I resolved to not make any resolutions this year or for any year to come. But then I went and made on to lose weight again. So in making a resolution I broke one. Doesn’t just figure.
Today was a full day at work and while we talked about going downtown for New Year’s Eve, turns out that Dawn and Mark are going to come out and hang with us. Which is just as well and will most likely be more fun.
Got to go to the store and then get the house ready for company. Hope you have a good New Year’s Eve. And remember to be safe.

Looking back  I’m amazed at how busy and full of changes was this year soon past. So let us take a walk down the path and see what last year held for me.

January, the start of a new year found me a year from my divorce from Tasha, working at Nichols Heating for $14/hour, and attending school 4-days a week to get a certificate in HVAC. I was no longer dating my first wife, Heidi, after a  short try at making it work a second time around, but alas, the issues were the same and it was over after Thanksgiving but unspoken and while I sent a Christmas gift it was obvious by then that we were done. My folks left for a return to Florida with the coming of the New Year, but not before letting me know that my plan to move out of their condo, where I lived with my sister, and be on my own was both unrealistic and fool hardy. They believed I should expect to stay where I was for 3-5 years to get my feet back under me. A pronouncement that made me both angry and fearful that they were right. I was also in a hot and heavy affair with a married lady, Gelleen, I’d met at work but who was no longer a co-worker.

February was the end of my affair with Gelleen. It didn’t end well, these things never do. But the month did herald the return of a romantic relationship with my second wife, Tasha. We’d been friends through the divorce and kept in touch. But it took a pre-reunion night out and a visit by Tammi and Ray to bring us back together in a circumstance that led to romance. Something I’d hoped for, but didn’t truly believe would occur. After all, the divorce wasn’t my idea. Tasha’s youngest daughter, Karin, turned 18 and became an adult… as she was oh so fond of pointing out to anyone who tried to tell her anything. And at the end of the month I graduated from Northwestern Technological Institute and was looking forward to a big raise or a change of employment and a future in the heating and cooling industry.

March found that despite presenting a salary plan and expressing my interest in staying at Nichols, no raise was forthcoming and my status there did not improve. Despite that down predicament, my relationship with Tasha was on the rise and life still looked good. I was optimistic that I would find another position in the heating and cooling industry with the coming of spring, the air conditioning season, and the inevitable hiring that came with that season.

April was the start of big things. A buddy from school pointed me toward a job offering with Jones Lang LaSalle in the property management/maintenance field. I submitted a resume and was happy to have them offer me a position in Grand Rapids, MI. The pay was ten dollars higher an hour than I was making and the idea of the move and a fresh start was appealing, I accepted the offer, put in my notice at Nichols, and was in an apartment in Grand Rapids by month’s end. My youngest, Zachary, turned 15… which makes me feel a bit old.

May would seem to have been a quiet month, but it was full of all the excitement that comes with a move, a new city, a new job, and all the accompanying chaos. Good chaos, but chaos none-the-less.

June brought with it the 18th birthday of my first born, Tyler, and his subsequent graduation from high school. A proud moment for any parent. This also made me feel old. How can I have an 18-year old son. Scary.

July came and my financial state was steadily improving, so much so that I was able to buy a new desktop computer. But there was bad news as well, Tasha was laid off from Chrysler. We knew it was coming and had discussed her moving in with me when it happened. Still it was rough on her. But she did move in here with me, bringing with her my dog and two cats. In a stroke of luck she found a job almost immediately, a short term contract with Alticor, but she was happy to have a job and not have to go on unemployment. And with such, a new life for us both.

August brought with it a reorganization of my department at work. I lost both my boss and my supervisor to this restructuring of our department into another pre-existing department. Along with new bosses, my list of properties jumped from 17 to 35 buildings. I toyed with the idea of buying a new car, but changed my mind after filling out some paperwork and this led to a couple weeks of dispute between myself and the car dealership. In the end I walked away from the deal, but kept a lot of ill feelings towards the FOX brand of dealerships. Tasha and I met my folks in Lansing for the first time as a couple since our divorce. It was mildly awkward and nerve-wracking, but we made it through the experience and had a nice lunch with my folks. I turned 40. For my birthday, Tasha bought me the video game “City of Heroes” and I got hooked on the whole mmorpg thing. I had thought to get ronnmccarrick.com back this month as well, but while the hold on it expired, it never actually became available for purchase.

September brought with it another change at work. The Mobile Engineering Services techs became members of the union, Operating Engineers Local 547. Which I’ve as yet been able to find a downside. The highlights are a nearly $5 raise and full paid benefits. My good job became a great job.

October came with new furniture, a couch and chair for our living room, and electronics, a giant 26″ monitor for my new computer. We also took off on a visit to Tammi and Ray in Bellaire, MI. So things must be going well between Tasha and I, after all, we’re taking vacations and buying furniture together.

November gave to us a new king-size mattress, for all that romantic rolling around, and I was finally able to get ronnmccarrick.com back. The blog would follow shortly. We had Tasha’s family over for Thanksgiving and it went well despite the coziness of our little two-bedroom apartment. And to top the month off Tasha’s daughter, Kirra, turned 20 and we gave her Tasha’s car as a birthday gift. We really have no need of two cars at this point.

December and with it the end of the year, but not before I paid off my car (2-months early even after a 3-month extension on the loan during the divorce). Tasha got an extension until April from Alticor which eases the worry of her becoming jobless in January. And in order to give us something to do and an opportunity to meet some new people we joined the Michigan Athletic Center, we might even lose some weight… which would be a bonus. We celebrated Christmas with both our families and the year came to an end.

A very busy year. But a year that has been very good to me.

I was wrong last week, as was pointed out in the comments, the Lions were 0-15. This week they went and made history 0-16. Didn’t win a game. Not a single damn game. There is no way the coach can come back and the team needs to be completely overhauled. I can’t believe this shit.

It’s been a long time since I used it. Hell, it’s been a while since I even played a game on the machine. But when I got the email from Microsoft letting me know that my Xbox Live subscription had been cancelled on Friday, December 26, 2008 I was a little bummed. Xbox Live used to be a place to hang out with my friends. I had a whole clan of folks that had Xboxes and were on live. Folks from work, friends, and even a few people that I’d actually never met outside of Xbox Live. Halo started it all, but golf, football, and racing kept it going for a few years there. Most all of these people have moved on to other, newer systems; Xbox 360’s, Wii’s, and PS3’s. Me. I’m still sitting here with my Xbox and thinking about all the fun that was had with that old, outdated system. I miss my friends.

Tasha and I are off to the east side of the state to visit family. I’ve got to be back for work on Friday, she may or may not stay for the weekend. We’ll see how it goes. We exchanged gifts last night. I gave her an iPod and perfume. And she gave me an iPod and an organizer for my van. All in all, I’d say it was a good trade. The dog got a ball and the cats some of those little fake mice toys.
I worked today. A full day was the schedule, but my banks closed at 2 and so the rest of the day is being written off as vehicle maintenance. So it was kind of a short day.
I hope you have a Merry Christmas. I’m out of here for now. Peace.

It’s been snowing all day. They’re saying maybe as much as another eight inches by Monday morning.
Yesterday, I had to buy a new tire for the car. Then we went shopping at the mall… just getting into the mall took probably 15-20 minutes. It was very busy. But all my shopping is done, with the sole exception of buying gifts for Tasha, but I can’t very well do that with her being there. I’ll do that Monday or Tuesday. We finalized the Christmas plan and it looks a little bit like this; Wednesday night grab the dog and head east after work. We’ll probably get a hotel room and leave the dog with T’s mom. Then Christmas morning we’ll have breakfast with my folks and then dinner with Tasha’s people. After which I’ll head home so I can work on Friday. Tasha may or may not stay on that side of the state for the weekend. If she does I’ll head back out Saturday morning to be with her, but that’s undecided at this point.
Today I watched the Lions make history (0-14) and Tasha went shopping for my gift. I’ve got nothing else at this point. Later.

Good Saturday morning to you. Are you ready for Christmas? I’m not. But I imagine that I’ll be far more ready by the end of the day. Yep, you guessed it, I’m going to head out to the stores and malls on the last Saturday before Christmas… why, oh why do I do this to myself. It could all be avoided with just a little foresight. Ah well, I’m just going to look at it as if it were a tradition.
Really I don’t have much to get. My list is short; both of my sons, Tasha, a token for my folks, and something for my grandmother who’ll be here in Michigan this year. I’d already bought something for my boy, but I’ve since learned that I’ll have to take it back and get something else. What any of these gifts will be, I haven’t a clue.
We’ll be having a white Christmas this year, and then some. I think we got somewhere between 8 and 10 inches of snow yesterday. (It was a mess trying to drive around in that, seemed like nobody was plowing the roads.) And they’re calling for another 4 inches of snow tonight, with the possibility of another storm coming through early in the week. Did I mention that I’m not particularly fond of snow, cold, or winter? I’m not.
Well, I’m off to fix a flat tire and do some shopping. Later.

Tonight we joined the MAC (Michigan Athletic Club). It’s kind of my Christmas present to Tasha. We’ve got a dual purpose to this… firstly, we’re getting wildly out of shape and need to get some exercise. And secondly, we still don’t know anyone out here and with a little effort we should get to both meet some locals and have something to do that isn’t watching TV or playing video games. It’s a pretty impressive facility, actually, it’s three facilities located around Grand Rapids. All the usual stuff; tennis courts, raquet ball courts, weight machines, indoor track, pool, fitness classes, etc. etc. etc.. The price is a bit high, but not as much as we’re paying for cable TV. So I guess I’m looking at it as an investment in me, us, and our health. I’ll keep you posted on how it all works out.

So I went and bought Microsoft Expression Web 2 with the hope that I could use it to make an updated site. But it’s been sitting in the desk for a month and I have only made a basic template… and even that is built on the same old table design that I used before. I’m not exactly blazing a path toward having a fully realized site. Even this weblog is plain old vanilla default layout. I blame it all on a combination of the game City of Heroes and my being lazy as hell. All I can say is soon I’ll have something a little more personal.
Hell, at this point I haven’t even posted on my blogger site that I’ve gotten this back.
Also, I can’t use CorelDraw or CorelPaint for graphics because the version I have won’t play nicely with Vista. I may have to get my old machine back out just to make graphics… or I guess I could learn a new program.
eh… this is just a rambling mess of a post. I’ll do better next time. At least you know I’m still out here.
–Ronn