Monday, December 28, 2009
The query letter to a agent or a publisher is a tough process. The query letter should have the hook, the mini synopsis and the writer's biography . Easier said that done! I have faith that the book will be good enough to be picked up by a publisher. I need to channel my Hemmingway and my Kerouac. Wish me luck..
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
In addition to working long hours and the need to finish my Christmas shopping I also need to put on a happy face for Christmas parties and school functions for my kids. Keeping things crazy at work and home is a good thing. I am working and the kids are having fun during the holidays. I feel fortunate that we all have our health and jobs at home. Keeping a crazy lifestyle seems to be the norm.
Looking forward to sharing new thoughts and new ideas in 2010. Merry Christmas to everyone!!!
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
I have all of their births and other major life events stores on this old computer. So I had to retrieve these pictures at all costs. I even left the desktop out on the floor as a reminder of what I needed to do. The computer itself is able to "boot" up so I think that is a good thing. I was told that our old Dell desktop was so old that not even any flash drives were compatible.
I have a friend at work who is a computer tech. He was able to help me retrieve all of the baby pictures that were on my computer. All of the baby pictures of my daughters are so precious I am glad we were able to retrieve them. Hopefully I will have some baby pictures to show all of you guys real soon!
Special thanks to my buddy at work who was able to help me!
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
- Encouragement is a gift
- Encouragement creates energy
- Encouragement lasts a lifetime and can be life-changing
- Encouragement motivates positive behavior
- Encouragement is often the most effective form of motivation
- Encouragement more often comes from listening than talking
- Encouragement is more effective than criticism
- Encouragement can be as simple as a smile
- Encourage everyone you know and everyone you meet
I think we all can use a little encouragement. What do you think?
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Thanksgiving is around the corner. Time to stuff our faces with turkey, dressing, mash potatoes, veggies , and all the trimmings. The holiday season is upon us. I love Thanksgiving because it is all about giving "thanks" and spending time with all of the family. Usually after Halloween our family starts debating about which house Thanksgiving will be at. It is a fierce debate. My parents have hosted Thanksgiving every year since we were kids. It is time for my parents to sit back and just show up. We will take care of the rest.
Sometimes the Thanksgiving debate between my brothers and sisters is about who is going to bring what dish. I have brought different items throughout the years. (Actually my wife has made different items I just attach my name to it!) Since I have a lot of brothers and sisters there is always a lot of food. Tons of leftovers too. Thanksgiving also means plenty of football including the Dallas Cowboys.
I have a lot to be thankful for this Holiday season. My job is going well. I have been with the same company close to 8 years. My wife and kids have their health. My parents have their health. Al l of my brothers and sisters are doing well. We lost my mother in law recently but she is always with us in spirit 100 % of the time.
I have to make the rounds on Thanksgiving. It is a all day event. Here is my day:
- Wake up at 9:00 am
- Watch a bit of the Macy's Thanksgiving parade while getting dressed
- Help get the kids ready
- Don't forget the salad or mashed potatoes
- Go to my family's house
- Watch the Dallas Cowboys (fall asleep)
- Leave my family's house
- Arrive at my wife's family's house
- Eat again (I'm really stuffed)
- Drink beer
- Let my wife drive me home
- Draw names for Christmas gift exchange
- Debate on which house will host Christmas lunch/gift exchange
- Eat leftovers for the next few days.
As you can see I have a busy schedule on this day. I hope everyone has a good Thanksgiving.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
- Take five minutes
- A mother's hands
- A letter to my mother in law
- A father and a friend
- Our gift to each other
- Exhilarating moments
- Raising daughters
- Hero's among us
- Childhood the most beautiful season of all
These are just some of my favorites but I really like all of the posts I have done. Each post has taken some thought and fact finding. So I think that everyone should take a few minutes to start a blog and write down some thoughts. I know some of you have other hobbies like scrap booking or exercising. Your blog will stay on the Internet forever. With just a few clicks of the mouse my kids will be able to open up a treasure that they can hold onto forever. If each of my daughters want to start their own blog then that is something that they can leave for future generations as well. So start blogging!
More posts to come!
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Saturday, October 10, 2009
My dad recently told me that my Grandfather used to pump gas there. As a boy my dad said that he used to go visit my Grandfather while he was taking care of his customers. I know my Grandfather had a great work ethic. I know that work ethic has been handed down to my dad and to all of us. My dad is a retired director from CPS Energy and all of my brothers and sisters are professionals in different fields. Everything from law enforcement, banking, insurance and education.
I want to get my young family over there to see where their Great Grandfather used to work at one time. I know it would mean everything to them. I hope to see if restored to its original glory. There are so many historic buildings around San Antonio that I think we should try and save, I hope this is just a stepping stone.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
1. If I like it, it's mine.
2. If it's in my hand, It's mine.
3. If I can take it from you, it's mine.
4. If I had it a little while ago, It's mine.
5. If it's mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way.
6. If I am doing or building some thing, all the pieces are mine.
7. If it looks like mine, it is mine.
8. If I saw it first, it's mine.
9. If you are playing with something and you put it down, it automatically becomes mine.
10. If it's broken, it's yours.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
I am concerned because I want to know more about the vaccine . I want to know more about the side effects. I read in yesterday's newspaper that there will be normal side effects as a result of this vaccine. I don't know how the media and for that matter the CDC (Centers for Diesease Control) can down play the side effects of the H1N1 vaccine. We are not talking about a vaccine for the measles or the mumps. We are talking about Swine Flu. In this Good Morning America interview it lists the side effects of the Swine Flu vaccine.
If my kids are going to get the H1N1 vaccine, I want to know as much as I can about it. I have four daughters that will need to get the H1N1 vaccine in the next few weeks. I need to be prepared, I need to look for the signs in the GMA piece mentioned above . I want to know how soon I can expect any side effects of this vaccine.
Am I going to let my kids get the H1N1 vaccine? I still don't know. There are too many questions that us parents need to be concerned about. I don't like the fact that the side effects are being downplayed. My kids have all had the regular flu vaccine but we are talking about more of a serious threat than the regular flu. At this point I am still uncertain. Am I being paranoid? Probably. All of us parents need to be paranoid about something like this. After all, these are our babies.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Don't get me wrong I do love the holiday season. I like the hustle and bustle. I like the holiday cartoons .
I love watching these holiday movies with the kids. I need to start thinking about Christmas lists.
I am already asking myself what kind of budget am I going to have? How much do I allow for my wife? How much do I allow for my kids? What about my parents, nieces and nephews? What we do in my extended family (brothers and sisters) is draw names. Its is a lot easier on the wallet. I only have to buy for one family member.
We also have my wife's extended family. They also draw names for Christmas presents. I think you have to in today's economic environment. Did I mention the Holiday parties? I need to get past Halloween first.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Just witnessed a rollover accident on Ih 10 east. I was about 40 to 50 yards in back of the SUV when all of a sudden I see it lose control. The SUV violently swerved and then rolled two or three times. It rolled into traffic comming to a complete stop. It looked like a woman behind the wheel . I saw her walk away from the accident. The first thing I thought about was my little girl in the backseat of my car. I was able to stop my car in time without getting hit from behind.
I stopped long enough to make sure the woman was ok. Plenty of people stopped to make sure she was ok. My other thought was getting out of the car on a busy highway. No thanks. I stayed in the car. But seeing a rollover accident in person is very scary. The accident happened so slowly. It was very surreal. I am glad the woman had some guardian angels with her.
You know things could have turned out worse. It did not so I am thankful. I always tell myself that life is so short. We need to live like today is going to be our last. Whether we realize it or not, we are only here on earth for a short time. We need to make the most of our time here.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Some of the "roadkill" I have seen while driving to work:
Also seen: Ringtail Cat-Roadkill
I have also seen a cow outside the fence. Walking alongside the road. Not roadkill. Could be.
Skunks of course -Roadkill
I have also seen coyote and armadillo roadkill while driving to work. I am learning about Texas wildlife while driving to work every morning. I'm wondering what I am going to see tomorrow?
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
- Dirty Dancing
- Red Dawn
- Point Break
I will always remember you as Dalton in Roadhouse.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
My optometrist says I need bifocals ever since I told him that I have been having trouble reading paperwork up close. When I hold anything close to my face to read it is all blurry. The chart I use on my desk everyday is somewhat blurry. I have to hold it at as far away from my face as possible.
Some people my age are fighting with the condition known as "Presbyopia."According to the Mayo clinic's website, Presbyopia is the gradual loss of your eyes' ability to focus actively on nearby objects — is a not-so-subtle reminder that you've reached middle age. A natural, often annoying part of aging, Presbyopia usually becomes noticeable in your early to mid-40s and continues to worsen until around age 60. (Yikes!)
You may become aware of Presbyopia when you start holding books and newspapers at arm's length to be able to read them. If you're nearsighted, you might temporarily manage Presbyopia by reading without your glasses. I really struggle at work reading stuff up close. My optometrist wrote a prescription for bifocals but I decided not to get them. It was a combination of being in denial and the clerk at the local Eyemasters really talking me out of them. I was being talked out of bifocals that I really needed? I hope she was not a supervisor! I just opted for my regular prescription without the bifocals.
According to the clerk at Eyemasters the bifocals can really take a period of adjustment. The clerk went on to say that I needed to pick out a frame that would be suitable for the bifocal lens. I was not going to get a frame that made me look like I stepped out of the 1970's TV show. The larger frame was needed to fit the bifocal lens. There is the lens that is divided in half with the bifocal part on the bottom of the lens and there is the "progressive no line bifocal. Right then and there I told the clerk just to give me my regular prescription. My optometrist also gave me a prescription for contact lenses. I wear my contacts almost every day. I know there is such a thing as bifocal contacts but I hear they are expensive. I think my days of wearing contact lenses may be coming to a end . But I need to take care of business today. I have had enough of not being able to read up close.
I went to Target and bought me a pair of Foster Grant reading glasses. I was not sure what "power" of reading glasses to buy. So I just tried different pairs of reading glasses and practiced reading. I was in the contact lens aisle so I practiced reading some of the labels on the contact lens solution boxes that were on the shelf next to the reading glasses. After trying them out everything seems better. I also read the newspaper and even a few books to my daughters.
I don't like getting old. I know I can't fight the inevitable. My next optometrist visit in January I have decided to go through with bifocals. Wish me luck.
P.S If you see me sprawled all over the floor next to some steps you know why. I am probably getting adjusted to my bifocals. Just peel me off the floor and point me to the fountain of youth.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
I was reading one of my dad's chapters in his memoirs last night. The chapter was called "Exhilarating Moments." Like my dad I have had the same similar moments . My dad mentions his exhilarating moments. I will post exactly as he has written them:
- Seeing my first son born.
- Seeing my other children born.
- Buying our first house
- Coaching my kids.
- Taking trips together.
- Watching our children grow.
- Watching our children do well in school and in college.
- When I met my wife has to be the greatest thing that has happened in my life.
I have also had similar exhilarating moments in my life. Mine are listed below:
- Marrying my wife Veronica.
- Seeing Monica born .
- Seeing Mia born.
- Seeing Sofie born.
- Buying our first house
- Watching my young daughters do well in school. Two in elementary school now.
- Have not done much traveling with the family but I am hopeful.
More exhilarating moments to come.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
- Con Air
- Dusk till dawn
- Bubble Boy
- Spy kids movies
- The Devils rejects
- Reindeer Games
At this family get together he was very nice . He was sitting at the table and answered all the family's questions about Hollywood. I was able to get a few questions in about Con Air and what it was like to work with John Cusak. He also loved meeting my kids and even posed for a picture with me and all of my daughters. And yes he has those tattoos.
Danny Trejo is related to my wife's family. I have met him a couple of times now. I read where he is currently filming the Robert Rodriguez movie Machete in Austin with Robert De Niro , Lindsey Lohan and reports are that Jonah Hill will be cast.
Slice them up good Danny!
Monday, August 17, 2009
- Fast Times at Ridgemont High- This was actually a book based on Cameron Crowe's life experience going undercover as a high school senior and writing about it in this book. This movie launched the careers of Sean Penn,Phoebee Cates, Forrest Whitaker, Eric Stoltz and Judge Reinhold.
- Say Anything- This is a classic movie starring John Cusak and Ione Skye. This is a love story about a kick boxer, Lloyd Dobbler (Cusak) and his love for Diane Court (Ione Skye) the over achiever. The subplot revolves around Diane Court's father and his embezzlement of a retirement home.
- Jerry Maguire- This is a movie about a high powered sports agent (Tom Cruise) who is fired after having a moment of clarity in which he writes and distributes a Mission Statement calling for more service to the athletes and less money for themselves. He strikes out to form his own agency. Also starring Cuba Gooding.
- Almost Famous- This a autobiographical about the experiences of a teenage music journalist who goes on the road with an emerging band in the early 1970s.
- Vanilla Sky-a remake of the Spanish thriller Abre los ojos. Starring Tom Cruise and Penelope Cruz.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
- Perception: See teammates as collaborators, not competitors- If you look at any team you can see the potential for competition. To collaborative team members, completing one another is more important that competing with one another. Everybody is perceived as a unit working together.
- Attitude: Be supportive, not suspicious of teammates- People are preoccupied with looking out for their own interests that they are naturally suspicious of just about everyone including their own teammates. Adapt the mind-set where you complete rather than compete.
- Focus: Concentrate on the team, not yourself-Where you focus your attention says a lot about whether you compete with others or complete them. "True progress in any field is a relay race and not a single event."
- Results: Create victories through multiplication-When you work together with your teammates you can do remarkable things.If you work alone you leave a lot of victories on the table. Collaboration has a multiplying effect on everything you do because it releases and harness your skills but also those skills of everyone on the team.
So the question remains, Are you a collaborative team player? If so, you carry these traits.
- You think win-win-win- When you collaborate with others you win, they win and the team wins.
- Complement others-Get with someone who has strengths in your area of weakness and vice versa.
- Take yourself out of the picture-Get into the habit of what is best for the team.
I think Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's quote " All your strength is in union, all of your danger is in discord," says that we all need to work together for the common good of the company otherwise everything will fall apart.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
My wife loves to read books. She has read several books since we have been married. She has read all the Harry Potter, Twilight, and True Blood books. She has read countless vampire ,wizard and romance book available. She is setting a good example for all of my daughters. I'm not talking about the subject matter because I really don't care about the vampires or wizards. She is setting a example by her love of reading.
I think it is great that we read as a family. I like to read different books too. I read more business and motivational books. Me and my wife try to read a book to our kids every night before bedtime. We take them to the library once a week to check out books. My kids love hanging out at the library.
I know with the summer months reading is the last thing that the kids are interested in. Kids are more interested in swimming and other things. I know families are getting away from reading. Parents need to make their kids read and turn off the television. Kids can get stuck watching television all day if you let them.
According to Jim Trelease author of the New York Times best seller , The read aloud handbook, he lists 10 facts that parents should know about reading:
- Reading is the most important subject in school.
- Across the world, children that read the most read the best.
- Humans are pleasure seekers. We do things over and over again if we like it. So if you want your kids to read more often, make sure they love it more than they hate it. Keep reading .
- Read aloud to them even as infants.
- Listening comprehension comes before reading comprehension.
- Children usually read on one level and listen on a higher level.
- Research shows that children who come from homes with the most print-books, magazines and newspapers have the highest reading scores.
- There is a strong connection between over viewing of television by children and under- achieving of school.
- Have kids watch closed captioning television.
- Have kids listen to audio books.
I think I have the writing part covered for my kids. I am working with my younger kids on basic writing skills . A journal is the best place to start for young kids. I have encouraged my older ones to start a blog, They don't have to go public with it. They can keep it a private blog. Math I don't mess with I leave that to my wife!
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
I am now realizing the importance of coffee in my life. I would have to say that within the last 5 years my love of coffee has really taken off. I usually have my wife set the timer on the coffee pot about 7am every morning. Usually the aroma of the coffee makes its way up the the staircase to the master bedroom where it reaches my nose. Ah, the smell of fresh roasted coffee!
I have a cool coffee travel mug that I take with me every morning. It is the right size. Not too big not to little. I don't drink it black. I'm not that brave. I usually have some type of coffee creamer in it. My wife also has a travel coffee mug. We have all kinds of travel coffee mugs. I also have coffee at work. I know some companies are cutting back with expenses and sometimes coffee does not survive the budget cut.
It's funny that that once we reach a certain age a bell goes off in our head. Once that bell goes off ,all of a sudden we like coffee! Coffee is universal. Coffee can be found all over the planet. Coffee goes well with meetings. Coffee goes well in the classroom. Coffee goes well with breakfast , lunch and desert. Coffee goes well in the car. I was wondering are there any health benefits to coffee? I wonder sometimes if we know for sure. We hear that sometimes there are health benefits. We hear that sometimes there are risks involved with coffee. It is like nobody can decide. So I decided I to find out some answers.
There are several websites that state the following:
- Coffee may prevent and treat Alzheimer's
- Coffee may help with diabetes
- Coffee may help with skin cancer
- Coffee helps people with Hepatitis C
I will try and remember these things when I am drinking my next cup of coffee. Whatever the case may be, not only does coffee smell wonderful, there are also health benefits. I hope I never run across a article or website that states coffee is now bad for you. I cannot do without my coffee.
Shameless plug: I love McDonald's coffee.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
I have a large family. I come from a family of six boys(including me) and three girls. We all have busy lives. We all work, we all have kids that are active. There are a lot of ways to communicate these days. You can pick up the landline. You can use your cell phone. You can text. You can send an email. You can instant message.You can also Facebook.
I have a basic Palm phone. It came with the Facebook application in it already. All of my brothers and sisters have some type of phone that gets Facebook. I find it easy to talk to them anytime of the day. They can send me a message through Facebook, they can chat with me. I can also write on their wall and they can comment later.
I also find it useful when it comes to business clients or contacting my field rep. It is good because business clients can get a glimpse into my family life. It can be as basic or personal as someone wants it to be. I know that my Facebook is personal. At my age I don't have anything to hide. It has some pictures of my family. It also has pictures of my large extended family.
Facebook has some fun applications too. You can send one of your Facebook friends a drink, you can join Mafia wars with them, you can take tons of quizzes. I took a Star Trek quiz which was quite entertaining.
How old does one person have to be to have a Facebook account? I don't know. I know my sixth grader has asked me for one. I think she is a bit too young for Facebook. I would not be surprised if my mom and dad ask me to start a Facebook account for them.
I will see you guys. I am going to Facebook now.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Friday, July 31, 2009
I miss my lunchbox!
My dad gave me a book a couple of years ago for Christmas. When I unwrapped it I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it was his memoirs. In one of his chapters he discusses how his mother used to take him as a boy to the cotton fields of South Texas. There my dad and his mother picked rows and rows of cotton. They would get picked up each morning and ride in the back of a pick up truck and then get dropped off at their destination.
Picking cotton was back-breaking work according to my dad. He would have to carry around a bag of cotton that almost weighed as much as him. It really got me thinking how spoiled some of us are. I feel guilty working in an air conditioned office. I have been working in and out of different offices for the past 15 years. I often work bell to bell. That is nothing compared to doing hard labor in the hot South Texas cotton fields. I know a lot of Americans work outdoors as laborers. It also got me thinking about how some kids don't know the value of hard work. How some kids expect everything to be handed to them.
Do the kids of today know the value of hard work? I'm not sure. I know if my kids want something they have to earn it. My kids can earn money by bringing home good grades and by also helping around the house. We have been very fortunate, my kids have been bringing home good grades every grading period. They earn a allowance from getting good grades. It is enough to get the things that they need.
There are several things that we can do to teach our kids a good work ethic. According to the website Xomba there are 7 tips for teaching a good work ethic:
- Homework- Since homework is a daily task, strive to have your child complete all of it, including the studying (which for some unknown reason, kids nowadays do not consider as "homework"). Explain that finishing the work completely in a reasonable amount of time leaves them free to pursue other interests.
- Give them reasonable chores- As soon as your child is able, let them participate. Most kids love to clean. More than anything, they love to please their parents. Let your children feel this sense of accomplishment and participation on a regular basis.
- Take your child to your own work.-Parents have to work. Try taking your child to your own work. Explain that you have to report there during certain hours and exactly what you do each day. Not only does this let your child know were you spend your days, it also brings a better appreciation for the hard work of parents. This is a great time to explain that work is a part of every day, just like eating, sleeping and playing.
- Praise successes.-Nothing keeps a child coming back for more than praise from Mom and Dad. Thank-you for a job well-done and big hugs for hard work are the key to encouraging your child to continue trying to please you. Praise builds up their self-esteem and encourages them to continue striving to do their best.
- Fair share-Make sure you provide a reasonable amount of tasks in relation to other family members, especially other children. The lesson from regular tasks is not to build resentment. It's to encourage your child to complete a task from start to finish.
- Routine-You might feel varying the weekly or monthly routine of tasks for your child is great. But check with your child first. Some kids just don't care for change very much. Kids like familiarity and it helps them to know exactly what parents expect from them.
- Have your child choose his work- Including a child in planning and doling out the family chores helps build their sense of responsibility. The get to have an active role in the home. This empowers them to look more positively at their own tasks and strive to complete them well.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
I was talking to my wife about this tonight. We are one of those American families who are caught in the middle. We are breaking even. We don't qualify for any financial assistance because we make too much. Gone are the days of the disposable income. So we are caught in the middle inside today's America. Too rich to be poor. Yet too poor to be rich. Sounds like a country western song.
About a year ago things were very comfortable. Living the life of luxury I'm sure like many of you did before all the bailouts started to occur. Right now I worry if my kids are getting enough to eat. I worry if I have enough food in the refrigerator. I worry if I have enough food in the pantry. I work hard. I am a good employee. My wife works hard. We do without a lot of things. I do without a lot of things.
My kids have had to do without a lot of things that other kids might have. They have always had hand me down clothes since I have a lot of nieces. There is nothing wrong with that. This summer we found a cheap volleyball camp for my daughter that was a month long. She was happy about that. What hurts is that you see some of these backyards that have not only a large trampoline but they also have a nice looking wooden swing set. I wonder how some of these people afford this stuff. My little ones ask me when they can have one of those. I don't have an answer for them. My little ones ask me when we can go on vacation. I don't have an answer for them.
Daddy does not know when he will be able to afford a lot of things. I just hope and pray that we have no major mechanical problems with one of the cars or a major a medical expense. People caught in the middle are just breaking even. People talk about how different generations are supposed to be doing better than the generation before them. I don't believe this is the case with a lot of families. These are different times.
A job is suppose to give us a safety net. A job is suppose to give us comfort. A job is supposed to give us hope. I wonder how a lot of families like us caught in the middle are supposed to send their kids to college. I have no idea.
What is sad is that my older daughter realizes that we cannot do a lot of things that her cousins do. Like the trooper that she is she helps us by explaining to my little ones that they have to sit tight. She tells them to hold on. She is right. I expect things to rebound. We cannot put them in YMCA or in different camps. That is not possible. We are rich when it comes to giving them plenty of love. We are a close family. We are fortunate that everyone is in the A-B honor roll. We agree that an education is important. Maybe they can get a scholarship and keep pursing their education like their parents.
We are blessed in so many ways. The girls love their parents. They are smart. They listen. The little ones don't necessarily know the difference about being rich or poor. My heart breaks for my older daughters who know this has to do with the economy. I think my faith and my prayers keep me going. For some reason someone up above has always watched over my family. One day I will give my kids that trip to Disneyland that they so deserve. I will give them that trampoline and swing set that they deserve. I will give my wife that trip to Vegas or to Mexico that she so deserves. I am determined.
Are you caught in the middle?
Saturday, July 25, 2009