Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wow it's been awhile

Okay, so I came back from vacation, started a blog and then forget to update it...

Well I'm going to try to get better at that, just for that one and only reader.

I'm headed to another wedding tomorrow, thankfully the last of the summer. It's not that I don't like weddings, but all the traveling is getting expensive. I was looking at buying a car charger/FM transmitter for my iPhone and was about to pull the trigger at Walmart today. Except, I used my iPhone to scan the bar code and find it $30 cheaper online. So I don't get it in time for the trip, but for crying out loud, $30 cheaper?!?

Anyway, being the businessman that I am, the scenario poses an interesting question about commerce. When it comes to products, what percentage of consumers are okay with waiting for shipping to save a few (or many) dollars? I know I'm frugal and even though I'm bummed I didn't have the item for this up coming trip, I'll deal with it.

What about you?

Here's another thought, what about buying locally? If I can, I'd like to give the local guy my business even if costs a few dollars more (as long as the service is on par). What about you? Do you even think to buy local, choice by price, or some other deciding factor for where you purchase your goods?


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Happy Anniversary !

This past Sunday I celebrated one year of marriage with my wonderful wife Brandy. We went out to dinner and the one thing we said over and over was how we couldn't believe how fast the year went. We are looking forward to the days ahead when our schedules settle down and we can have some what of a normal life.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Disengaging from work

Disengaging from work has been extra difficult this week. I am currently working for an IT consulting company and I thoroughly enjoy my job on most days. This week both of my superiors are on vacation and it's made my job pretty stressful. I had just come off my vacation and needed to catch up on somethings but never had the chance to; hitting the ground running with outstanding requests and new projects. I'm looking forward to next week when my attention will not be pulled in quite so many directions.
Regardless of this week or not, I find it rather difficult to disengage my brain from my work. It seems that when I get home I'm always thinking about the business, how I can improve it, how I can improve myself etc. I decided in college that no matter what kind of job I had after graduation that I wouldn't be one of those guys who sacrifices family time for the business. I believe God makes it clear that your identity should not be in your work but in Him, then your family, then maybe your job.
I'm going to have to cut this one short, but would love to hear any suggestions on "clearing the mind" when it's time to spend time with the family.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Vacation Time

This past week my wife and I have taken a vacation to her hometown of Nashville, Tennessee. I planned to work some and vacation some... bad choice. It seemed that whenever we'd plan to do something together, something came up at work. Regardless, we managed to have a pretty good time visiting her family.
We did managed to get a little too much sun. I only have a little burn on my shoulders but Brandy got it pretty bad on her whole front half. Oh well, she learned she didn't tan like she used to.
At the moment I'm sitting in cousin Becky's condo in Charlotte, North Carolina and finally feel like I'm on vacation... and we go home tomorrow. There aren't any fires to put out at work, just some tasks to get done during the day tomorrow. Both Brandy and I are pretty tired from staying out late last night at her sister's house, packing, me having a terrible allergic reaction to her sister's cats and catching the first plane out this morning. I just woke up from a quick nap and Brandy's still asleep, I enjoy naps. Becky picked us up this morning, we grabbed lunch at Chic-fil-a, walked around the mall and finished our outing with some ice cream from Coldstone Creamery. It was like being a kid again, having someone take you out and buy your lunch and ice cream, it was really fun and Becky's a blast anyway.

Time to relax a bit longer before having to head home tomorrow.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Motorcycle Ride

Today was my first motorcycle ride of the year. Usually I get out before now but it just didn't happen. I tried to get out yesterday but the rain had other plans.

After completing my pre-ride checks (blinkers, brake lights, tire pressure etc) and prayer for safety (something I always do after being rear-ended last year) I was off. I started by going up by Crystal Lake and then just worked my way through the country roads of Tolland. I had forgotten how much I love to ride. Taking the right of the main drag onto a side road became a transition, not just a turn. There I was, just me, the bike and the road. I love cruising through the country roads. We are fortunate enough to live in the country with plenty of trees, so imagine riding through a tunnel of lush leaves painted by the Creator with every shade of green all attached to strong branches that merge into towering trunks. There is something therapeutic about riding through these roads on a motorcycle. Without all the extra space of a car, you become one with the bike as you lean with every turn of the road. However, my favorite part of riding the country roads isn't something you can see, just feel. The air in those green tunnels is different, it is substantially cooler and it feels wonderful as you ride through it, almost like an invisible cloud. You really have to try it sometime!

My plan was just to ride and explore and possibly get lost if my internal GPS allowed it. I came to a fork in the road and neither side was paved...not such a good thing on a motorcycle. I grew up riding dirtbikes which are made for this, riding a street bike on loose gravel is like trying to maintain your balance on marbles... certainly doable but not preferable. It made me think of that poem we learned in high school, "two road diverged in a yellow wood" I believe it's "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost. As I made my loop to head towards home I passed a local farm veterinarian office I had forgotten even existed. He owns a small heard of cattle but these just aren't any cattle, they are what we refer to as "Oreo Cows." Their genetic blueprint determines black for the front and rear thirds separated by a milky white midsection. So I stopped and snapped a few pictures with my iPhone, I really need to get a new camera after my faithful one died last summer.

Something I did notice on my ride was houses. There are many different styles, colors, layouts, landscaping (or lake thereof) and it got me thinking about the kind of house I want someday - not sure yet, but I've got plenty of time. The sad part about the houses were how many For Sale signs I saw. It's a sign the nation isn't out of the woods yet for the financial difficulties. I home people can keep their homes, but I certainly hope everyone learns to buy houses (or anything) they can afford, not what they can buy with credit.

I made it home, put the bike away, thanked God for the safe journey and checked out my pictures and started writing.

By the way, here's a picture of gate, I just like how it turned out with the fly on the top rail.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Catching up...

So let's get things started... My name is Mat
thew, I follow Jesus, I have a wonderful wife, Brandy and work for an IT consulting company, Solution Innovators (And hopefully in that order although it's tough)

I think the inspiration behind trying to write a blog came from reading those of friends, particular, two of them. First, Laura and James are a couple I attended college with and Laura has an unbelievable talent for telling stories. Their blog depicts their life as newlyweds in a inner city neighborhood. Second, is from Adina. I met Adina at a good friend's wedding a couple weeks ago. I had the pleasure of serving Ryan as a groomsman as he did at my wedding. So there we were, standing at the rehearsal and there is a photographer snapping pictures. Not a big deal for a wedding, but Adina had the artist look going and she obviously knew how to handle her camera as she clicked away, yet was seemingly unobtrusive. Anyhow, the next day at the reception she hung out with us at the head table and we got to know her a bit. Anyway, we've become Facebook friends in efforts for me to get a hold of the wedding pictures. I noticed she had a photography blog, and being ever curious about photography I decided to take a look. Sure enough in a true artist fashion, she told her story of traveling throughout Europe with her camera and I was hooked. Take a look at her blog here. Hopefully some day I'll have the extra cash to pickup a nice camera and go to town.

Here's a photo my wife took at what appears to be an awkward moment during the rehearsal. Not a great picture, zoomed in from the back of the church, but it gets the point across.

Whoa it's the first post

So here it is, my own blog. I struggled with the idea of starting this as I am not much of a writer but the chance to write down some of my daily occurrences seemed like fun. Also, I've been able to stay up on the lives of some friends who write without talking to them. Although this sounds like the wrong way to maintain a friendship, it works for those living across the country (or overseas...Adina, and military friends) until we're face to face again. I'm thinking this could serve as a learning tool in some capacity. We'll see how many people actually read this, leave a comment and we'll see.