Archive by Author
My wife and I decided a long time ago that we would not make New Years resolutions but instead make New Years Goals. In the past she has been better at achieving her goals than me. But in 2014 I wanted goals that we both could accomplish.
Here is a list of our 2014 Goals.
1. Eat Better: Last year we started off OK, but as the year progressed we slipped more and more, eating out a lot and not making health choices. The fall out has finally caught up with us in the form of weight gain. This year I want to eat out far less, No more than once a month. This means we will have to say no a lot. Hopefully our family and friends will understand.
2. Exercise More: In 2012 my wife and I both met our weight loss goals. However, in 2013 we slowly watched those goals wither away and the weight come back. I blame no one but ourselves. We both have busy lives with work and such and we both traveled a lot last year, so making time to work out was difficult. In 2014, we will need to overcome these hurdles. Make time to workout, even if it’s just doing push-ups and sit-ups in the basement at home.
3. Save Money: This is a big one for us. We have some money in savings but I really want us to build up a nice little nest egg. I grew up in a family that had little in the amount of savings. My wife and I were in a large amount of debt several years ago and we pulled ourselves out of it and have worked very hard to stay debt free. However, I think we have room for improvement.
4. Shop Less: This falls in line with the previous goal. In order to save more you will need to shop less. We let this get away from us last year (and a little the year before that) but in 2014 we need to reign this in and focus more on the saving and less on the spending.
5. Sleep Better: This is something that I personally struggle with. I tend to have a problem going to sleep, I just can’t seem t turn my mind off sometimes. I also struggle with staying asleep. I am one of those people that need absolute silence to sleep comfortably. in 2014 I want to see ups going to bed early (8:30 or 9:00 PM) and wake up early (around 5:00 AM), well rested and ready to tackle the day. I have learned that there are a lot of things that you can struggle with if you don’t get a good nights sleep. Memory is one of them and I have a really bad one.
Hopefully together my wife and I can achieve these goals. Some might find them silly or not worth the effort but we both feel that you should always have goals in life. It makes you productive, attentive and gives you something to work for.
What are your 2014 goals!
Posted on September 24, 2013 by Brian under Home Ownership.
Back in May of this year we had a really big storm that rolled through and damaged a lot of property around the city.
I had considered myself lucky because I didn’t have any visible damage, unlike some of our friends who’s homes looked like they have been perforated by a series of shotgun blasts. As the months progressed I had started to notice the gravel that covers the shingles had started to deposit in the driveway. It looked like I wasn’t so lucky after all.
My wife had been taking a Spanish class at the Rec center that she teaches Zumba at. During her classes she had made friends with a guy that worked for Dolphin Roofing, a locally owned and operated Roofing contractor. She recommended I ask him to come take a look at the roof. Me being a person that researches companies before I let them do any work for me decided to do a little research on Dolphin. They turned out to be a really good company. They are BBB Accredited and have an excellent history in the city.
From the start Dolphin was on top of things. They started by coming over and looking at the roof, they respected that I wanted to be there for it because I like to learn about this stuff. I think that learning about these things can help me be a better homeowner in the future. Plus, if I move and have to use a different contractor, they may not be as good and the knowledge I gain from the previous contractor can help me to see that.
Dolphin advised that there was indeed damage to the roof and that I should call the Insurance company and file a claim. Then Dolphin did something that I had never seen a company do before. They sat on the call with me while I talked to the Insurance company. Providing advice and insight as we filled out all of the insurance requirements. When we were done he laid out what was going to happen next with the Adjustor.
A few days later the Adjustor came by. Me being me, I was there for that as well. Again, Dolphin Surprised me. The owner of the company showed up to make sure that the adjuster was not only through but fair with his adjustment, this was something I had never seen from a company. Again, Dolphin explained everything and made me feel confident that not only was my roof going to get fixed, but it was going to be fixed right and that they would be there until the end and wouldn’t consider the job done until I was happy.
A few weeks later we were off and running with the roof replacement. The guys at Dolphin came out, and did an excellent job with the roof. I had lots of questions and they didn’t hesitate to answer them. It made me feel good that we had such qualified people working on our home.
Here are a few picture of the roof from my perspective.
Once the job was done they did an excellent job of making sure that there was no trash or nails left behind. With the exception of the new roof, you would never know they had been there.
I have to give it up to the guys that were up on the roof too. I went up there with one of the guys from Dolphin to look at the damage and just about didn’t get down. However, the guys at Dolphin are really nice. Instead of making fun of me fore being scared of heights, he showed me the safest and easiest way to get on and off the roof without hurting myself.
Here are a few pictures that the Dolphin guys took for me.
I really wanted to get some pictures of the work from up close and the Dolphin Guys knew I was scared of heights so they took some pictures for me and sent them to me later. I tell you these guys are not like any other company. They really take care of you.
This week the gutters are getting put in and their gutter guy called me and advised me that he had a color that matched my trim work better. I wasn’t sure so he left me a sample of the gutter along with a color pallet to look at so I could compare my current gutter color with the others he suggested. Most companies wouldn’t have taken the time to ask, they would have just thrown up the color you told them to and moved on.
I am so grateful that we found Dolphin Roofing. They have been professional, courteous, informative and an all around great company to work with. If you ever need anything on your house done call them first, they do more than just roofing.
I had to go to Chicago for some SAP Training, it ended up being a hectic weekend leading up to this. Ching came back from Minnesota on Friday afternoon, and we got to spend all day Saturday together before I had to leave Sunday Morning.
I got to set all of my travel, hotel and transportation up this time. I looked for Supper Shuttle planning on getting the group ride since the company was paying. To my surprise, they only offered an Execucar meet-and-greet.
In Chicago though, the guy that meets you is not the guy that drives you.
Here is my greeter.
He was a nice kid but no where near as good as the driver we had in Florida.
Posted on September 24, 2013 by Brian under Food and Drink, Travel.
On my first day in Chicago I asked the front desk clerk about the restaurants here. He advised me of the ones he liked and didn’t. I asked him about Uncle Julio’s across the street and he said it was just OK.
This morning I decided to get a second opinion and I asked the Shuttle Driver. She raved about it all the way to my training class. So I decided to check it out for dinner tonight.
I should have listened to the clerk from the first day. I was not impressed with their food. I got a two enchilada dish that came with rice and beans. The beans were super spicy, the rice was very dry and the salsa that was supposed to go with the chips kept its form after I took the lid off, I actually touched it to see if it was frozen and it wasn’t, nor did it move.
The enchilada was very tough and tasted like it had been microwaved too long.
I can definitely say I will not be trying this place again before I leave.
Posted on September 24, 2013 by Brian under Food and Drink, Travel.
Since I was in Chicago I figured I needed to try out an Italian place. There just so happened to be one right down the street from the Hotel. I walked in and was greeted by a wall of pastries.
I turned the corner and was greeted by breads that smelled delicious.
As well as ice creams and everything else you could imagine.
I decided that i wanted to try one of their Brick Oven pizzas, I could smell them cooking and they looked delicious.
The pizza was actually really good. I am not used to the ultra thin style pizza but it had really good flavor.
I just wish they wouldn’t have taken a slice before they gave it to me, just kidding.
I think I may try them again before I leave also. While I was there I watched what was coming out of the kitchen and it looked like their sandwiches were a hit. I think i will pick one of those up next time.