Friday, December 29, 2006

I Am Not Old!

Am I the only one that hasn't change to Beta? I am only 47 years old, so why do I feel conscious about my age when I log into Blogger? Could it be because now I have to choose how to log in and I always have to choose "Old Blogger", it must be. Anyway I have not change to the new format, those of you that have let me know if I should do it. I am just so used to this format and I am a creature of habit, but 47 is not that old so I wish I could log in by choosing "Young Blogger" instead of "Old Blogger".

Well, this is probably my last post for the year. 2006 has been a good year for my family and me; we had some meaningful celebrations including my Silver Wedding Anniversary. We had our usual trips to California for parties and what not and our yearly trip to Knott's Berry Farm for the Fabulous Fords Forever car show. But the highlight of the year was our 5-day cruise to Ensenada-San Diego-Catalina Island. This was our celebration trip for our Wedding Anniversary and 17 relatives including my Mom, my daughters and son and their spouses and my sister and her posse joined us. The trip was probably one of the best experiences of the year and one we are still talking about.

Work has also been good, this year marked my 16th year with the company, so far it has been a great partnership, and it seems that I will be here for a few more years.

One day surfing the net I discovered a web site called "Idol Blog", this is an interactive forum that talks about nothing buy "American Idol". In one of the many comments Angie from "Ficken Chingers" said she had her own blog, I visited it and found out how it worked and the rest is history, Joe Cool's Blog was born and so far I still enjoy the hell out of it. As you all know I have no theme, no meaning, no rhyme, I just write about anything and everything that I may be going through at any particular time, some of you have been nice enough to visit my blog over and over again and it's safe to say that I had made some very nice friends over the last six months.

I don't foresee my blog going into a particular direction, I will still continue to write and make no since, so far it has worked just fine. I will however ask my daughter just as soon as we get internet at home to come up with a different template, but that may still take a while. Thankfully I have Internet at work and that has allowed me to stay in touch with you all.

As my lunch hours is almost over and we are going to be kicked out of here pretty soon I want to take this opportunity to wish you all a very HAPPY NEW YEAR, may you all have a safe and fun celebration weather you go out or stay home and I am so looking forward to "seeing you" in the blogosphere in 2007. I really appreciate all of your comments, I have made many changes in my blog as per your suggestions and input and I hope you will continue to help me with your suggestions in the comment section.

Our celebration will take place at my sister's house. I'm sure there will be plenty of food and for entertainment we will be karaoking our asses off so without anything further to say, I will just log off and say once again...


Thursday, December 28, 2006

YouTube Karaoke

If you have been reading my blog for a while then you probably know that I enjoy to karaoke with my family. Yeah I Know I can't sing that well but it's still lots of fun once you get pass the "I can't sing in front of people" syndrome.

My forte of course is singing in Spanish, I can do a decent Alejandro Fernandez or a semi-decent Luis Miguel but I also try to sing in English and that's where the fun begins because I have a strong Mexican accent. I really love to sing country music so you can just imagine me singing George Strait or John Michael Montgomery with a Latin accent.

So why am I talking about karaoke? Well if you look to your right on my side bar my new tenant or new co-pilot for the week is non other than "YouTube Karaoke". This is so cool I had to give it a try. The premise is that you click on a YouTube song video and then if you start scrolling down the post you'll find the lyrics for that song, put one and one together and you have the best chance to start practicing your songs for the next karaoke outing to your local bar or restaurant.

What? You don't like karaoke, it doesn't matter you can still click on my co-pilot and just enjoy the song videos posted on this site. Either way is should be a lot of fun.

Gotta go now, I'm going to try "Addicted to Love".

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Health - What a Great Asset

I'm feeling pretty good overall, but when I think about the hassles one has to go through when something happens and the level of care that some medical centers give it kindda makes me sick too.

Last week my brother-in-law whom also happens to work with me had an accident as he was helping unload product from a truck, to make a long story short he tried to save a pallet full of product as it started to collapse. As he reached for it a chain of events happened so quick that before anyone knew it he had fallen from the loading dock into the pit, we are talking a good six to seven feet drop into nothing but hard cement.

I took him to emergency and thank God the x-rays showed no broken bones, but the pain from the impact had left him with no movement and walking was not in the equation. As he is currently taking medication they didn't really want to prescribe anything for the pain other than Tylenol, that is fine as Tylenol has been known to reduce pain. So they asked him what is it that you do at work, he told them he does the receiving for the company, that requires lots of walking, heavy lifting and lots of bending. They told him he could go back to work right away but to try not to lift heavy objects and to try to take it easy. Hello, how can he go back to work when he can't even walk or move his feet?

Hospitals and clinics sometimes make me wonder, my mom goes to the doctor and tells him that she is suffering from this or that and that it has been bugging her for a while, she describes the pain in detail and hopes they will tell her what's wrong with her. Well pretty much most of the time they come back to tell her that there's absolutely nothing wrong with her.

I hear that medical mistakes are the eight leading cause of death in the United States, and that medication erros alone kill 7,000 people every year. Recently we changed my mom's medicine supplier as the one we used to go to kept filling her prescriptions wrong, and wouldn't fix their mistake once we took the medicine home. My mom relies on us to go pick her medicines up when they are ready because she doesn't drive, that's why normally we didn't find out about these errors until later. Now I'm the one that picks her medicine up and I always open the envelope before I even pay for them. Yes we do have to do our part, so far this new place has made no mistakes yet.

Hats off to hospitals, clinincs and pharmacies that care about the patients, as sometimes there are not too many, but as for me my new year resolution will be to stay healthy, I know that it's not entirely up to me but hey I will definitely do my part.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Three Days Til' Christmas

Shopping? What is that? It's a known fact that the mall and I don't mix, every so often I go out with "mi chica" but my interest span only lasts for about five minutes and then it's all down hill from there. It never fails but when I go out shopping with the girls it's just a matter of time until I need to go to the restroom and since I refuse to use public restrooms (unless of course it's only number one) their shopping time has immediately been cut to about a fraction of their allotted time, that's why y being as smart as they are, they don't invite me.

It's funny because if the shopping involves a Harley Davidson dealership, I can browse for hours and hours without getting tired at all. At the dealers I scan just about every shelf, look for sales, browse at the ride flyers and calendars, and of course I have to try every bike in the showroom to see which one may be a suitable trade for my fatboy. Except after an hour or two of doing this I wake up and tell myself, "Self, your bike is paid for and it's beautiful, you don't need a new one" and I usually convince myself pretty easy, but to dream is free so why not.

Tomorrow we will be working only for a little over half a day and then we are all going home to start our Christmas Weekend, I'm really looking forward to being with my family. Our Christmas gatherings used to be the best but for a while there they got boring, our family is extremely big and it's hard to stay together as everyone has to visit two families, but in the past two years we have tried to revive the family unity and so this Christmas is a good opportunity to revive the good time we had in the past.

Our family does everything on Christmas Eve, get start getting together at around 8:00 p.m., once most of us are together we have a dinner, there is usually lots of different thing to eat, from tamales, to fruit salad and everything in between and then at midnight we do the present exchange and the kids get to open all their presents. Normally the whole affair ends at around 2:00 a.m. at which time we all go to our homes. In our case we still have another bunch of presents to open at home and normally nobody likes to wait until Christmas morning so we stay up a little more and take care of that, finally we go to bet knowing that we don't have to get up if we don't want to.

Our Christmas day is usually very quiet, the stores are closed so we just stay home and vegetate, but this year I asked "mi chica" if we can have some sort of Christmas Day dinner and she said that it was a great idea. So more food it is then.

This year we have been watching lots of Christmas movies, thanks to our DVR (what a great invention) we record as many as we can and then watch one or two every night, it's been great, specially because "mi chica" has tagged along every night, on any other night we are on different TVs because we like different shows but the holidays have brought us together every night, is that cool or what?

I know that I will have a nice Christmas because my family is with me and I hope that all of you out there have a very Merry Christmas too, take it easy on the eggnog and have a safe holiday.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Year-end Preparations

I know my posts have been few and far, that should all change as the New Year arrives. With year-end preparations at work, an upcoming inventory and general clean-up, and trying to close most of the loose ends is taking most of my energy. I know I must be gaining weight because the Christmas goodies come in just about every day, I will need to start formulating a diet plan that I can keep. And then as many of us are trying to use all of our remaining vacation days, skelleton crews are popular right now, so bear with me and hopefuly comes January I will be back on track with both my Joe Cool blog as well as my Arizona... It's a dry heat photo blog too.

Soul Blessings

Co-pilot of the Week
Please click on the thumbnail on the sidebar
The heading says it all, "The personal, political and reflective thoughts of an eclectic thinker" SOUL BLESSINGS is the brainchild of Tara. Please take a moment and visit this site, it has some kick ass postings, one that really got me thinking is the one called "A Moral Question" see December 15. Not to mention that I really like the name of her blog.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Christmas My Favorite Time

To me, Christmas is without a doubt the best and happiest time of the entire year and it has nothing to do with buying stuff, there are better presents that can be given than those that you have to pay for.

Think about it, if you are holding a grudge, during Chirstmas it's easier to let it go and let bygones be bygones. It's a lot easier to say I'm sorry and to ask for forgivenes. It's something in the air, it's the spirit of the season, the spirit and the meaning of Christmas. People come together and celebrate in many ways, and the mood is festive for the most part.

I love watching Christmas movies because they get me more into the spirit of it. It's obvious that I'm not the only person to have this feelings, every movie I watch has that warm fuzzy feeling and someone must have felt them to put them down in writing and then on the screen, sure it's show business but what I like is the principle of the whole thing. Also I get to fantasize as to what it would be like to spend Christmas in other places. It may sound crazy but I have never had a white Christmas. I have only lived in Southern California and in Phoenix and both these places don't get the white stuff, so hopefuly at least once in my life I'll get to experience a white Christmas.

The gifts are nice, but sometimes we blow things out of proportion, a gift doesn't have to be expensive, sometimes if you make it yourself it's even better. Give them from your heart and they'll be trasured forever.

I'm not one for wishes but as long as God keeps allowing me to have my health and my family near me, that's all I need, together we will take care of the rest ourselves.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Dear Me,

Dear Me,

Please don't forget to mention the new co-pilot for this week. This time we are cruising all the way to the Philipines where ivan resides. I have encountered this blog on and off and I believe I even have commented on some of her letters to herself.

Please visit her, by clicking her thumbnail on my sidebar and tell her I sent you to say hi. You too will find all of her "Dear Me" letters entertaining. she is absolutely worth the visit.

Dear all of you,

Now go and click, click, click, on her thumbnail, whatcha waitin' for :)

Beware Of The Prices

Well let me start by saying that today is Friday for me, yeap once again I will be out Thursday and Friday as I'm trying to finish my vacation time. Isn't it sad when you have days off and don't know what to do with them? Unfortunately our policy is use it, or lose it, so I will just go home and stay in bed or something.

Last week we finished installing the laminate floor, boy that was a big job but it was worth the effort and in the end we saved about $15,000.00. Sounds hard to believe? See when we first started contemplating on replacing the carpet that we had we called one of those companies that "specialize" in installing floors and the first estimate came up to $18,000.00. We pretended to be interested and told the representative that we needed to talk (my wife and I) and when we had a decision we would call them... Not!

Mi chica decided to give someone else a try and so again they came in and after measuring the house they gave us their estimate, keep in mind this estimates were for laminate floors not real wood floors. So after it was all said and done they told us that it would be around $11,000.00. I looked at my wife and she looked at me and again we told the guy we needed to talk and make a decision and that we would let them know.

One day mi chica and I had to go to Home Depot to buy some stuff we needed and while there we decided to check the prices for the floors. Well guess what, we told them how much we may need and after they did the math they told us it would be about $3000.00 and that if we wanted it installed they had their sub-contractors and they estimated another $3000.00 for the labor. Well now, that is a huge difference from $18,000.00 isn't it? So now we are excited, this is more realistic and more within our means.

We were ready to take the plunge and just a day before we were going to go and buy all the flooring our Costco coupon booklet comes in the mail and as we go through it what do we see in there? Yeap you guessed it, laminate floor was going on sale in about a month, so we decided to wait.

A month later mi chica and the guys went to Costco and bought the floor... finally! Since we already knew the measurements we decided that some 40 boxes or so would do the whole house, final tally $1,300.00 give or take. We were told that the floor would have to be inside the house for at least three days prior to installation for the wood to get acclimated to our house. We, well -- we played it safe and let it sit in our den for four months.

On Thanksgiving weekend my brother in law came from California and saw the floor and said that he would be glad to help us but was very short on time, so he opened one of the packages and basically told us how to do it. It sounded simple enough so the next day after all our guests returned home we started the project which only took us four days to finish, of course done over a three weekend period. Now our floor is done and the only thing left to do is to install the dividers that go between the tile and the wood and or the carpet and the wood.

So there you have it, that was our laminate floor experience, and the best part was that including the tools be bought such as electric saws and drills and some miscellaneous items the complete project just barely reached $2,000.00, come to think of it we saved about $16,000.00 from the original estimate... wow!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


La Virgen de Guadalupe (1531)

Today is her day.

We must respect the devocion diversity. For us Catholics today is a big day as we celebrate our Lady of Guadalupe. Thousands of people visited her last night at her temple in Mexico City. In a time where people are divided in Mexico, last night they were all united in one celebration and one faith.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Christmas Then & Now

I will be posting very little the remainder of the month as I will be on vacation and will have no access to the Internet. I will continue to give my Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you well because that's what I do. I'm Christmasy like that and I try to enjoy the whole month, I usually get in the Christmans mood right after Thanksgiving weekend, so I hope my posts don't get old.

Once apon a time in Mexico our Christmas didn't have gifts but instead we celebrated from December 16 through the 24th by having a posada each night. First many of us got together and then we were divided into two groups. Group 1 would represent Mary and Joseph and group 2 were the Inn owners. Then we started chanting going from door to door asking for "posada" and it wasn't until the last door that we were all invited inside. Posadas are fun and get the whole neighborhood involved.

After the posada we would go to a pre-chosen location to break pinatas and to get candy, after that fire crackers were lit and fired all night long. On the 24th we have the last posada and then some of us were taken to church for midnight mass.

Santa Clauss was only for the rich and I grew up in a poor neighborhood, us poor people would have to waint until January the 6th when "The Three Wisemen" would distribute toys to all the kids in the world... or so we tought. We were asked to write a letter to the wisemen the night before asking them for toys we wanted and then place it outside the door inside one of our shoes, however as wise as the three wise men were they didn't know how to read because they never brought us the toys we requested and always substituted with toys we didn't request. But year after year we still had hope and to this day we still love them.

Most families in Mexico have a nativity set and setting up your display was always a family affair as well, to this day this is still a tradition that is very much alive, again Christmas trees were more common amongst the rich or even the middle class people, that's why we had so much pride in setting the prettiest nativity scene for everyone to see and enjoy.

Sharing the joy with others, eating tamales and good food, going to mass, and learning about "El Nino Dios" (Baby Jesus) is what it was all about, a far cry from what we do now. Times change and beliefs vary but in my world Christmas is still Christmas and to me it is still the best and most festive time of the year.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Christmas Throught Their Eyes


Sure, Christmas is highly commercialized but this bunch doesn't know any different so I will concentrate on seeing Christmas through their eyes.


'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the casa, Not a creature was stirring -- Caramba! Que pasa?Los ninos were tucked away in their camas, Some in camisas and some in pijamas.

While hanging the stockings with mucho cuidado in hopes that old Santa would feel obligado to bring all children, both buenos and malos, a nice batch of dulces and other regalos.
Outside in the yard there arose such a grito that I jumped to my feet like a frightened cabrito. I ran to the window and looked out afuera, and who in the world do you think quien era?

Saint Nick in a sleigh and a big red sombrero came dashing along like a crazy bombero. And pulling his sleigh instead of venados were eight little burros approaching volados.
I watched as they came and this quaint little hombre was shouting and whistling and calling by nombre "Ay Pancho, ay Pepe, ay Chucho, ay Beto, Ay Chato, ay Chopo, Macuco, y Nieto!"

Then standing erect with his hands on his pecho he flew to the top of our very own techo. With his round little belly like a bowl of jalea, he struggled to squeeze down our old chiminea,
then huffing and puffing at last in our sala, with soot smeared all over his red suit de gala, He filled all the stockings with lovely regalos-- for none of the ninos had been very malos.

Then chuckling aloud, seeming very contento, he turned like a flash and was gone like the viento. And I heard him exclaim, and this is verdad, Merry Christmas to all, and Feliz Navidad!

Co-pilot of the Week

Tom Jackson Online
"The truth is the truth whether whispered or shouted. View online at"

Today I'm welcoming Tom Jackson to the co-pilot seat. I have never been to the other side of the pond so I couldn't tell you much about what goes on over there, but Tom is there so if you visit his blog you'll get a little insight on things happening in the U.K. Tom is pretty good at posting daily, at least he is trying so there is plenty of good stuff to read. Please do me a favor and go visit him, he is on my side bar just a click away.


25 peeps

After 12 days, I'm still there, don't forget to keep voting for me. My goal was to last more than a day and at this time I'm well over that mark. Now let's just see how much longer I can stay on the front page.

Just click on the picture or on the link below and then click on my thumbnail and that's all, easy enough isn't it?

Monday, December 04, 2006

On Your Knees

So, "mi chica" had me on my knees all weekend long. No she didn't ask me to beg for anything nor was I asking for forgiveness you all know I am a good boy, what she had us doing was laying her new laminate floor. She is not doing the living room only noooo, she decided for the living room, the office, the den and the halls, that my friends is a lot of square footage to cover and an old fart like me can't take that kind of punishment any more. It's a good thing the in-laws are young and owe us more than they would like that they happily put in all the muscle required for the job.

The nice thing about tackling such a big job is that with the old carpet out it was easy to retouch the walls and the bottom borders without having to worry about spilling paint. Also a lot of the furniture and knick-knacks that were taken out are not coming back in. We will have to do a "clean sweep" kinda thing where we make the three piles: keep, throw away, and sale. In this household I'm the one that is a "rat pack" so throwing away stuff is not that easy for me, but I just have to take a deep breath, close my eyes and say see ya, bye! to a lot of the stuff that at this point is sitting in my garage not allowing me to park my cars in there.

This job should have happened a long time ago but it wasn't until last weekend that we started it and we hope that it will only take us one more weekend to finish the job. Tensions were high due to the long hours and at the end of the day we were all so tired that started arguing but in the end it's all going to be worth it, specially because I know "mi chica" will be very happy her house once again looks really nice.
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