Monthly Archives: January 2014

35

I really hate my birthday, which is weird because I really like other peoples’ birthdays. I’ve always had bad luck on my birthday. I remember when I was in middle school, I had been bullying someone (not something I’m proud of) and his father picked January 29th to pay a visit to my parents. Another birthday, I was going to Burger King (my favorite) to nurse off a hangover from celebrating the day before (another night I’m not proud of) and I cracked my car mirror against the garage. There have also been instances of bad birthdays that weren’t brought on by my own doing. Last year, I really wanted a low-key birthday. My plan was to come home (my finance’ was away in another state) and have a glass or two of bourbon and play video games…. unfortunately, the bulb in the tv went out the day before which ruined my plan.

So that brings us to today. I turn 35. I think once you turn 25 and get your final discount on car insurance, there really aren’t any great birthdays. The multiple of 5’s seem to be the hardest (although turning 30 in Vegas was something I’ll never forget). 35 is no exception. I don’t like the fact that I’m getting older. I think it brings the realization that the people I love are getting older too and won’t be here forever. I think it’s human nature to be scared of the unknown and the future.

A friend of mine recently posted the following on Facebook….

“Recently I had a conversation with an old friend who encouraged me to start my day by saying out loud 10 things that I’m grateful for in life. It truly helps! Here’s mine today in no particular order…”

He then posted 10 things he was thankful for. It was a personal and heartfelt post and I was glad he posted it because I got to know him that much more. I think as I turn 35, I’d like to do the same thing. To focus on the positive rather than how down I usually get. With that said…. here are 10 things I’m thankful for.

1. I’m thankful for Tobey. Tobey has been my companion and my best friend. He has been the one constant in my life and has seen me at my worst and has seen me at my best and has never judged. He’s sitting by my side right now.

2. I’m thankful for Lillian. Without Lillian, I never would have met my beautiful wife. For those unfamiliar with the story, I met my wife at the dog park. I was there on a date with another girl, but it wasn’t a love connection so the date left early. Tobey had a lot of steam to blow off so we stayed and ran into a beautiful weimaraner puppy and her owner. The next thing I knew, we set up a playdate and the rest was history. It’s amazing how life works. Lillian is the sweetest dog I’ve ever met and I love her unconditionally.

3. I’m thankful for my grandfather. His remains the only funeral I’ve ever attended. I don’t know why that’s relevant. He was my hero and I’m currently wearing his wedding band. He was the nicest man I’ve ever met. I hope to live up to be him some day.

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4. I’m thankful for my wife. Sarah puts up with my weird quirks and has so many of the same interests and traits that it’s scary. Her beauty, work ethic, and brilliance amazes me every day.

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5. I’m thankful for my family and in-laws. I wish I saw them more. Especially my Special K (although officially I’m not allowed to have a favorite).

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6. I’m thankful for my friends who continually to support me as flawed as I am. Jonny-boy, Matty G, Blinger, Smalls, Gines, Thunter, Chappy, Ackles, Harold and too many others to list them all. I’m continually amazed by the greatness of others.

7. To steal directly from my friend…. “I’m grateful for my job that allows me learn and grow and removes financial worries.” I’m incredibly lucky to work at a great company (everyone buy Nationwide products) that I believe in with others who share the same passion. In my time at Nationwide Financial, I feel I’ve made a difference in the lives of our customers. Whether it’s helping prepare for retirement or offering great products for businesses to offer to their employees for retirement, I’m thankful I’ve hopefully made a difference. I can’t wait for the next 12-18 months.

8. I’m thankful for Barb and Emily. Barb has changed my life and Emily is my longest continuous female relationship (I think Smalls is my longest ongoing friendship). They are both professional relationships so I don’t want to get into a lot of detail, but I can’t thank them enough.

9. I’m thankful for running. Although I quit cold-turkey the day before Halloween, I can’t wait to get back at it. It’s so amazing to be out on the trails with Tobey. I’ve pushed myself further than I thought possible and seen some amazing sights. I remember the sunsets and being face to face with a deer. I love how happy it makes Tobey and how it eases my mind. I love raising money for homeless animals. Spring cannot come soon enough.

10. As cliche as this sounds, I’m thankful for how hard life is. I don’t know where I heard it, but nothing easy is worth doing. One of my favorite stories is the biblical story of the lost brother (Luke 15:11). No matter how lost we get, there is always someone at the end who loves us and will welcome us home. One of the best sermons I’ve ever heard was by Glenn Zorb title ‘Life is hard, but God is good.’ No matter how hard things get, it’s peaceful to know that we are still loved.

So there it is…. Today I turn 35. I have more gray hair than I had at 34, but I also have so much more to be thankful for and I think this blog post helped me realize that.

If you have any comments on birthdays or turning 35 or any grammar corrections or other notes, please feel free to drop a note below!

Fun with Avatars

I recently moved to a new team at work. As part of the new team, each person has been tasked with creating a unique avatar for themselves so we can track work visually and for team camaraderie. I’m not sure why, but I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time on this.

At first, I settled on my picture from the OSU game when I dressed as Harry Dunne in the blue tuxedo from Dumb and Dumber. However, when I saw it printed, it didn’t have the pizzazz I wanted. After much more deliberation, I decided on a sweet picture of Sterling Archer. As great as the picture was (below), it still seemed lacking because it wasn’t personal.

Archer with Mustache

Last week, I finally had the epiphany I’ve been waiting for. A picture from ‘The Lion King’ holding the baby lion up, but instead of the baby lion, it would be my face (personal note…. I’ve never seen the actual movie so I don’t know the names of the characters. I think the lion is Simba and the monkey holding him up is Baboo, Mustafa or Yogi). After talking to some creative folks on the team who know photoshop, the wheels were in motion. Below are the two pictures that were submitted. The first is so bad that it’s good, and the second looks professionally done. At the end of the day, I think I have one of the best avatars on the team and couldn’t be happier! Now, the only choice is what picture do I use?

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Picture 1

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Picture 2

If you have a preference or have other great ideas, as always, drop a note in the box below.

Site Stats, the Blog, and Whatnot (Mostly Whatnot)

I’ve often struggled with what I want this blog to be. In an ideal world, I would have a ton of time to write about baseball and life, and my writing would evolve and grow over time. In reality, I write a post or two per week and the blog has become a place to write in greater detail or post more pictures than I would on a regular Facebook or Google Plus post. Most posts are of a personal nature or opinions on the Ohio State Buckeyes or Minnesota Twins, with the occasional hard hitting expose on getting rid of cable television or why Joe Mauer is awesome.

Here are some stats on the blog. Over time, the site traffic has been fairly consistent, averaging between 100-250 visitors per week with a total just north of 13,000 for the grand total. My best guess is around half to all of those hits are robots.

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The top post has been my experience some bank fraud. Apparently, I wasn’t the only person impacted. Second was my horrible experience with T-Mobile, then a follow-up on the bank fraud. The picture below confirms that the vast majority of users come from the USA, then followed by the UK, then Canada (America’s hat). I’m still looking for my first visitor from Greenland.

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So what is this blog and what’s the future? I think it’s going to continue to be posts on things that are going on in my life, as well as opinion pieces on topics such as running, life with weimaraners, the Great Jerry Lincoln (hopefully coming soon), and cool finds around Columbus.

I hope you enjoy the blog and if you’d like to subscribe to updates, I invite you to use the RSS Subscribe button on the right of the page or to check back periodically for the latest updates.

Lili Turns 5!

Today is Lilian’s 5th birthday. For those who don’t know, Lili is my blue weimaraner and is quite possibly the sweetest dog ever. Unlike my gray weimaraner Tobey, Lil never got the memo on how weims are supposed to be hyper and high strung. I thought I would mark the occasion by posting some of my favorite pictures of Lili to share.

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Lili at the Hocking Hills.

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Lil enjoying a bully stick at Christmas time

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Lili and I at one of the CHA Dog Jogs (I rolled my ankle so I wasn’t able to run this year)

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Lili telling everyone to deal with it.

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Lil posing in the snow

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Lil posing in a scarf (she’s quite the model)

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Lil sitting like a champ

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Lil having trouble remembering that she’s not a puppy anymore

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The last picture is Lillian with her big brother.

If you have a thought on any of the pictures or want to drop a note, feel free to use the box below.

The Mysterious Disappearance of Noah’s Bark and Noah’s Too

With winter in full effect, the weimaraners are restless. For those that are unfamiliar with the breed, they are incredibly high energy and need exersize and stimulation or they’ll invent their own…. usually at the expense of my house. Since the sidewalks are too snowy to run, I’ve been taking the pups to doggy day care three days a week to allow them to blow off some steam. Our daycare of choice has been Noah’s Bark near the Ohio State campus in Columbus, OH. My blue weimaraner, Lillian, has been going there  since she was a puppy. In fact, two of my all-time favorite pictures of Lil were taken there.

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When I need overnight boarding, I’ve been using Noah’s Too in New Albany. I ran a quicken report and over the past 4 years, we’ve spent in excess of $4500 dollars between the Noahs locations.
You can imagine my surprise on Wednesday of this week (Jan. 8) when Noah’s announced on Facebook and Twitter that they were shutting down forever effective immediately.
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My wife took the news hard because she had trusted them with Lillian since the very beginning and felt betrayed that they would close down without warning and had become friends with some of the employees. I felt more cheated and taken advantage of because we had just bought a 20 day daycare package for $333 and had a lot of unused days left.

With two days since the announcement, both Facebook pages have been taken down. Both websites are no longer working. I’ve disputed the last charge with Discover (currently pending) but I’m still left with more questions than answers. Why did they close? What should people do about the unused days (note: I disputed the charge with the credit card company)? Why wasn’t there notice given? Were our dogs ever in danger? Were their any warning signs that I missed that Noah’s wouldn’t be reputable? What happened to the dedicated employees? Unfortunately for everyone involved, I think the loyal customers are going to be left with more questions than answers. The end result is that the owners Noah’s proved to be shut down without warning at the expense of their longtime customers and that sucks for everyone involved.

If you know of any good doggy day care locations in Columbus or want to drop a note about Noah’s closing, please use the box below.

Update 1/11/14 – 10TV in Columbus posted an article about the closing but doesn’t answer any questions. It mentions owner Mark Corner left his employees without paychecks. What a wonderful man. He certainly duped us. You can read the article here – http://www.10tv.com/content/stories/2014/01/10/gahanna-dog-daycare-closes-without-notice.html

Update 1/11/14 – There is/was a civil case against the owner from the State of Ohio Department of Taxation (case 11 JG 055187) – you can search here – http://fcdcfcjs.co.franklin.oh.us/CaseInformationOnline/Welcome.jsp