we’ll see. Its a new Dey in Cincy.
  6. The US House and Senate stay in Republican hands (although seats will be lost).
    1. The House slipped to the Democrats, but the Senate actually gained seats. I would call this a win but since the Democrats tend to be worse that the Republicans, its a loss for the American people.

And now, my personal goals.

  1. Attempt to lose weight (again…).
    1. Walk/Ride more with kids when possible, especially when weather is nice.
      1. I did well on this for walking anyway. I got to the point where I was walking about 4miles a day. Then I stopped and I ballooned.
    2. Attempt to eat better and less.
  2. Destroy Debt.
    1. Remainder of Tress Student Loan.
    2. Medical Debt.
    3. Fusion Loan
    4. Last credit card.
      1. So I paid this off with another loan that was supposed to get a car for my Fusion. Since I got the fusion fixed, I decided to keep it for a while. I paid off all the above to consolidate date and save money.
  3. Put family first.
    1. Tress would argue this, but I certainly put them ahead of things. We also did some more fun things this year for the “experience.”
  4. Take the kids in the canoe.
  5. Take a river trip with Tress.
    1. Yea big fail.

So now here are my predictions for 2019!

  1. Vanessa is replaced with something.
  2. Mr Fusion is replaced with something.
  3. The Cincinnati Reds return to greatness and are in the playoffs.
  4. The Iowa State Cyclones make middle of the pack and hit a bowl game with a win.
  5. The Iowa Hawkeyes fall short, but make a lower bowl game (Pinstripe, Liberty, Holiday, or some sponsored bowl)
  6. Rebuilding year for the Bengals, 5-11. Mike Brown gets rid of the coach he hires.
  7. Georgia Tech rebuilds around new coach but makes a bowl game.
  8. San Antonio gets a Waffle House but Iowa does not.

And now, my personal goals.

  1. Drop 100 lbs
    1. Limit sugars
    2. Try to walk a mile a day. Try to get back to 4-5 a day during nicer weather.
    3. Maybe try the “ketchup” diet. Meaning put ketchup on half of my food.
  2. Establish a game night tradition
    1. Well on our way with this one, but try to spend one night a week playing games with the kids, and with out electronics.
  3. Downsize/De-clutter
    1. This one will be tough, but hopefully we can get rid of stuff we don’t need. This one goes beyond just me but hopefully we can make headway.
  4. Get Lumpy back and running
    1. Its almost been a year since he broke. Need to get him fixed, then decide if I am keeping him or not.
  5. Invest time in to learning something new.
    1. New skills for work is what I am thinking here, but maybe I’ll take up piano.
  6. Invest time reading the Bible.
    1. Usually pretty good about this but I have kinda slacked off the last few months. I’ll use my app’s reading plan to go through the entire Bible in 2019.
  7. Find a date night with Tress each month.

That’s it!

Posted in FYI

Last/First Post of 2017/2018

Since this did not post, and I am doing it a bit late, I am altering a few. For fun lets look at these predictions I put for 2017 and see what did and did not happen.

Strike through means wrong.  Bold means nailed it. Underlined means jury is still out.

So now were are my predictions for 2017!

  1. We sell our house, buy a house, and move.
    1. With the opening of an office closer to where we live, it became clear that this was the path I should take.
  2. The Iowa Hawkeyes have less than a .500 record and do not go to a bowl. Kirk Ferentz retires.
    1. Not only did the Hawkeyes have a winning record, they actually won a bowl game for the first time in a long time!
  3. The Iowa State Cyclones have a losing record and Matt Campbell exit
    1. Iowa state improved and made it to a bowl game and won by 1 point!
  4. Cubs make it to the NLCS but fall short.
    1. Nailed it.
  5. The Bengals improve but still miss the playoffs.
    1. Nailed it, kinda.  In 2016 they were 6-9-1, this past year they were 7-9. So yea.
  6. Target backtracks on its bathroom non-sense.
    1. Technically the Jury is still out on this one, but who knows.

And now, my personal goals.

  1. Attempt to lose weight (again…).
    1. Walk/Ride more with kids when possible, especially when weather is nice.
      1. Partial success, I got to the point where I was walking about 2 miles a day.  However the hernia kinda killed this.
    2. Attempt to eat better and less.
      1. Fail
  2. Destroy Debt.
    1. Remainder of Tress Student Loan.
      1. Almost but fail
    2. Fusion Loan
      1. Ha ha Fail
    3. Last credit card.
      1. Fail
  3. Try to have a night out with Tress each month.
    1. I did good till about March, fail.
  4. Take the kids in the canoe.
    1. Was going to but hernia.
  5. Take a river trip with Tress.
    1. Time and the hernia killed this.

So now here are my predictions for 2018!

  1. Vanessa (the Van) dies and we are forced to replace it.
  2. The Cincinnati Reds return to greatness and are in the playoffs.
  3. The Iowa State Cyclones finish in the top four of the big 12 (football).
  4. The Iowa Hawkeyes return to the Orange Bowl and win.
  5. The Bengals make the playoffs, but exit on first game.
  6. The US House and Senate stay in Republican hands (although seats will be lost).

And now, my personal goals.

  1. Attempt to lose weight (again…).
    1. Walk/Ride more with kids when possible, especially when weather is nice.
    2. Attempt to eat better and less.
  2. Destroy Debt.
    1. Remainder of Tress Student Loan.
    2. Medical Debt.
    3. Fusion Loan
    4. Last credit card.
  3. Put family first.
  4. Take the kids in the canoe.
  5. Take a river trip with Tress.

That’s it!

Posted in FYI

Last Post of 2016/First of 2017

Well it is that time. For fun lets look at these predictions I put for 2016 and see what did and did not happen.

Strike through means wrong.  Bold means nailed it. Underlined means jury is still out.

So now were are my predictions for 2016!

  1. Cubs go all the way this year, world series champs.
    1. Totally nailed this one!
  2. Flooding in Iowa, lots of melt, lots of spring rain, and heavy summer rains.
    1. For the most part it was pretty normal.
  3. Hillary Clinton wins the DNC, Bernie Sander runs as an independent at that point.
    1. Well, I am surprised that Bernie sold out.
  4. Ted Cruz wins the nomination for the GOP. Trump runs as an independent.
    1. Still mad about this one, of course if Ted did win the next prediction would have happened.
  5. Unbelievably/tragically Hillary becomes president (man I hope I am wrong on this).
    1. I’m pretty shocked Trump won. Choosing between a pile of poo and a pile of turds…
  6. The Bengals return to bungling, big time. Less than .500 record, no playoffs.
    1. Totally nailed this. I am not sure what happens from here.
  7. The Iowa State Cyclones football program becomes bowl eligible.
    1. I really thought they would be a lot better this year.
  8. We spend money on the house/furnishing this year.
    1. We did get the roof on the garage fixed, still have way more to do.
  9. Gas prices get back towards $4.00/gal again.
    1. Thankful this was not correct.
  10. Paul Ryan is primary-ed.
    1. Wishful this would have been correct.

And now, my personal goals.

  1. Attempt to lose weight (I know every year etc…).
    1. Walk/Ride more with kids when possible, especially when weather is nice.
      1. FAIL
    2. Attempt to eat better and less.
      1. FAIL
  2. Destroy Debt.
    1. Remainder of Tress Student Loan.
      1. FAIL
    2. My 401k Loan.
      1. GONE
    3. Last credit card.
      1. Gone then Fail
    4. Find a way to make more money.
      1. Nailed it!
  3. Audio messages at church.
    1. Make it easier to post.
      1. FAIL
    2. Get it caught up (maybe with help).
      1. FAIL
  4. Try to have a night out with Tress each month.
    1. FAIL
  5. Take the kids in the canoe.
    1. FAIL
  6. Take a river trip with Tress.
    1. FAIL

So now here are my predictions for 2017!

  1. We sell our house, buy a house, and move.
  2. The Iowa Hawkeyes have less than a .500 record and do not go to a bowl. Kirk Ferentz retires.
  3. The Iowa State Cyclones have a losing record and Matt Campbell exits.
  4. Cubs make it to the NLCS but fall short.
  5. The Bengals improve but still miss the playoffs.
  6. Target backtracks on its bathroom non-sense.

And now, my personal goals.

  1. Attempt to lose weight (again…).
    1. Walk/Ride more with kids when possible, especially when weather is nice.
    2. Attempt to eat better and less.
  2. Destroy Debt.
    1. Remainder of Tress Student Loan.
    2. Fusion Loan
    3. Last credit card.
  3. Try to have a night out with Tress each month.
  4. Take the kids in the canoe.
  5. Take a river trip with Tress.

That’s it!

Posted in FYI

A long update (Part 1)

It has been a while since I have posted an update, and this one has been about three months in the making. Honestly though, the last four months have been nothing short of a circus for us. So bear with me as I write this. No doubt their will be grammatical errors and spelling isues (haha get it!).

Also, this is not meant to be a platform for me to attack or berate any individual or entity that is mentioned. This is meant to be more of a brain dump of the thoughts I have been churning on for these past few months. So, grab a coffee/soda/tea/popcorn and enjoy this brain dump.

First, to understand the past you must know the present. In case you did not know, I am no longer with American Athletic (AAI). Before I disclose where I am at now, I want to cover the complete timeline of my tenure with AAI/Fruit. Why the slash and Fruit? Well this will help.

In 2004 Russell Corporation purchased American Athletic and Huffy Sports. Both were under their Spalding group (purchased in 2003) to create the world’s largest basketball company. In 2006, Fruit of the Loom was interested in Russell Corporation, and acquired Russell Corporation. At the current time of writing, it went AAI > Russell Brands > Fruit of the Loom > Berkshire Hathaway.

So through the rest of this writing, when I use AAI I mean American Athletic in Iowa. If I use Fruit, I collectively mean corporate out of state.

It all started in 2005, while I was working at Unity Point (then Iowa Health System). At the time, I was pretty happy working as a Server Administrator in the data center during the second shift. Looking back, it was a really good gig for us at the time. For whatever reason, I thought that I’d like to get back on days. Due to an unfortunate turn of events, a day Server Administrator spot opened up, so they started to look for a replacement for me, as I planned to take the day spot.  Once I moved to days, pardon the pun, but it was literally night and day difference.

Working the second shift, I worked 3 PM to midnight.  Which is to say, after 5PM, I was by myself. I was able to get a bunch of stuff done, and there was plenty of idle time where I could read and learn new things if I wanted. When I moved to days, there was no time to do anything and I was there will the entire team. It was not what I had hoped it would be.

It was about that time that I decided if I was going to work on days, I wanted to work in a smaller IT environment, or better yet, be a one man IT shop. Enter AAI into the picture. It was perfect! A small local company where I had complete ownership of everything IT.

I was excited to start at AAI, and hit the ground running day one. I remember I had a two page list of stuff that needed to be done. Some of it was stuff that had been a problem since the previous IT guy left, some of it was some new stuff that the temp could not figure out, and there were some new requests that my new group of users wanted. To top it off, I had to learn everything. Not just the new faces, but the entire environment.

There was no knowledge transfer and very little help from the users.  There were a handful that knew the ERP system, but no one knew how anything else worked.  The first and most scary thing was the software they used to print custom pages. Not only that, it was broken and a high priority item to fix.

Along with all of that, we had to move from our apartment in Melbourne to within 30 miles of Jefferson. We looked at houses but didn’t find anything we liked so we elected on an apartment in Boone (side note, I could write a whole book on that apartment and the issues we had with it).

I was pretty busy those first few months. Learning the systems, learning the faces, learning the business model, learning the layout, fixing the open items, fixing problems they didn’t know they had, and planning an few upgrades.

About six months in, corporate wanted to collapse our email and domain into theirs.  It made sense, so I went along with. Once I did, all of a sudden, I no longer owned items. I was handcuffed on what I could do, and I had to get the attention of someone in Alabama to get things done. This was quite an adjustment that I had to adapt to.

With the Fruit purchase, things didn’t change a whole lot. Especially for the first few years. I still had to call someone in Alabama, plead my case, and hope that I could get what I needed done in a timely manner. I kid you not, it took hours to get a user account unlocked. I started to “sell” myself to the IT department at Russell.  I told them that I have the training and knowledge, I can help from afar. Thanks, but no thanks was their repeated response (my summarization, not their words).

Early on in the “getting to know your neighbor phase” of the Fruit acquisition and as I was approaching my first year of completion, I was selected to take Six Sigma Green Belt training. At first, I was a little apprehensive about it but then it started to excite me. To the tune of I actually believed I would be making a career move from IT to Process Engineering.

Quite a bit was happening in my life at that time. We resumed the house search, and actually purchased the house we live in currently. We had a big family shake up that really changed things. The Six Sigma training was going to cost me three to four weeks of travel from September to December and we we’re planning our first Bengals trip. In fact, if I recall in November, I had my most states visited in one month at nine. Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Alabama, Georgia, and Missouri.

Where was I? Oh yea Six Sigma training.  One of the first things Fruit did was to kill the Russell Six Sigma program right at the end of the program. So myself and another coworker we’re left high and dry with our projects, and because we could not proceed, we could not take the certification test and get our Green Belt designation. Huge bummer and let down. Later, a few industrial engineers at Fruit came to me and asked me for help on my “dead” project. It went over like a brick through a window.

Eventually, things started to get better though, but not before a bit of a scare. Fruit started to take over the IT assets and ownership of Russell and as they did they pretty much gave the ultimatum to people. Move to Kentucky or find a new job (my summarization, not their words).  Fruit left me alone for the most part. I again tried with them what I had tried repeatedly with Russell, I have the training and I have the knowledge, I can help from afar. As with before I got a similar response, but they were better at getting things done and better at following up on items.

I had my first onsite visit with them in 2009. Since I didn’t report to anyone through the Russell chain of command, I had a dotted line to the then CIO. As such, she (the CIO) felt it would be a good idea for me to visit and meet with her team (mostly VP’s). I remember this especially because the car that was issued to me while I was driving from Nashvegas to Bowling Green (that’s where Fruit is) was a PT Cruiser.

What was a bit annoying about this trip was that I showed up on site with an itinerary of who I was meeting with laid out with times and places, but magically, everyone was not available during those times. So I got parked in an office in the “IT Executive suite” and literally sat and stared at the wall for a few hours. I had caught up on all my work, so I literally had nothing to do. I did eventually meet with the group, but it was in a much more group setting less of a one on one.

The takeaways from this meeting were; they are there to help, things will be changing, your job is safe. I actually believed it because they truly seemed genuine about it. I left a bit encouraged but for the most part, nothing changed.

It was around this time, I ended up with a lot free time on my hands. Mostly because everything for the most part was running smoothly and there were minimal issues. To my benefit as well, there was a large training fund for me to tap from. The problem I had however, was that I was a bit shy about utilizing it.  I did not want to take classes and courses that I could not make a business case for taking, or rather, courses that were clear resume builders. I did take quite a few between 2008 and 2015, but I can honestly say now, I wish that I would have used it a bit more.

My next trip to corporate was in 2011 with my manager and her manager (the local GM at AAI). Side note here, I could write as much on just the logistics of this trip alone.  The flights and layovers would make for a great short story in themselves.

I wasn’t asked to go, I was told I was going. Fruit at the time was in the process of a major reorganization of leadership and IT had quite a bit of a shake up as well. The setup was the same as my last trip, I was going to meet with the then CIO (was a temporary thing, the old CIO was still on but on her way out), the team (this time SVP’s and VP’s). I again had an itinerary with times and places.

I felt at that time I would be interviewing for a position in Bowling Green due to the leadership shakeup and the IT reorganization. So I dressed very nice as if I was interviewing. Once we arrived on site, the three of us got a conference room to ourselves. Immediately I checked in with my first appointment, and found out that they were busy.  So I went down the list to see if I could move any up.  Same story.

I didn’t want to be stuck in a room and bored out of my mind, so I went and started to walk around. My goal at this point was to get some face time with the actual people I worked with frequently, albeit over the phone. Part of the fun was trying to locate them as they shuffle landing spots for people there pretty frequently. The few that I had remembered from my previous trip, were not in their same spots.

I did ultimately meet with the CIO and his staff. Once again, the message was; they are there to help, things will be changing, your job is safe. They also went on to add that they are grateful to have me in that particular role. Once again, I asked about helping them out. Once again, for better or worse, I was pretty much denied.

Within a few short months, the now current CIO was named CIO and some things changed. I was granted limited access over our users in our organizational unit.  Which allowed me to maintain servers and groups better. Additionally, it allowed me to reset/unlock passwords.  Not the full access I was hoping for but it was a start. From a business standpoint though, it was pretty much all that I needed.

Things pretty much continued the same over the next year or so. In 2012, I made another trip to corporate for a discovery meeting. Fruit was in the process of moving toward one system verses three major systems and countless other sub systems to manage their business. I was actually a bit delighted about this because I went with a group of coworkers to talk about our systems and each of us were scheduled to be together to meet with the design team. This meant I wouldn’t have to entertain myself or have to sit outside someone’s office while I waited for them to be available.

I believe that 2014 was the turning point for everything. Fruit had committed to updating our network and our phone system, so I got some extra attention from them in 2014 and 2015. Also, in 2014, I made the choice to enroll with Georgia Tech in an attempt to gain a Master’s Degree in computer science. It was a noble attempt on my behalf, but ultimately the timing was terrible.

I had my final visit to Fruit in 2014, and it was completely on my dime and time. I was driving to Tennessee for something Waffle House related (yea, I did that). The nice thing about it was that I told no one I was going to be there and I caught them all off guard. I even managed to meet with the CIO in gym shorts and sandals. Part of the reason I did this though, was to meet and give farewell wishes to the SVP of Infrastructure. With his retirement, I thought it would also be a good time to maybe start the old “hey I can help the team from afar” movement again.

At the beginning of 2015, I drafted and sent a new request to the VP that took over that position. Once again, I got pushed away, but I was also told that their direction is to centralize everything.  This is something I knew unofficially was going on, but I pressed the issue a bit. I came to find out that their plan was to have everything possible managed out of their onsite IT staff.

Up till that point, I had tried a few times to make a career hop. There were a few failed interviews between 2009 and 2012. I do recall I had a solid interview in 2012, which I felt was the right move until they told me they decided not to fill the position. In 2013, I had an offer from a community college that I would have accepted if not for the insurance being ridiculously higher and their offer that made no sense. Actually come to think of it, I can think of at least three positions I shot down because the move just didn’t feel right.

That’s key.  Up until that point, the move just didn’t feel right. After that last communique with the VP, I felt it was time to really take it serious. I absolutely loved working at AAI, and the people I worked with. I even loved the fact that I worked as part of Fruit of the Loom! However, I had become stagnant and my career path at Fruit either took me out of state or was just plain stuck in a rut.

I upped the ante a bit, instead of looking for stuff that was local to where I live, or back “home” where church and family are, I started to look elsewhere. I prayed about it, as I did in the past but this time, I was a bit more specific. I prayed for a role that would challenge me, get us close to family and church, and that the net pay was equal or greater than what I made at AAI.

I had a few hits in the Omaha area, a couple in the Twin Cities area, and even one from Texas.

The titles ranged from area’s I was completely comfortable with such as Server, Network, Exchange or VMWare administrators. To things that were not my specialties (Sharepoint Admin? What’s that?). I even had a few for Director level positions.

Deep down, I knew I needed a change, but management was not exactly something I was ready for. Those companies saw it too and both were eager to have me reapply for upcoming Admin/Engineer positions.

So I kept hunting, meanwhile still serving and doing the best I could for AAI.

In June of 2016, I applied for a position that was near where our family lived (mine as well as my wife’s), and closer to church. The company was (and still is) a well-respected, smaller Iowa company. I remembered I had applied there around the time I was looking in 2005ish.

It took about two weeks before I had a phone interview. During the phone interview, I remember thinking, wow! This place sounds great! All these crazy free perks, closer to church and family, and in an environment where I can grow my career. To top it off, it was also doing something that would be more in my area of specialty.

I did some more research after the phone interview, which only made me more excited about the position. It wasn’t long afterwards, I got a call back asking if I could come in for a face to face interview.

It was an interesting process, I first met with the hiring manager for about forty minutes, and then I went with him to another room where I interviewed with the whole team (save three people). Most people are intimidated by this, as I was at first. I settled down a bit by pulling an old DJ trick out of my hat. I broke the ice first. I then owned the session. When the group was done “grilling” me, the AVP of the area came in and met with me.

When it was all done and said, I left the campus feeling I nailed it. I felt it could not have gone any better than it did, and I felt for sure that I’d at least make it to the next level of interviews. I was told that the next steps would probably come in two weeks as certain decision makers were out on vacation.

Turns out, they made their decision pretty quick as I had an offer in less than a week!

I don’t feel it is appropriate to share the details of the offer, counter, and the process I went through. At least not in this public format. I will say that after the going back and forth a bit and my struggling with the decision, God was in it and it was clear to me that it was His will to accept this.

After I had accepted, I had the next hardest thing to do. Resign from AAI. I have tendered resignations before, but this one was extremely difficult to do. Partially because I had spent 11 years of my life there, partially because of the great sense of pride I have for the products that are made there, but mostly because the people I worked with had become family to me.

It was not just a job change either.  With the acceptance, I’d be committing to selling our house and purchasing a new house. Something that had deeper impact now that we had two kids and had to consider schooling among other things.

I spent the better part of that morning in my manager’s office. It was difficult for me to find the words. Once I finally got them out, it got better. She was excited for me, but at the same time a bit sad to see me move on. She will be the first one to admit that she knew the situation and was equally frustrated that I was essentially underutilized. We then talked about my exit plan and I shared my views on what my replacement should be. We both agreed on what AAI needed.

My exit plan was basically to work my tail off and ensure everything was in good standing order, any outstanding open items were dealt with, and a clean slate for my ultimate replacement. I did not want my replacement to walk into a mess as I did. I also planned on leaving a few parting gifts for the users.

There was a bit of concern however, given my position, if I would be allowed to finish out my time or if I’d just be sent home and paid for the next few weeks. In hindsight, the time off would have been nice but, fortunately Fruit agreed to let me work out my remaining time.

It didn’t take long before a bit of a firestorm erupted at Fruit. This is another area that I don’t think I am going to share the full details of in this format, but basically they we’re surprised by it. I will say that based on what I found out, if I would not have made the move, Fruit would have made the decision for me as they had a plan they were planning on executing in a few weeks. It was just fortunate I played my hand before they were completely ready to play theirs.

I did tell Fruit that they would be wise to get some people up in Iowa in the next few days for a knowledge transfer, which made my last two weeks just the more chaotic. I didn’t care though, I was concerned enough about the people that worked there, that I wanted to ensure that they had some sort of level of support until they could find a replacement.

The day that the Fruit visitors left, was the day it hit me hard. The reality of what I had just done, the last eleven years, and the glimpse of what was to come weighed heavily on me. My coworkers took me out that day. No doubt I seemed a bit distant and even cold.  Not because I was upset or anything, mostly because I was trying to process everything internally without breaking down.

I’m serious, this was not an easy thing for me to deal with. I found solace in prayer, my wife, family, and friends who encouraged me about the whole situation.

My last day there was July 31st. It was a joyful day, mostly because I think I had dealt with everything two days prior. I came in early as I always did, I had my office packed up and took my effects to my car before anyone showed up.  I had just what I needed available to deal with anything that came my way. My coworkers gave me a great parting gift and made it memorable for myself.

On August 1st, I started on the next step of my career.

Finally, at about 3800 words later, I am happy to announce that I have been a Systems Administrator at Grinnell Mutual in Grinnell, Iowa for the last three months. I feel quite a bit better having typed this all up.

I have more to share, mostly about the first three months, the house hunt, and so on. However, I believe that I will put that in another post as this one has gotten out of hand. So look for part two… maybe.

 

Posted in FYI

First Post of 2016 (Predictions)

I missed doing this prior to the close of 2015, but in one big ol’ post I’ll address my predictions/goals for 2015 and add my new predictions and goals for 2016. First my 2015 predictions/goals.

Strike through means wrong.  Bold means nailed it. Underlined means jury is still out.

  1. We will be forced to get another car (despite the van purchase in November of 2014).
    1. I traded Vanna White (2001 Chrysler Town and Country) for George Peppard (2002 Pontiac Grand Prix). The idea of this was that I’d need to get a loan and get a $5k car. Didn’t happen but I was right that a change was going to happen.
  2. The Bengals will miss the playoffs.
    1. The Bengals have had a really great run this year, probably might even get that one playoff win. But for me, even if they make it as far as the SB and lose, it feels like this was the year it should happen.
  3. The price of gas stays under $3.50 (locally) for most of the year and the economy is better.
    1. The gas prices have been under $3.00 for the last five months, and even below $2.00 for the last two months. The economy, well if you believe the Obama propaganda, the economy is fantastic.
  4. Super Hot Summer… ugh hope I am wrong on this.
    1. I really don’t remember. I’ll just say it was hot.
  5. Before the super hot summer, winter won’t leave us until… May.
    1. Clearly wrong, although it was chilly… I think.
  6. Senator Grassley decides not to run again
    1. The dude is like pushing 90, I figured he would decide not to.
  7. Obamacare goes back to the Supreme Court where it is a close decision that the subsidies thing is unconstitutional (even though we all knew that).
    1. Well it did go to court, but it was upheld. Why am I not surprised.
  8. The Reds miss October play, but the Cubs get there.
    1. Honestly, the Cubs should have went all the way.
  9. We will have to put some major money in the house for a repair this year (hope I’m wrong).
    1. Thankfully this was not the case.
  10. I become proficient on Linux again
    1. Ha, still working on it.

 

Here were my goals for 2015.

  1. Weight Loss, has to be done.
    1. FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL.
  2. Re-read the Bible, this time in chronological order.
    1. Started strong but fell apart.
  3. Write some sort of Mobile/web App for train spotting.
    1. I still have the concept, will still work on it since I miss spotting locos.
  4. Smoke some meat each month.
    1. Fail, I tried but things were busy.
  5. Get Waffle House in Iowa
    1. Fail, but this was out of my control.

 

So now here are my predictions for 2016!

  1. Cubs go all the way this year, world series champs.
  2. Flooding in Iowa, lots of melt, lots of spring rain, and heavy summer rains.
  3. Hillary Clinton wins the DNC, Bernie Sander runs as an independent at that point.
  4. Ted Cruz wins the nomination for the GOP. Trump runs as an independent.
  5. Unbelievably/tragically Hillary becomes president (man I hope I am wrong on this).
  6. The Bengals return to bungling, big time. Less than .500 record, no playoffs.
  7. The Iowa State Cyclones football program becomes bowl eligible.
  8. We spend money on the house/furnishing this year.
  9. Gas prices get back towards $4.00/gal again.
  10. Paul Ryan is primary-ed.

 

And now, my personal goals.

  1. Attempt to lose weight (I know every year etc…).
    1. Walk/Ride more with kids when possible, especially when weather is nice.
    2. Attempt to eat better and less.
  2. Destroy Debt.
    1. Remainder of Tress Student Loan.
    2. My 401k Loan.
    3. Last credit card.
    4. Find a way to make more money.
  3. Audio messages at church.
    1. Make it easier to post.
    2. Get it caught up (maybe with help).
  4. Try to have a night out with Tress each month.
  5. Take the kids in the canoe.
  6. Take a river trip with Tress.

 

Best of luck!

Posted in FYI

Last Post of 2014

Well it has been a while (namely 12 months) since I have posted anything that I did not already write. For fun lets look at these predictions I put for 2013 and see what did and did not happen.

Strike through means wrong.  Bold means nailed it. Underlined means jury is still out.

 

  1. Whatever team takes Johnny Football, will regret it
  2. The Hawkeyes will be bowl eligible but it will be an embarrassment bowl
  3. I will break down and get a tablet of some sort (Partial, Tress got one for Christmas)
  4. Miley Cyrus will fade away
  5. The House stays with the GOP but
  6. Boehner is booted out as Speaker (I’m sad this one was wrong)
  7. Senate is tighter but Dem’s and Prince Harry retain control (I’m ok with this one being wrong)
  8. Iowa gets two Republican Senators
  9. Amnesty happens (Essentially it happened)
  10. The Bengals make it to the AFC Championship game but lose to the…

 

Basically I was about 60% right, with the option to get to 80%

 

So without further ado, here are my predictions for 2015.

  1. We will be forced to get another car (despite the van purchase in November of 2014).
  2. The Bengals will miss the playoffs.
  3. The price of gas stays under $3.50 (locally) for most of the year and the economy is better.
  4. Super Hot Summer… ugh hope I am wrong on this.
  5. Before the super hot summer, winter won’t leave us until… May.
  6. Senator Grassley decides not to run again
  7. Obamacare goes back to the Supreme Court where it is a close decision that the subsidies thing is unconstitutional (even though we all knew that).
  8. The Reds miss October play, but the Cubs get there.
  9. We will have to put some major money in the house for a repair this year (hope I’m wrong).
  10. I become proficient on Linux again

 

I also had some goals in this post. Here they are

  1. Drastically cut back on social media.  I have scaled way back my usage from about two years ago.  I am thinking that this is more of a I post occasionally on Twitter and do the necessary Waffle House Iowa Posts on Facebook.
    1. Mostly a success, I would like to completely ditch Facebook but it is a necessary evil it seems.
  2. Investigate and sign up for higher education.  I have some places picked out, I don’t want to spoil it right now but I would like to start the ball rolling on this soon.  Spoiler alert though, Masters.
    1. Success, I got myself enrolled at Georgia Tech, however I had some learning pains. As of right now I am going to continue but I am not sure this is worth the headache
  3. Lose some weight.  We all say this, but I really need to take it more seriously.  It was all fun and games before with eating bacon because I could.  I probably should think about eating healthier.  My goal here is to drop about 60 pounds and keep it off.
    1. HA Fail, pretty sure I gained weight.
  4. Read the Bible more faithfully.  Sure I read it often but I want to get back to where I was doing it multiple times a day and not just reading it as a history book.
    1. Mostly a success, I was able to read through the entire Bible in a years time (still working the last bit of Revelation right now ;). I did miss some days, and had to play catch up, which made it harder.
  5. Witness to one person a month.  This one will be challenging but all part of the Great Commission.
    1. Complete Fail. No Excuse
  6. Spend more time with kids.  Right now I probably don’t spend a lot of time playing, reading, teaching, or interacting with my two kids.  Time is precious, and it is slipping through the hourglass of time.
    1. Partial Success, I did spend more time with them but still not enough as I should have.

 

So with that in mind, it is time for some new goals for 2015

  1. Weight Loss, has to be done.
  2. Re-read the Bible, this time in chronological order.
  3. Write some sort of Mobile/web App for train spotting.
  4. Smoke some meat each month.
  5. Get Waffle House in Iowa
  6. Work on the past goals from 2014 (see goal one from this list)

 

That being said, Happy New Year!

 

Posted in FYI

Late-Mid 2014 update.

My last post (First Post of 2014 (Goals)) was well over eight months ago.  I felt it was time to post an update so that we are all on the same page as to how my goals for this year have been.

So here they are (in Italics)

  1. Drastically cut back on social media. All things considered, I have cut back. I believe I will be cutting back even more.
  2. Investigate and sign up for higher education. Done. I am enrolled and registered for the Online Master’s of Science in Computer Science (OMSCS) at Georgia Tech (Go Jackets!) Much more to come on this in the future.
  3. Lose some weight.  Ha, this one has totally not happened.
  4. Read the Bible more faithfully. Mostly reading it daily, however I am falling into the classic “read it as a history” book. I am on track to finish the entire Bible by the end of the year, at which point I will start over but this time in timeline order.
  5. Witness to one person a month. Miserable fail. I probably have done this twice. This is not my strong point, I need to correct this.
  6. Spend more time with kids.  I have spent more time with the kiddos, however I probably could dedicate more time to them. With schooling, my availability is probably going to drop. In fact, I should probably end this post and spend some time with them right now!

First Post of 2014 (Goals)

Happy New Year!  Since my last post was last year (about ten minutes ago…) I thought I would make myself accountable to the world with my goals.

  1. Drastically cut back on social media.  I have scaled way back my usage from about two years ago.  I am thinking that this is more of a I post occasionally on Twitter and do the necessary Waffle House Iowa Posts on Facebook.
  2. Investigate and sign up for higher education.  I have some places picked out, I don’t want to spoil it right now but I would like to start the ball rolling on this soon.  Spoiler alert though, Masters.
  3. Lose some weight.  We all say this, but I really need to take it more seriously.  It was all fun and games before with eating bacon because I could.  I probably should think about eating healthier.  My goal here is to drop about 60 pounds and keep it off.
  4. Read the Bible more faithfully.  Sure I read it often but I want to get back to where I was doing it multiple times a day and not just reading it as a history book.
  5. Witness to one person a month.  This one will be challenging but all part of the Great Commission.
  6. Spend more time with kids.  Right now I probably don’t spend a lot of time playing, reading, teaching, or interacting with my two kids.  Time is precious, and it is slipping through the hourglass of time.

 

Those are enough, there are multiple others, but for the most part they are just “tasks” that need to be done.

Posted in FYI

Last Post of 2013 (Predictions!)

Well it has been a while (namely 12 months) since I have posted anything that I did not already write. For fun lets look at these predictions I put for 2013 and see what did and did not happen.

Strike through red means wrong.  Bold means nailed it

  1. (Cheat) Denver Bronco’s win over the Seahawks in the Super Bowl 
  2. Geno Smith will go to the second round before being drafted
  3. The Bengals will win the AFC North
  4. The Colts will win the AFC South
  5. The Chiefs will win the AFC West
  6. The Patriots will win the AFC East
  7. The Falcons will win the NFC South
  8. The Redskins will win the NFC East
  9. The Seahawks will win the NFC West
  10. The Packers will win the NFC North
  11. I will have to buy another car this year  Happy about this one
  12. I will have to buy another phone this year  This too!
  13. Hilary Clinton will announce her aspirations for president (might be in 2014)  
  14. Floods in Iowa
  15. Iowa will not get a Waffle House, but it might be announced we will get one.
  16. Windows 8 will continue to tank.
  17. Facebook will have a security problem/leak
  18. Taxes will rise
  19. I will get a Kuerig for work
  20. Obama will take fifteen vacations Made it by August
  21. Boone will get a Theisen’s
  22. Gas will hit $4.60 /gal in Iowa

 

Basically I was about 45% right.

 

So without further ado, here are my predictions for 2014.

  1. Whatever team takes Johnny Football, will regret it
  2. The Hawkeyes will be bowl eligible but it will be an embarrassment bowl
  3. I will break down and get a tablet of some sort
  4. Miley Cyrus will fade away
  5. The House stays with the GOP but
  6. Boehner is booted out as Speaker
  7. Senate is tighter but Dem’s and Prince Harry retain control
  8. Iowa gets two Republican Senators
  9. Amnesty happens
  10. The Bengals make it to the AFC Championship game but lose to the…

 

That is all the predictions I’ll do this year, easier to do percentages 🙂 Happy new year!

Posted in FYI

Random Rants/Update

Well shoot, my plan to revitalize the webpage has utterly failed.  I think I was deluding myself into thinking that I could do this and ditch Facebook and use Twitter exclusively for quick thoughts.  The Twitter part has worked out, and Facebook can be ditched, the posting recent and relevant posts to the webpage (blog) has not worked.  That having been said, I am reverting to my old ways and doing a Random Rants post.

  • Signed up for some training at work, without going into to many details I feel like I am at the end of a witch hunt.  Really is dumb given the details (which I am not going to share at this time).
  • Recently obtained my conceal and carry permit.  Don’t have anything to conceal or carry at this point, but just got because I could.  And it is my patriotic duty.
  • I just noticed that it is March already, this year is flying by
  • Sam is getting closer to being potty trained, sure he is young but start early.  Still a ways to go but progress is being made.
  • I have been meaning to post my random conversation with someone formally from Iowa who apparently was lonely.  The problem has been I switched phones at about that time and since I have been using the new phone exclusively, I keep forgetting to do it.  Funny stuff so stay tuned.
  • We got Chloe’s report card.  I don’t understand why they cannot use simple grading like I grew up with.  So instead of the A-F system which makes perfect sense in every situation, we have this weird tiered system that is less inclined to “offend” a child.  So  I have no idea if she is doing well, average, or behind.
  • I figured out something I am going to miss with DJ’n.  I won’t be able to play Thrift Shop at an obnoxious level.