What a day!

March 8, 2018

Up and early at 7:30am. I have a dentist appointment at 10 and cannot wait! I usually do not get this excited for the dentist but I have been looking forward to this consultation for a while.

On my way to the dentist I realized that the car was low on gas. Since I left early, always aim to be 15 minutes ahead, I had plenty of time to stop at a gas station. I pull into Exxon. It was pretty crowded with cars and snow which forced me to maneuver around the lot until I fit at a pump. As I sat there and waited for an attendant I took out my wallet. The attendant walks over, looks at me, walks around my car to pick something up and then leaves completely. At this point I am confused. I wait a bit longer, another car pulls up and he starts to pump their gas. Hmm. Now I am more confused. Here’s why:

  1. I was sitting there first. (cannot pump my own gas, NJ)
  2. He walked right past me. (we made eye contact)
  3. The new car was right across from me.

Now pressed for time I left without getting gas.

I got to the dentist around 9:50 and filled out the new patient forms. The dentist office is new. So new that renovations have not been completed. The staff is friendly and took good care of me but I could not gauge their experience level. I did get lucky, I think, because the doctor on duty came from another office and wore her experience on her sleeve with pride. That made me feel very comfortable. I was there for two hours. My teeth were cleaned, I had six baby cavities filled, and my top two wisdom teeth pulled. FINALLY, some relief!

After the dentist I headed over to my grandmother’s house to shovel the sidewalk and stairs. I probably should not have since I just had two teeth pulled but I was still numb with my jaw was locked on pieces of gauze.

I got home around 1pm and it was a journey. More like an obstacle course. Yesterday’s storm left everything in a mess. Trees fell over, street poles were in homes, light poles laid a cross roads, and power lines dangling. I was either headed towards a blocked off street or going back the way I came. When I did find a decent street, it soon turned in to a bad choice. As I was driving, I had my focus on the deep holes and half parked cars. At the last second I noticed a thin, I think phone line, cable hanging. I immediately hit the brakes hoping the person behind me was paying attention. Thankfully he was. Since I drive a coupe it is low by default. I figured I could just go under it. I was right except for one small detail, I forgot about the spoiler. The cable and my spoiler met for a game of tug-a-war, ultimately leading to the cable being pulled down. Oops.

When I got home, I ate and then took a nap. The numbing was wearing off and my head started to pound. I woke up at 3:30pm to get ready for work wishing I did not have to. Got to the new location at 5, took some Tylenol, froze for three hours and back home for a nice hot shower. I had some chicken broth soup with rice and went straight to bed. If there is one thing I cannot deal with, it is the feeling of my head acting as a drum.

P.S.

Throughout my trip I was able to finish my audiobook by Maxwell. It is an amazing book. Step 11 was embedded into my brain, If at first you do succeed, try something harder.

Snow Day!

March 7, 2018

I did not expect to wake up early today.  

Today was a snow day. I planned on waking up around 10, making myself some coffee, checking on the world, doing some light reading and a couple of other things.

At 7:45am I was woken up. My sister and nephew are here. I am not a big morning person so I usually prepare myself the night before. I remind myself I have to wake up at a certain time, set my alarms, sometimes I even prepare my clothes. This morning I was completely unprepared. I set my mind up for a completely different day. The good thing is that I am great at getting started last minute!

With my nephew set up in bed and bottle in hand, I head to the bathroom to freshen up. I brush my teeth, wash my face off, and push my hair back in a messy manner. Before that, I grab my Bluetooth and jump on my morning conference call. I have to say, babysitting my nephew keeps me on track. If it were not for him I would have skipped the call and remained sleeping.

After my nephew fell asleep I made coffee and somewhat of a decent breakfast. This morning I made corn beef hash seasoned with chili powder, black pepper, and garlic. It was mixed with freshly cooked bacon bits, yum, and stuffed in between buttered potato bread. I have made corn beef hash before but always like to try different ingredients. It always sounds good at first but I actually do not enjoy corn beef hash. I just wanted to experiment and will again.

Around 1pm a storm comes rolling over. I was looking out the window washing the baby’s bottle when I witnessed the most bizarre scene yet.

  • First it was raining.
  • All of a sudden it started to lightly hail. In middle of hailing a LOUD thunder let loose from the sky with a bright bolt of lightning.
  • Then snow starts to fall heavy covering everything in a wet blanket of fluff.

I have never witnessed the weather change so rapidly before. I was truly surprised to have seen it. Within an hour I lost that excitement when I realized that shoveling was now an unwanted activity. I did get a nice photo out of it that ended up on Instagram. I wonder how many people would like it?

I did do some light reading but not involving a book. Instead I read multiple online blogs and articles. I am currently in the middle of a great book. (Remember aim for 1 a month.) I started to read it mid-February before I made the decision to go one a month. The book is called How Successful People Think by John C. Maxwell. It is a small read, 124 pages not including the title, acknowledgements, contents, introduction, and notes section, but very powerful. To my understanding this book can be read by a lot of people within an hour but I am still going. My ability to focus is weak and that is why I have set a monthly goal for myself. I want to improve and develop my skills! As Warren Buffet says, “Read 500 pages every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up like compound interest.”

How Successful People Think

Top 5 Podcast!

Podcasts are available to use where ever we go. They are on our phones, tablets, laptops and can be accessed by swiping the screen or clicking a mouse. The fact that they are so portable is what makes a podcast so interesting. It, like audiobooks, are valuable growth tools that are always on hand. Now it all depends on what you listen too but if you really pay attention you can find a lesson in almost everything.

Podcasts are a wide range of digital audio files that can be subscribed to and even downloaded for later listening. Some audio shows include comic relief, short stories, world news, and growth and development.

For me, personal development is the main focus. Thankfully there are many motivational and inspiring people who upload content matching my needs. I believe there is a podcast for everyone and as long your willing to look, you will find it. Every now and then I do need to break away and get my creative thinking rolling so I listen to podcasts with interesting, sometimes dark, suspenseful short stories.

Here are my Top 5 Podcasts:

  1. The Dave Ramsey Show
  2. Ted Talks Daily
  3. Ted Talks Business
  4. The Daily
  5. The Truth by Jonathan Mitchell

I aspire to learn as much as I can and improve on myself daily. I bet most people do to! Want to know where to find interesting and good content? Search through Google Play Music, iTunes Podcasts, and CastBox.

What have you listened too lately? How have you stimulated your mind today?

(photos found on Google images)

Tuning In!

March 6, 2018

 7:45 in morning. I wake up, grab my Bluetooth, tune into a conference call, and head to the bathroom. While I brush my teeth, I listen to the wise words of my colleagues and mentors. Today I have the pleasure of staying home with my nephew so I prepare the bed for his arrival.

As he was falling asleep I planned my day out. I need to clean my bedroom, wash laundry, and do little various things. Once he shuts his eyes I began to get busy. I start with the laundry. I separate my darks from lights, work clothes from delicates, and then head down to the basement to begin washing.

My nephew wakes up around 11:30 as cute as ever. He does not make a sound, just lays there waiting for me to check on him and realize that he is up. He is such an easy baby to care for! We play around for an hour and catch up on our days. (I cannot wait for him to talk back.) Then he gets hungry and cuts the conversation short.

I surround him with a pillow fortress and head to kitchen to prepare our lunch. I make him a bottle of Grade A formula and set a pot of water to boil for myself. I flick on the TV to our, I mean his, favorite show The Paw Patrol. I have to say, I completely understand why he likes it. Whoever the creator is did an outstanding job providing children with important values as they grow up. Values like the importance of friendship, how to treat others, being respectful, etc.

While he eats I walk back to the kitchen and use the boiled water for pasta. Since I have to wait I take advantage and do a little brainstorming on introducing new topics or segments to the blog. Checking back and forth, between the baby and boiling water, I studied WordPress and other online blogs. I took some notes and then a break. The pasta is soft and ready for the main ingredients. I add meatballs sautéed in tomato sauce with chili powder, black pepper, and garlic. It came out great but could have used a lot more chili powder.

I serve my plate with excitement, getting ready to have lunch with my nephew but behold he fell asleep. It took me about five minutes to put my plate together and I know he was awake before I started. I guess that bottle hit the spot because he did not think twice about leaving me to eat alone. I ended up watching TV and sitting back in front of the computer to continue brainstorming.

My girlfriend got out of work early today. By 4:30pm she was walking out the door and on her way to the car. Being the most loving person ever she stopped by the only salad bar I eat at, Sprout, to get us dinner. The salad of our choice is called Sedona. It is mixed of kale, purple cabbage, avocado, scallions, tortilla chips, and Cotija cheese. Then chopped and tossed with their house-made Cabo vinaigrette dressing and topped with braised Southwestern chicken. It is truly delicious!

While we ate we finished watching the movie from the other day, Cool Runnings. For some reason it does not have the best ratings but I believe it is a powerful movie that spoke to my heart.

  • Never let anyone put you down.
  • Never let anyone tell you that you won’t succeed.
  • Keep your head help high and fight to finish!

  “Feel the Rhythm! Feel the Rhyme! Get on up, it’s bobsled time! Cool Runnings!”

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(photo found on Google images)

 

Successful Monday!

March 5, 2018 

I tried to get up early today. I opened my eyes around 7:30am but then closed them until 8. I am glad that my internal alarm went off. I set the wrong alarm on last night. I have two preset times for each thing throughout the week. Two alarms for office conference calls, work, and trainings. I definitely did not turn on the work alarm! 

I left my house a little after 9:15. Headed to Teixeira’s Bakery and waited in line to order. I was there for a dozen of custard cups, a dozen hoagie rolls, a strawberry croissant, and two cappuccinos. Typically my Monday order except for the croissant and cappuccinos. I was in the mood for a good cap and was thoughtful enough to get one for a friend. This bakery serves one of the best cappuccinos I have ever had and was hoked since day one. 

I got in to Jersey City at 10:40. Traffic was light today so it was a smooth drive. I also started to listen to an audiobook from John C. Maxwell called Failing Forward. It is a fantastic book. (I might actually pick up a hard cover copy just to add to my collection.) While I was parking I got in to a small disagreement. Communication was not clear on either end but it was dissolved very well and I was happy about that. The day continued! 

Work was done early today. I was home by 3:45pm. I could have been home sooner but traffic was a nightmare. Parents are trying to get to their children, workers are trying to get to their night jobs, and then the lucky few like me trying to get home. The good thing about being in traffic was being able to listen to more of the audiobook. 

I was so tired after working that I could have passed out and woken up the next morning. “Tonight I go into the office, I must fight the sleep.” I thought to myself.  It was rough. Especially after having a warm hot shower running on my body. It left me a state of Zen that I did not want to leave.  

After I showered up, I had a small plate of food to energize myself. Then on the road to the office.  

Got back home around 9:45pm. I was not the last one out the office today but close to it. It was such a cold night. The heat in my car could not even warm up fast enough. It took a few minutes of driving before I started to thaw out. Now that I am home it feels really good to change into a pair of cozy pajamas. Fleece pants and a sweatshirt to be exact.  

To end my night, I had White Castle for dinner. I ate a chicken sandwich (no cheese), chicken rings, and a side of fries. I loaded up Twitch on the iPad and sat in front of my TV with the PS4 controller in my hand.  

See you in the morning! 

(photos found on Google images)

Sunday – kinda – Funday!?

March 4, 2018

I completely forgot I had to work today. Well not entirely, but for some reason it just did not register in my mind. I woke up at 10:15am relaxed, moving slow, and enjoying my morning. Until I got onto Facebook. If I did not receive a notification then I would have kept my slow pace and never left home. The good thing is I live 15 minutes away from where I needed to be. I literally live in the neighboring town. So, in 20 minutes I brushed my teeth, put some clothes on and rushed out the door. I did not do my hair, eat breakfast or even have a sip of coffee. Rush mode!

When I arrived, everyone was already setting up. I jumped right into it. Unpacked some stuff, cleaned up a bit, and started prepping. Today was a late celebration for the Chinese Lunar New Year. There was plenty of food, lots of people and an amazing performance. The crowd was nonstop for five hours. Complete enjoyment. After a while, I was finally able to eat. I had a delicious meal. Spicy pork over lettuce with a side of rice and cold green tea to wash it down. It was a great turn out!

The event lasted till 6pm and I was home by 7. I showered up and relaxed in front of the computer for a bit. My girlfriend was coming over so I figured we should go out and grab a quick bite. It is still winter where I am at so we decided Panera Bread was perfect for dinner.

We came back home and laid out in front of the TV. I put on a great throw back from 1993, Cool Runnings. Since the Winter Olympics are still airing I thought it was appropriate to watch. We only saw half of the movie because it ended up getting late and we had to part our separate ways. We will finish it soon but good night for now!

Winter Olympics

Photo by Julian Finney—Getty Images

What a Saturday! (It was long)

March 3, 2018 

My 6:45am alarm goes off but I am already anticipating it. I picked out my outfit last night for this morning so no time was wasted when I woke up. I even ironed and lint rolled. I leave my house at 7:15. Perfect. Now I have time to stop for some coffee and a muffin.  

Training was great today. Our company put out a live broadcast so we all gathered in the seminar room to watch. Unfortunately, we had a small issue with the classic fiberboard tiles the drop down ceiling is paired with. A couple of the boards were warped, dripping and ready to collapse. It snowed the night before so apparently the roof needs some repairs. To help out, I was volunteered to climb on a ladder and pull them down before they fell on someone. I became hero! 

I had three important places to go to today; the mall, Staples, Home Depot.  

My first stop, the mall. I wear a lot of dress and collar shirts with slacks. Somehow, I do not know when, where or how, I lost my only black button up. I remember wearing it a few months back but after that no clue. I looked everywhere for it. Thinking long and hard, I must have left it at the hotel I stayed in but I am usually extra good at checking everything before I leave. To play it safe I pick up TWO shirts from H&M. As I leave I had to grab a pepperoni pretzel from Auntie Anne’s. Next stop, Staples! 

Stapels should have been an easy stop. I knew exactly what I wanted only I left with extra stuff. All I needed was a little 8×5 inch notebook. Before I even got to the notebooks, I ending up finding a keyboard that I had to have. It was perfect for me. I have two desktops, both build by me, with one keyboard. It is a process when you have to unplug it from one, switch it to the other and then back. Well, this new keyboard is amazing! It has pairing capabilities of up to three devices. No need for the hassle of switching around anymore, now it is just a simple button push. Boop. I found the notebook I needed and on my way to the register remembered I had to get my mother a new Bluetooth. 3 items bought! 

I never made it to Home Depot. Instead I went straight home out of excitement to get the new keyboard going. I got home roughly around 1:30pm and spent the next hour trying to get my set up working. I do not even know how I did it. I think I got luck so I hope I never have to do it again. 

From 4:30pm to 10 I was in Jersey City with my best friend, his girlfriend and her friends. We went to the Barcade, a bar with classic video games. They have Galaga, Pacman, Donkey Kong and many others. Besides the awesome game collection, they specialize in American craft beer. My choice for the night was Sweetwater IPA. After a drink or two we left for dinner. We originally were going for the Italian Neapolitan style pizza place called Porta but that required an hour and 45 minute wait. So, we did the next best thing and went to the pizzeria next door instead. It worked out. To end the night, I headed over to Starbucks and tried out their new Hazelnut Mocha Coconutmilk Macchiato. Delish! 

 

Not so active today.

March 2, 2018 

Up at 7:30am and ready to get started.  

I am off of work today so I am going to spend it with my little buddy again. Why not help my sister save some pennies by babysitting? Honestly I look forward to these days. My nephew and I have built such a great relationship that life would not be the same if I did not see him often. Sometimes I forget he is not my child and am reminded when my sister comes to get him. (Haha) Since it is early he drinks his bottle and falls right to sleep. 

While he slept I worked hard on my site. The previous layout did not last very long. After viewing and liking a bunch of sites, I realized how not creative mine was. So, I went over to the themes, switched on that free section and started from the top. After about two hours I finally picked one, customized it, and published it. I have say, WordPress customization is a simple blessing. It is so easy to get a page looking good and ready for publication. Each theme has its own unique style and set up. If you are patient enough to go through them one or two might really get your creative juices flowing. Mine did! 

My nephew’s inner food timer is surprisingly always punctual. He wakes up around 11am ready to eat. I push I back a bit to noon since he just woke up. He typically does not eat right away. He might take sips of his formula here and there but usually wastes it if given to him as soon as he cries for it. So, I heated up leftovers from last night’s amazing meal and we ate together. After lunch I washed a few clothes and set myself up to prepare for my Series 6 state test. Usually my nephew naps after his bottle but today was different.  

This little guy put me through the ringer. It is partly my fault. After his bottle he never went to sleep. He was also very needy. Now that does not bother me. I actually like to spoil him by showing him massive attention. I also love to play with him and get his motor skills going but I think over did. I had him overly active to the point where his nap was irrelevant. For 6 hours straight, he was wide awake. I could tell he was tired but he fought it. When he finally fell asleep my mother arrived, around 5-ish, and she took over. I needed a nap!