Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas 2009

We had a very nice and quiet Christmas this year. We stayed home for the whole weekend, the only place I went was to church on Christmas morning.

We rented some movies for the weekend. IGA is the only place in town where you can rent decent movies and they were having a special. We could rent movies for .99 and keep them for two days, they didn't need to be back until Saturday afternoon. We rented the new Star Trek, Duplicity, Knowing and The International.

We watched Star Trek on Christmas Eve, we liked it. A very predictable Start Trek movie. I didn't make it to Midnight Mass this year, I was just too tired. I had been up since 4:30 am and it was a long day. At work, we had our annual Christmas Eve brunch. Not very many people showed up, but we sure did enjoy some good food and company.

Christmas morning arrived pretty uneventful at our house. No more little kids waiting anxiously to see what Santa brought them. I finished baking my pies, then got ready for church. Jennifer was still sleeping, so we opened presents after church. We got some of our presents early, the 42" flat screen tv, blue ray dvd player and wii gaming console, not to mention our new laptop computer. Jennifer got a nice fleece jacket from Gma, money from GGma and a new game for her nintendo DS. Gary got a $50 gift card to the Outback from his brother and a box of chocolate covered cherries with the liquid center from Jennifer. I got the movie "A Christmas Story" from Jennifer and some homemade jellies from our friends and neighbors the Hickeys. I also got a light house for my village from my friend in the office next door. My village is growing a little at a time.

The rest of the day was spent fixing a very non-traditional meal. We had chicken wings and some fixings to go with them and munch all day long. Watched the rest of our movies and in between watched snippets of football games.

The rest of the weekend was spent relaxing and watching a ton of football, so many games I couldn't even begin to tell you what bowl games we watched.

Monday morning when I came to work I had a huge present on my desk. I get along very well with the head janitor Betty, that she left a present for me. Inside were buildings for my village, I got a small house and school house, a larger coffee shop and some trees. My village is really growing. Now I just need to get some people for it.

We don't have any big plans for New Years, will just stay home and watch some movies.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tae Kwon Do Party

Last Saturday was the annual Park's Tae Kwon Do Christmas Party and Awards Banquet. This is a party that we have to go to since we are running the school in Hardin. This is a dress up party.

This year, Jennifer invited her friend to go with us. I hope he enjoyed it. He is a quiet kid and doesn't say much. He sure came home with some raffle items, he won two and Jennifer won one.

Every year it storms when this party is scheduled and this year a storm came in that night. We didn't get as much snow as was predicted, but the wind was very cold and the temperatures sure dropped.

This year Jennifer and I received our new black belt certificates. All the people who tested during the year get their certificates at the party. Now we are official. Hardin didn't get any other awards this year, maybe next year.

We left early, due to the weather but also Jennifer's friend had to work Sunday so he needed to get back.

Here is photo of us together, all dressed up.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Toys For Tots

For the past 25 years the biker group Roaddogs has sponsored the Toys For Tots. This was our first year participating. The second Friday in December is the huge Christmas Party. This year it was held at Bones Brewery. The only requirement to get into the party is that you have to be to a biker and that you bring in an unwrapped toy or money for the cause. We found out about this from our HOG friends who have been participating the past five years.

We arrived at Bones in plenty of time and we managed to get a table large enough for our group. There were 8 couples in our group. We had a table large enough, but not enough chairs, but that didn't pose a problem we we took turns standing. I should say the guys took turns standing. There was a live band called Jamulation from Bozeman. They were pretty good, played good rock and roll music. None of the stuff that today's kids listen to. They played music from the 60's, 70' and 80's. There was also a live auction and a silent auction. Some of the items being auctioned off were 52" flat screen tv's, computers, game consoles and a bunch of other nice items. The silent auction were mainly gift baskets. They were also selling t-shirts for the toy run.

We had a great time, we left around 11:00 pm. We both had been drinking, but since it was determined that I would be the driver, I quite drinking earlier. We both wanted something to eat, so ate at Denny's as that was the only 24 hour restaurant we could think of to go. Once I got some fresh air and something to eat I was better. To tell the truth, after leaving the bar I really should not have been driving. I was fine, but if we got stopped for anything I would have been in trouble.

Sunday morning we left Hardin to head back to Billings to help deliver toys at the mall. All the toys went to the Salvation Army and they will dole out all the gifts. Saturday the head Roaddogs spend the day shopping. It was very cold Sunday morning, below zero.

Our original goal was to meet our friends at a fire station house in Billings, but we couldn't find it. We got about 6 different directions on where it was. So we went out for breakfast instead. After breakfast we made our way to the mall and waited. Most of our friends were just going to be at the mall, none were riding due to the weather. It was just too cold and the roads were too icy.

The bikers arrived at noon. There were about 50 die hard bikers riding in the bitter cold and they all looked very frozen. Two dump trucks filled with toys stopped at the front of the mall and just started unloading. There were about 250 bikers helping unload all the toys. Gary and I got separated. All the toys were delivered to the Salvation Army tree in the mall and it was buried.

I went out to take some photos, then carried in a sack full of toys. By the time I made it out to get another load to carry in, all they toys were delivered, so I made my way back inside to take more photos. Gary would find me one way or the other.

It was announced later and in the news that the Roaddogs Toy Run delivered $30,000 worth of toys to needy children of Billings. Gary and I decided that we want to make this one of the annual things we must do. Hopefully the weather will be nicer so that we are able to ride. We are going to stock up on some toys over the next year. Needless to say, the coffee shops in the mall were making money left and right. The bikers just wanted something warm to drink.

After the toy run, the HOG chapter had their meeting and chili feed. Not too many of us there this time, weather played alot to it. Chili was good, especially on a freezing day. We had a very busy weekend and we both enjoyed ourselves.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Little Black Dress

Saturday we have our Tae Kwon Do Christmas Party and awards banquet. This is a dress up occasion. I've been looking for a black dress for some time to wear. I finally found one after two months of looking. This is a very classy dress. I paid a bit much than I wanted, but it really was a good price. I even bought a new pair of shoes.

I found the dress at JC Penney. I even bought a new pair of shoes for it. Just what I need, another pair of shoes. The other dress I wore was the Chinese dress I bought while I was in Hawaii. I had worn that particular dress for two years in a row. Besides, you can never go wrong with a black dress and it can be worn for other occasions too.

Here is the stock photo of the dress that I took off the JC Penney site. The back of the dress drapes over the shoulders.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Check Engine Light

A couple weeks ago, my check engine light came on when I was in Billings. A safety feature on my car is that the cruise control is disengaged. Alot of help that was. Anyway I made an appointment for the car and while they are at it they can check out the brake light that is out, my driver side window doesn't roll down and the lights on my radio are out.

I made the phone call to tell them what I needed done. I was told that since my radio works and the cd player works then it would be better just to leave that alone. Since I no longer have my warranty I would have to buy a whole new radio console which was around $700. Well I have gone all this time without knowing what radio station I'm listening, so I can continue on this route.

I told the technician was I needed done, my check engine light, brake light and the drivers side window. He told me that on the window it would depend if it is just a switch or a motor. Motor would be more money. I personally think it is a switch because the other three windows will roll up and down.

My appointment was for last Saturday at 8:15 am. Jennifer went with me because she was off and we could spend the day shopping. Since it would take them a couple hours to fix my car we could just hang out in the mall. (Across the street from Subaru)

We arrived at Subaru and got checked in. I am also due for my 60,000 mile check up. He said that it will only cost $875. I told him that I will have to schedule that for another time. I just don't have $875 to spend right now. It was going to cost enough just to fix the stuff I want. Anyway, I gave them the keys to my car, gave him my cell phone number. They would run the diagnostics on it and will tell me the price and I can authorize from there. Jen and I went to the mall. Nothing was open until 10:00, so we walked around then got a drink.

10:00 rolled around and still no phone call. Decided to walk back to Subaru to check things out. I figured that if I was hanging around they would work on things faster. Well, no word yet on the car and he assured me that they would call. I told him that we would wait, but was told that there was no way to tell when it would be done. Back to the mall we went. About a half hour later I got the phone with the diagnosis.

My check engine light is one because the air flow sensor is out and the air filter was clogged. That is going to cost me $652. Yikes. To fix the brake light, that is going to cost me $34. To fix the driver side window, the motor is out so that will cost $500. Well, I need the check engine light fixed, that sounds pretty serious and I need the brake light because I could get a ticket for that. Decided not to get the window fixed because I managed all summer with it broken. Besides I have air conditioning and the other windows will roll down.

Five hours later and $700 lighter from the checkbook I got my car sort of fixed. They are really stressing the importance of getting that $900 service done or I may be on foot. I really find it hard to believe that it will cost $900 to check the car. He said that they change the spark plugs and make sure the belts are in working order.

Gary wasn't too happy about the cost, but it did need to be done. Next time I will change the air filter myself and save me the money. I'm sure I can buy an air filter cheaper at an auto parts store. I guess I can live without cruise control.

My fear is that once I hit a certain mileage that my car will just quit. Who knows how they program the computers in the cars. People I have talked to were in shock when I told them the cost for the service.

Gary feels that since we have the lifetime oil change on the car they are going to get their money from us some other way.