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M-Cubed for 1/31/2011

Posted Jan 31 2011 5:01am
Monday Morning Musings for January Thirty-First, Twenty Eleven. A smattering of thoughts that alone don't constitute a blog post but together end up here on Monday morning.

- Hallelujah!  With the striking of midnight tonight, January is DONE!  Like I was telling clients over the past week: "January is almost done which means that February is nearly here which means that March is just around the corner which means SPRING is almost here!"  It's all about perspective, right?  Right!  In the meantime, another winter storm is inbound to NE Ohio.  I'm still surviving without shoveling the driveway...let's see if I can make it through this one the same way.

- NEO Trail's Winter Buckeye Trail FA was on Saturday.  While a few brave souls did the full 50K, I shared 10 miles with some really awesome friends.  Waking up around 4am on Saturday and walking outside, I noticed big, fat, fluffy flakes falling...nearly a white out with zero wind or anything.  The temps were nearly 30F, too.  This provided an absolutely perfect morning to run the trails.  Not too cold, not windy, and a fresh layer of powder on the trails.  Wearing my trusty sheet-metal-screwed trail shoes, I had a blast.  Starting at Pic #5, check out just a few of my photos .  A few were in the dark but using the flash...cool because the flash picked up the falling flakes which I could only feel but not see.  I also took a few gorgeous black-n-whites and a few photos of structures at Boston Store.  My screwed trail shoes have over 500...perhaps 600 miles on them.  The upper is finally beginning to give and split.  Their days may finally be coming to an end. :-(

- Daddy Daughter Date Nights are priceless.  While my oldest went to a friend's for a few hours, my youngest and I spent the night at Applebee's on Friday night.  Fun time with just us.  She has a hankering for the 7oz sirloin at Applebee's and I didn't get a single bite!  She was more than happy to share the veggies with me, though.

- My predictions for the "King's Speech" continue to hold true.  The SAG (Screen Actors Guild) Awards were last night and it did very well yet again.  "The Fighter" also collected a few "actors" during the evening.  I stand by my prediction that the "King's Speech" will take home the most Oscar's late next month.  Haven't seen it?  SEE IT!   Trailer

- "They look like white poison ivy trees."  That's what my youngest daughter said yesterday morning.  The temperature was just right to let every twig and branch catch the snow overnight.  It looked as if the snow was spray painted on.  Below is our back yard just moments later as Old Glory stood the watch.

- My version of the 7 Baby Steps to getting out of debt and financial freedom...I'm working on it now and will post later this week, hopefully.  Many, many, many friends have asked so instead of just posting the link, I will write my own version along with some real testimony to what worked, perhaps what didn't, tools I created to simply our life, and lots of inspiration to help move you down the path to financial freedom or simply "cattle prod" you along should you be on the road yourself already.  We're 13 months into our journey and it's gone very well!

- I think I've gone from "want an iPad" to "need an iPad"...at least that's what I keep telling myself.  To put the imaginative icing on the cake, Marjie walks in from shopping yesterday and says "I don't care if you get an iPad.  Go ahead!"  After I scraped my jaw off the floor in amazement, I logged that comment in my brain and reconciled to take her up on that...but not until the iPad update comes out.  Camera installed and a USB port...two "must-haves" that I'm willing to wait for.  With all my Navy travels, having that camera to Skype and "FaceTime" is a must.  "Thanks, Babe!"  (by the way, just to prove how "Apple brainwashed" we are becoming, we all freeze what we're doing when a new iPad commercial comes on TV...they keep coming out with new ones...curious, aren't you?  Wait no more... here they are! )  So is my waiting justified?  I'd say so.   Here's some snippets of the rumor mill including the iPhone 5 .  Oh geez...

- I did my first-ever webcast on Thursday night.  One of many hats I wear is that of a committee member of the Rootstown Citizens Levy Committee.  Our levy has failed 3 times straight now and it's up again on the ballot this May.  I have created a brand new Facebook home for our efforts but mostly to provide education about the school district.  To maximize that education and community involvement, I webcasted our kickoff meeting this past Thursday night and stored it online to view anytime.  As of now, it's been viewed over 125 times!  The site is bringing in both sides of the levy debate which is good.  Good, healthy debate is key and will hopefully, turn rocks over that need turned over.  With the federal government taking their portion of our funding (9%) from that to zero for the 2011-2012 school year and Ohio having a multi-billion dollar deficit, we expect our new governor to announce new education cuts very soon.  That combined effect will result in a multi-hundred-thousand-dollar deficit.  Cuts to staff will be significant along with program cuts.  Those cuts and specific names as to who will lose their jobs is expected to be announced very soon.  I stand by my statement that I've made several times...a "no" vote is a "no" vote for my kids and the kids of Rootstown.  

- Thanks to Amy, I have a new "special occasion only" favorite drink at Starbucks.  "Special occasion only" because this drink will probably eclipse the $5 mark.  Therefore, I think I'll have it very sparingly but hopefully sooner than later as my FREE drink certificate is inbound already.  I hit my 15th drink again a week ago which entitles me to another freebie.  My version of Amy's drink is/will be this: Venti (20oz), quad (yea, that's FOUR shots of espresso), soy, salted caramel, white mocha, no whip.  I had a tall version of this drink after the run on Saturday...oh...my ...word.  It was amazing.  The soy is already sweet because it's vanilla and white chocolate is sweet naturally.  Add in the real caramel, salt, and whatever else they put in there and it's out of this world.  Thanks, Amy!  (there is no cost limit to the freebie...NONE!)

- As I mentioned in previous post, I did my first "family photo shoot" just a few weeks ago. Well, they placed an order!  The indoor shots really weren't that good...lighting and a bunch of other factors but my idea to take it outside into the deep snow was a hit.  Dressed in black, white, and red, the photos turned out great.  If given permission, I'll be posting their chosen photos on my photo blog...nameless to protect the innocent, of course!

Have a great week, everyone, and Happy Trails!
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