Friday, April 21, 2006

Vacation....It's gooooooooooooood

So here we are in the Magic Kingdom. It's vacation, it's relaxing, it's unwinding, it's recharging. It is AWESOME!!! Our first restaurant stop was the 50's Prime Time Cafe in MGM Studios. Now I'm going to break a personal BLOG cardinal rule, "Never post actual pictures of family on the BLOG." So I think you've probably wondered what my wife Sharkey looks like. Here she is:

Isn't she just the cutest thing!!!!! So here's the thing, the 50's Prime Time Cafe is a place out of the the nostalgic past. It is staffed by waiting staff with an edge. They tell you "OK, Hon' you set the table for dinner and remember Ma's four rules:"
  1. Elbows off the table
  2. Hats off at the table
  3. Eat all your vegetables or no dessert
  4. No Tower for an hour

And they do not take anything from anyone. When my brother was smart mouthed with the waitress, she said to him without a second thought, "Watch it!!!!!!!!!!" And after we were done with dinner, she sat down with us at the table and talked to us while flinging spitballs and napkins at our "cousins" in the other kitchen. It was great!!! Totally freaked out my nephews. They thought they would be asked to do the "I'm a little teapot" song!! They were very, very "afeared." The picture above is how they show you what the desserts are. They give you a Viewmaster will 3-D pictures of the desserts. And they are YUMMY!!!!

Today we are going to Downtown Disney to do a bit of shopping, then EPCOT for dinner, and off to the Magic Kingdom till 3AM. Resort Guests have a deal where they can stay at the parks 3 hours after they close for exclusive magic opportunities! I LOVE THIS PLACE!!! J.P. signing off for now!!!!!!! TTFN!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Class is OVER....So what am I going to do now?

I'm going to Disney World!!!!

Sharkey and I have a very early morning tomorrow. We have a 7:55am flight, so that means we need to leave our house by 5:30am. The things you do for Mickey!!!! Sheeeesh!!

So you may have noticed that my posts have decreased in frequency. Most of that is due to my grad course. Now that it's over, you'll see a lot more posts from this point on. Man that course just totally sucked!!! I felt like an undergrad again. There were 10 chapters of text, two exams, two papers and a final project that were assigned all within 7 weeks. Not sure how many of you have ever taken graduate courses, but they are hardly ever that intense. My first class in resuming grad school has just totally demotivated me enough to take the summer off and go back for fall classes!! Yay me!!! You know it wouldn't have been so bad if the final project wasn't so brutal.

We had to present a prospective company to the professor as if he were the CEO of an investing company. Our group was the first to go last night. He tore us up!!!! Question after question, on definitions, on interpretations, charting, corporate policies, and on things totally unrelated to the scope of the class. On top of that, he was the timekeeper of our presentation and told us we had 7 minutes left to present what we all knew would take 15 minutes. Of course that 7 minute mark he gave us was right at the time yours truly was up to do his part. I think though that the main thing I was feeling at that time last night wasn't panic, it wasn't stress, and it wasn't anxiety, it was outright ANGER!!!! I was very, very mad because the timekeeping he did was total bullshit!!! We had practiced the presentation 3x to get it to 30 minutes on the dot. We were allotted 40 minutes max, and we had that well in hand. I was also pretty mad because one of my team members who was getting grilled by the prof early on gave away our position 10 minutes into the presentation because they lost it and reverted back to student teacher mode!!! Now that was a total FUBAR, because you have to understand the structure of our presentation was to make our case, then state the position last for dramatic effect. So that person gave away the farm 10 minutes in, which blew our big effect, so BIG DUH for them!!!!! THEN on top of that, the same person said to me when I got up to speak not just once, but twice, "JP, skip your slides and move to the conclusion." So here's my dilemma, do I honor that request and keep within time, which I know is total b.s., or do I present my piece the way I'm supposed to, so we can keep building the case and stick with the script we agreed to use? I decided to do my part as rehearsed. I felt I put the time into it, I developed it, I knew it cold and most of all I had the right to present it. So I decided I would fight tooth and nail on the timekeeping if I needed to do that. So "Annoying Clueless" team person got the JP HAND in the face and I did my full part and we finished. If I ever had need of the portable "JP Slap-o-matic" it was last night!!!

Well to make a long story short, we scored a 90 on the presentation. Apparently, he was hard on us because we were first group, in order to set the tone for the next 5 groups and put the fear of God into them all. Isn't that just lovely?? Anyhow, that score gives me about a B+ to A- in the course. I think that last night was less about presenting an investment opportunity, and more about testing personal character. I am very glad that I did not compromise mine.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Why Do Birds....

So I've been starting to use the grill more. The temp outside is increasing, the sun is out and the birds are singing. Everything is right in the world. Well everything, but this....

It seems I have a new tenant. This bird has somehow decided that my grill is a great place to build a new home. Sure the property is off a cul de sac, and the deck is Fiberon, so you'll never have to treat or sand it, but I don't think she realizes how hot it's going to get. And you'd think that the bird would sense that many of its cousins, the chickens, have met a marinated char-grilled demise in this new location.

Next post.... Man vs. Bird... (ding...ding)