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BLOGS FOR APRIL 2009

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Week ending April 26th, 2009
Finally! A relaxing weekend without any house hunting!!!

Actually right now I am enjoying the World Superbike (WSBK) and MotoGP races. The first Assen race was great for Ben Spies, the second, not so good (hope this isn't a spoiler for you!). It's nice to be able to lounge around the house and relax for once. Watching all this racing is making me miss racing at Willow Springs but my wallet is THANKING me for cutting that hobby out of my life. Besides, I still have the Bandit and my CR250 to toy around on so it's all good :)

Speaking of house hunting, I made two offers this week. One for a decent house and another for a 4 BDR townhome. Both are pretty decent places and the offers I made are fair (with a little wiggle room added in for any counter offers). The Townhomes are all in very good shape (I have offers out on 3 right now) but the houses will all need "some" work. If I get the one I really want I already have plans for how I am going to remodel it (one step at a time of course). I'm looking forward to buying my lawn care tools. You know me, any excuse to buy more toys, haha!

AND -- the first thing I am going to do when I move into my new house is buy a Rottweiler! I was watching Animal Planet and saw a special on dogs. I have always liked Rotts but wasn't sure what kind of a house pet they would make. Turns out they are actually very good house pets, you just need to train them right away and expose them to lots of different people (so they don't get testy around strangers). I'm looking forward to having a friendly "guard dog" - haha!

Somewhere, I can't remember where, but I saw a poster or something that said "Life is Beautiful" and I can't agree with that more. Lately I've just seen my attitude and my outlook on life changing in a very positive way. I think perhaps that my faith in God and His plans for me are really taking hold. I know He has brilliant plans for me and my life and I trust Him completely in every aspect of it. From my family to my friends to my relationships. Everything is going beautifully and I just can't find any room to complain. Besides, I've learned that if you focus on negative things you'll constantly be attracting negative things (and people!) to your life.

So it seems, at least to me, that the more I have been focusing on all the positive things in life the more I am surrounded by "positives" (people, things, etc). I guess it is true, you really do project outwardly how you think internally -- and I've been making a conscious effort to get rid of the negative aspects of my life and really focus on all the positives (and believe me, there are a lot of them!)

Everything else is going great, that's for sure. Work, Personal and what not. Like I said, absolutely nothing to complain about. And while the weather outside is decent, it's kind of cold and windy (even though it's sunny) so I don't think I'll try and knock some of the pasty-whiteness off me for now. I've worked so hard to get this body in great shape, the least I can do is tan it a little!! hehe

Catching a little flack for my post about "knocking the dust off your sandals" so to speak, but I believe firmly that those who are open to the word are the ones you should be focusing on, not those who reject it. And I, for one, am not the kind of person to set my integrity aside to impress others. If there is anything I've learned is that I don't need approval from anyone but myself. Just ask yourself "What do *I* want" and you'll find your attitude changing in a positive way!

That's it for now. Have a great rest of your week and talk to you later!

 

Week ending April 19th, 2009
Hope you are doing well. I am sitting here enjoying the sunny, spring weather and getting ready to bang out a few chores (the joys of the single life -- at least my chores don't contain a "Honey-do" list - haha!)

This week has been very quiet. I'm still house hunting like crazy. Recently I was comparing the market here to the market in Florida. The houses back home have dropped in value by up to 500% while here they have dropped 50%. That seems like a lot at first but when you think about it, a 600k home in 2005 is still going for 300k. Even then that doesn't seem so bad until you see the houses. Most of them are very old (50+ years) and need a lot of work.

For example, yesterday I went to look at a house near SDSU. The area was nice, the view was really nice but the house was built in 1950 and needed a lot of work. They wanted 300k for it as a minimum bid. The most I would have offered for that house was 250K because it needed at least 50k in repairs and upgrades. I told the agent "Offer 250k and see what they say." When she got back she said "Hey someone after us offered the full amount..." Haha. Go for it!

Right now I think I am competing with "investors" -- people looking to buy rental properties or investments for a portfolio. That makes it rather difficult for me to put in an offer they'd accept off the bat. And I am not willing to buy a property that is going to continue to decrease in value. There is a town home in Claremont I am looking at. Even then it's more than I really want to pay because, like all other town homes (I am finding) the HOA fees are ridiculous.

Now, I can buy a home in Chula Vista or Lakeside and get a LOT for my money, but then I'd have to live out in the desert, deal with the heat and dry air and of course there's the hour drive to and from work. Even the new house I looked at last month is only 8 miles from work but due to traffic, it takes 45 minutes to make the drive. Crazy eh? Given the prices in Florida it's really making me think about the possibilities of moving back home, making as much money as I make here and getting a castle with a lot of land. Something to consider, that's for sure. I could even pick up a rental property if I wanted and really start to build a decent amount of "paper value".

As for the rest of things, this was really a pretty good week. Quiet, of course, but I'm having fun. The trainer I am working with is really kicking my tail. My stamina has increased a lot though. I am basically doing double what I was doing a few weeks ago and not nearly getting as winded as before. On top of that, though I am lifting less weight, the reps are very slow and cause the muscles to do a lot more work. This in turn is really wearing them out -- and I can feel it. Even though I am taking supplements and my body fat ratio is slowly declining, I am still feeling the soreness for days. That should go away in time when my body gets used to the workouts. Then I will switch to a different format.

Church was awesome yesterday. I'm also starting to meet a lot of people. The Associate Pastor and I had a nice chat before the service. He said "I've seen you here a lot but I don't know your name!" So I introduced myself and told him "Hey I was in the bookstore and couldn't find any "Horizon's" license plates that didn't say "Horizon Prep" (our school). He said "If you want license plates, I'll have them made for you!" COOL! We're having Lee Stroble here again next month. He's probably the most well known Christian "Apologist" in the world. In fact, it was his book "A case for Christ" that had a big impact on my life. Yes, Pastor Warren's book had an impact, but Stroble's book is the one that mattered the most.

You simply can not deny Christ after all the exhaustive research he has done. His book initially sought out to disprove Christ. Lee was an atheist and he wanted to prove that Christ was bogus. Well after all his research he became a believer (and he isn't the first). I point a lot of people to that book but I also know that many people will hear the Gospel and yet still not believe. Christ even points to this when he gives His disciples instructions for ministry: "If you come to a village and the people will not hear your words, wipe the dust off your feet as you leave."

See, not everyone will be open to your words and Jesus realized this. To those people who aren't interested, let them go and move on. Spend your time wisely with people who are open to hearing God's word. There's no point in trying to change the mind of a non-believer who is adamant about rejecting God's love. You can even lead people to the cross, but you can't take them through to the other side. Only the Holy Spirit can convict them. Do what you can, but also learn to know when to move on with your life :) I have learned this myself first hand. I've even given out brand new bibles, but I can't make people read them. That's between them and God.

Well the MotoGP season has started and Nicky is not doing well. Didn't help much that he had a huge hide-side crash in practice on Saturday. He started 17th I think and ended up finishing 12th. Not bad. He also nearly caught "Pedro-bot" there at the end. He just needs more time to learn how to ride that (cough) Ducati. It seems only Stoner has learned to master the beast. All this racing, with MotoGP, WSBK and AMA racing going on has made me miss riding on the track. No worries, with the good weather I am charging up the Bandit's battery and will ride it to work a few times this week.

That's it for now. Kind of long and winded but had a lot on my mind. Hope you have a great week and keep smiling. Life is good.

Life is good, indeed....... :)

 

Week ending April 12th, 2009
HAPPY EASTER!!! (Updating this on Saturday since Sunday I will be very busy with worship!)

Hope you are having a great week. This has been an interesting week for me, for sure. All the stuff I had been writing about in regards to my health, well those things are getting better. On Tuesday I went to go see the Allergy Doctor. We talked for about a half hour about my allergies, the symptoms and resulting problems. He scheduled a follow up for Friday to have the dreaded "allergy" test. It wasn't so bad, haha. Basically what they do is they take all the typical pollens and things we're all allergic to (like dust mites, tree pollen, grass pollen, etc) then drew a grid on my back.

After that, he "pricked" me with each sample down the grid. Mostly grass pollens on the left, tree, dust mite stuff on the right. Well after 20 minutes most of the left side of my back was whelting up! He essentially said "You've got some bad allergies in regards to grass pollens!" (Ya think, Doc?!?! haha). Anyway, I essentially have two choices. The first choice is to basically take allergy medicine the rest of my life (not my idea of fun) OR I can get the allergy injections. Basically they take everything you are allergic to, make a cocktail out of it and inject you in incremental doses until you build up an immunity.

And how long does this all take? THREE YEARS! Yeah, that's what I said. So for the first 12 weeks I'd have to get 2 shots a week. Then after that it would be one shot a month for 33 months. He says by that time you will be essentially cured of your allergies.... maybe! He said he can't guarantee anything but this seems like the best avenue. It's immuno-therapy, I guess, with no drugs. Works the same way as getting a flu shot but takes much longer. I'll start getting the shots soon and we'll see where it goes from there.

The rest of my week was pretty good. Lots of things going on at work to keep me busy. As it turns out, the huge incentive project I have been working on now has upper management heavily involved. One side (Me, hehe, Engineering) wants the solution delivered one way, the other side (Operations) wants us to make significant changes to it. The problem is, the way I designed the solution, it saves us a ton of money and allows us to give the customer a great experience. The way Ops wants it, it's going to cost us a lot of money and doesn't provide the same level of overall service. Slowly but surely it looks like opinions are starting to change...we'll see.

Thursday after work we went out and had dinner. That was nice! It's fun to just chill out with friends and catch up on people's lives :) I FINALLY bought a new camera, lol! It's taken me forever to get off my butt and do it. In fact, me and a friend played some golf after work so I took a few shots. The camera is really nice and works great. The pictures can be found here. There's only like 5 of them but it gives you a good idea of the quality of the camera.

Saturday was spent doing what it seems like I have been doing forever, looking at houses. I saw one I really liked! It even had a hot tub and the price is in my range. The house overall is in good shape so I don't have to make a lot of improvements right off the bat. I just have to paint inside because some people still don't understand that bright purple and pale green colors in any house is just - well - nasty! LOL! I am making an offer on that house in addition to the offer I made on Friday for a Townhome. We'll see which one pans out first!

Tomorrow is EASTER and I'll be heading out to the service at Horizon. I am sure Pastor Bob has a great sermon prepared for us and we even have a live band there. I took a bunch of flyers in to work and passed them out so I hope some of the people from work show up and take this opportunity to get to know God. If there is anything worth doing it our lives, it's getting to know God, for sure.

Well that is about it for now. I know that I am forgetting to mention something important but maybe I'll update this later when I remember, haha. I hope you have a great Easter Sunday and we'll talk to you later.

Week ending April 5th, 2009
Another busy week of house hunting...

So how are things going with you? Me? Well you know that I am feverishly looking for a house at the moment. I think I've looked at well over 30 of them so far in person (and another 100 or so online) and I can safely say that even though right now is the time to buy, I think I am getting the bottom of the barrel.

By that I mean, the best places in this market have been snapped up. The most promising place I've seen so far they want more than 40k over what is sold for 6 months ago even though the market is still going DOWN. I offered them 320k and I was easily outbid. No problem, I am not going to over-pay for a place that I am not 100% completely happy with.

So after I finish writing this and getting my chores done I am going to look at a few more places in the area that I like. We'll see what happens. I am going with an open mind here hoping that the agent is listening to what I really want. If I find the right place, I'll pull the trigger.

Other than that, the typical week for me. I've been working with the training at least once a week and he's kicking my tail. My stamina and lung capacity have gone up a lot after only two weeks of the cardio training he has me doing. We're also working more with body weight than weights and yet I am still just as sore. The thing is, I am doing slower reps with less weights which is causing much more of a burn than with heavier weights as faster reps.

Church was awesome yesterday and I'm looking forward to the Easter services this Sunday. I also finished up my 4th full reading of the New Testament and I have started on the Old Testament again (also for the 4th time). My goal is to read the Bible completely through every year. At least that way I'll stay on top of the word. It's the only way to truly come to know God's word. It's been very good for me as well to keep reading it. It's hard to stay disciplined, especially with all the temptations that life has to offer. But I remember that I wasn't put here for my own enjoyment.

That's about it for this week. I think there are some WSBK races coming on later today but I'll have to tape it. I'll have plenty of time to watch them when I get home later tonight.

Well, off I go to look at more houses. Have a great rest of your week and wish me luck!!!!

 
 
 
 
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