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Archive for December 2008

Piaggio USA

Posted on December 31, 2008 by under Toys, Wishlist.    

I was looking over a Popular Mechanics today and ran across an article about the Piaggio MP3 500.

Piaggio MP3 500

I love the way these bikes look, they are so sleek and tough looking. I have yet to see any of these on the road, but for 7K Maybe I can be the first in Wichita to get one. I don’t thing my wife will let me have one just yet. I need to finish the work on the house first before I can ask for a gift of this magnitude. Maybe in a couple of years you will see the wife and I on a warm summer night strolling around town on this.

Here’s to dreaming.

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Looking for Something to Do on New Year’s Eve?

Posted on December 30, 2008 by under Things to Do.    

Here are some ideas…

America’s Pub, 116 N. Mead.
Dancing to music by a DJ, balloon drop with prizes and a diamond ring giveaway. $10 cover charge at the door.

Best Western Airport Inn, 6815 W. Kellogg.
Hotel room, hors d’oeuvres, champagne toast, breakfast and dancing to music by Rain starting at 9:00 pm. $150 per couple, reservations required. $40 per person for party only.

Best Western North in Park City, 915 E. 53rd Street.
New Year’s Eve party hosted by Jan and Phil of 104.5 “The Fox” radio station. The overnight package — hotel room, dinner, music by Pretty Ugly and breakfast the morning after — costs $169 per couple. $50 per person for party only.

Blank Page Gallery, 917 W. Douglas.
Open mike gallery with a few surprise guests and Eric Bliss will close out the evening with a solo performance. All ages event. Feel free to bring your children, brothers, sisters and everyone else. If you play music, write or do standup, come on out there.

Club DebRicks, 4553 S. Broadway.
New Years Eve party will consist of karaoke from 7:00 to 11:00 pm, then dancing to music by DJ for the rest of the evening. Party favors and champagne all for the price of a good time.

Club Indigo, 126 N. Mosley.
Formal James Bond theme with red carpet. $10 per person or $15 per couple.

Club Rodeo, 10001 E. Kellogg.
Dancing to a DJ, hor d’oeurves buffet, champagne toast, bull-riding and balloon drop with prizes. $15 cover, doors opens at 7 pm.

Crown Uptown Dinner Theater, 3207 E. Douglas.
Dinner buffet starts at 6:30 pm, “Club Morroco” show begins at 8:00 pm, dancing with Denny Dusek and Touch of Class after the show. $48.95 per person, reservations encouraged.

Fuzion, 252 N. Mosley.
Vegas themed party with balloon drop, champagne toast, buffet and dancing to music by DJ. $25 to $50 per person.

Hyatt Regency, 400 W. Waterman.
$229 for a king room or $219 for two double beds, includes dinner for two, two bands, champagne toast, balloon drop, party favors, breakfast for two the next day and late checkout. $75 per person for dinner and party only or $35 per person for party only.

Jerry’s Bar & Grill, 630 N. Robin.
Chicken or prime rib dinner, champagne toast, dancing to music by Ten Day Wish. $25 per person or $45 per couple. $15 per person for party only after 9 pm. Reservations recommended.

Le’ Chapel Events Center, 7230 E. 29th Street.
Live jazz entertainment, dinner buffet, champagne, and dancing. Reservations recommended.

Loft 150, 150 N. Mosley.
Live Music, party favors and champagne toast. $10 per person or $15 per couple.

Main Street Grill in Valley Center, 218 W. Main.
The restaurant will stay open late on New Year’s Eve. No cover charge.

Marriott Hotel, 9100 Corporate Hills.
Dinner buffet for two, music of the ’80s from Dixieland, party favors, champagne toast and hotel room. $239 per couple, reservations required.

Micol & Kaycie’s Club, 2478 S. Meridian.
Hors d’oeuvres, champagne toast, and dancing. $20 per person.

Mosley Street Melodrama, 234 N. Mosley.
“One Voice,” Cindy Summers’ tribute to Patsy Cline, Karen Carpenter and Judy Garland, starts at 8:00 pm. Dinner buffet starts at 6:15 pm. $40 for show and dinner, $25 for show only. Reservations required.

Oeno Wine Bar, 330 N. Mead.
Seafood buffet and carnival theme (wear a mask or receive one at the door), champagne toast and live music. $60 and reservations required.

Olive Tree, 2949 N. Rock Road.
Champagne tasting with six-course meal starts at 7:30 pm and live music. $75 per person, reservations required.

Palomino Grill at Terradyne Country Club, 1400 Terradyne Drive.
Dance to the tunes of River City Jam, sushi bars, seafood spread, Mexican cantina, plenty of drink specials and more. $160 per couple ($120 for country club members).

Paul’s Place, 767 N. West Street.
Music by Little Smoke. $10 per person or $15 per couple.

Rowdy Beaver, 656 S. West Street.
Steak dinner, champagne toast and music by Agents of Retro. $50 per couple, reservations encouraged.

The Shadow, 550 N. Rock Road.
Ring in the new year with music by the legendary Fabulous Shirtheads, dinner, dessert and champagne. $60 per person, reservations preferred. $20 per person after 9 pm if coming for drinks and dancing only.

Shamrock Lounge, 1724 W. Douglas.
Midnight buffet, free pool, champagne toast. $5 cover charge.

Tess’s, 4000 S. Broadway.
Dancing to music by Dale Kenny and The Nite Classiks and champagne toast. $8 per person.

Thunderbird Bowl, 2440 S. Oliver.
Celebrate the new year with 3 hours of Xtreme bowling from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am, shoe rental, party hats and horns. Enjoy glow in the dark bowling with high-tech lighting, a live DJ playing today’s hottest music videos on five giant screens, and a midnight countdown. $15 per person, reservations required.

Wright Brothers, 6815 W. Kellogg.
Party and room package or party only. I think this is in conjunction with the Best Western.

Yia Yia’s Eurobistro, 8115 E. 21st Street.
Five course dinner with wine included, performance by The Source, and complimentary carriage rides around Bradley Fair. Cost is $175 per couple. Add a night at the Hilton Garden Inn for a total cost of $225 per couple.

Did I miss anything? If so, please be sure to add it in the comments.

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Pride is Gone…..

Posted on December 29, 2008 by under Life.    

Pride is, depending upon context, either a high sense of the worth of one’s self and one’s own, or a pleasure taken in the contemplation of these things. One definition of pride in the first sense comes from Augustine: “the love of one’s own excellence.”

The pride that people used to have in the things that they do is gone. Now before you all tear me up, I’m not talking about everyone on the planet. However, the amount of people who take pride in what they do is much smaller than the one’s who do not.

I say this because I have been watching the world. I have been observing the behaviors of people for many years. It’s one of my favorite things to do, study the behaviors of people. I have noticed over the years that there has been a steady decline in the pride that people have in what they do. It used to be that people would get up in the morning, put on their uniform for the day, be it a suit, a dress or a neatly pressed uniform of the Law or Military, and go to work. Now here is where the change really takes place. It used to be that even if you did not like what you did for a living you still took pride in your work, simply for the fact that it was your current occupation and you wanted to make sure that what you did was done to the best of your abilities. Now,  I see people working and they have no pride at all. I have watched people just stand around and do nothing because they are unhappy with what they do or because they simply have no care for anything at all. People today simply want everything handed to them and they do not want to have to work for it.

What sparked me to come out of my long silence? Let me tell you. Today I went to Arby’s to get some sweet tea for my wife. I walked in and went to the counter. There were at least 8 people behind the counter and one other customer who was standing at the counter waiting for his food. I heard someone yell “Person at the front.”  When I worked in the fast food world, this would have been unacceptable. We always had at least one person standing at the counter at all times. They would greet the person and make sure that the counter was watched over for security. After about 2 minutes (now remember, there are 8 people behind the counter) someone finally came up to the counter.  However, before he stopped to help me, he had to tell the girl who was (literally) walking in circles that the guy who was standing behind the counter was waiting for fries.  She then stood there and looked at the customer, then the guy coming to help me, then at the fry machine like she did not understand what it was she was supposed to do.  Finally, after what was almost a full minute more she got around to getting the order finished.

Now we come to me. The man asked me what I wanted. I told him that I wanted two half gallons of sweet tea (on a side note, he asked me if that was for here or to go after he got my order —  I guess the programming worked on this Arby’s model too well).  He took my order, then went to get the tea. He first looked in the fridge by the counter, none there, then the one by the drive thru, none there, then he went in the back, obviously none there because he came out with two empty 1/2 gallon containers and filled them from the brewing machine that they had. Now, when I was working in fast food, this would have been unacceptable and some one would have gotten into serious trouble (if not all of us). If you have 8 people standing around not doing anything then it should have been obvious that they did not have enough work to do. They should have had one or two people making the teas for the fridge, one person bussing and cleaning and one manning the counters, the rest should have been prepping or doing something. The pride is gone.

Now this is just one example of how pride is missing from our society. I have a million others ranging from retail work all the way up to law enforcement and let me tell you the law enforcement one is the most disturbing one of all. Do you know that the city of Wichita employs officers who are over weight?  I saw an officer the other day who was pushing at least 280 to 300 pounds.  I am not kidding!  This guy could not chase down a criminal even if the criminal was dragging a pack of Twinkies behind him.  I was seriously concerned for the state of our safety in this city, especially if we have more officers like this on the force. I was under the impression that law enforcement had a standard that you had to meet in order to be a police officer.  Either the standard is low or there is no one enforcing it.  Again, the pride is gone.

Like I said before, these are just small examples of how we as a society, as a species have lost the pride that we once had as a nation. I don’t know how to fix it either. I mean, I take pride in everything I do. I feel that if I don’t (whether I like it or not) that I will be looked down on in some way by society. But lately, I have been noticing the reverse. I have been noticing that by taking pride in what I do I am being looked down on by those that have no pride. I have become the outcast in some way because I am not following the new order. I was raised to believe that all a man has in life is the love he has for his family and the pride that he has in the things he does. I still follow these rules to this day. No matter what changes the world makes, I will continue to take pride in everything I do.

If the world does not change then we will be living in a state of chaos. I for one like a little chaos from time to time, but not if it means the sacrifice of one of the must fundamental things that makes us human.

The world is changing and its not changing for the better, I will continue to watch the world and see where it leads us. Hopefully society will wake up and realize that they have lost something that is very important and work to get it back. Until then, we will have to make do with the prideless society that has started to emerge and hope that we can survive the fall out that it will soon bring.

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I Don’t Like to Drive and Other Revelations

Posted on December 28, 2008 by under Family, Life, Movies.    

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I so despise driving that I actually got my sister to pick me up from the UES (hardly, but I thought I would throw the reference in there – I will explain later) of Wichita and bring me to my parents’ house in Derby. I had called her and she agreed to do it so quickly that I was surprised.

“That was easy,” I told Brian. I really thought it would take more convincing. I concluded that she must have been spending the night somewhere in Wichita so it would be convenient for her to get me and take me to Derby. When I asked her where she came from, though, she said she came from Derby. So she came from Derby to take me to Derby. That was super nice of her.

I’m really getting used to this not driving thing, too. Ever since Brian started working for Viega, we have been carpooling. Plus, we always go everywhere together so I never have to drive anymore except on the rare occasion that I have doctor’s appointment or training or something else going on. Those are pretty rare, though, so I rarely ever drive. It’s nice not having to drive anywhere so I try to get out of doing it as much as possible.

Like today, for instance. I somehow rationalized in my mind that Jenni ought to come get me and take me to mom and dad’s so that Brian and I wouldn’t have to take separate cars when we looked at furniture. I don’t know how I worked that out in my head. Jenni didn’t make me work for my request, though, so I didn’t have to tell her my crazy rationale.

Mom wanted to go bowling, but neither Jenni nor I felt up to it. Instead we loaded Definitely, Maybe on the DVD. I had already seen it, but mom and Jenni hadn’t. It’s a good movie so I didn’t mind kinda-sorta watching it again. I didn’t pay much attention, though, because I was working on Jenni’s WordPress plugins part of the time.

Brian showed up toward the end of the movie so he got to watch part of it. Of course, he had to pick on me about crying during a specific part; and, of course, he was right. I wish I didn’t cry at movies, but I can’t seem to help myself.

Anyway, after the movie was finished Brian and I had to take off to check out a few furniture stores. Most places close at five or six o’clock on Sundays so we had no time to waste. We checked out Furniture Factory Outlet on South Oliver and also Bedroom Expressions on Furniture Row. The Bedroom Expressions showroom is really nice. I found this bedroom furniture set there that I really liked. Oh, I loved it! I just can’t fathom spending $2K on bedroom furniture. Maybe back in our credit card days we would have gotten it. Nevermind that it would barely fit in our tiny spare bedroom.

Brian and I agreed that someday we will be able to buy real furniture like that one. That would be a quite a milestone for us. Nothing makes you feel like a grownup like buying real furniture. LOL. =P

Anyway, we were going to return to Ashley Furniture and revisit some of their displays because after we looked at our room again the bedroom set that we originally picked out didn’t seem to suit it. Alas, they are closed on Sundays. I always question stores that choose to be closed on Sundays because I think they’re missing out on a lot of business. I mean, I work during the week so the only time I really have to do any browsing or buying is on weekends. If you’re not open when I’m free, then I’m not likely to buy from you. I’m certainly not going to take time off work just to buy furniture. Stores should at least be open on Sundays even for just a few hours. Then again, maybe I’m not their demographic. Their customer base probably consists mostly of stay-at-home moms, a club that I don’t belong to, so it may not matter much to them that they aren’t there for the regular Joes (or Jills).

Enough whining. There are three things that I revealed about myself in this single blog entry: (1) I don’t like to drive, (2) I’m a movie cry baby, and (3) I prefer stores that are open on Sundays. What about you?

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I Love LuCinda’s!

Posted on December 28, 2008 by under Family, Toys.    

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I went to LuCinda’s the other day to pick up a couple of earrings to match the necklace that my mother-in-law Donna had gotten for me there. Thank you for the LuCinda’s gift certificate, Jenni!

I love my new jewelry! I love LuCinda’s! It is my absolute favorite store in Old Town.

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