Saturday, August 28, 2010

In a Chevy in a hurry in the pouring down rain.

Every couple, successful and failed, has moments along the way that really cement their feelings (good and bad) for one another. Ashley and I had a night rather early on in our "budding" relationship that made things a lot more clear. We both relive it every time it rains. I have been really considering moving somewhere in the U.S. where it rains more as a result!
When Ashley and I met she had a boyfriend. I would have only been frightened if she hadn't had one. I wasn't really looking to date. I hadn't been looking for that for quite some time. Just like anything of true value though (from God to a life path) its much easier to find love and a relationship when you aren't really looking.
 Just a note to all you single guys out there: If the girl you are talking to says she is single with absolutely no attachments be super suspicious. From my experience there is no woman on this planet that has passed the threshold of legal adult age that does not have some relationship entanglement. This is just a fact of life. A boyfriend, ex boyfriend, husband, ex husband, best friend, ex best friend, stalker, creepy co worker, ex girlfriend, girlfriend, wife, ex wife, or some other form of romantic entanglement is just to be expected. Accept the "significant other" as stated fact and relax. If the girl is talking to you and showing real interest then she isn't really "his" anyway. Thank God I had this attitude when I met Ashley.
She and her man had been on the outs for a while. She was on the verge of kicking him out when we started chatting as friends. I was probably a good outlet  since I was her boss. A lesson is probably in there somewhere, but ultimately it was easy for her to tell her boyfriend that we were talking about work. It still pissed him off to no end and still does even though she and I are married.
There were even other guys chasing Ashley. Once again I was nonplussed by this. Women of any quality are a bit like a big gold nugget. Most everyone that sees them wants them on some level. Luckily for all us loser guys out there the girl picks her guy. Ashley dumped her guy. She had a date with another guy not long after that which prompted me to step up and throw my hat in the ring and confess that I really liked her. According to her even though she still went out with the guy, she spent that night trying to decide if I was serious which ultimately led to her realizing she really liked me too.
See guys, another dude isn't the worse thing in the world. Anyway...
So after a few very sweet and innocent outings ( i was so nervous the first time we went out I couldn't even eat my supper) Ashley and I had sort of become an item. I had lost my normal laid back confidence at first, due to thinking that Ash was way out of my league. It came back, but not before she went to dump me.
I was working 90 hour weeks. Ashley was getting a lot of pressure from the ex boyfriend to let him move back home. I have never been a controlling douche bag so I did my best not to trash talk the guy and just have faith in the idea she picked me. That isn't very easy when you know he is spending his every waking moment begging and pleading, but I did a pretty fair job of being relaxed about it. I did once whip out a pistol and cock it with him there, but that is a total different story and no where near as threatening and illegal as it sounds.
So I come home about six one evening and get a phone call from Ashley basically breaking things off. She was crying which is very unlike her. On that front, she didn't cry when I proposed. She didn't cry at the wedding. She didn't cry when she got her puppy. I am still working on tears of joy damn it!
After a couple of botched explanations on her part I finally asked if I could come out. If i was getting dumped she was going to dump me to my face! So I jumped in my car and absolutely drove like a maniac to B.F.E. Her new roommate let me in and I found Ashley rather weepy and unresponsive in bed. After an hour or so of talking and me rubbing her back she admitted she didn't want to dump me she just couldn't handle all the pressure from her ex and all the stress she was under.
We all have stress. It sucks. If you get a chance to help someone out help them with their stress level. Decrease stress and increase happiness and that person will love you forever. Ashley's best friend and her best friend's son were there. They didn't have much in the way of food. Ashley was the only one working and providing and paying all the bills. That's not a fun position for anyone!
So I persuaded everyone to load up in my car and we went out for burgers. We talked. We ate. We chatted about all the stressful stuff going on there, which is when I figured out they were out of gas in their one vehicle. Its a very very bad thing to be broke, out of gas, and living way the hell out in the country. All that kicked in my chivalry circuit and I swung through the Kmart, bought a gas can, ran to Weigel's and pumped 5 gallons in the can, and started out towards Ashley's house.
Which is when the heavens burst open and the floods started. We drove home at a crawl. My thoughts were more on taking care of everybody getting home safe than how much I really liked the girl in my passenger's seat. We did make the trip finally and found that to make her bad night worse the windows of her car were down. I jumped out and rolled them up and got soaked all the way to my skin.
Already dripping I just shrugged, grabbed the can out of the trunk, and stood in the storm and  filled her gas tank. Even with my specs dripping I could see the look on Ashley's face. I realized that I didn't mind being wet as long as it made her happy.
Ashley was probably the first girl I hadn't said," I would do anything for you" to , but I realized that I felt that way, and I think at the same time she realized it was true. I wasn't willing to see her go without. At the same time she spent the whole night trying to get me to not spend money on her. It was only by not telling her what I was doing at the Kmart and also topping up my already full tank that I was able to buy her gas. Even though she is my wife now, she still really won't let me buy her things or pay "her" bills.
That is a big part of what amazes me about her. I am used to being used. Ashley was too, and she wouldn't even accept help without me just forcing it on her (even though I was always sweet and careful about it). Her independent streak is wider even than mine. That day though with then rain pouring and me standing in it watching her while I fumbled with a full 5 gallon gas can I could tell she really appreciated me, not for what I was doing, but for the fact I cared enough to do it.
It was still a long time before we said those three little words, but I think we both knew it in our hearts all along. I remember it every minute of everyday, but I think about it in a special way when it rains.

Playstation Plus vs. XBOX Live

Most blog posts are pure opinion. I like opinion much better than fact slanted journalism. So before I delve too deep into the battle between Microsoft and Sony for my video gaming dollars let me be absolutely frank in saying I am probably not unbiased in my opinion
I have had a PS3 since Christmas of 2008 where I have only had my 360 since my birthday of this year. In another embodiment of my blog I had posted how impressed I was with the 360. Knowing some of the things I know now I am not certain I would have requested a 360. That isn’t to say I don’t love my Xbox. It is simply a challenge to be fully invested in both systems.
I am laboring in this blog under the delusion that I am an average gamer. I am middle class (ish) and have finite dollars to spend on gaming. I like most games with the exception of sports games like Madden. RPGs, shooters, fighting games, and pure platformers like Mario are my meat and potatoes in the gaming world. I used to be a Final Fantasy purist, following that series from one platform to the next. I have drawn that line since I have had a mild disappointment with the last few entries in the series.
I have found myself down graded from hardcore gamer to simply a gamer. If my opinion in this blog is put out there to do anything it is simply to weigh in on a realistic consumer dollar driven perspective of the two “online” services out by the big two.
I will quickly note that I do have a Wii. I am so disenchanted with the Wii at this point that it has become something of a novelty that is only used when me and the kiddo really want to smack each other around with swords in Wii Sports Resorts or when I want to teach school in Wii Bowling!
This is my basic setup. The Xbox takes the left side because I am rocking 1 HDMI connection and the PS3 is running on the longer (and much cheaper) component cables. Lots of folks will dog me for not having the PS3 on HDMI as well. Quite frankly as blind as I am I don’t really see a big difference. The PS3 still rocks amazing graphics as it is set up now. I love my plasma screen
This shot is a basically to give a bit of an idea of my gaming library. I used to have a much bigger selection of PS3 games that I traded in once I got the 360. I was very caught up in getting my gamerscore all buffed up with achievement points until I realized it was a bit like bragging like bragging about wang size
As far as system exclusive content goes Xbox gives me Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2. Those games alone were worth getting the 360. My wife and I have spent countless hours killing zombies and loving it. My PS3 library is greatly reduced from its former glory. An interesting side note though, I still am running a ps2 in the living room with my Wii. My Ps2 library is almost as formidable as all the games shown put together! I just wish the Ps3 had been backwards compatible, but that it is a disappointment to bitch about for another day. My PS3 exclusive title is summed up in three words: GOD OF WAR! Kratos makes it all worth while on the disc based side.
Down to the real subject of the blog: Xbox Live Gold vs. Playstation Plus I have both accounts which means in addition to all the cash I pony out each year on disc based fun I am spilling about $100.00 a year in network memberships. You can still get on the Playstation Network for free, as I have done up and to this point. You can play in network games multiplayer ( I mostly played Warhawk) for free on PSN. Xbox Live does have an amazing matchmaking service. Most everything I have played lets you voice chat with your friends while you are playing. Still to connect to XBL in any form or fashion you have to pay a fee. Otherwise you can be content to sit at home and play your games without your achievements going towards your gamerscore, which as far as I can tell is the video game equivalent of who has the biggest penis. Just like in real life that isn’t really a game I want to get into, win or lose you have to deal with a bunch of dicks.
I have bought a few games online via Xbox Live. I broke down and bought Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Turtles in Time (available on PSN too), Magic the Gathering, and Fable. I paid full price for the games, and for the most part I got what I paid for. I loved the first two but hated Fable
Without too much research I signed up for Playstation Plus. I am a sucker that way.In a similar theme I am a Netflix member. I love Netflix. I get a DVD at a time in the mail.I stream netflix on all my gaming systems plus my wife and I both watch a lot on our netbooks. Still loving Netflix, I gave Hulu Plus a try. I was much less impressed. There are way too many ads and not nearly enough content. So unless you really need to stream all the episodes of Family Guy (which you can do on Netflix as well) don’t waste your $9.95 per month
Anyway, I signed up for Playstation Plus without any forethought or expectation. I have bought several games on the PSN ( Rtypes, Wild Arms, Medievil, Castlevania : Symphony  of the Night, Syphon Filter, Tekken 2, Crash Bandicoot, Castlevania Chronicles, Warhawk Psone, Street Fighter Alpha, Street Fighter Alpha 2, Final Fantasy VII, VII & IX, Tomb Raider, Silent Hill, Tetris Darkstaler Chronicle,Dracula Undead Awakening, The Terminator, Super Stardust HD, Mortal Kombat II, Rampage, Warhawk, Joust, Qbert, Lemmings, Street Fighter II HD Remix, Rag Doll Kung Fu, Marvel Vs. Capcom 2, Zombie Apocalypse, Burn Zombie Burn Frogger Returns, Final Fight Double Impact, and Echochrome). I am happy with the price points as can be seen by the size of my digital library.
Since I got my Playstation Plus account though I have gotten several free games:Rally Cross, 2 Xtreme, Rampart, Mushroom wars, Vempire, Critter Cruncher, Aero Racer, Kahoots, Fieldrunners, and Age of Zombies. That is 9 games included in the price of my membership in only the past 2 months! At this rate the membership more than pays for itself. Even if the above games were only 5 bucks  each I only lack one more game of having my $50 back.
I am playing a lot of games I wouldn’t ordinarily touch. My PSP has gotten so much playtime on the miniS games like Fieldrunners and Age of Zombies I am starting to really see it as a worthwhile investment again.I say Playstation Plus walks all over Xbox Live Gold. I would love to hear other opinions though.

Just think, I do all this gaming and I am still married to a beautiful, sexy woman! Life is so good. That is double true when I think that she games with me sometimes too!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Playstation Plus vs. XBOX Live

Most blog posts are pure opinion. I like opinion much better than fact slanted journalism. So before I delve too deep into the battle between Microsoft and Sony for my video gaming dollars let me be absolutely frank in saying I am probably not unbiased in my opinion. 

I have had a PS3 since Christmas of 2008 where I have only had my 360 since my birthday of this year. In another embodiment of my blog I had posted how impressed I was with the 360. Knowing some of the things I know now I am not certain I would have requested a 360. That isn't to say I don't love my Xbox. It is simply a challenge to be fully invested in both systems. 

I am laboring in this blog under the delusion that I am an average gamer. I am middle class (ish) and have finite dollars to spend on gaming. I like most games with the exception of sports games like Madden. RPGs, shooters, fighting games, and pure platformers like Mario are my meat and potatoes in the gaming world. I used to be a Final Fantasy purist, following that series from one platform to the next. I have drawn that line since I have had a mild disappointment with the last few entries in the series. 

I have found myself down graded from hardcore gamer to simply a gamer. If my opinion in this blog is put out there to do anything it is simply to weigh in on a realistic consumer dollar driven perspective of the two "online" services out by the big two.

I will quickly note that I do have a Wii. I am so disenchanted with the Wii at this point that it has become something of a novelty that is only used when me and the kiddo really want to smack each other around with swords in Wii Sports Resorts or when I want to teach school in Wii Bowling!


This is my basic setup. The Xbox takes the left side because I am rocking 1 HDMI connection and the PS3 is running on the longer (and much cheaper) component cables. Lots of folks will dog me for not having the PS3 on HDMI as well. Quite frankly as blind as I am I don't really see a big difference. The PS3 still rocks amazing graphics as it is set up now. I love my plasma screen. 





This shot is a basically to give a bit of an idea of my gaming library. I used to have a much bigger selection of PS3 games that I traded in once I got the 360. I was very caught up in getting my gamerscore all buffed up with achievement points until I realized it was a bit like bragging like bragging about wang size. 

As far as system exclusive content goes Xbox gives  me Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2. Those games alone were worth getting the 360. My wife and I have spent countless hours killing zombies and loving it. 

My PS3 library is greatly reduced from its former glory. An interesting side note though, I still am running a ps2 in the living room with my Wii. My Ps2 library  is almost as formidable as all the games shown put together! I just wish the Ps3 had been backwards compatible, but that it is a disappointment to bitch about for another day. My PS3 exclusive title is summed up in three words: GOD OF WAR! Kratos makes it all worth while on the disc based side.

Down to the real subject of the blog: Xbox Live Gold vs. Playstation Plus

I have both accounts which means in addition to all the cash I pony out each year on disc based fun I am spilling about $100.00 a year in network memberships. You can still get on the Playstation Network for free, as I have done up and to this point. You can play in network games multiplayer ( I mostly played Warhawk) for free on PSN. 

Xbox Live does have an amazing matchmaking service. Most everything I have played lets you voice chat with your friends while you are playing. Still to connect to XBL in any form or fashion you have to pay a fee. Otherwise you can be content to sit at home and play your games without your achievements going towards your gamerscore, which as far as I can tell is the video game equivalent of who has the biggest penis. Just like in real life bthat isn't really a game I want to get into, win or lose you have to deal with a bunch of dicks.

I have bought a few games online via Xbox Live. I broke down and bought Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Turtles in Time (available on PSN too), Magic the Gathering, and Fable. I paid full price for the games, and for the most part I got what I paid for. I loved the first two but hated Fable. 

Without too much research I signed up for Playstation Plus. I am a sucker that way. 

In a similar theme I am a Netflix member. I love Netflix. I get a DVD at a time in the mail.I stream netflix on all my gaming systems plus my wife and I both watch a lot on our netbooks. Still loving Netflix, I gave Hulu Plus a try. I was much less impressed. There are way too many ads and not nearly enough content. So unless you really need to stream all the episodes of Family Guy (which you can do on Netflix as well) don't waste your $9.95 per month.

Anyway, I signed up for Playstation Plus without any forethought or expectation. I have bought several games on the PSN ( Rtypes, Wild Arms, Medievil, Castlevania : Symphony  of the Night, Syphon Filter, Tekken 2, Crash Bandicoot, Castlevania Chronicles, Warhawk Psone, Street Fighter Alpha, Street Fighter Alpha 2, Final Fantasy VII, VII & IX, Tomb Raider, Silent Hill, Tetris Darkstaler Chronicle,Dracula Undead Awakening, The Terminator, Super Stardust HD, Mortal Kombat II, Rampage, Warhawk, Joust, Qbert, Lemmings, Street Fighter II HD Remix, Rag Doll Kung Fu, Marvel Vs. Capcom 2, Zombie Apocalypse, Burn Zombie Burn Frogger Returns, Final Fight Double Impact, and Echochrome). I am happy with the price points as can be seen by the size of my digital library. 

Since I got my Playstation Plus account though I have gotten several free games:Rally Cross, 2 Xtreme, Rampart, Mushroom wars, Vempire, Critter Cruncher, Aero Racer, Kahoots, Fieldrunners, and Age of Zombies. That is 9 games included in the price of my membership in only the past 2 months! At this rate the membership more than pays for itself. Even if the above games were only 5 bucks  each I only lack one more game of having my $50 back. 

I am playing a lot of games I wouldn't ordinarily touch. My PSP has gotten so much playtime on the miniS games like Fieldrunners and Age of Zombies I am starting to really see it as a worthwhile investment again. 

I say Playstation Plus walks all over Xbox Live Gold. I would love to hear other opinions though.

Just think, I do all this gaming and I am still married to a beautiful, sexy woman! Life is so good. That is double true when I think that she games with me sometimes too!


In a Chevy in a hurry in the pouring down rain.

Every couple, successful and failed, has moments along the way that really cement their feelings (good and bad) for one another. Ashley and I had a night rather early on in our "budding" relationship that made things a lot more clear. We both relive it every time it rains. I have been really considering moving somewhere in the U.S. where it rains more as a result!

When Ashley and I met she had a boyfriend. I would have only been frightened if she hadn't had one. I wasn't really looking to date. I hadn't been looking for that for quite some time. Just like anything of true value though (from God to a life path) its much easier to find love and a relationship when you aren't really looking.

 Just a note to all you single guys out there: If the girl you are talking to says she is single with absolutely no attachments be super suspicious. From my experience there is no woman on this planet that has passed the threshold of legal adult age that does not have some relationship entanglement. This is just a fact of life. A boyfriend, ex boyfriend, husband, ex husband, best friend, ex best friend, stalker, creepy co worker, ex girlfriend, girlfriend, wife, ex wife, or some other form of romantic entanglement is just to be expected. Accept the "significant other" as stated fact and relax. If the girl is talking to you and showing real interest then she isn't really "his" anyway. Thank God I had this attitude when I met Ashley.

She and her man had been on the outs for a while. She was on the verge of kicking him out when we started chatting as friends. I was probably a good outlet  since I was her boss. A lesson is probably in there somewhere, but ultimately it was easy for her to tell her boyfriend that we were talking about work. It still pissed him off to no end and still does even though she and I are married.

There were even other guys chasing Ashley. Once again I was nonplussed by this. Women of any quality are a bit like a big gold nugget. Most everyone that sees them wants them on some level. Luckily for all us loser guys out there the girl picks her guy. Ashley dumped her guy. She had a date with another guy not long after that which prompted me to step up and throw my hat in the ring and confess that I really liked her. According to her even though she still went out with the guy, she spent that night trying to decide if I was serious which ultimately led to her realizing she really liked me too.

See guys, another dude isn't the worse thing in the world. Anyway...

So after a few very sweet and innocent outings ( i was so nervous the first time we went out I couldn't even eat my supper) Ashley and I had sort of become an item. I had lost my normal laid back confidence at first, due to thinking that Ash was way out of my league. It came back, but not before she went to dump me.

I was working 90 hour weeks. Ashley was getting a lot of pressure from the ex boyfriend to let him move back home. I have never been a controlling douche bag so I did my best not to trash talk the guy and just have faith in the idea she picked me. That isn't very easy when you know he is spending his every waking moment begging and pleading, but I did a pretty fair job of being relaxed about it. I did once whip out a pistol and cock it with him there, but that is a total different story and no where near as threatening and illegal as it sounds.

So I come home about six one evening and get a phone call from Ashley basically breaking things off. She was crying which is very unlike her. On that front, she didn't cry when I proposed. She didn't cry at the wedding. She didn't cry when she got her puppy. I am still working on tears of joy damn it!

After a couple of botched explanations on her part I finally asked if I could come out. If i was getting dumped she was going to dump me to my face! So I jumped in my car and absolutely drove like a maniac to B.F.E. Her new roommate let me in and I found Ashley rather weepy and unresponsive in bed. After an hour or so of talking and me rubbing her back she admitted she didn't want to dump me she just couldn't handle all the pressure from her ex and all the stress she was under.

We all have stress. It sucks. If you get a chance to help someone out help them with their stress level. Decrease stress and increase happiness and that person will love you forever. Ashley's best friend and her best friend's son were there. They didn't have much in the way of food. Ashley was the only one working and providing and paying all the bills. That's not a fun position for anyone!

So I persuaded everyone to load up in my car and we went out for burgers. We talked. We ate. We chatted about all the stressful stuff going on there, which is when I figured out they were out of gas in their one vehicle. Its a very very bad thing to be broke, out of gas, and living way the hell out in the country. All that kicked in my chivalry circuit and I swung through the Kmart, bought a gas can, ran to Weigel's and pumped 5 gallons in the can, and started out towards Ashley's house.

Which is when the heavens burst open and the floods started. We drove home at a crawl. My thoughts were more on taking care of everybody getting home safe than how much I really liked the girl in my passenger's seat. We did make the trip finally and found that to make her bad night worse the windows of her car were down. I jumped out and rolled them up and got soaked all the way to my skin.

Already dripping I just shrugged, grabbed the can out of the trunk, and stood in the storm and  filled her gas tank. Even with my specs dripping I could see the look on Ashley's face. I realized that I didn't mind being wet as long as it made her happy.

Ashley was probably the first girl I hadn't said," I would do anything for you" to , but I realized that I felt that way, and I think at the same time she realized it was true. I wasn't willing to see her go without. At the same time she spent the whole night trying to get me to not spend money on her. It was only by not telling her what I was doing at the Kmart and also topping up my already full tank that I was able to buy her gas. Even though she is my wife now, she still really won't let me buy her things or pay "her" bills.

That is a big part of what amazes me about her. I am used to being used. Ashley was too, and she wouldn't even accept help without me just forcing it on her (even though I was always sweet and careful about it). Her independent streak is wider even than mine. That day though with then rain pouring and me standing in it watching her while I fumbled with a full 5 gallon gas can I could tell she really appreciated me, not for what I was doing, but for the fact I cared enough to do it.

It was still a long time before we said those three little words, but I think we both knew it in our hearts all along. I remember it every minute of everyday, but I think about it in a special way when it rains.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Wedding Bells

For those of you who don't know me, I am the big guy in the middle. The people to my left are my new wife and her parents. To my right is my daughter and my parents. Basically, this picture has all the most important people in my life in it. 
 
For those of you who do know me though, it may be kind of strange to see me getting married. I have to admit the last year or so has been a whirlwind. So much has changed with me, and by extension I am so much happier than I have ever been before. 
 
Me being happily married is just a 180 degree turn around from where most everyone has known me to be for the last decade. Lots of people from mine and my wife's respective pasts are astounded. Many of the people I know don't even know about it. 
 
I figured I might start blogging again and telling a little of our story. I doubt it will make for very interesting reading, but it is a fun experience for me. I figure some of the more tender pieces might win me cool points with my new Wife too.
 
We have been married for a month now, and honestly I still feel like we are on the honeymoon. She is the most wonderful and understanding woman I have ever known. I truly feel blessed. 
 
Don't worry more information will follow. 

Wedding Bells

For those of you who don't know me, I am the big guy in the middle. The people to my left are my new wife and her parents. To my right is my daughter and my parents. Basically, this picture has all the most important people in my life in it. 

For those of you who do know me though, it may be kind of strange to see me getting married. I have to admit the last year or so has been a whirlwind. So much has changed with me, and by extension I am so much happier than I have ever been before. 

Me being happily married is just a 180 degree turn around from where most everyone has known me to be for the last decade. Lots of people from mine and my wife's respective pasts are astounded. Many of the people I know don't even know about it. 

I figured I might start blogging again and telling a little of our story. I doubt it will make for very interesting reading, but it is a fun experience for me. I figure some of the more tender pieces might win me cool points with my new Wife too.

We have been married for a month now, and honestly I still feel like we are on the honeymoon. She is the most wonderful and understanding woman I have ever known. I truly feel blessed. 

Don't worry more information will follow. 

Going Negative

The universe has noticed that I am in a learning mood. It has set out to teach me more life lessons. I am going to take these on the first g...