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A Life Visa
Buck's Tale
11th-Sep-2012 01:31 pm - 9/11
You can look at my history on LJ and see that I dropped out on LJ after 9/11. I did spend some time reading friends' posts but even that has all but ended. Thx to Circle K giving all the updates that day. To the rest of my LJ friends I hope the best for you and who knows, one day I might return.
14th-Aug-2010 05:52 pm - Things we should know
"This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable. The principle that people of all faiths are welcome in this country, and that they will not be treated differently by their government, is essential to who we are.” --- President Obama 8/14/10
30th-Jul-2010 11:47 am - COSTCO vs Sam's
Oh, how I miss COSTCO. They have no store in the New Orlean's area. I heard they might open one north of Lake Pontchartrain - 23 mile bridge just to get there. I guess while in England I drove 40 miles to get to a COSTCO.

We're having Abby's bf and his parents over tomorrow night and we will be grillin' some steaks. Now, I could head to a butcher for some prime beef and spend the big bucks but COSTCO always has excellent beef with decent prices. I have had great steaks from COSTCO while living in Washington State (COSTCO's home state), while living in England (Scottish Beef Rules!), and while living in Canada (Alberta Beef Rocks!).

So I'll head to Sam's Club - their steaks are okay - better than the average grocery store.

Menu - steaks, mushrooms, and baked potato potato salad
HMM.. need dessert. Maybe a fresh fruit salad....
30th-Jul-2010 11:16 am - Iowa on my mind
Come on Iowa GOP - stop making me regret being from Iowa! Not that the Iowa GOP was ever a fav of mine - not since Robert Ray was guv back in the 70s (wikipedia says guv from '68 thru '82).

Adopting the original 13th amendment proposed to disqualify Obama from being a U.S. citizen to be part of the party platform - really?!? Get a clue already!

And Branstad is the GOP choice for governor this fall - OMG - you have no one else willing to run than Brain-dead. He left office back in the 90s - last century - over 20 years ago

IOWA GOP - party of past ideas for the future of Iowa! - a great slogan (hey IOWA GOP, feel free to use that if you want).

I weep for my home state.
17th-Feb-2010 11:45 am - Hypocrisy is bad...
Maybe the problem is that people forget that Hypocrisy is not a good trait.

21st-Nov-2009 03:59 pm - An Old Friend
I used to be a paperboy... is there such a thing anymore? anywhere?

Anyhow, on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays, Donald Kaul wrote a column for the Des Moines Register that I would always read before I started my route.

He is mostly retired but still does a weekly for an online 'zine.

Here's the latest

24th-Sep-2009 10:24 pm - USA USA
Well, I am an United States resident again. We went through customs at the Calgary airport and we were officially on US soil.

Now, we get to live the American dream and sign a mortgage tomorrow morning. Moving truck should join us in New Orleans on about Tuesday. Lots to do!
The Canadian experience is at an end.

My wife is employed by Shell Oil and this has afforded us many opportunities to move about the world. I haven't been employed by choice since June 2002 when we first moved from Houston to Washington state north of Seattle.

From Washington we were off to England and for the last 20 months or so we've been living in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Well, Shell has a new CEO who is shaking it up but good. At least 20% of senior staff will no longer be employed as of September 1. Some of this is due to world economy issues but it is really providing him cover to clean house - my wife is of the opinion that the new structure he has outlined makes sense and she while she feels compassion for those who no longer have a job (she knows that Shell provides a generous severance package but still...) she is looking forward to working in the new organization that is taking shape.

All senior staff had to apply for their own jobs (again) and any other positions that they were interested (Except for the upper, upper echelon of senior staff who were appointed) and on Friday they found out if 1) they still had a job and 2) what job is it.

Since we have always been open to moving if it made sense for her career she was told by her direct boss to apply for 5 positions - 2 here in Calgary (including her current job as Country HR Lead for Exploration and Production), 2 jobs in Houston, and 1 job in New Orleans.

We found out last Monday afternoon but on Friday it was made official - she will be the VP of Human Resources - Deep Water based in New Orleans.

So we have a month to move.... ahhhhhh! Not really.

Her official start date is Sept 1 but with schools, finding a place to live, and moving it probably will take a couple of months.

My daughter is at camp and does not return until Thursday - she is not going to be happy. She has really come into her own here. She had a great year at school and grade 8 can be tough. She also is feeling very comfortable with her youth group at church. It will be a tough transition for her.

My son is going into grade 3 and does not mind returning to the USA but has Houston on his wish list - he knows that its where he was born - we left Houston when he was 18 months old and he has been back only once since then.

Long post - more to follow....
27th-May-2009 07:15 am - It's Been Such a Long Time
How does this thing work?

Let's see if I can starting posting a bit more...

Abby has all-day track meet today - long story short this is her 1st for the season and if she is not in the top 3 of her events her only meet. Very odd but explainable due to size of her school and size of schools they normally compete against in other sports.

Gretch is off to a community work day project. How nice of corporate to announce major restructuring of the company on an international level. She won't have anyone asking questions on how it will affect them... Heck, she doesn't even know where she will fit in to the organization after the deck chairs are shuffled.

Jackson has been cut off from the Wii by mom and backed up by me. This is a kid who road the massive California Screamin' roller coaster - TWICE - just a week and a half ago but doesn't want to learn to ride his bike without training wheels. This has been going on for over 2 years now. He is so stubborn about some things.

I will workout this morning - no running though, my left knee is giving me some problems and I am giving it some time off for now. I will then clean up and head over to watch Abby at her track meet - need to remember to bring book.

I have been reading a book series written by a Scot-born Canadian - Jack Whyte. It's a historical fiction of the Arthurian Legend. He started the series 3 generations before Arthur is born - I have lost track but I think there are 9 books in the series with another written as a companion paralleling events in the main series from the view of Uther Pendragon (Arthur's father). I started reading Jack Whyte based on a Templar Knight's trilogy that he is writting now - 3rd book due in September I think. Anyhow, I am on the 2nd to last book told from the view of Clothar - we know him as Lancelot Du Lac.

Got to go for now... here's trying to post more . CHEERS!
7th-Oct-2008 09:59 pm - I Don't Understand...
A lot of things going on in McCain's mind, BUT.....

When you do not look at your opponent during 2 debates now it looks very odd.

I see it only as a sign as a lack of respect for the person. And in this case, one of these 2 men will be POTUS and the other will still be a US Senator. Both men have earned respect regardless of your personal views in politics.
7th-Oct-2008 08:35 pm - Debate #2
Boring... if there was a winner it was minimal at best.

This debate format should be reworked - the town hall format should keep us awake at least.
8th-Sep-2008 12:36 pm - Election '08
A new mantra....

Katrina, four dollar gas, a trillion dollar war, rising unemployment, deregulated housing market, global warming...no more.
24th-Jul-2008 10:44 am - Leadership
Reading an article about how the U.S. economy has turned from the greatest capitalist to the newest socialist economy - not exactly agreeing with all the arguments but number 2 on the list was no longer having leaders with moral character.

It reminded me of a guest lecture I heard when I was a college student at Cornell College way back in the mid-1980s. The speakers were 2 journalists who had written books and met with world leaders of some note. One of the speakers was William Shirer who wrote The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. He was a close acquaintance of Gandhi and later reported from Germany during the early stages of WWII. I do not remember the other journalist right now but one of his big name interviews was with Golda Meir.

The focus of the talk was their experience with world leaders but the message was how we should not rely on extraordinary leaders to lead us in the future because there are few who will be able to break through and the incentives to do so have all but disappeared and can be perilous. Instead, we should focus on leadership - a skill that can not be taught as such but is cultivated and developed.

I have more thoughts on this but need to sort them out with respect to the economic crisis the U.S. and world is experiencing and the U.S. presidential election before I write more.

Here is a picture one of the more awesome sights at the Calgary Stampede parade.

A parting idea formed in my head about the guts to ride a bull for 3 miles in a parade and the guts to show leadership.
24th-Jul-2008 10:35 am - Calgary Stampede
Earlier this month...

Waiting for the parade to start.

A pre-parade visit from a certain Dark Lord of the Sith. He's shorter in person...
24th-Jul-2008 10:13 am - Lake Tahoe

Had the chance to go to Lake Tahoe last week celebrating my 20th Anniversary with my bride. We brought the kids and flew out my in-laws too. This is a picture of me with my son Jackson.

Abby and Daddy. We stayed at the Resort at Squaw Creek in Olympic Valley - site of 1960 Winter Olympics.

My bride of 20 years.
3rd-Feb-2008 07:40 pm - Super Bowl - 14
2:42 4th Quarter - Pats 14 - Giants 10

2:39 after kickoff

2 minute warning

Ad Series
Victoria's Secret - is it just me or did it get warmer in here....

Amp energy drink - Scary roadside assistance

1:40 4th Q - 4TH AND SHORT

1:28 1ST AND TEN Giants

:59 4th Q - what a catch holding on using his helmet and Manning escaping the rush - AWESOME

:50 4th Q - Giants using final time out

3rd beer done - wife had a few sips - water gone too...

:40 4th Q - Giants 1st down on 14 yd line


17 - 14 Giants - 35 seconds left - can the Pats score at least 3 to keep the perfect season alive?

25 seconds 2nd and 10 from the 26
19 seconds 3rd and 20 from the 16
Long Pass to Moss....... broken up by Webster
4th and 20 with 10 seconds from the 16
Another long pass - broken up

It's over - 1 second remaining but Pats have conceded...

Giants 17 Patriots 14

Thanks for letting me blog the game - hope to post more about things other than the football game and the ads.

3rd-Feb-2008 07:18 pm - Super Bowl - 13
Giants are just playing faster and they are hungrier than the Pats.

E*Trade #2 - Baby with BoBo the Clown - underestimated the creepiness - good one

Taco Bell - Mariachi Band - Fiesta Platter

Gatorade - black lab sloppy drinker

Some Football
Next Ad Series

Bud Light with Semi-Pro (Will Farrel) Ad Promo Out-takes

I am not commenting on FOX Show ads which seem to be tacked on to every series - The Sarah Conner Chronicles are cool and the rest are so so...

5:22 4th Quarter - 10 - 7 Giants but Pats on the move....

Wes Welker of the Pats is having a great game.

Not sure Giants can score again - possible but something tells me if Pats score the Pat's defense will shut the Giants down especially if there is less than 2 minutes left in the game. This is the biggest drive of the game.

Pats inside the 10.... 3:12 to play 1st and goal...

3rd and goal...2:45 on the clock

PATS TD!!! 14 - 10 with 2:42 left
3rd-Feb-2008 06:39 pm - Super Bowl - 12
Nursed 2nd beer through halftime and most of 3rd quarter...

Ad Series
Hyundai Genesis - shockingly nice looking car

Wall*E Movie Preview - Pixar/Disney - cutest movie preview

3:04 left in 3rd Q Next Ad Series
Jumper Movie preview - go Anakin go Anakin

E*Trade - baby buying stock and then burps over keyboard - Clutch Cargo funny

Bud Light - ability to fly, rough flight

Time for 3rd beer...

grabbed a glass of water too.

End of 3rd Quarter - 7 to 3 STILL!

Ad Series
NFL Super Bowl - Chester Pitts plays the oboe - HOUSTON TEXANS IN THE SUPER BOWL HAHAHAHAHA

Acura Advance - nice tech

Les Schwab - Free Beef? Local?

Jack In The Box - Jack in the hot tub - definitely local


New Ad series
Sunsilk Shampoo - ho hum

Coke - Underdog vs Stewie Parade Balloons - Charlie Brown gets the Coke - YEAH!


Ad Series
Coke - Jinx but me a coke - ha

Sequoia - Hot Wheel racing - huh?


Ad Series
You Don't Mess With The Zohan - Adam Sandler movie

NYG 10 - NE 7

10:59 4th Quarter
3rd-Feb-2008 06:20 pm - Super Bowl - 11
Ad Series Coming out of halftime
Zantac - is this a quick local ad - not that special and kind of odd placement

Semi-Pro Movie - I am guessing the previews will show most of the funny moments of this movie

Claritin - nothing special

Giants kick off to Pats to start 2nd Half....

Ad Series

Cars.com #2 - Plan B Witch Doctor

SalesGenie #2 - animated Pandas - waste of money

glacial Vitamin Water - Shaq on a horse - pretty good but I like the T Mobile ad better

Challenge too many men on field

Bud Light - Cavemen using the wheel - predictable

Ice Breakers Ice Cubes - spontaneous woah

Bridgestone - Richard Simmons with way too much makeup - just missed on a dark road

careerbuilder.com #2 - spider bites cute animated cricket
3rd-Feb-2008 06:04 pm - Super Bowl - 10
Correction - SoBe Life Water sponsored the Fox Halftime Studio show - Bridgestone Tires sponsored the Halftime Show featuring Tom Petty.

My wife wondered how old he was - born 20, October 1950.

Coming to Calgary in August - Play List: American Girl, I Won't Back Down, Free Fallin',and Running Down A Dream.
3rd-Feb-2008 05:28 pm - Super Bowl - 9
Next Ad Series

GMC SUV - b/w animation pushing sphere up hill - daughter says it was random.. I'll go with that

Bud Light - geeky international guys try pickup lines - stereotypes seemed a bit tired

2nd Quarter under 5 minutes NE Pats 7 NY Giants 3 still - Giants have to be please so far - bummed about interception and no points but playing a good game.

Under 3 minutes... 2 minute warning after next play.. guess not - odd illegal bat but I think it was actually a good play penalty or not.

2 Minute Warning Ad Series

Next Narnia Movie Prince Caspian - should be a good one

Planters Cashews - scary women using the scent of a cashew... cute concept

T Mobile - Charles Barkley/Dwayne Wade - Hey Chuck - best ad featuring athletes

Ad Series
Pepsistuff.com - Timberlake being sucked by straw - getting hit in the balls always a good gag

Doritos - furry attack - funny on a different level that a lot of peeps will not understand

Giants are playing some hard hitting football.

Tom Brady is getting hit harder than I have seen in a long, long time.

:59 left in 2nd Q Ad Series - didn't happen - short time out so FOX ran brief previous Giant Super Bowl highlights

:26 left in 2nd Q Ad series - didn't happen - somewhat short time out so FOX ran brief previous Patriot Super Bowl highlights

Half time plans - do laundry, get some more nacho dip, bring beers from basement fridge to main floor fridge (put empties in recycle bin), watch a little Tom Petty, blog ads!

Halftime score - N.E. Patriots 7 - N.Y. Giants 3

1st Halftime Ad Series
NASCAR Ad - nice graphics

Local Ads I think
McD - Chicken Breast sandwich - nothing special
Comcast HD - funky 70 music - How do You Like It
MoneyTree - ho hum
Southwest Airlines - old ad

SoBe Life Water sponsoring Half Time
3rd-Feb-2008 05:18 pm - Super Bowl - 8
Next Ad Series

Toyota Corolla - enraged badgers when awaken - fun stuff

Leatherheads Movie - hmmm?

Garmin GPS - Napolean arrives - real or actor - confusing but somewhat cute

Following Ad Series

career builder.com beating heart says I Quit - gross factor 4 out of 10

SoBe Life Water geekco Thriller dance - who's the cutie dancing with the animation?

Parents - the anti-drug - dealer loser is yellow shirt - PSA

MMMMMM.. nacho dip good.
3rd-Feb-2008 05:13 pm - Super Bowl - 7
Next Ad series

Budweiser Rocky - warm fuzzies

Ironman Movie Preview - uber cool too

Tough break on the Giants interception but Giants D is 3 and out.
3rd-Feb-2008 04:55 pm - Super Bowl - 7
1st Quarter almost over - Pats are moving the ball pretty well but Giants are hitting them hard.

No score for Pats in 1st....

Ad Series 4

Bridgestone - Screaming animals/wife

Doritos - message from your heart - nice visually and kinda hip song but.... but no clue as to what the deal was until the Doritos flashed at the end - I thought ITunes ad before Dorits

Ad Series 5

Wanted movie - awesome effects - uber cool preview

G2 from Gatorade - Derek Jeter walking around NY - its just special effects line at the end was funny but should have been more then focus of ad

Go Daddy - Danica Patrick Exposure - GoDaddy wasting money

Dell - red laptop -

Ad series 6

Fed Ex - Carrier Pigeons - Giant Pigeons - good one

Cars.com - circle of death - oddly fun

Tide To Go talking stain(.com) - cute

Nacho Dip is ready...

2nd quarter early score Pats 7 - NYG 3
3rd-Feb-2008 04:53 pm - Super Bowl - 6
Drinking Molson Canadian - 1st bottle down - trying to keep it to 1 beer a quarter.
3rd-Feb-2008 04:45 pm - Super Bowl - 5
Ad series 2

Pepsi Max - bobbing heads wake up people - funny stuff

Sales Genie - animation ad to get sales leads.... Glen Gary Glen Ross - waste of money

Giants get 3 on opening drive but ate up clock - puzzled why clock did not run after 3rd down completion before 4th down 32 yd attempt.

Ad series 3

Bud Light Cheese Wheel hiding 6 pack plus - 'going on a cheese run' Best So far

Under Armour - bad asses working out ending in a Big Brother\I, Robot type ending
3rd-Feb-2008 04:42 pm - Super Bowl - 4
1st drive - clock chewing drive by the Giants - if it ends with points good for them but keeping Pats off the field is just as good for their cause.
3rd-Feb-2008 04:36 pm - Super Bowl - 3
New ad series 1 review
Bud commercial - fire breather allergic to cat - kinda cute
Audi R8 - knockoff of the Godfather horse's head in the bed - could have been better - did use some who was in the Godfather and that was kinda cool

I hope for better....
3rd-Feb-2008 04:28 pm - Super Bowl - 2
Missed pre-game show - sorry Seacrest. Went 5-pin bowling (1st time) - it's a Canada thing I guess. My 2nd line was better (scored 114 in the 1st line and 183 in the 2nd) - the ball is smaller and no holes and as the name suggests you throw at only 5 pins - head pin worth 5 pts, 2 and 3 are worth 3 pts and the 4 and 5 pins are 2 pts. You get to throw the ball up to 3 times a frame to get them all down.
3rd-Feb-2008 04:22 pm - Super Bowl - 1
Haven't posted in a while so I'll try to catch up by blogging the Super Bowl.

Jordin Sparks - nice job on the National Anthem.

Weirdness - let's talk about dead people before the coin toss.
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