Sunday, April 5, 2009

April 5, 2009 - Happy birthday bro!

Hey there, hi there and hello there all.  It seems like it was just four hours ago that I wrote my last post, yet my calendar says it was a week ... holy schnikes!  Well, this week is it ... the big 12 for the bro Blake.  One more year man and you'll be a teenager, wow that's weird:)  I hope you have an awesome birthday man and don't think I won't get those birthday spankings in before it's all said and done.This week at Aflac went by, once again, ridiculously fast, but for a different reason than usual.  I had my Six Sigma Green Belt training all week long.  Six Sigma is basically a methodology used to identify the root causes of problems in the workplace and it helps identify potential solutions that could be implemented.  The teacher took us on a magic school bus ride back to statistics class where I calculated more variables of inverted relationships than Jerry Springer does in a show (ok, maybe that joke was a bit of a stretch ... get it?:).  I learned a great deal about project management and will begin using it this week for our Online Service initiative to help reduce call center volume hopefully.  In addition, we finally had a chance to present the Future State of Policy Service to my boss' boss and his boss, with his boss in the room and her boss too (yes 5 boss dudes and ladies) ... it was awesome.  It went swimmingly and our Executive VP seemed to thoroughly enjoy the effort we put into it, she even took the time to thank Mike for all that we had done.  My manager Shara and Mike let me do the whole power point presentation, which was a great experience for me ... now we just have to start doing all that we talked about!  No soccer action has been played in the last two weeks because of all of this rain, and then the kids are on spring break this week ... so, it'll be three weeks before En Fuego gets a shot at our first victory;)  On the other hand, the Miss Georgia Pageant program book is in full swing.  As of today, we have doubled our ad sales since last year.  In 2008, contestant ads were not very well advertised and we still had the girls sell over $17,000 worth of ads.  This year, I asked my fellow board members if I could have a few minutes in front of the ladies and parents at forum weekend a few weeks ago.  Now, I'm not saying that it's all because of me, but this year our ad sales have already exceeded $36,000 and I am cutting production costs by $4,000 ... which equates to a net increase of greater than $20,000 in a year ... wondermousness!How could I top that?  Well, I just had to start the weekend:)  I was very fortunate a few weeks ago to win the Toastmasters International Area Speech contest which allowed me to move on to this weekend's Division C contest with contestants from the surrounding cities.  There were six of us that competed ranging from 1.5 year Toastmasters (me) to 15-35 year Toastmasters (almost everyone else).  Needless to say, it was a very tough competition ... but I am happy to say that my speech on "Moral Opportunity" won me first place with a bid to go on to the District/State competition in Atlanta at the end of the month ... wahoo.  So, please keep your fingers crossed that I don't get so nervous that I answer my knees when they're knocking on the podium:)This weekend was also Ricky & Whitney Parsons wedding down in backwoods Moultrie, GA.  A few of us got together on a gift, and wrapped it amazingly (pictured) so that the married couple would know who had been there.  It was a beautiful wedding and the reception was a blast.  They had one of the most delicious sparkling white grape and 7 up mixes I've ever had that complimented the fruit tree very nicely!  Of course, we all cut a rug and I danced with the flower girl.  All in all, it was a pretty tasty week I must say.
O, but the fun did not stop there ... it's house hunting season and we're in full swing.  I've probably walked through about 7 homes this week and driven by another 15 all in search of the right fit for Jenny and I.  She's decided that she will be venturing down here with part of her family in the middle of June.  
That gives her a couple of weeks to land a job and settle in before we head to South America so she can come back refreshed for a new gig.  I've posted the two top choices thus far on YouTube (listed below for your viewing pleasure).  One is a wonderful ranch ( that has all of the amenities you need and is more than ready to move into.  The other is a gorgeous two-story with a lot of potential (  It's significantly less expensive, but needs some new flooring and paint ... which would be fun I think!  So, we'll see what Jenny has to say, but you are all more than welcome to weigh-in on the two options ... it's always good to have an outside opinion:)
Well, I think that's all I can handle in a week.  This is the Holy Week, so I wish you all a merry Good Friday and a Happy Easter celebration.  I will be joining Jenny and her family in the sunny, yet maybe still snowy, Minneapolis, MN for a trip to the Mall of America and a Timberwolves game ... should be a great time and I can't wait!
Until next time, don't forget to seize the moral opportunities of life!
Mom and Steph, have safe travels ... can't wait to see you both again!

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