Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Dancing and Romancing Husband

Last night Vicki and I went to a local country bar to dance. It had a great band playing there named Horsepower. The lead singer is a short stocky guy who can sing and play guitar like crazy. They did pure country two steps, modern country, hard rock and even covered Prince's Purple Rain.

The bar is a little piece of Americana with Budweiser signs, a brown-bag bar (you bring your own liquor and they provide set-ups) and even some ancient disco balls that are lit up in the intermissions between the band's sets.

The clientele resembles a visit to the local Walmart. We witnessed guys who dressed up with sleeveless shirts like Larry the cable guy and a variety of men with baseball caps, shorts and tee-shirts or wife beaters. The gals dressed a little better, though a few were just plain scary. My darling bride referred to them as escaped trailer trash. I still believe the women were far more presentable than the men and wonder how those guys ever get any. Seriously, how do they show up looking like that and expect to attract the fairer sex. I just don't get it.

We stayed till around 11:30. We had danced for over two hours and I was a sweaty mess. We took a drive to downtown Hickory and walked around the square to see what was new. Turned out not much. The whole place was relatively deserted with just the Hickory Tap Room open and a few groups of teenagers hanging out. We checked out the new Arcade (closed on a Saturday night) and enjoyed the feel of our small downtown area.

A great night out and some well needed relaxation and recreation.

The Daily Husband

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sunday in the park

One thing I really love about Americans is the use they make of parks. In towns large and small across the country people get out on weekends when weather permits and bring their families to the park.

My wife's company had a picnic today in Dan Nicholas park in Salisbury, NC. We left Hickory around 1:30 and were there by 3:00. The park turned out to be huge. There was a nice size lake with paddle boats, camping, campgrounds with large covered pavilions for groups of all sizes and various other activities. Our pavilion seated a couple of hundred, though we did not need that much seating.

Vicki's company catered barbecue with goodies and we chowed down around 5:00. Vicki and I took a walk around most of the park, I tried a few minutes of volleyball (then had a picture of an ambulance pulling in with lights flashing) so I desisted.

I met a few more of her co-workers and we had a great day. We love to travel and see new things together, and the ride over was through uncharted territory. We sat and watched kids in the paddle boats at the lake and reminisced about our own experiences with them in our childhoods. A cool breeze kept things from getting too hot and the clouds kept heavy sunlight at bay.

On the way back we even had a little rain, though it appeared we did not get as much at the house when we returned.

A great Sunday afternoon with my wife at the park. It's one of those things that makes being married pretty cool.

The Daily Husband

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Caution: Husband at Work!

I have not been doing any blogging for a couple of weeks. My apologies to my reader. It seems that working 10 to 14 hours a day takes up most of my time, exhausts me greatly and makes me want to sleep rather than write.

I finally sold my first Home Comfort System. ( HVACspeak for heating and A/C) Though I have learned that a lot more goes into it than most folks think. I spend my days on appointments talking with homeowners about replacing their systems. Usually because their A/C has died and it's way, way too hot in their home.

It sounds really straight forward but it actually isn't. In order to do it right there are calculations, measurements and forms that allow you to properly size a home's system. It seems we're one of the few companies that actually does that. Most just don't take the time to do it right, but they almost always will do whatever they do for less.

I am struggling somewhat with the technical aspects, but getting better.

At least I don't have a problem with being bored.

And I might even be able to make a living at it.

I'll just keep plugging away.

The Daily Husband

Friday, June 6, 2008

Back from St Louis

I'm back from a week in St Louis and happy to be home. That being said, I met some great people at school and learned a great deal about our industry, other markets and practices. Of course the big lesson was how to use Airtime 500's selling system and all the good things about guarantees, warranties and doing business on the up and up. I know that's a unique concept, but the organization and associated companies are actually making money by providing real quality products and services, then backing them with great guarantees and warranties. (which actually mean something)

Enough preaching! I'll come down off the soapbox and show you a few more shots of St Louis, my classmates and one of our team poster. (Thanks to my artistic Canadian friend and team mate Paul) Oh, our team took top honors at the school. (with no thanks to me, I tanked pretty much every exercise)

Anyway...... Here's the goods.

We were fortunate to be in one of the smallest classes given. We had just ten students. Usually the classes are 40 or so. This meant extra attention and more info. In the middle in the red shirt is Paul from Canada. At the far right is Ray from Phoenix. In the back is big Al in stripes and his tech/comfort adviser Randy in the front row in black. We were taught during this class there are certain words to never use during a presentation. Whenever Randy would speak one of the forbidden words, Mike Dolan would stop his instruction and say "Hit him Al." May sound stupid but it was pretty damn funny. In the back row in the cardinals cap is Sal from Jersey. The guy in the suit is Mike Dolan our instructor.This was a very diverse group and it made the class more interesting to hear about their markets and challenges. Of course the most fun was just getting to know them a bit. Because I'm cheap ( I stayed out in Westport in St Louis county and commuted in each day), I didn't get to spend much time with them out of class. What little time I did spend with them was very enjoyable.

As promised above, here is our team poster. I came up with the cheer (Moonpie is our team name, Comfort and quality our claim to fame) Paul did the artwork and the slogan; Our guarantees and service are out of this world. No, we didn't get to choose our team names. The instructor Mike Dolan did those for us. He is a genuinely nice guy but an inveterate smart ass. If he wasn't ripping you then you really had a problem. As you can see from the scores I wasn't kidding about my numbers.

Another shot of the downtown area. I was impressed by how clean the area around the Drury Plaza was. Of course Busch Stadium is just a block away, so it's no wonder they keep it nice.

One of the great views I had each morning as I walked from the parking garage to the hotel. Every day I saw something interesting in the city.

I got stuck for a few minutes on the interstate in Nashville on the way back. ( I missed the turnoff for the beltway) Here's a view of Nashville's Skyline from my car. For some reason I kept making wrong turns on the way back. I missed the first turn out of St Louis and ended up backtracking a few miles after I figured that out. I should have printed out another set of instructions with exit numbers like the one I had for the first part of the trip. The upside is that I saw some different things on the return drive, the downside is that it took longer and I ended up with more night driving. I've learned as I've gotten older to drive less after dark, at least when going long distances.

Speaking of which, my total trip was 1549 miles from door to door, including of course the 4 days of commuting from my motel to school. Overall gas mileage was 33.54 mpg and this had over two hundred miles of commuting driving on it. So I'm feeling like a champ in the gas savings department.

All righty then, are you sick of hearing about St Louis? Well good, cause I'm ready to get back to life in good ole Hickory, NC.

The Daily Husband

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A Husband's confession

OK, it's true. I miss my wife. Vicki and I are such a unit that in some ways I feel incomplete without her here. The school is great; I'm learning a lot, but after class the motel room is just plain boring.

Even if we're just sitting on the couch watching the tube, her company is all I need. Mostly we snuggle or she lays in my lap as we watch one of our favorite shows or a movie. Conversation comes and goes as we feel it.

Neither of us sleep well when we're apart so I'm pretty tired from lack of sleep.

Perhaps tonight I'll sleep better.

The Daily Husband

Monday, June 2, 2008

St Louie Monday

I was up early this morning for the commute into downtown St Louis. I left the motel at 6:15 and was at the class in the city's center by 6:45.

My room overlooks the pool. I took this shot of two ducks enjoying a morning swim.

The Hotel where I'm attending classes is just a block from the Gateway Arch. Here's a couple of shots I took there.

Looking up the 600 foot height of the Arch.

From the park across the street from the Arch.

I parked my car across the street from Busch Stadium. When I got out of class I walked over to the park then got out before the whole downtown was clogged up for tonight's Cardinals game.

Here's a shot of the stadium from the third parking level.

Class was good; my class and I learned a lot today. We know that we have a lot more to learn in the next three days. Well, I have homework to do, so that's it for now.

The Daily Husband

Sunday, June 1, 2008


OK, I'm sitting here in the motel room in St Louis. I've had a good dinner at a local bar and restaurant, a whiskey and a cigar. Vicki and I have talked three times today on the phone. I called her when I stopped for lunch in Gordonsville, Tennessee, 324 miles from Hickory.

During this stretch I averaged 36 miles a gallon through mountains at over 70mph and sometimes quite a bit faster in the fun parts. I love curves and so does my little car. It was a blast in the mountains. You get to see some dumb stuff on the interstate. It's nice to know I'm not the dumbest driver on the road. I had a lady pull over in front of me for no reason. We were in the middle of nowhere and she just changed lanes. Amazing! Then of course there were the serial tailgaters. These I either left in the dust or got out of their way, according to my mood and the road. Generally the curvier the road the more I left them behind.

Coming in to St Louis you can see the Gateway Arch from a long ways away. I will be going to school in the vicinity of the Arch and will post a picture sometime this week. After lunch in Gordonsville I didn't stop till I was on the west side of St Louis, looking for my motel. It took a bit to find it, but the room is great, the place clean and way less than staying downtown. In addition it is just a few blocks from Westport Plaza, a place filled with restaurants. I have many options for dinners this week.

Getting into downtown St Louis will be interesting. I'm told the commute could be as much as an hour. This is due to 64/40 being closed for construction on this side of town. I'll leave early in the morning to get into the city for my school.

For all you frugal Freddies out there, check this out. At my first gas stop I filled up with 9 gallons and when I got into St Louie I filled up again, this time with 10.4 gallons. Total for 687.5 miles; 19.4 gallons. The average mpg for the trip here was 35.43. Makes me feel like I made the right choice with this car. Only problem I had on the way here was shifting from 5th to 4th. There is no reverse lockout and if you're not careful you grind a little if you miss 4th. It happened to me a couple of times till I figured out what I was doing wrong and corrected it.

Of course the real fun in driving is the jams, the road and the feel. I started with the new Eagles double album. Then a little Prairie Home companion on a station I was passing. Then some "Fatburger" ( a jazz group). After that another jazz artist, then the Eagles greatest hits, some Suzie Boggus, an old Basia CD, a switch to Montgomery Gentry, Nickel Creek, and then the Doobies greatest hits. The tunes just seemed to flow and the road rolled up like a carpet. Sometimes I just fell in line with folks going pretty quick and away we went. As long as you leave enough space, don't tailgate, and keep alert for the highway patrol you can make good time and still be safe.

Well, that's it from St Louie.

The Daily Husband