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Archive for September 2007

Keeping Romance Alive

Posted on September 30, 2007 by under Life, Sponsored Post, Web.    

Brian and I often get mistaken for newlyweds. When we tell others that we’ve been together for over eight years – one year of dating (actually more like a few months), two years of living together and five years of marriage – they usually can’t believe it. They want to know what our secret is. There’s really not a big secret or method to it. Brian and I just make sure we set aside time do fun things and we always celebrate milestones. We don’t necessarily spend money on gifts for anniversaries, but we invest in memories. Our philosophy is that any new toy or trinket you have will only last a few years (if you’re lucky) before you grow tire of it or it breaks. Memories, on the other hand, last a lifetime.

These celebrations – for anniversaries, birthdays, holidays, etc. – need not be expensive. There are many resources on the internet that will give you ideas. Romance for Everyone is one such web site. They have many tips on how to cultivate love and romance, articles on relationships, and samples of love letters. The web site also has sample “I miss you” and “I’m sorry” letters, perfect for times when flowers aren’t enough to convey how you feel. Although it’s better if you write your own, the sample love letters are particularly helpful to those of us who are not so creative or don’t have a talent for letter-writing. At the very least the sample letters will help to inspire you.

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MKMVPA Rally Photos

Posted on September 29, 2007 by under Life.    

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More photos this way..

We had a blast at the annual MKMVPA vehicle rally. Overall attendance was great and everyone was pleased with the outcome. There were a lot of familiar faces and some new ones. Brian met this guy who owns a Pinzgauer, one of only a handful in the entire state. Brian wants one real bad. He will have to wait, though, as we have other plans for the time being. We have home rennovations to fund and we need to save for a house down payment.

Anyway, thank you for your continued support of this web site. We really appreciate all of the visits. Until next time.

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Planning for Retirement

Posted on September 29, 2007 by under Life, Sponsored Post.    

Brian and I met with a financial advisor, Jeff Smith at Intrust Bank, today to see if we can setup a Roth IRA for Brian. As you know I’ve gotten pretty obsessive about saving for retirement of late. I don’t know what happened but over the last few years I’ve transformed from a spender to a saver. Brian and I both agree that we want to make sacrifices now to enjoy our retirement later. We want to be like John and Wilma, one of the many wonderful couples we met during our Jamaican vacation this summer. They can afford to spend several weeks throughout the year traveling because they’ve planned for retirement well. My feeling is retirement won’t be that much fun if you don’t have the money to enjoy your favorite activities. Doing the same old things every day will get pretty boring after a while, unless it is playing poker :P. And I really hope that by planning carefully for our future Brian and I won’t end up having to work in order to support our retirement income. I see old people like that now and I feel really bad for them. I don’t want to share the same fate.

I feel pretty secure about our retirement plans. I have planned my retirement pretty carefully and I am confident that Brian and I will have enough money to live on after we retire even without the help of social security. However, we are staring a retirement savings plan for Brian because we want to have some slack. We don’t want to be just surviving when we retire. We want to enjoy. Besides that, since we don’t plan to have any children, we have to think about what we will do past the early stages of retirement. The fancy nursing homes are pretty expensive. We want to make sure we have enough saved up to afford to stay in one of the nicer ones; some of them are like resorts nowadays. Once we are too old to travel, we might as well live in a nursing home that is a lot like a resort environment.

As always, there is a plan B. If we end up not saving enough, we can always go back to the Philippines and retire there. If we retire there, then our dollars will buy us more and will last longer. Don’t ask me why I am fixated on this stuff now. I have at least 30 years ahead of me. I guess it could be that since I’m turning 30 next month, I feel like having some sort of retirement plan is paramount. And it is. It’s never too early to start saving for retirement.

Another thing tha people often take for granted is insurance. Paying for insurance is like a catch 22. On one hand you are paying for something that you might never use so that in the event that you need it you are covered. You don’t really benefit from it unless something bad happens and you have to file a claim, but at the same time you don’t really want a catastrophe either just so you can get your money’s worth. It’s something you buy but hope you never have to use.

Anyway, since it is something that you won’t really need unless an emergency comes up it’s very important to make good choices. Let’s take car insurance as an example. It isn’t always best to go with the cheapest. You should compare car insurance and see how satisfied their current customers are. If you have the cheapest rates, but when it comes time to file a claim they give you a lot of hassle and don’t want to pay out then it’s really not worth it. You want to go with someone you can trust. Choose a company that will deliver when the time comes.

The same goes for home insurance. This is something that one shouldn’t take lightly. One again, you hope never to have to use it but it doesn’t hurt to be covered. Planning for retirement and having insurance or some sort of contingency plan in case of disaster are two very important things when planning for your future.

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The End of an Unproductive Weekend

Posted on September 23, 2007 by under Movies, Poker.    

Brian and I just got home from watching Dragon Wars with his dad. What a horrible movie! I feel bad for asking to see it. I wish that I would have looked at reviews first. I could have saved two hours of my life that I will never get back. What’s up with all the stupid movies lately? We really should have gone to see Resident Evil instead. Brian didn’t want to fight the crowds, though. I didn’t think it would be crowded, but what do I know. Maybe we can go see it in a couple of weeks.

By the way, Brian and I had an interesting weekend. We went to celebrate Darcy’s fifth service anniversary, but ended up leaving early because I misread the time. I thought my watch said 6:30 PM but it was only 5:30 PM. Brian said it was okay because his head was starting to hurt from the smoke and loud music anyway. I wasn’t too pleased about the mistake, though, because we could have hung out a little bit longer and I really didn’t want to get to poker too early.

Brian said that I could use the time to read my book. Sounds like a good idea in theory, but it doesn’t always work. I really don’t like going to poker early because strange people end up talking to me and I don’t end up getting much read. Don’t get me wrong. We know a lot of wonderful people at poker with whom I enjoy chatting. However, I really didn’t feel like talking to anyone right at that moment. I just wanted to be left alone to read my book in peace.

Brian’s solution? He said he’d let me stay in the truck and read until it is closer to the start of the tournament. We turned off the truck and rolled the windows down. Just as I opened my book to start reading, Brian started blabbering on about stuff. “Baby,” I said, “You’re being like the annoying people I’m trying to avoid.” He stopped because he realized what he was doing. “You promised me I could read in peace,” I reminded him.

I got through two pages before I got disturbed again. This weirdo in the other car four parking spaces down (there were no cars in between his car and ours unfortunately) starts trying to make conversation. I smiled, nodded, turned my attention back to my book, and prayed that he would get the hint to leave me alone. It was a welcome relief when he finally gave up conversing with me and walked into the building. Even in the parking lot you can’t avoid them.

Having given up reading, Brian and I decided to just go in. It was a pretty crazy night at poker. Usually, I end up playing with mostly normal people. A little before break our table got broken up. Chris moved me to a table with a girl tweaked out on meth to my right and Lotto Man to my left. It was bad. “Chris must hate me,” I joked at Brian. Chris is the tournament director.

A few hands in, I ended up with pocket queens. I went all-in pre-flop. Lotto Man, living up to his name, called me with 10d 8d while declaring “Let’s dance.” Another guy called me with queen jack. I don’t think he would’ve called if it weren’t for Lotto Man’s call, but whatever. Maybe he didn’t believe I had a hand. Who knows? I had Lotto covered, but guy had me covered. Lotto hits a straight. Guy ends up tripping his jacks on the river. Go figure. The girl with the best hand gets knocked out. Stupid, stupid, stupid. It sucked to get knocked out before break, but it was a bit of a blessing to finally get away from that table. I could finally read my book in peace.

Of course, I still didn’t get much reading done because I ran into Big Rick who was already out also. Him, I didn’t mind talking to. I didn’t start reading until after he left to go play a sit-n-go. Not much progress, though, because Brian got knocked out of the tourney shortly after. Such is our poker rut.

Next week we will forgo poker in favor of the Final Fridays art crawl. It’s time to do something different.

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Do You See the Signs!

Posted on September 19, 2007 by under Life, News.    

They are everywhere, signs of a break in our society. Signs of a civil war or at the least a fall in the structure of or nation. I have been watching the news and I have noticed an alarming trend. First you have the Federal Reserve lowering the national interest rate to help fight off what some people are calling the beginning to a new recession. If the country goes into another recession then you have companies that will lay off employees to cut cost, you have large concentrations of unemployed people that are now starving, trying to hold on to what they have. Recession brings crime and hatred from those less fortunate. To make matters worse you have people that are expressing there right to free speech getting arrested for simply wearing “Anti-Bush” t-shirts, or look at the collage student that was tazered for asking questions at a Kerry forum. Then there is Mike McConnell, the top U.S. Intelligence Spy Official asking Congress to lift the restrictions on privacy invasion, stating that the current laws are restricting there abilities to do there jobs effectively. Some congress officials believe that lifting this ban would allow the Intelligence department to spy on whom ever they wanted when ever they wanted. Currently there are restrictions limiting the spying to foreign persons on American soil. One statement stated that they can only spy on Americans if they they are following leads that will eventually lead them to a foreign person suspected of terrorist activity. Lifting that ban would allow them more access to more Americans and leave us open to be spied on by our own country for whatever reasons that the Intelligence department saw fit. To top it all off you now have a person that is wanting to sue God. Thats right, sue God. He states that he is doing it as a statement to tell the Judicial system that they need to open there doors to allow all kinds of lawsuits to be presented and tried. The reality of the situation is that we can not allow frivolous lawsuits like this to go into the system to be tried. We are wasting time, money and manpower trying case after case of some stupid person that is trying to make the Judicial system work for them just to make a quick buck. (more…)

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