Sunday, November 16, 2008

November 16, 2008 - Howl at the moon

Hey there, hi there and hello there to you all. A special anniversary hello to Byron and MarJoan, I will never forget the box car ride down Aspn Lane ... thanks for the memories:) O yes, and a special thank you to my good pal Ryan Funke, the reasoning behind this is further down in the blog (this is foreshadowing, I read about it ... in a book;)

We had a very productive week at Aflac this week as well as some good times. I only had 20 meetings this week, so I was able to get quite a bit of work done on the side. We did quite a bit of work planning this week for different enhancements to all of our systems in 2009 (please don't fall asleep, it gets better). Then on Thursday we had a department wide celebration at the BA, or bowling alley for those of you not in the acronym business. About 300 or so folks came out for some bowling, dancing and karaoke. I will have to say, I am glad the performance appraisal season is over with because I had to take my boss-man down with a 180-168 victory on the bowling lane; it had to be the electric blue shoes. Then our PIC team got up to see Brick House by The Commodores, hilariousness ensued. It was a great way to celebrate the successes and wrap up the week indeed. Then the weekend started early ...

I left work a bit early on Friday so I could venture down to visit my good pal Ryan Funke ... yes, pronounced like funky. I know, it's hilarious. As I was driving down to Melbourne (which happens to be about 7 hours away) I got the call for Neil Armstrong that the Endeavor Shuttle was launching from the Kennedy Space Center on Friday night, so I met up with Funke alongside of the road and waited. We were about 2-3 miles away from the center, but we could see the launch clear as day and it was spectacular. It was amazing to see the fireball take off and then appear to tail away with the wind as it left Earth's atmosphere. A couple minutes after the initial launch we saw the boosters fall off like shooting stars, it was majestic and a grand experience I must say! I was able to meet some of Ryan's pals while watching the good ol' Iowa Hawkeyes at a local establishment and then we cruised around in the 85 degree weather, it was wondermous. Saturday night we ventured up to Orlando to visit a wonderful establishment, Howl at the Moon. Four of us went up and got front row seats for the most amazing dueling piano/band bar I have ever been to, probably the best night club since Big City in Cancun. The atmosphere was great and the musicians were quite excellent throughout the evening. You had your normal dollar requests for songs, but then people could put money up to write a phrase on these two huge mirrors behind the performers. The phrases started off at $5 for things like, "Happy Birthday Eric" or "Congrats Liz and Ed." As the night went on more money went up for "Go Florida Gators" and my personal favorite, "The hottest girls in the world are from Canada!" Seeing an opportunity, Funke and myself put in some money to change the previous phrase to, "The hottest fellas in the world are from Shueyville, Iowa" which was followed by lots of Iowa chanting ... it was a glorious feeling to know that the bar had more people in it than the entire town of Shueyville:) I had a great weekend with the Funkmaster, but it all had to end too quickly with a long drive. Thank you though Ryan for the air mattress and home made cookies, it was a great time!

Did not have a lot of volunteer action this week besides a few YP/Literacy Alliance meetings, but I did put a start on the Change the World tour. OK, I just made that up, but we do have about 10 SIFE alums that have signed up to join me on a service trip to New Orleans over MLK Jr. weekend in January and I am elated. It's going to be a great time and I'm glad so many people decided to join in on the fun, it'll be a life changing experience no doubt! (Easter Seals Halloween pic to the left, gotta love that place).

I have two of the greatest ladies making ventures to visit in the next week or so and I can't wait to see Steph and Jenny! We are going to have a blast and I'm really looking forward to some good times!

With that I will leave you with the morsel of the week. With all of the turmoil in the economy right now, I thought two quotes from the 'Traveler's Gift' would be very suitable: "Challenges are gifts, opportunities to learn ... Adversity is preparation for greatness." We will all run into obstacles in our life and although at times I agree it is beyond difficult to see why that wall is put there, life will be sunny on the other side. I have my fingers crossed Steph and Dad ... love you and wish the best of luck. Thank you for the greatest family and friends, that's what makes every day a beautiful day!


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